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Bound for Darwin

The Inaugural freight service to Darwin

January 15th 2004

Photo's - Nicholas Michalak, Peter Michalak and Paul Henley


Thursday 16th January 2004 - a date that will now forever be remembered as the day that an aussie dream came true. At 11.35am drivers Barry Walgang and Michael Holmes, opened the throttle of brand new locomotives FQ02, FQ01 and ARG's CLP9 at the start of a three day trip into history, as they pulled out of Adelaide's Adelaide Freight Terminal bound for the Alice, and ultimately Darwin.  We captured the train on film passing through suburban Dry Creek - about 1km north of Adelaide Freight terminal, and again as it passed through the quiet country town of Snowtown - around 180km's north of Adelaide. Railfans, and general onlookers crowded every vantage point they could find, some coming equipped with deckchairs, esky's and BBQ's to enjoy the event.

UPDATED 19/1/04 - Port Augusta parallel run photo's by Paul Henley



FQ02 arriving in Dry Creek Loop (Captured from video)
FQ02 arriving in Dry Creek Loop (Captured from video)
FQ02, leads FQ01 and CLP9 into Dry Creek loop, the air filled with the sound of FQ02's horn, and that of the TV choppers hovering overhead.
With a wave from the engineman, the train slows to cross PacNat's PM7 Trailerail service from Perth to Melbourne
FQ02 and FQ01 passing Dry Creek Station.
FQ02, FQ01, CLP9 and ex. Bluebird trailer - now crew van approach the old Dry Creek bogie exchange.
Racing through Snowtown, with what seemed like the towns population, out to greet the train as it sped through. (Captured from video)
Racing through Snowtown, with what seemed like the towns population, out to greet the train as it sped through.
FQ02 and FQ01 at speed, with the nose of CLP9 at right of shot.
At 120km/h this train was stopping for no-one and only 120 years overdue! - Who would have thought, that 2 generations of SAR rollingstock would end up on the first train to Darwin!
Heading for Crystal Brook...next stop Port Augusta


PORT AUGUSTA - Photo's by Paul Henley


Pichi Richi Railways NM25 and NSU52 approach Stirling North with the combined freight/passenger consist.
FQ02 arriving at Stirling North
"Bridging the gap" - over 60 years of rail advances are evedent as  FQ02, FQ01, CLP9 on the standard gauge train to Darwin, and Pichi Richi's NM25 and NSU52 on the narrow gauge, parallel run as they approach Pt.Augusta
NM25 and NSU52 are slowly overtaken by the new standard gauge train.
Crowd's of railfans and general on lookers crowd Port Augusta station, as the standard gauge train and narrow gauge trains arrive.
NM25 steams into Port Augusta.
FQ02, FQ01, CLP9 and train arrive in the outskirts of Port Augusta.