Wednesday two weeks ago I went back to Normanton and visited Kenny and the railway gang at the railway station. They just finished t change the bogies of one carriage. This has to be done every 8 years, and the wheels are then sent to overhaul them in a lathe. Ken and his mates gave me a short introduction into the railway operations. I even joined a short shunt ride of the carriage back into the shed. And he showed me an 90 year old gasoline driven railbus, which he just started with a crank. It was a nice special tour I got through the railway station. So in the late afternoon I headed off Normanton. I already drove almost the main part of this section the other way around when I came from Mount Isa, and about 40 km south of Normanton it went pretty dry again. So the wet pretty much only reached the shore, whereas the inland still kept dry during the rainy season. There were thousands of some kind grasshopper on the road, which ended up mainly on the front of the car, and made a big mess. As several ended up also in the engine space…for sure all dead. And it was a paradise for flies afterwards to eat the remaining parts, except for the hull made of chitin. About 50 km north of Normanton the mine traffic kicked in, but except of that, there might be less than 10 cars on the road, all the way (more than 300 km) from Normanton south to Cloncurry. I briefly stopped at the abandoned pub Quamby. I had a walk through that devastated building, but there’s not much left, and you’ll just worried that you might fall through the floor. There was also one signal left from the former railway line from Cloncurry to Mount Cuthbert, but that already closed in 1949 after the copper operation ceased. The section to Kajabbi remained open until 1994 due to the cattle traffic. But nowadays not much is left of this railway track. A few kilometres north of Cloncurry at the heavy-vehicle bypass for the road trains I passed in the late afternoon two hitchhikers who seemed to hitch to the north the whole day, but without any success. I got later on the information of my host, that they even hadn’t success the following day. Yes, that particularly section of outback is pretty lonely, and there’s no means of public transport along that North-South connection.

The flowers are blooming now…
…in the flooded wet lands after the rainy season.
The railway gang just finished the change of the bogies…
…and Kenny shunted the carriage back.
The six-cylinder diesel engine in the Gulflander sits directly next to train driver (or vice versa 😉)
Kenny started this 90 year old engine just immediately without any issue.
Getting south the landscape pretty quickly become dry again.
Passed some small hills and crossed a mountain ridge
The entrance into the former pub of Quamby is via the back of a pick-up😜
That’s all what’s left from the former stop of the railway line to Kajabbi and eventually to Mount Cuthbert

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