End of an era: The Pokataroo Branch

These are the last photos I took on film, with a craptacular Kodak camera. The old Pokataroo Branch of the north western railway in New South Wales terminated about five kilometres from where I used to live. The old railway station was opened in 1906 as Collarendabri, before being renamed to Collarendebri East, then finally Pokataroo in 1919. The line leading to Pokataroo station closed in 1974, after flood damage.

At the time these were taken, which I believe was 1998, the terminus was still visible. The buffer stop at the end of the line was still standing, the rural station platform rotted and leaning to one side. At the far end of the platform, the base of an old crane.

Close up of some rails and sleepers.

If you like, click "read more" for a couple of newer photos of the railroad remants around Pokataroo, including the crane base and the old rail bridge.

The old crane base near the Poktaroo platform.

Looking back toward Pokataroo township (approximately four houses) from the station's location.

The old Pokataroo rail bridge.

Looking toward Pokataroo atop the old rail bridge.

If you're into this kind of thing, you can find some information about the Pokataroo Branch on NSWrail.net. There're some cool photos if you click on the "photographs" tab, including some of the platform, and one from the '70s of the station building when it was still in-tact.

Also, I'm a nerd. Don't judge me.

Op-shoppery: Polymertex Scrabble

Any time I go searching on the 'net for something and I can't find it, I feel two things:

  1. I feel annoyed, because I wanted information and I didn't find it.
  2. I feel obligated to fill the gap with what little information I can contribute.

Back in November 2007 (this is a back-dated post), I was lucky enough to stumble across a complete set of Polymertex "Modern Plastics" Scrabble.

I think I need to get a Geiger counter for those letters.

I'll tell you what I know about it:

  • it's made in the Philippines
  • the company that made it, Polymertex, no longer exists
  • there's a Russian company by the same name, but I imagine that's coincidental
  • there's also a kind of Korean paint by the same name
  • the tiles are so green I suspect they may be radioactive
  • it's clearly very old, as Scrabble boards go. This site/question/thing suggests in a roundabout way that it might be from 1968, which fits pretty neatly with my own assumptions that it's probably from the '60s, early '70s at the latest..
  • based on information on this website, it's "possibly one of the rarest Scrabble sets I've seen", and from the response to the abovelinked Topix question, it's apparently "superb collectors item!!"
  • from the same website comes the suggestion that it could be a trade sample, I would assume from a plastics manufacturing company


There are a few things that I want to know:

  • is it an actual, licensed Scrabble game, or is it a knock-off?
  • what's it worth?
  • why are the pieces so freaking green?
  • is it worth hanging on to?

Green Scrabble. Enjoy.

Triple word score on BOPDX.