Cement Transport for Snowy Mountains Scheme

 
  prwise Locomotive Driver

Used to live near (beside?) the Fyansford Cement Works. During the 60's there were 'mini containers' loaded into GY's, filled with bulk cement. They were grey and two to a wagon. I suspect they were decamped somewhere and taken to the scheme by truck.
Does anyone know where this happened?

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  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
Probably Cudgewa - it was quite a busy line in the Snowy days.
  Z VAN Junior Train Controller

Prwise, I would suggest the wagons loaded with cement containers were KCC class wagons that were mostly former I wagons with the doors removed and retaining mechanism fitted to secure the containers. There were 170 KCC wagons built.
I would not be so bold to say that you did not see a GY loaded with cement containers as odd things do occur. There were other KCC wagons converted from other classes but most were originally I wagons.
The containers were of very heavy duty ply wood with a capacity of seven tons painted silver.
The traffic was Fyansford to Cudgewa where the containers were road hauled to the work site.
This operation was part of the Snowy Mountain Scheme.

Have a look at P.J.Vincents web site for more information about the KCC wagons.
Regards.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Fyansford cement for the Snowy Hydro scheme went to Cudgewa. Nick Anchen's book 'A Railway to Cudgewa' has a fair bit of information on it. If memory serves me right, the Kiewa Hydroelectric Scheme also had a similar railhead setup, initially at Bright but then moving over to Bandiana on the Cudgewa line.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
The cement trains were unloaded at Cudgewa, an insignificant dot on the map where they put the rail terminus when they ran out of money just short of the town of Corryong in the extreme north east of Victoria. Cement was then trucked over the border to the hydro construction village of Khancoban. The large cranes used by Snowy Hydro to unload the cargo remained at Cudewa for many years afterwards.

The line was insanely steep with sections of up to 15 km of non stop 1 in 30 gradients, it was also infested with a lot of tall trestle bridges. A Fyansford connection is that the locomotive D1 that used to work at Fyansford was re-gauged and re-badged as T413 and assigned to this line for many years.

Two books have been written on the line:
  • Lloyd Holmes. The branch line: a history of Wodonga - Tallangatta - Cudgewa railway. n.d. [circa 1990?] A short book with lots of text and information.
  • Nick Anchen. A railway to Cudgewa. 2013. A typical Anchen photobook, has lots of attractive pics, but also has more text than most of his stuff.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Lloyd Holmes' book "A Railway life" also gives some good accounts of the Cudgewa line.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Fyansford cement for the Snowy Hydro scheme went to Cudgewa. Nick Anchen's book 'A Railway to Cudgewa' has a fair bit of information on it. If memory serves me right, the Kiewa Hydroelecteric Schem also had a similar railhead setup, initially at Bright but then moving over to Bandiana on the Cudgewa line.
LancedDendrite
The Kiewa Hydroelecteric Schem moved from Bright to  Bandiana after the 50 Mile Kiewa Valley Highway was opened (built to serve the project)
The Tawonga Gap Road (Germantown - Tawonga South) would of been very hard going for heavy early model trucks.
  tom9876543 Chief Train Controller

The line was insanely steep with sections of up to 15 km of non stop 1 in 30 gradients
Bogong

Bogong, you have exaggerated the steepness.
According to the curve and gradient chart at victorianrailways.net, there are long sections of 1/35 or 1/39.
There aren't extensive lengths of exactly 1/30.

The ruling (worst) gradient for the line is definitely 1/30. But the claim that 15km of track is continuously at 1/30 is incorrect.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Well I was using a slightly blurry and difficult to read copy of the grades diagram reproduced in Lloyd Holmes book The branch line... and I was trying to be brief and not rabbit on too much.

But here is a high res image from http://www.victorianrailways.net/grades/cudgewa1.html

Okay it's not quite 15 km of 1 in 30 from Shelley to Beetoomba, but it is 16 km varying between 1 in 30 and 1 in 40 with some of the sharpest broad gauge bends anywhere. Did I mention the line also had an abundance of high trestle bridges?


  prwise Locomotive Driver

Thanks all for responses. Now have a spot chosen for my next camping trip to do some exploring.
Thinking back the wagons were different from the GY's, and yes - doors were removed.

Will do some more research and grab the books before heading up there.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

A significant portion of the Cudgewa line has been turned into the High Country Rail Trail. Details http://highcountryrailtrail.org.au/

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