Trains in The Hunter

A steamy new train doco
 Miguel Gonzalez

Trainspotters rejoice: we've published a sequel to last year's mini-documentary Steam on the Harbour: Darling Harbour's working trains.

This time Curator Jeff Wray has focused on the NSW Hunter region, which has a notable history as a major transport network. Jeff researched the NFSA's Roger McKenzie collection to produce Steam on the Main North.

The 15-minute film features footage from three locations around Maitland: Fassifern, Hawkmount (between Awaba and Dora Creek) and Thornton. Many of the rural areas seen in the film have since been heavily transformed by suburban sprawl.

The footage was shot by amateur filmmaker Roger McKenzie and his friend Bernie Kent. They documented the Sydney rail network, as well as transportation more widely including ferries, trams and container ships, from 1965 through to 1985. The collection is unique because it doesn’t just showcase modes of transport, but also covers the transport operators and workers and the surrounding areas. Jeff discusses the collection in his blog Trainspotting with Roger McKenzie.

Watch Steam on the Main North now, then explore our Trains curated collection.