Volume 4 - Up the Escarpment
In producing the volumes so far, I have focussed on providing a variety of recordings of trains in a range of locations, including both on-train and lineside.  A few people have requested a CD that has longer on-train recordings so they can simply sit back, relax and imagine that they are travelling behind steam whenever they wish.  This CD is just that, two longer on-train recordings from one of the last tours ran by 3801 Limited - “Up the Escarpment” on 30th of September 2006.

2 Tracks - 70 minutes Full CD Quality Steamsounds with full track notes (see them below)

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Volume 4 - Up the Escarpment
Track List

Track 1 -
3112 and 3801 from Georges River Bridge to Waterfall 30/9/06   16:30
Track 2 -
3112 and 3801 on train up Illawarra Escarpment 30/9/06            53:53
Track Notes

Track 1 - We join the train on the climb from Georges River bridge up through Sutherland to Waterfall.  At first, we can hear the 38 running quickly at the grade, but soon the hill starts to bite and the speed drops off.  It is obvious from the chatter inside the train that everyone is enjoying the day so far.  The locos aren’t being worked that hard as we are soon to stop at Sutherland station for passengers.  While we are waiting, we hear the ubiquitous station announcement and arrival of a Tangara suburban electric service.  After some cajoling to get a young passenger on board, the engines whistle off, and we continue our journey towards the top of the climb and the first watering stop at Waterfall.  The sound of the 38 soon drowns out the little 4-6-4T as we work upgrade and a coal train passes on the adjoining track.

Track 2 - This track is a complete record of the climb up the Illawarra escarpment, commencing just after the junction with the South Coast line and finishing prior to Robertson.  There are only minimal edits to eliminate the sounds of carriage internal doors slamming, and a little extraneous conversation, to preserve the sound of two engines working hard for nearly an hour, battling to get us up and over the Illawarra Escarpment.

The departure off the main line at Coniston was taken at a leisurely pace, however this soon proves to nearly be the undoing of the whole journey, as the big 38 loses her feet very quickly.  For the next 15 minutes or so, both engines are worked to the limit to try and maintain some momentum after the challenging start and continued lack of adhesion.  There is still some time to whistle to the lineside audience who have gathered to witness the steam spectacular, but reverse curvature, steep grades and the occasional flange greaser all combine to require full concentration of the running crew.

When finally the grade eases slightly, the engines pick up speed ever so slightly and settle into a good solid slog up the hill.  As we sit back in our seats, we can hear the alternate rise and fall in volume as the engines turn away or towards us on the many curves. Occasionally, there are reflected echoes from the ever close by cliff face and we can hear both the 38 and the C30 tank working hard.  Approximately half way up the hill, the volume increases considerably as we work through two avalanche/rock slide shelters, but the volume returns to normal as the climb continues upward.  Eventually, the top of the main part of the climb is reached, and both engines are eased, signifying another successful encounter with the Illawarra Escarpment.

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