Standard gauge bluebirds

 
  Gayspie Assistant Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
hi, I was wondering where the passenger trips were run on the standard gauge bluebirds and what bluebirds were involved and when did this venture stop and why?

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  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
I recall reading that Standard Gauge Bluebirds ran to Broken Hill until 1990. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
AN ran Passenger railcar trains Adelaide to Broken Hill, and Adealide to Whyalla.
Broken Hill was mainly Bluebirds, Whyalla was mostly the Budd cars, but either could be used at times.

Private charters ....  I remember NRM ran a tour to Peterborough using 3 x bluebirds
  vinelander Junior Train Controller

AN ran Passenger railcar trains Adelaide to Broken Hill, and Adealide to Whyalla.
Broken Hill was mainly Bluebirds, Whyalla was mostly the Budd cars, but either could be used at times.

Private charters ....  I remember NRM ran a tour to Peterborough using 3 x bluebirds
Pressman
I think that at certain times the Broken Hill service had a pokies car attached. This was before the State Government's poker machine introduction to South Australia.
  wat700 Junior Train Controller

Location: Richmond, NSW
According to the Mar 93 Catchpoint the "pokie specials" utilising SG Bluebirds continued until the last run on the long weekend of 30 Jan - 1 Feb 93. Cars 251/103/252 did the honours.

Cheers,
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
I have no idea of the date, but I caught a SG Bluebird from Port Pirie to Adelaide, connecting off the IP, this was before the IP was diverted through Adelaide.

Dave
  Gayspie Assistant Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
well I thought I saw in old catchpoints (early 2000's) that bluebirds ran to Tailem bend and mount barker junction to connect with setamranger, when and why did these movements stop?
  2001 Moderator The Snow Lord

Location: The road jump at Charlotte Pass. Paxman Valenta on two planks.
well I thought I saw in old catchpoints (early 2000's) that bluebirds ran to Tailem bend and mount barker junction to connect with setamranger, when and why did these movements stop?
Heath Loxton

Commercial reasons. After AN retired the Bluebirds, they were picked up by private companies. Bluebird Rail Systems bought a few. I vaguely recall the Bluebirds that made a few enthusiast trips on the SG South were later sold to Great Northern Rail. They did spend some time over in Victoria for proposed use on their country network.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
well I thought I saw in old catchpoints (early 2000's) that bluebirds ran to Tailem bend and mount barker junction to connect with setamranger, when and why did these movements stop?
"Heath Loxton"


I'm pretty sure that there has never been a bluebird to connect with Steamranger.
It has been suggested a squillion times by rail fans and gunzels, but never happened.

The only other possibility is that there may have been a private charter.
  2001 Moderator The Snow Lord

Location: The road jump at Charlotte Pass. Paxman Valenta on two planks.


The only other possibility is that there may have been a private charter.
Pressman

The SG Bluebirds were chartered on at least one or a couple of occasions  by the former 'Friends Of Belair Station'. Coonalpyn was one destination, in 2000

I think Mr Loxton's thinking may be influenced  perhaps from the occasions of staged photoshoots, such as this :

http://www.comrails.com/pic_pf/pf_1236.html
  rosterclerk Station Staff

If memory serves correctly 6 bluebirds were used to transport patrons to "The Opera in The Outback" in 1988. Can anyone confirm this?
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Don't Quote me on this but I think at least once that a Bluebird railcar did connect with a Steamranger service at Mt Barker Junction, I seem to recall someone saying it did, this was back in the days when the platform road there still had Standard Gauge rails along it before being disconnected altogether. This was a private run train though not a regular occurrence. It may have happened only once though and I think it was Bluebird Rail that possibly ran it as well.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
AN ran Passenger railcar trains Adelaide to Broken Hill, and Adealide to Whyalla.
Broken Hill was mainly Bluebirds, Whyalla was mostly the Budd cars, but either could be used at times.

Private charters ....  I remember NRM ran a tour to Peterborough using 3 x bluebirds
Pressman
My grandmother used to mention both blues and buds to and from Broken Hill on her many trips there for lawn bowls championships!
  monday Chief Commissioner

In total, the BB's probably did about a dozen trips in 'private ownership' between late 1999 and say 2002.

The trips ceased due to changes in insurance premiums to run pax trains during the insurance crisis of 2002/03 - i.e. the $ didnt stack up for what was basically a train spanking exercise, so the operations were cut - also the trips were run by GNR as I understand, who went into receivership in 2003 (I think).

The picture link above was the ONLY time the BB's connected with SRHR, essentially as an exercise to prove it could be done - the insurance stuff hacked up pretty soon after this trip.  They NEVER ran into MBJ platform - there were steps and walk downs to get between the bluebird and steamranger cars.

The cars ended up owing CFCLA a shirt load, so the only way to redeem the $ tied up in them was to make them into crew cars.
  Top Cat Assistant Commissioner

Location: Under Hilton Bridge
NRM chartered the sg Bluebirds to Bordertown (and extension to Wolseley), to Peterborugh (and extension to Black Rock by Steamtown), and to Snowtown (and extension to Port Pirie), whilst buses took 90% of the pasgs to Bute and did a return trip with YPR's train to Wallaroo and back to Bute.  8)
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
 They NEVER ran into MBJ platform - there were steps and walk downs to get between the bluebird and steamranger cars.
"monday"


The platform road at Mount Barker Junction was dual gauge for the length of the platform, I believe the SG was only used to sideline track machines.
When the Mount Barker Junction crossing loop was built the SG points to give access to the platform road where removed. The Steamranger line remains "disconnected".

The photos posted above where taked after the Crossing loop was built.
  xdford Chief Train Controller

I seem to remember that tours were offered possibly by AN to Kadina via Bute using a trailer fitted with poker machines using a loophole in the law but don't ask me when or how often they ran. I have seen pix of Bluebirds at Whyalla and Budds at BH but both events happened relatively rarely from what I gather.

It was reported that the Opera in the outback was the only time that a 6 car BB ever ran (in AMRM) but there was a report in a Catchpoint that a 5 car BB was met by another at TB on an up Mt Gambier for passenger relief thus making a 6 car set to Adelaide but I would have to search the back issues I have got from that long ago if I have not given them away already!

Interesting bits of history anyway,

Cheers

Trevor
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Trevor, the "loop hole" that allowed the "Pokies Car" was that the train ran on federally owned track, which meant state laws didn't apply! Interestingly the poker machines could not be used between Adelaide and Salisbury.
There was also at one time an "Entertainment Car" which could run on the Ghan and IP. Poker machines on that car could not be used west of Kalgoolie.

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