With the introduction of new noise regulations by the NSW Environmental Protection Agency in the early 1990's, new locomotives starting with the NSW 82 and 90 classes were fitted with mufflers/silencers, and these locos (to me) lack the sense of action and power seen with the older types. With the introduction of the NR class, muffling was extended to become an Australia-wide phenomenon, and the numerous other locos introduced since that time have further extended this until we have reached a point where the majority of trains on Australian standard gauge lines are hauled by muffled locomotives. Nearly all interstate freighters and most NSW coal trains now fall into this category; thankfully grain trains and a few others remain (for now) in the hands of decent-sounding locos.
So my question is this : Has all this silencing reduced your enjoyment of the hobby of railways? For me it certainly has, and I seldom drive to gradients to watch freight trains anymore. Neither do I try to get video footage of most freight trains now. Don't get me wrong, I am still a rail enthusiast, but the focus of my interest is now older locos and heritage operations, and also American diesels.
Before anyone has a go at me for criticising the new motive power, I acknowledge that the newer loco classes do their jobs well and are popular with crews. I know they are fuel efficient, high in technology, and of considerable power and reliability. In my opinion however they just don't convey the same sense of action and power as the older locos.