Smoke – Our Brand New NSWGR Book

After the success of “Superheat”, which sold out only a few weeks after delivery, we had decided to hang up our publishing shoes and leave the future to others. Since then we have been constantly harassed to provide other books that showcased the NSWGR in steam days.

After two years, the fire in the belly was again ignited over dinner, and before we knew it, we were collecting photos for yet another NSW book.

Thinking long and hard for a theme, we settled on telling tales of our adventures chasing steam trains in our youth. It was very different from today. We crawled all over railway property with suitably signed indemnity forms, collected from one of our mates strategically placed in the publicity department at Railway House Wynyard, climbed trees, hills and telegraph poles to get the best vantage point, and learned the art of photography along the way.

Stephen Buck took this shot on the climb from Murrurundi to Ardglen. Great lighting at a very famous photo spot.

A few of our number who were a little older had large format cameras which they used to gain superb black and white images, in addition to the traditional colour slide film. These include Dennis O’Brien, Graham Cotterall, and Laurie Anderson, all fine exponents of the art of railway photography.

Simultaneos departures from Nevertree, with the C30T headed fr Warren – a rare sight ion NSW. – Graham Cotterall

Then we tapped into the collections of some of our connections who were photographing even earlier. Ian Gray’s Uncle Stan, as it happens, was out and about in the 1930’s taking photos of Round Top Boilered Pigs, Un-rebuilt Nannies, and 57s on the mountains. Some of the photos taken in Western Sydney show no sign of the housing that dominates the area now, and no overhead wires. These really are a reminder of days gone past, long before most of us were born.

5713 approaching Toongabbie July 1933 – Stan Foulkes

We move into the transition period, where electrification moved west to Bowenfels and north to Gosford, when the 57s and 58s were still up and about, and then continue on to the end of steam in 1973. The photos are from all parts of the state, and we even found a rare picture taken on the Illawarra, dieselised in 1964.

While black and white dominates, there is a colour section of 32 pages, with more images along the lines of our earlier books to keep those of you who prefer that medium happy.

Double 59s approaching the Gib tunnel near Bowral – Graham Cotterall

From our point of view, we are very happy with the combination of a large format book, full page photos, anecdotes from our adventures, the usual high quality captions, and a wide variety of photos. We believe you will be entertained and more than satisfied with the finished result.

We are taking pre-publication orders right now at As usual we have discounted the price for early birds and expect the books to be completed by the end of May. This might be delayed if we are not totally happy with the finished product. We will not compromise on quality, even if it means a delay in publication.

5391 at Stanwell Park – Jim Powe

So there you have it, 168 pages of large format is currently with the printers. If you are on my email list, you will receive more information in the near future. It will sell fast, and what is left over will go to retail outlets.

Incidentally, if you would like to view some of the feedback from “Superheat”, I have correlated it at

Thanks for your attention, We hope you are as happy as we are with the new book.


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