Over 10,000 views for my thread now. I guess I better post about the Wollongong electrification now that I have posted about Blue Mountains and Gosford.
The STM's Trolley Wire February 1986 issue has a nice write up about the first day of electric trains at Wollongong. Link to the pdf file below (page 10):-https://www.sydneytramwaymuseum.com.au/members.old/Trolley_Wire/222%20-%20Trolley%20Wire%20-%20Feb%201986.pdf
Now, in case the file were to disappear I will cover the main points below:-
- Mentions that Sunday, 15 December 1985 was proclaimed "electrofest" day in Wollongong to mark the completion and opening of the railway electrification:- a project which cost over 200 million dollars and has seen overhead wire reach out over last 6 years from Loftus to Port Kembla.
- Mentions that through service to Sydney was closed at midnight on Thursday, 12 December 1985 due to a structural fault in the Stanwell Park Viaduct. Mentions use of stringent speed restrictions imposed on crossing the viaduct as preparations continued for opening of 15 December 1985 electric services.
- Mentions that driver training trips had ventured as far as Thirroul by September 1985 and that on 27 November 1985 the first multiple-unit electric passenger train worked into Wollongong Station
- The first passenger carrying electric train left Sydney on Thursday evening 12 December 1985 and this was the LAST through electric journey for some time.
- Mentions this pre-official opening trip was conducted to enable enough electric train cars to be in Wollongong before the through route was cut due to the problems with the Stanwell Park Viaduct.
- Mentions that preparations for the 15 December 1985 opening event were too far gone to cancel out on as well as the introduction of the new timetable to be postponed
- As a result of above 15 December 1985 saw electric suburban services in Scarborough-Wollongong-Port Kembla area being inaugurated, while also in process as a result of Stanwell Park closure being electrically isolated from the main Sydney system.
- Mentions that on Sunday morning single deck interurban sets U6, U9 and U10, each being 4-car sets, operated providing free trips between Thirroul and Port Kembla.
- From Monday 16 December 1985, sets U6 and U9 were in service with double-decker V-set V23 providing the third train.
- By end of the first week U6, U9 and U10 were providing the base service with V23 sandwiched between on driver training schedules.
- Mentions in total that 6 4-car sets were isolated in Wollongong (3 U sets and 3 V sets), having been brought through before the line was cut for some time at Stanwell Park.
- Mentions in addition to interurban trains there were the stainless steel double-decker Suburban Trains Driving Trailers which had been hauled by diesel locomotives on Wollongong suburban services since April 1983 and they too, like the 6 interurban sets, have been isolated in the Illawarra area for duration of viaduct closure.
- The Hon Neville Wran, then Premier of NSW performed official proceedings at 12.30pm on Sunday 15 December 1985.
- there is also a photo of set U6. The rear power car on this set was CF5008 which was part of the run of "The Fish" on 15 September 1958 and part of the last revenue service of a U-set on November 1, 1996.
- CF5025, the matrix power car with original lift windows was one of the power cars on either U9 or U10.
If you want to see more of the above, view tressteleg1's "interurban u sets" video which I posted on page 1 of the thread, the very start of this video shows scenes from 15 December 1985, including the 4-car u-sets running around providing free runs between Thirroul and Port Kembla.
In order to complete the picture on the South Coast electrification, the April 1986 issue of Trolley Wire has a small write-up on the first through service from Sydney to Wollongong after the re-opening of the Stanwell Park Viaduct (see page 16):-https://www.sydneytramwaymuseum.com.au/members.old/Trolley_Wire/223%20-%20Trolley%20Wire%20-%20Apr%201986.pdf
- It shows a photo of then NSW Transport Minister Barry Unsworth breaking a bottle of champagne over the front of interurban V-set Power Car DIM8089, leading set V28 on the official first "through" electric train service from Sydney to Wollongong on February 4, 1986