Australia and other trips in 2020

Presenter: Stuart Hicks

For our September Zoom meeting our Branch Member and Secretary Stuart Hicks took us on a tour of his overseas trips during 2020. He and his family had started the year on a cruise in the Canary Islands during which time they witnessed a magnificent firework display. On their return cruise to Southampton they called at Lisbon which enabled them to take a look at that capital’s historic trams.

His next holiday was to a cold wet Spain in late January for a PTG railtour from Madrid to the south west.  We saw the vintage locos used for the tour, the staithes and old and new stations at Huelva. The tour ended at the Madrid railway museum, with rides on their miniature railway, along with trips enjoyed the following day on the local public transport.

His last foreign holiday last year (owing to Covid) was to Australia for another PTG tour starting early February.  Stuart flew nonstop to Perth, and after some local sightseeing and riding on local transport took the Indian Pacific across to Adelaide before flying across to Launceston in Tasmania.   The party rode on all the preserved lines and visited the museum on that island state as well as seeing some of the remains of other closed passenger routes and doing a fair amount of tourist sightseeing and we saw images taken at each railway and museum.

They returned to the Australian mainland by flying to Melbourne where we saw a further selection of trams and other local transport coupled with some of the exhibits at the extensive State Transport Museum. Owing to a derailment the group had to fly to Sydney instead of travelling by XPT, but that allowed more time to see the local transport including trams, local trains and the harbour ferries.  Stuart managed to get a XPT trip by breaking away one afternoon and making a return trip to Broadmeadow and showed several other XPT images, along with a shot of what is reputed to be the steepest inclined railway in the world up in the Blue Mountains.

An enjoyable show thank you Stuart.