Gunzelitude

I’m not much of a gunzel really. The world of gunzelism is something that can range from mild interest in things railed through to knowing everything but everything there is to know about every tramway and rail carriage and engine ever in service (and quite a few that never were).

In conversation some months ago, I discovered that Marita and Justine’s test of gunzelness is as follows:

Question: What is the name of the railway tunnel underneath Footscray station?

A. What tunnel?

B. I’ve noticed that tunnel, but have no idea what it’s called.

C. The Bunbury Street tunnel.

According to their theory, if you answered C, you’re a gunzel, even if only mildly.

This is nothing particular to be ashamed of. I concluded long ago that everybody’s a geek in some way. All of us know more about at least one topic of conversation than the average person. Okay, so some people take it to extremes, but we all have to have hobbies.

So anyway my mild gunzelic tendencies took me down the street this evening to the station, to get a little video of a steam train. It’s Steamrail’s yearly Snow Train (which I’ve been on once or twice). Just after 7pm it came thundering through. The mighty R-class engines are always an impressive sight, perhaps not ideal pollution-wise, but nonetheless a testament to the skill of the engineers who built them.

Steam train

I’d love to post some video, but the sound track of the aforementioned thundering was ruined by the sudden arrival of the local morons, whooping and shouting such insightful exclamations as “It’s f—ing Puffing Billy!”

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3 Replies to “Gunzelitude”

  1. Hmmm I can’t recognise it, but is this train Puffing Billy? I remember taking a ride on him once when visiting an uncle down in Melbourne. I remember seeing a guy in the same car as us having something that I now suspect may have been an orgasm as the train began to start rolling; talking to him for the short time that we did proved that he was in fact a steam train enthusiast. Other than that guy (though he did not wreck it for me as I was only about 12 years old and did not understand why he was so excited) the day was a great one, one of those rare days that you are really dreading and then turn out to be awesome. Thanks for taking me back it.

  2. Not quite Puffing Billy… that is in fact a photo of R761, owned by Steamrail. Quite a great deal larger than the small engines used on the Puffing Billy Railway.

    The R class locomotives were once the premier locomotive of the Victorian Railways, and were constructed more or less just before the switch to diesel. As such, many of them are preserved, and in good condition.

  3. Yup, wot he said.

    Puffing Billy: small, narrow gauge, low speed, noisy, cute.

    R761: big, broad gauge, high speed, noisy, impressive (even awe-inspiring at times, or maybe it’s just me).

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