Freight around Echuca and Moama?

 
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper

Excus my ignorance but I was just wondering do any freight trains pass through Echuca and Moama and if so when do they pass through? Do Pacific National run any? Also is it correct that trains can't run through to Echuca wharf anymore?

And what freight trains run along the Bendigo and Sheparton lines?

Thanks in advance.

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  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.



Excus my ignorance but I was just wondering do any freight trains pass through Echuca and Moama and if so when do they pass through? Do Pacific National run any? Also is it correct that trains can't run through to Echuca wharf anymore?

And what freight trains run along the Bendigo and Sheparton lines?

Thanks in advance.

"GeoffreyHansen"
I know there's the Deniliquin rice train going through Bendigo/Echuca. I think it passes through in the early hours of the morning.

  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
Last time I was in Echuca (a couple of years ago now), the wharf line was well and truly disconnected.  Not just spiked points, but pieces of rail missing from the turnout.  The actual wharf line seemed to be in good condition, with relatively new wooden sleepers, but impossible to access.  IIRC there was also an unprotected road crossing, and possibly the actual wharf would not take the weight of a train?  Bit of a shame, it would be great to see a heritage train down on that wonderful old wharf, with an equally heritage  paddle steamer nearby, but one can understand V/Line not wanting to have anything to do with it.  Does anyone know when the turnout was decommissioned, and what the official reason was?  Are there any relatively recent photos of trains on the wharf, or on the access track?
  Taitset Chief Commissioner

Location: Eltham, (former) vintage safeworking capital of Melbourne



Last time I was in Echuca (a couple of years ago now), the wharf line was well and truly disconnected. Not just spiked points, but pieces of rail missing from the turnout. The actual wharf line seemed to be in good condition, with relatively new wooden sleepers, but impossible to access. IIRC there was also an unprotected road crossing, and possibly the actual wharf would not take the weight of a train? Bit of a shame, it would be great to see a heritage train down on that wonderful old wharf, with an equally heritage paddle steamer nearby, but one can understand V/Line not wanting to have anything to do with it. Does anyone know when the turnout was decommissioned, and what the official reason was? Are there any relatively recent photos of trains on the wharf, or on the access track?
"Lad_Porter"



Around ten years ago the access track to the wharf was recommissioned to allow tours to run. Y112 and A2 996 had been displayed on the wharf, and were towed out- Y112 was returned to Ballarat East and is now operational again, the A2 is now next to the turntable at Echuca.


Steamrail ran two trips onto the wharf before it was booked out again, both using R761. Here are some of my pictures from the first trip, on 13th of June 2004:

R761 sets back along the access track after dropping passengers off at the wharf:



Setting back across the roundabout. The crossing was manned with people with stop signs, not visible here:




After turning and taking coal and water the R returned to the wharf LE for photos:



Incidentally, that was one of my last rolls of film...

  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!

Regarding freight, The Deniliquin Rice Train is run by QUBE usung hired and heritage locos, it runs daily (weekdays) arriving in daylight hours in the morning (I'm not sure about the time, as it varies) it then leaves in the afternoon (I'm not sure about when).

Pacific National also run grain trains into the area when required, El Zorro might also run grain trains in the area, but I'm not too sure, somebody might be able to clarify the finer details for you.

All rail traffic to Echuca runs via Bendigo for now, as the Toolamba line is still booked out of use.

  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen





Last time I was in Echuca (a couple of years ago now), the wharf line was well and truly disconnected. Not just spiked points, but pieces of rail missing from the turnout. The actual wharf line seemed to be in good condition, with relatively new wooden sleepers, but impossible to access. IIRC there was also an unprotected road crossing, and possibly the actual wharf would not take the weight of a train? Bit of a shame, it would be great to see a heritage train down on that wonderful old wharf, with an equally heritage paddle steamer nearby, but one can understand V/Line not wanting to have anything to do with it. Does anyone know when the turnout was decommissioned, and what the official reason was? Are there any relatively recent photos of trains on the wharf, or on the access track?
"Lad_Porter"



Around ten years ago the access track to the wharf was recommissioned to allow tours to run. Y112 and A2 996 had been displayed on the wharf, and were towed out- Y112 was returned to Ballarat East and is now operational again, the A2 is now next to the turntable at Echuca.


Steamrail ran two trips onto the wharf before it was booked out again, both using R761.
"Taitset"

Nice pictures, thanks very much.  But only two trips?  Were they well patronised?  It seems a shame to recommission the line, probably at considerable expense, then only use it twice - the Y and A2 presumably could have been taken out by road, so they were not the justification for recommissioning?  

Why was the wharf line booked out?  I would have thought that a steam trip to the Echuca Wharf, combined with a paddle steamer ride on the river, would have been very popular - and would be so today.

  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!



Why was the wharf line booked out? I would have thought that a steam trip to the Echuca Wharf, combined with a paddle steamer ride on the river, would have been very popular - and would be so today.

"Lad_Porter"


At a guess, it would have been a cost driven decision. V/line are not in the business of maintaining expensive ageing infrastructure purely so a couple of railfan excusions can run every year. Whilst I would love the chance to ride behind a steam loco onto the wharf, it just isn't realistic.

  Taitset Chief Commissioner

Location: Eltham, (former) vintage safeworking capital of Melbourne



But only two trips? Were they well patronised? It seems a shame to recommission the line, probably at considerable expense, then only use it twice - the Y and A2 presumably could have been taken out by road, so they were not the justification for recommissioning?

Why was the wharf line booked out? I would have thought that a steam trip to the Echuca Wharf, combined with a paddle steamer ride on the river, would have been very popular - and would be so today.

"Lad_Porter"

I seem to recall the trip was well patronised, and it must have been enough that they did a repeat of the trip not all that long after (I don't recall how long after, but I have a feeling it was only a few months later).

I don't recall what the reason was for closing it again, it may well have been simply a cost issue as Gman_86 suggested. There was a period a few years ago where heritage trains were not allowed to run on lines not used by regular pass trains, possibly this may have also been a factor.

  Carnot Chief Commissioner






But only two trips? Were they well patronised? It seems a shame to recommission the line, probably at considerable expense, then only use it twice - the Y and A2 presumably could have been taken out by road, so they were not the justification for recommissioning?

Why was the wharf line booked out? I would have thought that a steam trip to the Echuca Wharf, combined with a paddle steamer ride on the river, would have been very popular - and would be so today.

"Lad_Porter"

I seem to recall the trip was well patronised, and it must have been enough that they did a repeat of the trip not all that long after (I don't recall how long after, but I have a feeling it was only a few months later).

I don't recall what the reason was for closing it again, it may well have been simply a cost issue as Gman_86 suggested. There was a period a few years ago where heritage trains were not allowed to run on lines not used by regular pass trains, possibly this may have also been a factor.

"Taitset"


It wasn't long after the wharf line was used that the Bendigo RFR project stopped tours for 12 months.  And when it reopened they put an 80km/h limit on the Bendigo line for heritage trains which meant that day trips to Echuca basically became impossible.  A trip that used to take approx 3.5-4 hrs each way became over 6 hrs!

http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/680030/echuca-rally-tourism-blow-train-plan-off-track/

  trainbrain Deputy Commissioner

there was also signalling issues, from memory Vline wanted signalling installed as well as a decent railway crossing on the main road. The cost was too prohibitive, and also the lack of trains fro which to use this little line. Should never have been reinstated, as all the loacal said it would be a lemon and a White Elephant. They were right.
  scumcock Locomotive Fireman




there was also signalling issues, from memory Vline wanted signalling installed as well as a decent railway crossing on the main road. The cost was too prohibitive, and also the lack of trains fro which to use this little line. Should never have been reinstated, as all the loacal said it would be a lemon and a White Elephant. They were right.

"trainbrain"


The only reason that was said by locals as shire of campaspe was involved and they are useless.

  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen

V/Line could have just spiked the points and put baulks, but left the turnout intact for possible future use?

The Wharf management could possibly run trolley rides or similar between the wharf and the road crossing, but that idea opens another can of worms.  Who actually owns the access track, and do they still want it?

  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
With the success of Oakey's Beef processing plant coming back to rail with the assistance of the Queensland Government why is it the Echuca plant producing beef cannot be connected to the network considering the plant is adjacent to the rail line?
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
Sorry but I think you are getting confused with the old sale yards.  The sale yards are now out of town past the airport beside the waste reclamation depot and the pound about 6km out and while geography places it between the Bendigo and Toolamba signs it isn't really close to either.

The only operational meatworks I am aware of is on the  edge of town on the Eastern Edge of Echuca East (yes the town of Echuca has areas/suburbs) which is the one currently in the news for all the wrong reasons.  There was another one in Echuca South behind the showgrounds but I think that has shutdown.

So none of them are near railway lines or stations and while freight trains pass through Echuca to Deniliquin and occasionally rambles out the line to Moulamein (depending on the season and what is out there to bring in) it isn't possible to load freight in Echuca as no train will pick it up.

Also there are no facilities to load anything. What was the goods shed is now used for stabling velocities against the goods platform, The silos have not seen any traffic that I have seen since we brought up here in 2009. apparently the floor inside the good shed needs replacing and there are no container handling facilities so there is no way to load anything.

Other than container trains the only freight movements I have seen is wagons being moved to Bendigo/Geelong to be scrapped.  All the ones in Echuca Yard are gone and about 3 months ago another train of similar makeup was seen crossing the Murray heading south from places unknown.

If Echuca wasn't a crew change point the freight trains wouldn't stop at here at all just as they don't stop at Kyabram or Rochester.  Local businesses may want to send their products by rail but the railway companies don't want to invest the time and money into encouraging it.

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