"The Overland" original broad gauge route

 
  DAV01 Station Staff

I travelled frequently on "The Overland" in the 60s but I cannot remember exactly the broad gauge route taken between Spencer Street Station and Sunshine.  Did it go through North Melbourne or turn off before then?  Any information about the route would be greatly appreciated, as would any links to "The Overland" timetables in this era.

Also, "The Overland" into Melbourne used to meet "The Intercapital Daylight" at Sunshine to allow transfer of passengers continuing on to Sydney.  Does anyone remember what used to happen when "The Overland" was running very late (which it often did!)?  I can't imagine "The Intercapital Daylight" being held for any great length of time.

Cheers,

Geoff Davey.

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  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Would have thought the train went via the passenger lines via South Kensington onto Footscray and thence to Sunshine and Ballarat.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
As I recall, having been on it once or twice, it followed the usual route for passenger trains going to or beyond Ballarat, i.e. North Melbourne, Footscray, Sunshine, Bacchus Marsh etc.  But I believe it sometimes went via North Geelong to Ballarat, so it would diverge at Footscray.  Not aware of any turnouts before North Melbourne.

In those days the Overland was notorious for late running, and even today it is known colloquially as "The Overdue".  I found an old website saying that the Up was timetabled to arrive at Sunshine at 8.40 am, while the Down Daylight left there at 8.57, thus giving pax 17 minutes for the transfer if on time.  Don't know what happened when the Overland was significantly late, but can't imagine the Daylight being held for more than just a few minutes.

A bit more info here:  https://www.railpage.com.au/f-p2034887.htm

As an aside, I also found a reference to the Overland once going via Mt Gambier, back in 1954, due to an obstruction on the main West line.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I have travelled on the westbound Overland via North Geelong and Meredith. There was absolutely no fanfare or hoo haa we just turned left at Footscray instead of right and IIRC it only took about an extra 10/15 minutes or so to Warrenheip.

Imagine trying to run a Ballarat service via Geelong and Meredith today!!!
  billjohnston Station Master

It did go to Coburg one night when misrouted at Nth Melbourne. After much shunting at Coburg it returned to Spencer St shunted again and finally left on the correct route a few hours late. This was one of the incidents that led to the introduction of route indicators ( arrows, letters, line of lights etc) in Victoria. As for how long the Daylight was held at Sunshine I don't know if there was a policy but 30 mins was not unknown.
Bill Johnston
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
'It did go to Coburg one night when misrouted at Nth Melbourne. After much shunting at Coburg it returned to Spencer St shunted again and finally left on the correct route a few hours late.'
That would have been fun!

Speaking of the Coburg line reminds me of a story told to me by an old Train Controller!  

Years ago when rail had the capacity to do things and schools travelled by train there was a school excursion from Gippsland to the zoo at Royal Park. The A2 hauled train  was supposed to attach a bank engine at Flinders Street for the grade through Flemington Bridge but this arrangement was overlooked and the Jolimont Pilot E class electric was hastily (and clandestinely) substituted to assist. So far so good. Unfortunately the CTM or Chief Train Controller (whoever) saw the entourage pass Head Office and there was Hell to pay.

Mistakes were made in those days too but there was far greater capacity to minimise delay and inconvenience then.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner