The Tarana Reunion

When we produce a book, we make a date to get together at a pub in the local area to reminisce about the days of photographing steam and share stories.

For Northern Exposures, we went to the Angler’s Rest at Brooklyn, and for Lenses South, the Bargo Hotel.

For Shooting The West, we wanted to do something a bit more special, and the Tarana Hotel seemed the obvious choice.

I still have some copies available at $80 each from or you can call me on 0411 139 312 Use coupon code STW at checkout.

Tarana and the Oberon line feature heavily in the book and after a trip up there on the Central West XPT I can understand why.


central west express 38 class steam train nswgr

Central West Express Near Tarana 1966

Beautiful rolling hills and at the time it was very green after recent rain. The people were great and 8 of us stayed overnight and shared breakfast the next morning.

Bob Gibson took this stunning photo on Sodwall's curve, just up the road from Tarana

Our departure coincided with the arrival of the XPT from Sydney just 24 hours after I got there.

As for yesterday, by noon everyone had turned up (100% attendance) and during the course of the afternoon serious quantities of alcohol and food were consumed leaving the publican with a smile on her face. We now have the pub and the café across the road holding copies of the book to show to people. They were that impressed with what we had produced.

In the old days, Tarana was the junction for the Oberon line, with 19 class hauling the tiny trains around very sharp curves.

19 class on the Oberon Line

In the meantime, the October AMRM has a glowing critique of the new book, recommending it to anyone thinking of modelling the west. High praise indeed.

I still have some copies available at $80 each from or you can call me on 0411 139 312 Use coupon code STW at checkout.

3617 in the snow on a very cold day in Orange - photo John Ward

We really are thrilled to have been able to present the story of steam on the west in the final days before diesels forever banished them.

You will notice in the photo below that Tarana is now only single track. This extends to Wallerawang, meaning only one train in that section due to the reduction in traffic with most through freight operating vie Cootamundra.

The Modern Central West Express XPT just isn't the same!

We left 24 hours after arrival, just as the XPT arrived from Sydney.

John Gaydon