Box vans in use on Snuggery paper traffic

 
  benscaro Chief Commissioner

Hi

Just after some info on the classes of box van that could be seen on this train.  AN's ALHX come to mind plus the long AN 75' vans . . . but there were various V/Line vans, not sure about any NSW or WA ones  . . .

Cheers
ben

Sponsored advertisement

  Top Cat Assistant Commissioner

Location: Under Hilton Bridge
The supply of vans to Snuggery was co-ordinated between the paper Mills and the ANR Trucks Officer based at Mt Gambier.  A large variety of 'jet' style ie 80km/h bogie exchangeable vans were used - from the NSW, WA, Vic and ANR systems as this traffic went to all states and almost all traffic was bogie exchanged at either Melbourne, Port Pirie or Peterborough.  Some classes that spring to mind include...ALX, AFX, VLX, VSX, WVX, JLX, GLX.....and many others.  And which route the NSW/Qld traffic would take was also co-ordinated by CENWAG in Melbouren to ensure a balance of bogies at the three key bogie exchange location...a story in itself! 8)
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
It would be nice to see this traffic back again with a SG conversion of the line.  Plenty of business down in that part of the world.

BE
  benscaro Chief Commissioner

Thanks Top Cat.  You've confirmed what I was wondering, ie, that the WVX were used.  What about WBAX ?  Reason- there's a nice kit in N for the WBAX already!

Were any four-wheelers used ?

Cheers

Ben
  Top Cat Assistant Commissioner

Location: Under Hilton Bridge
It was almost a free for all in regards to vans...provided they were bogie exchangeable and fit for 80km/h.  Both versions of the WAGR vans were used the flat roof and curved roof versions.  And same goes for the ANR vans the long flat(er) roof and curve roof types.  No 4 wheels were acceptable. 8)
  benscaro Chief Commissioner

I assume then that shots of DWFs on Heywood - Mt Gambier goods show vans just being used for local shed traffic ?

Ben
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Ben,

Top Cat has summed it up very well. He clearly knows what he is talking about which makes me wonder if perhaps our paths may have crossed at some stage in the past  Question.

As TC says, virtually all classes of covered vans could be seen in the Mount Gambier area paper traffic at various times although the 'flavour' did change as time passed.

Back in the early 1980s most vans were 'low cube' types provided, by the NSW, Victorian and AN systems. Most were X types but not all - there were still vintage SAR vans like ABBA and ABAA in the Dandenong  and Adelaide BG traffics.

'Red vans' (Victorian) were VLCX, VLDX, VBBX etc whilst the 'black vans' included NLGX and the like. As has been said ALGX and (more recently)ALHX vans were very common. Ex CR X types were rare as were WBAXs which Westrail preferred to keep at home at this time.

All these small/er vans were singularly unsuitable for the relatively light paper traffic but were all that was available. From time to time someone would have the bright idea  Idea  of inserting the disused VBCWs into the paper traffic but they were unsuitable largely due to being non bogie exchange and low floor height v platform heights for loading/unloading. In any case the BG traffics were insufficient to warrant their use.

VLEX, NLJX and WBAX (yellow submarines) were rare at this time and provision of ABFX 'high cube' vans would certainly have earned a blast from CENWAG as these vans were in >100% demand for east-west Forwarding Agents traffics.

With the increase in east- west container traffic and the consequent decline in van traffic VLEX, NLJX, WBAX and ABFX vans became available which eased the bogie exchange situation somewhat and things were really looking up when the Melbourne - Adelaide SG was 'planned'  Exclamation
If there was one problem with the paper traffic it was the bogie exchange situation where there was always a chronic shortage of SG bogies and this caused delays to both Mount Gambier and Maryvale paper traffics and it was ironic, (read sad, stupid, ill conceived, short sighted, pig ignorant, or just plain bloody minded) that with the MA SG which solved the bogie exchange problem that there was no gauge conversion to the Mount Gambier area. This could have been done in a weekend at virtually no cost.  Sad.
  ParkesHub Chief Commissioner

Can someone who knows detail the function of CENWAG that YM-M and TC refer to?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Can someone who knows detail the function of CENWAG that YM-M and TC refer to?
"ParkesHub"


ParkesHub,

In attempting to explain the background and operation of CENWAG which was set up in the 1970s as the operating arm of the Railways of Australia Committee (RoA) to coordinate intersystem freight operations between the NSW, Victorian, SAR/CR/AN and WAGR rail systems it is necessary to have something of a historical snapshot to start with.

Prior to CENWAG each system had, basically, run their intersystem rail operations to suit themselves and with little overall cooperation or coordination between the respective operators.

24 hour delays between ‘connections’ were not unusual and one case comes to mind of where a train from Broken Hill with WA loading was scheduled to arrive in the Peterborough Yard at precisely the same time as the connection to Port Pirie departed – 24 hours to be saved or lost but no matter. This sort of thing was by no means unusual and intersystem loading was regularly left behind on a nationwide basis to meet local priorities.

At the time a Brisbane – Perth wagon - not that there were all that many of them -(no wonder) would be attached to a locally convenient service which may go to Casino or Grafton then to Taree, Broadmeadow changing trains at each place more often than not and then to somewhere in the Sydney Metrop (Flemington New Markets, Clyde Enfield etc). It would then be attached after a suitable delay to a service heading west from, perhaps, Clyde, Enfield, Homebush Sale Yards on a service to Parkes for onward transit to Broken Hill etc etc. At least once it got to Port Augusta it had a fair chance of a straight connection to Perth assuming that the WAGR did not detach it at Kalgoorlie in favour of some local loading or other.

It is important to realise that at this time there was no computerised control of wagons or train loads. Train loads were ‘wired’ between depots by teleprinters and to trace a wagon one manually searched train load after train load and the daily 0600 Yard Reports for station after station. To get a wagon from Melbourne or Sydney to Perth could (and did) take anything up to a fortnight and sometimes even longer. (Ask Bill what it was like as these were the formative years of FCL).

Similarly, there was no real coordination of the distribution of rollingstock which was, of course, owned and ‘controlled’ by the individual rail systems and subject to the same, numerous, local/interbranch jealousies and political priorities.

There was an interchange charge levied between the systems whilst ‘foreign’ wagons were on your system – this varied between nil and around $30 per wagon/day – it was also called a wagon maintenance charge at various times. There were several ‘neutral’ (free) zones such as Albury/Wodonga, Brisbane and Mount Gambier where wagons spent lengthy periods doing relatively little.

To a great degree these charges led to a great deal of wagon 'cleansing' where systems simply sent wagons over the border regardless of ownership simply to avoid the interchange charge and also regardless of the real need for rollingstock – it was a situation the ‘bean counters’ could be proud of even today.

CENWAG was the brain child of Mr Jim Kennedy then of the VR’s Trucks Office in Melbourne. It was located with RoA at 325 Collins Street and later at 85 Queen Street in Melbourne.

Staff were the best available people for the respective positions regardless of their home system and they were seconded to RoA. In practice, people from VR, NSWGR, AN, QR and Westrail all served at CENWAG at various times in various capacities.

On a practical day to day basis, CENWAG relied upon impartiality, integrity and good will in dealing with the respective rail systems and soon built up a strong bond and rapport with the various wagon/train operations people in the systems. This led to massive reductions in overall transit times due to improvements in train services. Wagon utilisation improved out of sight and tonnages increased immensely.

With the coming of NR and the passage of time, I think that there is only one CENWAG trained and experienced person left on the job and the benefits of a single fleet under nationwide control seem to have been lost in many ways.

Sorry if this has been a bit long-winded but fleet control and operational flexibility is something in which I have a great belief.

Regards
  benscaro Chief Commissioner

YM and TC,

Many thanks for the practical discussion from inside the industry, you've increased my understanding greatly.  I do like the idea of the late 80s or early 90s, but those ABFX are awful long, even in N.

And I've just found the N master is caput, so maybe won't be able to run them anyway- unless I make one of my own.

Cheers

Ben
  ParkesHub Chief Commissioner



....It is important to realise that at this time there was no computerised control of wagons or train loads. Train loads were ‘wired’ between depots by teleprinters and to trace a wagon one manually searched train load after train load and the daily 0600 Yard Reports for station after station. To get a wagon from Melbourne or Sydney to Perth could (and did) take anything up to a fortnight and sometimes even longer. (Ask Bill what it was like as these were the formative years of FCL).

...Regards
"YM-Mundrabilla"


Thanks for the detailed reply, YM-M, and yes you are spot on about Bill. When you talk 'trains' to Bill he either blows a gasket in sheer rage -or- his eyes kind of glaze over as he tunes out from what you are saying. There is a guy there, Mike Thomas, who was once telling me about the bad old days and pretty much described what you said in terms of delays.  Now I understand. Thanks.

PH
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik


....It is important to realise that at this time there was no computerised control of wagons or train loads. Train loads were ‘wired’ between depots by teleprinters and to trace a wagon one manually searched train load after train load and the daily 0600 Yard Reports for station after station. To get a wagon from Melbourne or Sydney to Perth could (and did) take anything up to a fortnight and sometimes even longer. (Ask Bill what it was like as these were the formative years of FCL).

...Regards
"YM-Mundrabilla"


Thanks for the detailed reply, YM-M, and yes you are spot on about Bill. When you talk 'trains' to Bill he either blows a gasket in sheer rage -or- his eyes kind of glaze over as he tunes out from what you are saying. There is a guy there, Mike Thomas, who was once telling me about the bad old days and pretty much described what you said in terms of delays.  Now I understand. Thanks.

PH
"ParkesHub"


PH

Yes, Bill and Mike (apart from being the most straightforward and honest blokes amongst my 'clients' whilst in Marketing at AN) have been there and done that and the industry owes them and FCL a great deal in the last 30+ years.

Please give them my regards and best wishes when the opportunity offers.

Regards

Geoff
  benscaro Chief Commissioner

While I'm looking at the Snuggery topic, from what I can work out, the Millicent line train would have paper vans, dolomite from Tantanoola, coal briquettes for the paper mill, and less frequently, rakes of OBs /OBFs with super and the odd APAX / APCX of cement for Millicent itself.

The goods for Geelong would seem to have conveyed the vast majority of the paper vans, dolomite and briquette hoppers, all from the Millicent line.

What other freights were added at Mt Gambier to go over the border ?

The obvious and most photographed example was cement in both V/Line and AN 'cement pots'.

Back issues of Catchpoint record rakes of grain, and I've seen shots of GHs /GYs in this traffic, but AHDLs and I assume AHGX were also used in later years.  And maybe VHGYs ?  

I think there might have been rakes of super but only seen one reference so no idea how frequent that was.

A shot of A85 hauling the train in the early 90s on the new Dartmoor bridge shows a longish empty flat wagon, and one of the VR 'Train Hobby' books shows a T with two empty bulkhead flats.  Was this for consignments from K&S at Mt Gambier ?

Am I missing any other freights ?

Wondering about stock - there were stock yards at Glenburnie on the SA side of the border which consigned stock very late in the piece, but not sure if the Mt Gambier-Geelong train or the one to Portland [?] carried stock - one shot in 1989 Catchpoint shows an 830 shunting this yard so it may have been a dedicated shunt from the Mount ?  I am not sure if this yard consigned only to SA in AN wagons or whether V/Line stock wagons would have been seen there too.  Also unsure whether it was just cattle, or sheep too.

On the V/Line loco front, I have seen evidence for V/Line T, H, X, S and Gs at the Mount with at least one A, very late in the piece.  No idea if an N ever went there.  Or a B.

Why were the Hs liked on the Geelong-Mt Gambier train ? They did a trial running them with the 700s which is a rare combination.  

Regards

Ben
  trainznbuses Train Controller

Location: Seacliff Park, SA
As a former Millicent resident I can tell you that it had/has saleyards as well, located about 5kms down the line towards Beachport.
The saleyards are still there but the line has been removed from the edge of town to the saleyards unfortunately.
From memory there was a concrete works about 1/2 way out towards the saleyards where there was always a funny looking tank wagon parked. You must excuse my lack of descriptiveness but I was but a poor lowly child back in those days (Less than 8 years old!!)
  benscaro Chief Commissioner

Sounds likely . . . I had heard something about stock traffic on the Millicent line years back.  

The 'funny looking tank wagon' - wonder if it may have been a cement hopper ?  Like the APAX/HCA type a bit like the VR cement pots but usually grey either from SAR paint or cement overspill - a few shots show one of these going to Millicent behind the loco and ahead of a rake of tarped bogie opens with the fertiliser.

Cheers,

Ben
  trainznbuses Train Controller

Location: Seacliff Park, SA
If you could post a pic or link to a pic of the aforementioned APAX/HCA type wagon then I'd be pretty certain that I could positively identify whether that was the type.
  benscaro Chief Commissioner

Knew you'd ask me that .  . . here's an APAX, took some finding . . .

Wink

http://gallery.railpage.com.au/modules.php?set_albumName=album106&id=scan0517&name=gallery&include=view_photo.php

Ben
  trainznbuses Train Controller

Location: Seacliff Park, SA
That is exactly the wagon that I was talking about!!

What exactly are/were they used for?
Are they still in use now as I never saw it move from its location at Millicent although obviously it's not there now!  Sad
  benscaro Chief Commissioner

Hi, it's a cement hopper.  They were one of the few wagons built which could be bogie-exchanged from broad to narrow, as they were used in cement traffic from Angaston to Broken Hill.  There were two cell ones like this, and three cell ones too -APCX, which look like the Victorian VPCX but have deeper sills.  I believe both sorts were classed HCA by the SAR.  Both were used for the Millicent traffic.  

Ben
  MaskedRailfan Train Controller

Does anyone have an idea of the approximate year that paper traffic began out of Snuggery?
  Daryl Junior Train Controller

Location: Carrum Downs
I dimly recall there was paper traffic from Snuggery to a newspaper mill north of Albury, Ettamogah?
Apparently there was a union dispute about the unloading of wagons, if they were to be done by railway union members or Printing and Kindred industries and VR or Vline threw their hands up and let it go to road.
I recall the story was published in a Railway employee news publication at the time. Probably early ‘80s.
  allan Chief Commissioner

Well, if you're going to disinter threads from the dark ages, do make sure that they are as good as this one... I'm quite sure that I read this ten years ago, but it was good to re-read it.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
I dimly recall there was paper traffic from Snuggery to a newspaper mill north of Albury, Ettamogah?
Apparently there was a union dispute about the unloading of wagons, if they were to be done by railway union members or Printing and Kindred industries and VR or Vline threw their hands up and let it go to road.
I recall the story was published in a Railway employee news publication at the time. Probably early ‘80s.
Daryl
A lot of those turf battles went on during the 80's

Rail customers got screwed over and peeved off, that lead them to go to road transport.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Well, if you're going to disinter threads from the dark ages, do make sure that they are as good as this one... I'm quite sure that I read this ten years ago, but it was good to re-read it.
allan
Well said Allan.
One of the better old threads.
A lot has happened in the 11 years since this thread started but this thread forms a good 'potted history' of several things.
I doubt that I could be bothered repeating my input these days as there are so few to understand it.  I suppose that every dog has his day.
Wonder whatever happened to posters like Benscaro and Top Cat (and so many other informed posters) of long ago?
  allan Chief Commissioner

It does seem that the only folk who say goodbye do so with a dummy spit! I'll guess that a lot of the old blokes drop the fire, and the young fellows acquire a family and mortgage - and the three jobs required to support both. The use of pseudonyms makes it a bit hard to keep track.

Each of the guys you mentioned have been here in the last couple of years.

Edit - maybe not so recently....

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.