In what I could only describe as an amazing afternoon, the trains were plentiful and the weather did a full '360' several times.
I headed out to a favourite spot between Mittagong and Bowral upon advice that an X class was leading Aurizons BM7 service.
I arrived at 2.50pm in overcast conditions, the rest of the story is photo-documented below...
At 2.58pm it was dark and started to rain. I was seriously considering packing up and heading home again. Thankfully this was only a bank of cloud and rain passing through.
At 3.08pm Tahmoor coalie TM82 with double 82s on the front and a single 82 on the back rolled though in full sun. Something I didn't expect 10 minutes beforehand.
At 3.17pm BM4, which had been closely following TM82 since around Yerrinbool rolled though in full sun, just as another cloud bank was rolling in.
At 3.39pm, after more rain and dark clouds, the sun started to appear again, with an impressive rainbow on display. With any luck Aurizon would show up within a minute of so for the 'money' shot.
At 3.45pm, unfortunately the rainbow had gone, but regardless, Aurizon's day late 2BM7 slowly rolled through in beautiful light with the impressive combination of X54/LDP008/6027. The X sounded great and 6027 was a failure. This was the shot I was after!
At 3.52, a slightly delayed down pass closely followed BM7 towards Moss Vale. I could see blue skies for a far way but some cloud was on the horizon - it was coming again!
At 4.13pm the icing was put on the cake, with Qubes 1241 box grain service passing by in perfect afternoon storm light with CM3305 and 3306 on the lead. 10 seconds before the shot, it was dark and cloudy with another cloud bank rolling overhead. A ray of sun came out for the shot and as the train passed, it was all in cloud again.
I packed up my gear and walked back to the car...just as it started to rain....again!
Following 1241 was NY3 and empty grain 2331. I didn't bother with these as shadows would have been an issue.