Thread, updates, lazy etc. I realize we haven't even had any pictures of the 'new' line here yet, so let's go for a bit of a tour. These images are in linear order from one end of the line to the other, but not all looking in the same direction:
The long awaited depot track upgrade is finally here! Instead of a single main line and dead end siding, we now have two tracks and a double crossover which greatly improves flexibility at this end of the line. The EE loco and green tram are at the new passenger platform, the line continues on the bottom left to the swinging gate and the old main line. The track on the bottom right goes to the depot.
The spring flowers are in full bloom as 51M accelerates away from the depot loop, heading for the new terminus of Grasslands.
33 at the waterfall.
33 at Falls Loop, the junction of the new main line.
34M has just clanked over the points onto the new main line to Grasslands, the old line is to the right. The 1:20 downhill grade begins immediately!
The new line crosses under the old one and comes to the first of several major bridges.
The main engineering feature is the long and tightly curved tunnel 2. Here we're looking from the upper portal as 51M climbs towards the depot.
Bridge 5 is a very scenic spot for photos. The steam tram motor heads a construction train not long after opening, the wires have not yet gone up.
Just after bridge 5 the line descends the cliff face on a little ledge. There isn't much clearance here, you have to fold the mirrors up!
In order descend the escarpment on an adheasion grade for electric traction, the line has to form a large S bend, with two tight 180 degree turns. Even so the grade is a brutal 1:20 for most of the distance. This long exposure shows the lower bend, with the middle level on the left and the lower level on the right.
Bridge 8 is crossed just after the lower bend, like most on the line it is another wooden trestle bridge.
Shortly after Currawong Loop is reached, the main intermediate crossing point between Falls Loop and Grasslands. The loop itself is still on a pretty steep grade.
After Currowong Loop the line leaves the lush valleys behind, and the terrain becomes notably drier.
The pair of motor cars pass the future request stop of Succulent Valley, near the bottom of the grade on a rather wet day.
The EE in the same location on a much drier day. In summer this can be a very hot and arid place.
After Succulent Valley the line straightens out, and gently rises and falls with the terrain. 51M is heading for the depot near Gang Gang siding. This location could be used as a crossing loop at a pinch, but is normally booked out.
The EE crosses one of the flood plain bridges on the long straight into Grasslands.
The pair of M cars in much the same place. Here the line emerges into open countryside.
The birney tram slows down for the points at Grasslands, the current end of the line.
The conductor has swung the pole ready for the return trip as 33 stands at the site of the future passenger platform at Grasslands. There is also a goods siding here.