June 24, 2020

Fred Rasmussen (1898-1963) Trainspotter and accidental historian.


A longtime friend of mine rang me one rainy Sunday and told me excitedly she had found a large cache of her grandfather's photographs and after some time I finally managed to get around to see them myself.

In a large biscuit tin were piles of BW prints and boxes of slides, all neatly filed. Some were inscribed with locations, but few had dates. We were able to ascertain that most of the late Frederick A Rasmussen's images were taken between 1958 and 1962, the last few years of his life.


Many were otherwise mundane street scenes but now, 60 years later, they are valuable snapshots of everyday life and of historic buildings, many of which have long been replaced by gleaming modern towers and carpark.

Frederick was also something of a trainspotter and many of the images were of trains, stations and rolling stock.

This phenomenon would have been everyday sights to Sydneysiders at the time, but are now just relics of history. Below is a selection of the railway images. Here are the vintage Sydney street scenes (with helpful Google map references) and numerous trams, trains and buses.

Taree station platform. Oct 1961. 

Unidentified.

Steam locomotive 3828, a non-streamlined C38 class. This loco was retired in 1969 after 20 years of service.
Trains near Central Station. c.1960

A 900 class (DEB) railcar of The Monaro Express at Goulburn Station - Oct 1959


Fred's Kodak. Still in the family today.
Fred Rasmussen (1898 - 1963)

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