Came out of Dudinin last week, but supposed to be the Kulin time this week.
Thanks for that, I did manage to head down to Kulin last Thursday morning, and made it for 9am, but they looked like they were only just starting to load the rake of wagons. The first wagon was parked underneath the loadout bins, and all the wagons had the roof hatches open for business. I waited round till about 9.40, but they still hadn't made a move on anything (no-one on the loadout gantry either), so I headed north to see what else was around.
I managed to catch CBH001 (I think the number is right, or the memory is gone!) just north of Narembeen heading south, with about twenty wagons in tow. I stayed alongside the railway to Muntadgin, then again through to Merredin, and I caught CBH004 (as above about the number) heading south from Merredin to Muntadgin (I assume). The loco had about twenty wagons again. In West Merredin yard, there was the final twenty wagons or so going through the trans-shipping point with the track-mobile pushing/pulling them through.
I have a couple of questions about the operation of the line though:
1. Is the line south of Merredin to Kondinin operated as one section? It seemed (with the amount of time between the trains) that the first train would have either shunted into the CBH sidings at Narembeen or made it through to Kondinin prior to the second train leaving Merredin. I would have thought that the second train would have been able to leave Merredin once the first got to Muntadgin at least, rather than have to wait for so long.
2. As the trains are loaded, does the southern most train come and meet the second train, and then combine for the return journey into Merredin? Or do they run as seperate trains the whole time? If they can combine for the return trip at Muntadgin, and run as one train back into the Merredin yard, why could they not do that on the outward journey? run to Muntadgin and then split the train to the south. If they cannot do this at all, does this mean that the train down in Narembeen/Kondinin needs to wait until the Muntadgin train is loaded and has returned to Merredin before thay can start the return journey again?
3. Can they run the smaller trains with one driver? I thought I saw only the one driver in Narembeen, but there were two drivers on the second train outside Merredin.