Many of you will remember that the Lachlan Valley Rail Freight company began operating their no.4168 train conveying containers from Sandgate near Newcastle to Botany in Sydney late in 1999, running a couple of times a week and hauled by two locomotives. By 2004 the scale of the operation had grown to the stage where the train was running five to six days a week with four or five locomotives up front. For most of us, although some of the Alcohaulics may beg to differ, the highlight of this working in 2004 occurred when the LVRF leased four GMs to haul the train. Word quickly spread that quad GMs could often be witnessed storming up Cowan bank with a maximum load, and on some days the traffic on the old Pacific Highway between Hawkesbury River and Cowan resembled the Bathurst 500 as car loads of photographers raced up the hill to get another photo after taking their first shot somewhere down around the bottom of the grade.
Glimpses of footage I recorded back have been on YouTube for a while, but with planning the Streamliner event at Goulburn well underway now is probably an appropriate time to release a production devoted to 4168.
"THE 4168 FILES" contains sixty minutes of footage recorded between Hawkesbury River and Berowra showcasing the motive power used to haul the train during 2004. Numerous scenes of quad GMs feature, as well as the rare working of quad 44s as well. On some days when only three GMs were available 442s, 44s and even an Austrac 18 and an ATN L were used. There were even a few quin lashups.
The video is now available for download from Train Pictures, and the DVD should be ready within a couple of weeks. All of the footage was shot on DV in standard definition at a 4:3 aspect ratio, so there is no point in releasing it on Blu-ray.
A short preview is available below to bring back some memories.