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Nelson Bay

A relative's wedding right in the middle of the spring school holidays ruined our chances for a decent break away. This was especially disappointing after being stuck at home with covid last holidays. All we could manage was three nights up at Nelson Bay to escape from a house that is also the office. I am not a fan of the drive north out of Sydney to Newcastle. Too many lane changing, tailgating idiots with massive utes or luxury cars and a route that demands that you are in the correct lane without sufficient warning. So it was this time. The Monday night wedding left us exhausted and we departed quite late in the day. We made it to the Morriset turnoff for a lunch of KFC, then through to the nightmare of Hexam, before turning off at Tomago, thus breaking with our last few drives north. The traffic in the opposite direction was horrendous, jams stretching for kilometres. I had already planned to take a different route home. I was very glad to finally reach our accommodation, the
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Transport Heritage Expo 2022

I would have gone out of my way to avoid this Red Rattler suburban train when it was in operation, but here I am going out of my way to ride in one.  It's the Transport Heritage Expo at Sydney's Central Station. There are stalls, an operational C32 steam locomotive and 86 class electric loco with cabin tours, steam train rides down to Hurstville and back and the Southern Aurora parked at a platform. The latter will always be associated with pandemics to me. I was really sick with the flu that was going around on my first trip to Sydney, aboard a sleeper on the Southern Aurora back in the the early 1980's.  I was here to catch a heritage electric train ride. Initially it was supposed to run to Lavender Bay, down near Luna Park, which would have been fantastic as you can't normally catch trains there, being a storage branch. Unfortunately, that was kyboshed by the authorities and replaced with a return run to East Hills. I had already caught that line in from Padstow, alt