Wednesday, 3 February 2016

The Last Philden Xplorer

Just as rail enthusiasts have witnessed the passing of the famous 'name trains' of yesteryear, it seems that the daily Xplorer service from Philden to Sydney has departed for the final time. Without any fanfare or notice of a final run afforded to past trains such as the Southern Aurora, Spirit of Progress or the Brisbane Limited, the Philden Xplorer simply departed Philden station for the final time, and disappeared into the night.

The last train from Philden to Sydney stands ready at the platform on Saturday 20th January, 2016.

Just as is the case in real life when explanations are given for winding up passenger train services to far flung country towns, the Philden Xplorer was a victim of financial cutbacks. At a time when I was busy building my new layout, a short-lived financial crisis due to the sale of an overseas property had me looking for the money for a quick airfare to get the papers signed in time. Along with the set of NOFF wagons I wasn't happy with and the brand new 421 class locomotive I'd only just received for Christmas, they reluctantly went on eBay and sold within days.

Going, going, gone. The final Philden Xplorer has left the station.

While the resale value of Australian model trains is to be applauded, the silly thing in this whole exercise was that once the sale of the property had gone through, I was suddenly in the position to replace it with whatever I wanted. Unfortunately, the above liveried Southern Rail Models 2 car Xplorer has already sold out.

Into the sunset. By Sunday morning on the 21st January 2016, the Xplorer will have arrived at Sydney's Central Station.

Keeping in mind that this is a small bookshelf layout, it goes without saying that it has to be a small train to handle the passenger service. So it has become a case of replacing the 2 car Xplorer with another model, or hoping to find a second hand Xplorer or Endeavour set in a different livery. Stay tuned, I'm sure something positive will develop.

See also; The Inaugural Philden Xplorer and Review: Southern Rail Models Xplorer


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. To cover that time period in one colour it would have to be Indian Red. The other colour schemes (silver/blue, green/cream and tuscan/russet (not to mention khaki and varnish)) were all repainted when a new scheme was introduced. The only colour scheme after 1960 in regular service was Indian Red.


Thanks for taking the time to visit Philden. I hope you'll book a return ticket soon. Cheers, Phil