Leongatha line memories

 
  reidgck Locomotive Fireman

There's a bunch of the pioneer cars stored at Newport, not sure how many etc.
VBAndy

There were some of those vintage carriages at Ballarat for the local group up there some years ago. Don't know if they are still there or not.
They were popular on the Summer Sunday steam excursions to Mornington in the 1960s usually pulled by D3-639 but sometimes by J512 class as in a video at


Vintage Steam Train to Mornington with J512 late1960s by reidgck
There were two longer carriages -- named Enterprise and Pioneer, They had a platform on each end. The A.R.E. overhauled one of them, Pioneer I think - in the mid or late 1960s.
There are some scenes of R706 on the trip on which the photos above were taken in 1965, at


Steam Locomotive R706 South Gippsland Railway - Leongatha & Korumburra November 1965 by reidgck
In the film, the train arrives at Korumburra and the locomotive is serviced.

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  drgazgiz Station Staff

There were two longer carriages -- named Enterprise and Pioneer, They had a platform on each end. The A.R.E. overhauled one of them, Pioneer I think - in the mid or late 1960s.
reidgck
Standing on the platform of a recently overhauled Pioneer (Waubra, October 1965). The sign behind my head says "Riding on Platform Prohibited", which is clearly not adhered to in the first few scenes in your film, or in my shot of the Bass River trestle. 8)



And a complete view of the whole carriage:



The two carriages entered service in 1893 as 'Pioneer 1st' (Enterprise, 64 seats) and 'Pioneer 2nd' (Pioneer, 72 seats).

The last carriage on the train is possibly this one, which has a guard's compartment at the end:


EXTENDED CARRIAGE No. BDBD SIDE VIEW (original picture)
  drgazgiz Station Staff

They were popular on the Summer Sunday steam excursions to Mornington in the 1960s usually pulled by D3-639
reidgck
D3 639 pulling the same carriage set on a Mornington excursion near Caulfield (February 1966)



And K 187 doing the same:
  drgazgiz Station Staff

Looking over the earlier posts in this thread, I thought I should post this 1965 photo of the station at Loch:

  drgazgiz Station Staff

A few more pics, 9th September 1967:

K191 with a Wonthaggi special crossing the up Yarram-Melbourne passenger at Tooradin


K191 near Lang Lang (Good looking track!)


K191 taking water at Nyora
  reidgck Locomotive Fireman

The dogbox car with the van compartment at one end is similar or maybe the same as the dogbox electric motor carriages with not all being converted to electric suburban working.
They were used on country passenger trains and had hook and link type couplings.
There was one allocated to the L class electric pulled down Warragul afternooon passenger train that ran in the 1960s. Half the compartments were often used for parcel and other goods.
The train was of the hook link type couplings with five BPLs and the front more modern car having a knuckle type coupling at one end for attachment to the more modern locomotive.
The front car would have had to be turned for the return the next morning.

Regarding riding on the end platform:
Riding on the end platform of the Pioneer was nevertheless very exciting regardless of the sign.
Can't remember even noticing it on a trip to Woodend one hot summer night; standing on the end platform - where there was quite a gathering, all being sprayed with soot, smoke, steam and water as the locomotive struggled to drag the seven or so car train up the range. I made some good friends because of that experience. All ended up with black faces, soot in the hair, and clothes to match.
  L1150 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Pakenham Vic.
dragaziz, your Tooradin pic from 1967 is interesting because it shows the up Yarram pass double headed. I regularly rode the Yarram pass in the late '60s and early '70s as I had rellies at Welshpool and from memory double heading was rare. Usually only one "T" did the honors.Very Happy
  drgazgiz Station Staff

drgazgiz, your Tooradin pic from 1967 is interesting because it shows the up Yarram pass double headed. I regularly rode the Yarram pass in the late '60s and early '70s as I had rellies at Welshpool and from memory double heading was rare. Usually only one "T" did the honors.Very Happy
L1150
Not too rare!
Here's a pic taken on the day of the R706 excursion (13/11/65) of the up Yarram pass at Loch.


And leaving for Melbourne
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Not too rare!
Here's a pic taken on the day of the R706 excursion (13/11/65) of the up Yarram pass at Loch.


And leaving for Melbourne
drgazgiz
Interesting to see the VR air-con car behind the 'T' class that wasn't a 'BG' car. The Yarram line was the only country line in Victoria to not offer 1st class and the 'B' in the BG cars signified that. They were wooden, clerestory roofed corridor cars that had been fitted with air-con.

The car behind the T Class is definitely NOT a BG car.

BTW, thanks for the great pics...Smile

Mike
  drgazgiz Station Staff

Interesting to see the VR air-con car behind the 'T' class that wasn't a 'BG' car. The Yarram line was the only country line in Victoria to not offer 1st class and the 'B' in the BG cars signified that. They were wooden, clerestory roofed corridor cars that had been fitted with air-con.

The car behind the T Class is definitely NOT a BG car.
The Vinelander
This is Les Brown's wider view of the same photo I posted earlier (K191 and the Up Yarram pass at Tooradin in 1967). Can you tell what the first carriage is behind the van?

  L1150 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Pakenham Vic.
Possibly a BS. Although the BG car was standard in the latter years of the Yarram Pass, I think, from memory that a BS or BZ did the honors to qualify the train for the " Air conditioned" tag in its earlier days. Its hard to tell from those pictures since a clearer pic may have given a clue. The BZ had a smooth exterior but I think the BS had rows of rivets visible on the exterior. When I get a chance. I will have to go through my old pics to see if I have any of the Yarram pass.Very Happy
  gre Beginner

Possibly a BS. Although the BG car was standard in the latter years of the Yarram Pass, I think, from memory that a BS or BZ did the honors to qualify the train for the " Air conditioned" tag in its earlier days. Its hard to tell from those pictures since a clearer pic may have given a clue. The BZ had a smooth exterior but I think the BS had rows of rivets visible on the exterior. When I get a chance. I will have to go through my old pics to see if I have any of the Yarram pass.Very Happy
L1150
Hi
A fascinating thread, still reading but in reference to the Yarram passenger in the mid 60's the usual consist was AS (first class) and BE (second) both being air conditioned and of course a van usually a CW.
re the double heading of the up pass No 20, the second engine was often attached at Korumburra and worked back to Melbourne having brought a goods in overnight and not required for other trips. I had the good fortune to work most of the line as a fireman stationed at both Korumburra and often relieving at Yarram right through until about mid 1970. a very interesting time.
Haven't read through all 35 or so pages but have been very interested in the information provided  thanks to all who contribute.
re the turntable at Nyora, before the Wonthaggi loco crews were removed (latter half of the 60's ) they used to run to Nyora and rest from memory there was a hut near the turntable for their use. It would have been a cold over nighter there in winter.
If it is of any interest I have a few WTT's from the period which I can check the train consists if required.
regards
Graham
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Hi
A fascinating thread, still reading but in reference to the Yarram passenger in the mid 60's the usual consist was AS (first class) and BE (second) both being air conditioned and of course a van usually a CW.
re the double heading of the up pass No 20, the second engine was often attached at Korumburra and worked back to Melbourne having brought a goods in overnight and not required for other trips. I had the good fortune to work most of the line as a fireman stationed at both Korumburra and often relieving at Yarram right through until about mid 1970. a very interesting time.
Haven't read through all 35 or so pages but have been very interested in the information provided  thanks to all who contribute.
re the turntable at Nyora, before the Wonthaggi loco crews were removed (latter half of the 60's ) they used to run to Nyora and rest from memory there was a hut near the turntable for their use. It would have been a cold over nighter there in winter.
If it is of any interest I have a few WTT's from the period which I can check the train consists if required.
regards
Graham
gre
Hi and welcome to this mad lot of rail fans. Smile

I was ready to contradict you regards the suggestion an AS car was ever on the Yarram pass, however a quick check of my 1961 VR Country timetable says 1st and 2nd class fares were on offer to Yarram, however in the 70's and 80's I clearly remember the 2nd class, BG car as the only air-con car on the Yarram pass. I wonder when 1st class was withdrawn...possibly around the time the mini-buffets were fitted out for the Albury Express maybe Question

Mike.
  Kooka Train Controller

It's time for the people of South Gippsland to get back what they have been missing for two decades too long, it's passenger rail service to the former terminus at Leongatha. Follow this page if you would be interested in hearing the latest developments on this upcoming Victorian State Election issue for the people situated in Peter 'Rabbit' Ryan's electorate of Gippsland South. The link to both my page and petition is below this message.

Return The Leongatha Pass/South Gippsland Train: https://m.facebook.com/pages/Return-The-Leongatha-PassSouth-Gippsland-Train/551962224878028?id=551962224878028&refsrc=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fpages%2FReturn-The-Leongatha-PassSouth-Gippsland-Train%2F551962224878028&_rdr

Petition: https://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/return-of-the-leongatha-to-melbourne-passenger-trains-on-the-south-gippsland-rail-corridor

Kooka
  L1150 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Pakenham Vic.
With all the urban development between Cranbourne and Clyde, including major widening of the Berwick - Cranbourne road, I'm wondering if the old formation has even been preserved. It would be nigh impossible to re-open the line if the old formation has been built over. Does anyone know if the old right of way has been preserved?Very Happy
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Most of the old alignment is in tact, in fact most of the track is still there (not that they could re-open the line without putting in new rails in most if not all places).

There are however some exceptions, some level crossings have been removed, and I believe there is some structure in Koo Wee Rup (a bus shelter or toilet block I believe) but there are no serious obstacles to overcome other than departmental beuracracy, and a lack of potential patronage.
  Kooka Train Controller

Cranbourne to Cranbourne East/Casey Fields is already reserved by VicTrack for the proposed extension of the current suburban line, in which is about 3.5km's from the South Gippsland Highway crossing. Although I'm not a fan of grade separation, this will probably eventuate for most of this line since the amount of road transportation that would be held up for periods of time along the South Gippsland Highway, Cranbourne - Narre Warren Road and Cranbourne - Berwick road would cause vast amounts of congestion in the township. Nyora to Leongatha is as under VicTrack ownership as well, with the local tourist railway still operating trains on most Sundays. Gman_86 alluded already alluded to the situation at Koo Wee Rup so I won't go on about that. However, the South Gippsland Shire have made their intentions clear to the government that they would like them to keep the whole alignment from Cranbourne to Exxon Mobil/Port Anthony Barry Beach clear for future rail purposes with the rail trail using this land in the meantime for local communities along the former railway. Also, I wouldn't suggest that reinstating passenger trains to Leongatha would have a lack of potential patronage as I have researched when I undertook in creating this graphic below.

Also, here's my figures.

Population of Railway Lines

1. Ararat to Ballarat (Distance 89km): Beaufort 1,004, Ararat 7024
Total: 8028 people

2. Bairnsdale to Sale (Distance 69km): Stratford 1,949, Bairnsdale 11,820
Total: 13769 people

3. Cobram to Shepparton (Distance 65km): Numurkah 4,643, Katunga 1,548, Strathmerton 467, Yarroweyah 1,140, Cobram 5,531
Total: 12189 people

4. Dimboola to Ararat (Distance 97km): Stawell 6,035, Horsham 14,285, Murtoa 912, Dimboola 1,662
Total: 22894 people

5. Leongatha to Cranbourne (Distance 82km): Clyde 769, Tooradin 1,359, Koo Wee Rup 3,079, Lang Lang 1,345, Nyora 592, Loch 523, Korumburra 4465, Leongatha 6,860
Total: 18992 people

6. Mildura to Maryborough (Distance 386km): Dunolly 969, St. Arnaud 2,272, Donald 1,697, Birchip 822, Ouyen 1,061, Red Cliffs 4,596, Irymple 5,740, Mildura 30,016
Total: 47173 people

7. Mornington to Baxter (Distance 10km): Moorooduc/Mount Eliza 18,276, Mornington 22,421
Total: 40697 people

  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
I'm not quite sure what your graphic is supposed to highlight, but if I can make an assumption, I might suggest you are drawing a conclusion that the line to Leongatha is of a higher priority than the Bairnsdale and Ararat lines that were reinstated 10 years ago.

The reality is not that simple, both sections of line Between Ballarat and Ararat and then Sale and Bairnsdale are lines that were in better condition than that of the Leongatha line, therefore capital costs of reinstating those lines strictly for passenger use was much more affordable than what it would have cost to reinstate the line to Leongatha (remember, no freight runs on these active lines or the disused South Gippy line with the exception of the Bairnsdale log train which ceased running around the same time as Pass trains to Bairnsdale were reinstated ).

Secondly, they both traverse a much flatter, and straighter countryside, enabling a much quicker linespeed than would ever be able to be achieved on the South Gippy line. Seriously could you imagine a vlocity trying to get up to speed along any stretch south of Lang Lang, It just wouldn't be able to.

Thirdly, Bairnsdale and Ararat trains are effectivly run as extensions of Traralgon/ Ballarat trains, making them fairly cheap to run compared to dedicated trains to Leongatha which would still have to compete for space on the Metro tracks with a growing number of sparks, Traralgon Line VLP services and potentially a growing freight service out of the La Trobe Valley. Or worse yet, passengers would have to change trains at Dandenong, something they don't have to do on any
other VLP service.

On the other hand, a realistic possibility would be the extension of the Electrified Cranbourne line as far as Clyde, or even Koo Wee Rup is entirely on the cards for the not too distant future, maybe about 10 years from now sounds about right.
  Kooka Train Controller

I'm not quite sure what your graphic is supposed to highlight, but if I can make an assumption, I might suggest you are drawing a conclusion that the line to Leongatha is of a higher priority than the Bairnsdale and Ararat lines that were reinstated 10 years ago.

The reality is not that simple, both sections of line Between Ballarat and Ararat and then Sale and Bairnsdale are lines that were in better condition than that of the Leongatha line, therefore capital costs of reinstating those lines strictly for passenger use was much more affordable than what it would have cost to reinstate the line to Leongatha (remember, no freight runs on these active lines or the disused South Gippy line with the exception of the Bairnsdale log train which ceased running around the same time as Pass trains to Bairnsdale were reinstated ).

Secondly, they both traverse a much flatter, and straighter countryside, enabling a much quicker linespeed than would ever be able to be achieved on the South Gippy line. Seriously could you imagine a vlocity trying to get up to speed along any stretch south of Lang Lang, It just wouldn't be able to.

Thirdly, Bairnsdale and Ararat trains are effectivly run as extensions of Traralgon/ Ballarat trains, making them fairly cheap to run compared to dedicated trains to Leongatha which would still have to compete for space on the Metro tracks with a growing number of sparks, Traralgon Line VLP services and potentially a growing freight service out of the La Trobe Valley. Or worse yet, passengers would have to change trains at Dandenong, something they don't have to do on any
other VLP service.

On the other hand, a realistic possibility would be the extension of the Electrified Cranbourne line as far as Clyde, or even Koo Wee Rup is entirely on the cards for the not too distant future, maybe about 10 years from now sounds about right.
Gman_86

Your points are valid Gman_86, however, I believe that the cost associated to reopen/rebuild this line were highly overstated by the Victorian Labor government in May 2008. Source from the South and West Gippsland Transport Group's website.

Why will it happen this time when it failed in the past?


  1. Persistence pays off.

  2. The State and Federal Governments now have a strong focus on regional development. Gippsland is well known in Canberra and Melbourne as several Ministers are from Gippsland, including the Deputy Premier.

  3. The previous case focused on public transport alone and did not explore freight properly.

  4. There is now a compelling economic argument for redevelopment of the rail line given growing congestion on the Monash Freeway and escalating fuel costs.

  5. Milk products are the most valuable export from the Port of Melbourne and cheaper, faster freight services will be essential to maintain a competitive dairy industry in Gippsland as costs increase due to fuel prices and carbon pricing.




Is it technically impossible to redevelop a fast line?


  1. The previous State Government undertook a scoping study for the reopening of the South Gippsland line in 2004. The study concluded that it was feasible to reopen the line.

  2. Rail services globally are undergoing a renaissance with both the modernisation of older lines and the development of new lines. The Victorian Government has already modernised public transport and freight lines for Geelong, Mildura, Bendigo, Ballarat and East Gippsland.

  3. The development of the rail services proposed is technically feasible. The right of way between Cranbourne and Koo Wee Rup requires some upgrading, but is well within technical capabilities. A new link would need to be surveyed and designed between Koo Wee Rup and Pakenham possibly from Monomeith or along the proposed and upgraded Healsville-Koo Wee Rup Road.

  4. To reopen the Koo Wee Rup South Gippsland line it would need to be reconstructed and realigned. The line from Loch to Korumburra and Korumburra to Leongatha would need to be realigned and the gradient changed from 1:40 to 1:50 to increase speed and efficiency for both passenger and freight; ensuring a highly efficient and speedy service for residents of South Gippsland and Bass Coast Shires.




Should the money go into reconstructing South Gippsland Highway instead?


  1. It shouldn’t be an either or situation. Both are needed.

  2. The South Gippsland Highway is deteriorating because of its age and the levels of heavy freight. Given the growing freight load from South Gippsland it makes sense to divert as much as possible to rail.



How long will it take to build?


  1. A commitment in 2013 would see the line restored by 2016-2017 ('now that's optimism').

  2. The overall design and construct period for the South Gippsland line would be 4-5 years. The design and realigning of the upgraded line would take 18 months -2 years. The construction period would be 2 years. The restoration of the line between Cranbourne and Koo Wee Rup could be completed easily in 12-18m as the condition of the line is reasonable. A new loop from Koo Wee Rup to Pakenham would take 2-3 years and would require alignment in the proposed and upgraded Healsville-Koo Wee Rup Road.



Although it may have been cheaper for the state government to reinstate passenger rail services to Ararat and Bairnsdale, it failed to deliver upon their promise to provide more sustainable and effective public transport solutions to a region that is expanding in population, employment and tourist opportunities compared to the other two. Yes the tracks are completely mothballed between Cranbourne and Nyora, with the exception of some sections like at Koo Wee Rup and Caldermeade where they have been removed, SGR's track isn't up to standard and the former alignment situated along the Koo Wee Rup Swamp and Bena and Kardella Hills might not be ideal and may require a rebuild but this is the price that our state government (led by Jeff Kennett back then) paid when it chose to benefit the private sector and big business over the public. Jeff Kennett removing this government asset from South Gippsland resulted in an irreplaceable amount of economic growth lost over the last 2 decades. Currently, that the current transportation options present are not able to cope with the demand required in this region when it comes to freight and public transport and as a result the region's road infrastructure has been at breaking point since then. It is more inefficient to allocate our taxpayer funds into road infrastructure compared to rail, in which the state government has continuously done since the passenger service was axed You allude to the fact that the V/Locity trains wouldn't be suitable for this alignment, however, the Sprinters that V/Line introduced in the mid 1990's were in fact specifically designed for this route as a substitute for the motive power that was previously hauling passenger trains. In hindsight, I believe that the state government made a poor decision in May 2008 or even earlier not to reopen the Leongatha line and close it in December 1994.
  Some rail man Junior Train Controller

Location: CIA Headquarters in Washington D.C
I heard that surplus Victrack material (sleepers and rails) from works around Metropolitan Melbourne are being given away to tourist railways who need to upgrade their lines. SGR might have got a bit of that share.
  Rossco T Chief Train Controller

Location: Camberwell, Victoria
I see some documents have been released recently which show the planned reopening and electrification to Clyde, with Clyde Station to be reopened and a new train stabling facility to be constructed beyond the Ballarto Road overpass (which is to be replaced).

http://www.mpa.vic.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/PSP-54-Leongatha-Rail-Line-Peer-Review-Aurecon-Rev-1-FINAL-DRAFT-Main-Report-20-February-2014.pdf

http://www.mpa.vic.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/PSP-54-Leongatha-Rail-Line-Peer-Review-Aurecon-Rev-1-FINAL-DRAFT-Appendix-1.pdf

http://www.mpa.vic.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/PSP-54-Leongatha-Rail-Line-Peer-Review-Aurecon-Rev-1-FINAL-DRAFT-Appendix-2-10.pdf

No funding commitments at this stage, but good to see that the planning is taking place!

Ross
  The_Fly Station Staff

Hi, I was driving over the Narre Warren Cranbourne Rdcrossing about an hour ago where they were doing some roadwork, it looked like they were just grading the side of the road. But there was a HI-Rail travelling on the tracks east of the crossing towards the back of the Casey grammar school, it had a flashing light on it. Does anyone here know what is was doing there?
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Leongatha pass, pie, sky.

Too much money, too little patronage, too inferior to alternative.
  Daryl Junior Train Controller

Location: Carrum Downs
I recall the Yarram pass in it's last year, a bit of silliness.

The platform edge was bulldozed away at Buffalo, this was something VR did during the '70s. Many stations had their platform edges bulldozed, mainly on the wheat lines such as Minyip or Galaquil.

The pass stopped at Buffalo which was an  "if required" stop and a couple of old ladies disembarked using a ladder provided by the guard.
  Rossco T Chief Train Controller

Location: Camberwell, Victoria

Leongatha Line may have a future after all, at least as far as Koo Wee Rup.

The article below makes a number of references to providing a rail connection to the proposed Koo Wee Rup airport from Clyde.

Ross

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/new-melbourne-airport-land-to-be-secured-in-next-five-years-andrews-government-pledges/news-story/5edc4b823ea80b96cb6e99ef7e602b7c

New Melbourne airport: Land to be secured in next five years, Andrews Government pledges ANDREW JEFFERSON,

Transport reporter, Herald Sun March 14, 2017 10:00pm

LAND near Koo Wee Rup, in Melbourne’s south east, could be the site of Melbourne’s new airport.

The Andrews Government has pledged to secure the land for the new airport, likely to cost $5 billion, in the next five years.

It would supplement the existing main international airport at Tullamarine and the secondary low-cost option at Avalon, near Geelong.

A southeast airport would serve one third of the state’s population and be near tourist attractions such as Phillip Island and the Mornington Peninsula.

A third airport is a key feature of Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 — the Government’s metropolitan strategy for the next 33 years.

The State Government has vowed to preserve this future option by incorporating planning protection for flight paths and noise contours and the alignment for a connection to the rail line at Clyde.

Planning Minister Richard Wynne said the airport had been earmarked for operation beyond 2030, should demand warrant it.

“Melbourne Airport and Avalon Airport still have capacity to take more flights, but nevertheless we won’t make the same mistakes Sydney has made,” Mr Wynne said.

“We need to plan ahead for aviation to avoid being blind sided as Victoria grows.”

The State Government said it would be up to the Commonwealth Government to grant aviation approvals and the private sector to fund any development.

Rosemary West, from the Green Wedges Coalition, said the group was against the plan.

“We don’t want another airport covered in shopping centres and other commercial developments not normally allowed in the Green Wedges,” she said.

The Shire of Cardinia mayor Brett Owen said the council welcomed the State Government’s commitment to identify and select a suitable location for an airport in the south east region.

“Our region will continue to experience significant growth over the coming years and SEM believes the development and operation of an airport will be a major economic and employment driver for our communities,” Cr Owen said.

“We also welcome the commitment by the State Government to incorporate a connection to the rail line at Clyde as part of their investigation into possible sites.”

Melbourne Airport spokeswoman Carly Dixon said Victoria’s southeast was an ideal location to begin the planning process for a new airport.

“With long-term considerations such as land ownership, noise contours, flight paths and market access all to consider, we’re very supportive of moves to start that safeguarding process within the scope of this latest update to Plan Melbourne,” she said.
Herald Sun

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