This two-stage multi geocache is part of the SideTracked series that is popular in the UK and throughout the world. It is designed to be a relatively quick cache find around train stations for travellers but, of course, anyone else can find it too! There's a small pencil included but it's always good to bring your own writing implement to sign the log.
To learn more about the series, visit the website at the following link...
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Mount Colah Station
Mount Colah was originally known as Colah - the name first used by naturalist George Caley to describe a koala in a letter to botanist Sir Joseph Banks. The station opened on 1 July, 1887, also using the name Colah. When Hornsby became a shire in 1906 the name of the suburb and hence, the station was changed to Mount Colah.
The station is normally served by T1 trains, at a frequency of 2 trains per hour during the offpeak, with more during the peak. Central Coast line trains normally don't stop at Mount Colah Station but do so in lieu of T1 trains during late nights and early mornings.
Mount Colah Station circa 1930s
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At all times, for safety, you must remain behind the YELLOW LINE on the platform while searching for the information you need.
According to the regulations, anyone entering a railway platform must have tapped on with their Opal Card, even if there is no barrier and they don't intend to board a train. After gathering the information for this cache, they can then tap off. That will reverse the transaction. Apparently, transport inspectors can and occasionally do check the Opal Cards of people on railway platforms.
Code Method: Imagine a string of letters, such as “FQDW”. Using the A=1, B=2, C=3…. Z=26 code, convert this string into a 6-digit number. In this example… F=6, Q=17, D=4 and W=23. The 6-digit number would be 617423.
Go to the published coordinates and find a small, silver, engraved plaque on the ground at the very end of the platform. Discover a string of four letters below an arrow pointing south. Using the code method described above, convert this letter string to a 6-digit number. We’ll call this number “COLAH”.
Now, add the 6 individual digits of COLAH together to get a total. We'll call this total, "MOUNT".
Do the following calculations and enter the coordinates into the geochecker. Be careful as the coordinates are not for around here. Once you get the green light from the checker, you will receive the coordinates to find the cache. Don’t forget to include the decimal point. No need for any conversions, just plonk the decimal point in.
South (MOUNT minus 8)° (COLAH minus 110067)
West (MOUNT plus 51)° (COLAH minus 87965)
3642 travelling north near Mount Colah Station. This class of engine is commonly known as a "Pig" by train buffs due to a hump in the boiler.
A Stupendous SideTracker
Did you know that NSW has a geocaching association? Geocaching NSW aims to enhance and improve the activity of geocaching and holds regular events where geocachers meet to enjoy their common interests. Visit the association website here.