Photography, Victoria, Weekend Wanderings

Weekend Wanderings – Maldon Train Station

LeanneCole-maldon-20130102-6003When we were driving to Maldon the other day on the way into town we went past the train station and decided that when we were leaving, we would stop and take a look.  I can’t tell you how glad we were that we did.

LeanneCole-maldon-20130102-5975We stopped there and walked around the station and had a look at lots of things, and once we got on the platform we could see some carriages across from the station.  They were very old ones, the ones I remember travelling in as a child.  They haven’t been around for about 20 years.  It was like walking down memory lane.

LeanneCole-maldon-20130102-5988This is an wheelbarrow for moving suitcases.  I love how the old stations have these on them.  In the background you can see the old red rattlers.

LeanneCole-maldon-20130102-6008No, not Thomas the Engine, but maybe Thomasina, it is fun though, and you see it next to the station and it really stands it.  It was really this that caught our attention as we went past.

LeanneCole-maldon-20130102-6015When you look at the station, or just the station house, you have no idea about what trains go there, if any at all.  The we happened upon Mick, he is the Workshop Supervisor and we ended up seeing more than we expected.  It seems that one of the things that make this station special is that they run steam trains.  As you can see from the above image there are lots of steam engines.

LeanneCole-maldon-20130102-6033This is one of the older ones that still needs to be restored.  They are all part of the Victorian Goldfields Railway.  I saw a sign inside the station that had prices for the train, but I wasn’t sure if they were current, but Mick informed me that the trains do indeed run, Sundays and Wednesdays.  We really want to go back and catch the train another time.  Though, we think we might wait until early winter.  Mick said the trains, the steam and all that are at their best when it is cold.  I really want to see that, see it with my camera.

LeanneCole-maldon-20130102-6078We were allowed to go up into the engine and shown how it all works.  It is so good to meet someone who is so passionate about what they do, and his passion was infectious, he certainly made us want to know more, and to come back.

I can’t help thinking that riding on these trains would be like a blast from the past.  It is fantastic to see the old trains being restored and used.  There was something very different travelling on those trains.

Apparently if you want to experience a real train day, then go to Southern Cross Station in the city, catch a Bendigo train, get off at Castlemaine, then you can catch the train to Maldon, spend a couple of hours in Maldon, before travelling back to Castlemaine and catching the train back to Melbourne.

If you want to go to Maldon the website Maldon Inc can help you out with all the information you would need.  If you want to find out more about the train station and their trains, then take a look at Victorian Goldfields Railway.  If you love trains, then you will be in heaven here.

I took most of my photos in the middle of the day, on a summers day in Australia.  They are bright and it was hard to get good exposures.  I would recommend you go either early morning, or late afternoon.  I don’t know for sure, but I suspect you might get a sunrise or sunset down the tracks, which could be spectacular.  Though, having said all that, I would think winter, on a day when the train is running would be the best, even ideal.

I used a very low ISO for most of the shots, except inside the engine.  Most images had an aperture around f/13, though for the close ups inside I had the aperture set at f/2.8.  I used the 24-70mm lens again, though it would have been nice to have a macro lens for the shots I was attempting.  I also wish I had used my wide angle for some shots, and think when I go back I will use that as well.

I am going to put together a gallery now, a lot of images, but I was having trouble culling.


  1. Lovely to see them still operative.
    One thing we do have in KwaZulu Natal are a couple of fabulously scenic steam train rides. We enjoyed one last year – such fun!
    Takes me right back to when I used to have a two-day train ride to our ‘home town’ at the coast for school holidays.

    • They aren’t all working, apparently there is a problem with asbestos in many of them, but they are slowly restoring them, of course money is the biggest problem.
      Wow, 2 day train journey, that seems like such a long time nowadays. I loved the train when I was little, when I needed to travel 5 hours on the train to get home from the city for visits, I stopped being so keen. I do love old steam trains though.
      Thank you Colonialist.

      • The compartments were very comfortably fitted out, with seats that became beds, and the dining car and bar offered multi-course meals and refreshments. I loved sleeping on the train (two nights) as the motion and sounds were so lulling – except for stopping at other stations during the night.

      • Sounds fantastic, I’ve never been a train overnight, let alone one with beds. My husband and I have always talked about doing one across Australia, but so far never have.
        Dining cars, I remember those very vaguely, as a child, but they stopped using them here, which is so disappointing, really part of the whole experience.

      • Air travel put paid to them, and also created a lull in cruise ship popularity, but the latter have come back hugely and perhaps so will excursion trains in the future?

      • I think bringing back the trains is a wonderful idea, so many people love old trains. It has to be a great idea. Let’s hope it happens.

  2. I love the way you capture things on a different angle, not just straight on all the time. I’m going to try to remember that technique.

    It always adds a special something when you meet someone who is passionate about a place doesn’t it. Lucky you to meet up with Mick.

    • Thank you Carol, I try, don’t always succeed, but I give it a go.
      It does add something really special, his passion was so infectious. We were very lucky.

  3. leecleland says

    I’m glad you didn’t cull too much, Leanne these are just fabulous. And like me you like all the bits and pieces of machinery not just the overall train. Enjoyed these pics a lot.

    • Thank you Lee, I am usually very bad at doing the bits and pieces, but I had the right lens on and so I went for it. I think I need to remember that. So glad you enjoyed them, I thought people might enjoy these.

  4. Ted Ryan says

    I remember those long red carriages too Leanne. We used to think they were flash, as we’d catch the little blue train at home that came down from Sea Lake, then meet the ‘big’ trains with the long red carriages in Bendigo.

    • Ah the trains, we always caught it from Swan Hill or Kerang and then it would go straight through Bendigo, well it stopped there. I have vague memories of a dining car too, though they stopped using those. How’s the weather up there.

      • Ted Ryan says

        The weather has been very mild – 25 to 28. Very few hot days and not more than one or two in a row and it’s generally been cool enough to sleep at night. I’ve not had the camera out because it’s still too bright for much of the day – unless you want to catch the sunrises & sunsets – which some of my more dedicated friends are doing. If I can catch a cloudy day in a week or so I might take a drive up to the Pink Lakes to work on a bit of ‘abandonment’, taking pics of the old salt mining machinery dissolving into the landscape. They had a little train line there one time but it never worked well with the dunes blowing over the track. They found camels better for moving the salt out.

  5. There are several working steam trains in my area, there is nothing quite like the smell, so evocative!

  6. Great photos, and I am also glad you didn’t cull too much! Yes, there is something magical about steam trains – particularly when they are running. It brings to mind the romance of the Orient Express at its pinnacle. Maybe it is all the hissing, steam, and always something happening – and as Lucid Gypsy said, the smell (especially wood and coal fired locomotives). Again, you’ve inspired me to add another project to my list – Auckland has a vintage railway – Glenbrook Vintage Railway -that runs most weekends. Hmm, Sunday today!

    • I think it might also be that hint back to what we think of innocence, before the world woke up. I love them, they give me a romantic idea of the old.
      Yes, it is Sunday, I hope you are on your way. Have a great journey. Thank you.

  7. You know I always love your photos Leanne! I love how you see the beauty and interest aspect in the variety of things you photograph! :D

    • Thank you Keli, I try my best, I must admit doing these posts really push me to try different things. :)

  8. Maldon is a fantastic place! Thanks so much for introducing it to us, Leanne! Great job, as always! Fabio

  9. Fantastic place for a photo session. Takes my back years and years. And Thomas the Tank Engine (or Thomasina) in Australia. Wow!

    • Thank you, it was a great place to go and take photos. Apparently the train near the front was just sitting there and they found some blue paint and painted it for the kids, they love it, though they know it is the wrong engine to be Thomas, apparently.

  10. Wonderful discovery! I think the blue train with the face might be The Little Engine That Could…”I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…” We read that one a lot ;)

    • I think you could be right, I remember that story, I used to love it. Maybe you could ask the little ones what they think, Thanks Marie.

  11. Wonderful post. Your enthusiasm is contagious and I like these photos and also your discussion of your process.

  12. You had a field day at the Maldon station – and I have to say again that your photos are so great. I had a day last spring at our old abandoned station and I got some of my best shots and it has become my most popular photo post. Didn’t have nice old trains like you had as subjects. I love surroundings like this, when the beauty isn’t for free.
    Great gallery, Leanne. My favorite is the baggage trolley .. or whatever it may be called.

    • Baggage trolley, yes, that is probably what it is called, I couldn’t think of the name when I was writing the post. Thank you.
      Train stations can be a fantastic places to take photos. I love them. I don’t remember the train photos, I will have to go back and take a lot Viveka. Thank you so much.

  13. Great find and photos – something about trains that has always fascinated me – old world but very complex – like the detail shots as well as the group of train ghosts – waiting to be reanimated.

    • There seems to be something about humans and travel, so many people love trains. I love them too. I like the way you describe your fascination. Thank you so much Robert.

  14. My 3-yr-old grandson, Owen, loves trains. I am sure he will enjoy looking at your photos, especially Thomasina. :-)

  15. Beautiful shots of the station and trains. I always enjoy seeing your photographic work, Leanne.

  16. Reblogged this on Loco Yard and commented:
    This is a fabulous selection of photographs of a beautiful heritage railway. I particularly like the detail shots, they pick out some interesting items and objects. This is a lovely blog post!

  17. . . . I could spend a couple of days there . . . and I really like the intimate shots of levers, dials, and switches.

    • I know what you mean, I would love to go back sometime, go for a ride on the trains, and follow ahead and take photos from certain places. That would be the icing on the cake. Thank you.

      • There’s something about mechnical things perhaps because we’re in an age where they are hard to find. My husband loves automatic watches and has many that have the see-through backs to show the mechanical movements. I wish I had a macro lens….they would be fun to photograph!

      • I think that is so true, it just seems impossible how it works. I would like a macro lens too, it is on my wish list.

    • I don’t think you are alone there, many people love them, something very romantic about them, I think. Thank you Em.

  18. You got some brilliant pictures there, Leanne! Train pictures are so unique when you get into them. It sounds like you had a great time. I love learning new things, and accidentally, so much the better. :) Thanks for sharing. Have a great week. Talk to you again, soon :) Marsha :)

  19. I’m no train buff but I could feel myself getting quite excited by all those knobs dials and gauges and shiny metal Leanne ;-)
    Brilliant gallery !

    • I think when you are talking to someone who is so passionate, you can’t help being drawn into it. Thank you.

  20. Thomasina is a bit… scary. I reckon my three year old would freak when he sees this coming.

  21. so beautiful and so exciting for me…I loved them all. Thank you dear Leanne Cole, love, nia

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  23. “The adventures of Thomasina, Queen of the desert”? Sounds like a great follow up to Priscilla :)

    • I don’t think you are the only one, it seems to be a very sentimental thing for many of us. Thank you.

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