Once upon a time Australian trains were considered an essential service, and in that land of trains, and post offices, and country hospitals and even the odd tourist or two, maintenance was performed at the same time as maintaining services...
...yes, possums, I know it's hard to believe but that is how it was back then...
...aaaahhh the good old days...*nostalgia*
Dream on!!! - here's a big reality check!!!
For the next 2 months there are to be no Countrylink trains on the north west main line from Muswellbrook onwards to Moree and Armidale due to the worst of Australian malaises...'track work'!
Are you're thinking 'management cannot be serious?'
...sadly, they are!
...and consequently buses are to be the 'order of the day' on this line until the middle of September.
Now here's the thing:
1) Why are Tourism Australia puzzled that twice the number of people leave Australia as visit?
Anyhoo, luckily for me & BN2 when we 'countrylinked' it from Central last Friday, even though we didn't have as far to go on a bus as the beleagured Moree and Armidale passengers, our resident Tour de Francophile* had driven the 'Team' truck down from Scone to the station in the early hours of the morning, parked it, hoiked his bike out of the tray, and then cycled like mad the '30km Muswellbrook/Scone Stage' to be just 'across the line' for morning surgery!!!
Aaahh!! - quelle bonne chance pour nous!!!
The actions of our dependable knight on a 'frosty' dependable bicycle meant we were able to avoid the 'always' unnecessarily lengthy train/bus interchange!!!
(& needless to mention, BN2 took the wheel for our Muswellbrook/Scone Stage given that yours truly continues 'sans' permis de conduire!!)
Oh, and there's another thing:
2) Hands up who's surpirsed to hear that coal and gas trains are still to run on the northwest main line as per normal!