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Edition #168 February 15, 2012

Hobart Refueling

Photographer: Alan Shaw

                                                                      Photo by Alan Shaw

Hobart Refueling

Continuing my journey of discovery of my older images, here is another one for you. This one was taken in 1984 and shows a Tasrail locomotive being refuelled in Hobart, about as far away from Smithton shown in my previous view (See Old Style) as you could get and still be on rails. My record taking has always been slack, so I donít have the exact date to hand, but it is another view of a more easily approachable and personable railway environment than exists today.

At that time Iíd have been finishing uni and it would be another year before Iíd be bothered to get a car, so for me railfanning meant catching a Number 64 bus from Geilston Bay into the city and wandering down to the yards at Hobart station. During the week there was usually someone about I could get casual permission from, and then Iíd wander around with my new Minolta SLR capturing views as I found them.

This particular photo seems to demonstrate something about hats on Tasmaniaís railway; while not as rakish as the trilby in Old Style, the hat in this view is perhaps more practical although itís maritime nature looks just a little out of place in amongst the motive power operated by Tasrail. Incidentally, it seems the driver shown in Old Style was well known since a couple of people have said they also had similar hospitality from him, although evidently his trilby was a later addition; in the earlier 80s he seems to have preferred more prosaic caps.

On a more contemporary note, preparing this neg in Lightroom reminds me of why I like digital more than film. Itís not the histogram, itís not the fast and fancy autofocus, the clever exposure modes, the higher frame rates, the flexible white balance or even the ludicrous high-ISO capability, itís not having to deal with %$@ing dust! This one took ages to remove all the tiny dust spots that were lurking in the shadows.

Alan Shaw

Brisbane, Australia

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