What made this visit different was that Harry took quite a shine to my models of the 44 class locomotive. They were, in his words, "his favourite locomotives". I have to admit this declaration surprised me somewhat. These days, this class of locomotive is rarely seen in NSW, a long way from the "no fewer than 100" that were in service in 1968 (Leon Oberg, Locomotives of Australia 5th Edition p300). The majority were scrapped or sold long before Harry was born, so I can only assume his liking for the 44s is because of what he has seen on Philip's Creek.
The locomotives roster for Philip's Creek includes two 44 class, 4473 and 4485. Both are Trainorama models from the original run, 4485 is an unpowered version. I notice that Trainorama has just announced another production run. When I told Santa the likely cost, he just about had a heart attack. So even if the timing of the new release had aligned with Christmas, it's unlikely Harry would have received one as a gift. That said, models like this are not toys and Harry is still too young for a model of that detail.
What I omitted to mention at the time is the possible second hand market, potentially the old Lima version. In 2019, I'll have to keep watch on Ebay to see if something, probably in fairly original condition, is offered at a reasonable price. In the meantime, for Harry (and anyone else who may be interested) I have included a few photos of 4473 and 4485 in action around Philip's Creek to tide him over until his next visit.
Finally, as 2018 draws to a close and this is my final post for the year, I'd like to take the opportunity to wish all readers a Merry Christmas and a very happy 2019 for you and your family.
The first rays of the morning sun indicate that 4473 and the north bound Glenn Innes Mail are running very late.
4485 assists 44222 with a south bound block wheat train.