Sunday, January 24, 2010

An exercise in daydreaming. . . .

Step off the train, walk up the hill to the pub for a cold one. . .and home is just another block away. . .

Occasionally--more now, I'll admit, than I used to--I'll get in a fit of day-dreaming, wondering "what if?"

What if I won the lottery? Inherited a few million from a long-lost relative? Or I was retired, and had the means to move where I wanted to?

Why not, indeed?

I got to thinking about that little country village of Tarana, in the Central West of New South Wales, maybe three hours west of Sydney in the lush, green rolling hills not too far from Lithgow. To me, it's a place that inspires day-dreaming.

The old country church in Tarana, just a couple blocks from the railway station (real-estate agent photo)

And just maybe. . .does it have to be a daydream? I see a real-estate agent has posted a listing for an old church in Tarana, converted into a country home. For around $500,000, I could make this little dream a reality.

In perfect harmony with its surroundings: Tarana station. . .

How great would that be, to leave all this hustle and bustle here in the states behind? The crazy divisiveness of our political philosophies? The crime and uncertainty and all that other bullshit. Just sell off all our stuff and start off for a new life!

There are worse places to be than Tarana. As long as I could get a good internet connection, I'm sure I'd find a way to make a living there. The landscape is breath-taking, reminiscent of the rolling, oak-studded hills of the Tehachapi Mountains in California. It's far from a busy highway, the narrow two-lane bitumen roads weaving and bobbing across a green lanscape given largely to sheep.

And there's the railway, still a presence in town with its preserved dual-road railway station, footbridge and watertank. The duplicated main track has been reduced to one mainline, and traffic is just a fraction of what it was two decades ago, but the XPT to and from Sydney calls on Tarana daily (eastbound in the afternoon, westbound in the morning), so there's your connection to the greater world. There's shopping in Lithgow nearby, and of course, the legendary horseshoe curves and gunzeling opportunities galore just up the hill in Sodwalls.

Apart from a retired up mainline, Tarana hasn't changed much; the 44 Class on the RTM special might as well be leading the old Central West Express. . .

Why not? indeed. I stood on the footbridge last April as the RTM special blew Alco exhaust in my face, and looked around, and thought, I'm in heaven. I wonder if the rest of the blokes who live here know how good it is?

Retirement is a bit more than 15 years away. . . wonder if that old church will still be on the market?

Off the main roads, a wandering two-lane (if you're lucky) bitumen. . .


Gary Laker said...

Just one word for you Blair - 'Nike' (just do it!)
Your line of thought is the very same kind of thinking that led to 'the cave' getting a kick start.
Tarana is one of those quintessential (big word!) country towns that oozes 'Aussieism' (new word!)
Wouldn't go chucking the long johns out just yet, it has been known to snow in winter! Lithgow is the only depot I ever had to wade through 2' of snow to whistle out.

Ray P said...


I second Gary, go for it!!!

Right now of course ;-)

I don't know if you are aware or not but about 12 miles towards Bathurst to the west is Brewongle where this layout lives:
Scroll down to the pics of the very large layout. I can get you an introduction.... ;-)

Tarana to Bathurst in HO, hhhmmm...


Geoff said...

Blair, G'day, the idea of moving to one of these places is certainly one that many of us can identify with. My spot is Glen Innes, rolling scenery for as far as you can see, and the remnants of a once fine rail system. I've been reading your blog for a while now and you really do illustrate the depths that we modellers can go to in pursuit of our hobby, although it's a bit easier for my family to move across a state border than it is for you to make the big move, overseas. Day-dreaming is certainly the cheaper option.