Writing and trains have long been two passions of mine that have both led me down familiar tracks in life. After first picking up a camera to photograph trains as a brash youngster just 14 years old, it dawned on me that 2016 marked 30 years of indulging in my favourite pastime of railway photography. Having spent the best part of two years travelling Australia's east coast by train to write my four text only Train Tripping eBook guides, I felt that my efforts warranted a book in printed form to showcase my years of photographic work. The end result is my latest book, 30 Years Chasing Trains.
As a writer, I consider myself an amateur photographer at best. Fortunately, the digital age in which we now live allows us to shoot 1,000 photos to possibly obtain half a dozen which may be considered great. Compare that to 1986, when armed with a Kodak 110 mm pocket camera and a BMX bike, I first set out to photograph trains passing along the edge of Brisbane Water between Gosford and Point Clare an hour north of Sydney, Australia. Processing a roll of film was the equivalent of a month's pocket money. Still, some of those photos today tell a story of a time that has passed us by, which as a writer led me to present this 100 page collection in the guise of a photographic memoir.
Inside there are 124 images, showcasing 30 years of train photography laid out state-by-state in chapter form, with the majority being higher quality images to those that I have previously shared on this blog. The extended descriptions paint a picture of what was happening to eastern Australia's ever-changing railway landscape between the period of 1986 to 2016. From high quality scans of some of my earlier photography from the late 1980's, to stunning two page spreads featuring the latest horsepower riding on our rails, I have tried to present this book through the lens of a train enthusiast. Inside you will find images from Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania and New South Wales, with our neighbours across the Tasman in New Zealand not forgotten either. From Mossman in the far north of Queensland, to Ida Bay where the sealed road ends in the far south of Tasmania, I have traveled by train and by car to capture trains passing through both obscure, and some more recognisable locations. Mossman, Cairns, Kuranda, Bundaberg, the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Toowoomba, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, the Hunter Valley, Sydney, Katoomba, Kiama, Narrandera, Quirindi, Seymour, Ballarat, Melbourne, Warrnambool, Foster, Korumburra, Devonport, Maydena, Ida Bay, Rotorua, Tirau and Kawerau are among some of the locations featured. Then of course there is the Puffing Billy Railway in Victoria's Dandenong Ranges, of which I owe much gratitude to the staff for allowing me behind-the-scenes access to play trainee fireman for the day on a cold winter's morning in 2015.
The book is presented in 20 x 25 cm full colour print and is available now in softcover or eBook form. While there are many books published each year on trains, the short shelf-life of most train books that you find in bookstores prompted me to self-publish this book in its entirety. As such, the book is available online exclusively through Kobo's Blurb label, leaving me with no fear of the book ever falling into the out-of-print category as has happened to my novels in the past. After all, this personal project of mine is really my story. The story of a young train fanatic that went on to record his lifelong interest in trains through the lens of a camera. I do hope you'll enjoy owning a copy of this book, if not, I'm sure my railway reminiscing articles on this blog will continue to keep the most ardent of railway enthusiasts entertained for years to come. Who knows? Depending on the success of this book, I may follow with another book devoted entirely to images of railway stations. Although that would involve sifting through my personal collection of more than 10,000 images one more time.
100 pages. 8 x 10 inch, 20 x 25 cm. 124 images. Full colour.
$35.00 AUD or $23.37 US softcover
$8.99 AUD or $6.36 US eBook
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