Here at the southern end of the Queensland sugar belt harvesting is in full swing so the weekend before last we decided that we would go and do a bit of cane train chasing. At this time of year you’re sure to see plenty of trains … at least that’s what we thought.
So we headed north to Childers where there was nothing to be seen and some of the rails looked a bit rusty. We pressed on up the Isis Highway and took the turn off that leads down to the Isis Sugar Mill.
The yard was stuffed full of loaded cane bins but there was not a loco in sight. So we headed down towards the Cordalba pub … there was bound to be a cane train working somewhere along that line … but of course we were wrong.
We did see Isis No.10 and two ballast hoppers stowed in the small yard that’s just south of where the dual track ends but that was it. There was nothing happening around Cordalba so we followed the road down to the Isis Highway and turned north.
I expected to find something at Alf’s Pad … and we did but I wasn’t quite ready for Isis No5. It had put together a long string of full bins and was waiting to leave. Unfortunately we were stuck in a long line of traffic turning around was not going to be easy so we decided to continue north and take the shortcut across to Wallaville … surely there would be something happening there.
Burnett in the Wallaville compound
Wallaville is an out depot of Bingera Mill and two of the Mill’s smaller locos are usually stationed there to work the branches that radiate out from Wallaville. They take the empties out and bring the loaded bins back so that one of the Mill’s larger locos can collect them and take them back to the Mill.
Invicta in the Wallaville compound waiting for its next call to duty on local cane trains
And of course when we got to Wallaville nothing was happening. It was so not happening that Invicta and Burnett … the two locos assigned to Wallaville … were locked in the compound and the yard was empty apart from a couple of short strings of empties.
Somebody had an ‘oops’ moment at the end of one of the sidings in Wallaville yard. That’s the main line back to Bingera Mill in the foreground.
Ok … so maybe we should head for Millaquin Mill … there’s sure to be something loco action there. But of course there wasn’t … just another yard stuffed full of loaded bins and not a loco in sight … and no sign of anything along any of Millaquin’s lines that we passed on the way home.
So after 400km we managed to see just four locos and not one of them was moving … but there’s always next time.