Victorian Goldfields Railway (VGR) 2017

 
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Well it's nearing the end of Feb 2017, the Steamin' Season is almost upon us and it is time for a new VGR Thread!

This year promises to be a cracker for the VGR with lots of trains and events planned.

The recent upgrade of the mainline 2 Road Loop at Castlemaine Station including concrete re-sleepering and the redecking of the Forrest St Bridge also included some work on the VGR line where it runs over the bridge and it is now as smooth as silk, thanks in no small part to the VicTrack contractors.

Not sure if it happened at the same time but there is now a WSA point lever in place on the VGR line at the crossover to the Main Line. Previously when we wanted to do a transfer to / from the main the VGR points had to be levered over with a Crow Bar. The sheer number of these movements happening now has doubtless contributed to this great development.

BG

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  Carnot Minister for Railways

Yes, it looks like another big year with lots of special events planned in 2017.  Some significant infrastructure improvements on the horizon too for the VGR.

Membership is great value and I highly recommend it.  It also keeps you up-to-date on all the goings on, and provides lots of opportunities for getting involved and contributing in positive ways for this railway.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
A stellar day on the VGR yesterday for the return of Steam after the summer Diesel running period.

Looking resplendent with her fresh paint job J549 ran the scheduled services while K153 was also in steam doing some yard testing following a boiler inspection.

F212 also sporting a new coat of paint was pulled out of the shed for the first time in over a year and ran around the yard for an hour or so while Y133 was also powered up for a large portion of the day on Yard Pilot duty.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1249219085131943&set=a.174996649220864.53397.100001315897898&type=3&theater

BG
  D3621 Locomotive Driver

Location: Castlemaine Vic
Another big week and a bit on the VGR just gone.

The March long weekend saw a great weekend for the railway with a 7 car train being run on Sunday. J549 was the motive power for the weekend.

Last week also saw the removal of the old 1&2 road points. Now 1 road (platform road) has been extended towards Castlemaine with a brand new set of points that have been put in. The extension was completed on March 17th.

Friday also saw a transfer train to Castlemaine with K153, Y133 passenger carriages and some freight wagons from Maldon. The K and the passenger carriages were on display for the official opening of the Castlemaine festival.

Saturday 18th March the railway ran 2 charters. The first was a charter for the official launch of the Castlemaine-Maldon bike trail. K153 ran the train to Muckleford and return to Castlemaine were the Y took the train back to Maldon. K153 then ran a trip for the A.R.E hauling a mixed train made up of the XYZ set and some freight wagons. Saturday night also saw the final blues concert at Maldon station with the K doing a run past at dusk as apart of the concert.

Sunday saw J549 running the normal services with another 7 car train during the day because of a large booking.

So its been a big 2 weeks for the railway and a lot of special trains are now available for bookings to be made. Visit http://www.vgr.com.au for upcoming events and make sure you book for the events!

Regards Adisson.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Easter is always a pretty busy time in Maldon with the Easter Fair and the VGR has joined in the fun as usual this weekend with the Good Friday Wine and Cheese Special running last night and Normal Timetable services running today, Sunday and Monday.

In fact from the 8th to the 17th of this month the VGR has something running every day except Thurs 13th with a couple of Driver Experiences thrown in there to fill up the calendar.

Today's trains saw J549 hauling a consist of 7 cars with plenty of smiling, happy passengers on board. Unusually there seemed to be more peeple travelling Maldon > Castlemaine reflecting the big crowds in Maldon for Easter.

BG
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
A BIG day on the VGR today as well as normal service running tomorrow.

R711 is being transferred to Castlemaine today ahead of running the Swan Hill Overlander for Steamrail on May 6th. In addition to this there is a Goods movement from Maldon to Castlemaine in the morning returning late in the day, the Colonial Express service running Castlemaine/Maldon/Castlemaine with the XYZ cars and some lucky bugger has booked a Driver Experience Steam running Maldon/Castlemaine/Maldon as well. What a great day that will be for him/her, in addition to the normal thrill of driving a K class they get to cross the Colonial Express at Muckleford!

BG
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Good to get the occasional detailed report on operations. Thanks.
There used to be a number of reports on current things here on RP but they seem to have dropped off in recent times.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Nice to see the VGR featured on Railroad Australia 2 on Foxtel this week.
  N463 Locomotive Driver

On Saturday, I took a trip to Maldon on the "Colonial Express". Despite the lack of seat cushions in second class, it was fascinating to experience travelling in these 19th century carriages. Passenger comfort came a long way between then and the 1906 E cars, something that you only really appreciate once you experience the older cars.

To everyone in the VGR who made this possible, I want to say thank you.

N463
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
On Saturday, I took a trip to Maldon on the "Colonial Express". Despite the lack of seat cushions in second class, it was fascinating to experience travelling in these 19th century carriages. Passenger comfort came a long way between then and the 1906 E cars, something that you only really appreciate once you experience the older cars.

To everyone in the VGR who made this possible, I want to say thank you.

N463
N463
Glad you enjoyed it.

It has been a very busy time on the VGR over the last month or so, over the Queens Birthday Long Weekend alone trains ran Friday, Sat, Sun, Mon, Tues and Wednesday!

A great effort by all of the people who are making it all possible, i know the VGR are struggling to find people in some areas due to the increase in services being run so if any body out there has ever thought of volunteering on a tourist railway now is the time!

BG
  D3621 Locomotive Driver

Location: Castlemaine Vic
It's been a while since the last post so here I go:
The school holidays Trains for Kids have been really well patronised with a very full 6 car train on Saturday 1st July behind J549. On the Sunday Y133 and a extra excursion car being added with the entire train being loaded to the brim.

On Wednesday 5th July K153 and Y133 hauled the regular service with a 7 car train again.  

This weekend and next Wednesday sees K153 and Y133 being used on a 8 car train.

J549 is out of service for the next few weeks so it can have its boiler certificate renewed.

It is all happening at the VGR with the upcoming Ales Trains being nearly booked out and the Murder on the Orient Express trains also nearly booked out as well. It is highly recommended that if you are planning to travel on them to book in now or miss out until next years trains.

K160's boiler work is beginning to progress really well as well, a number of boiler components from the loco (items included is the ashpan and the injectors) have made their way to Maldon for repairs and re-manufacture.

Due to the high cost estimated in the overhaul of K160, a few months ago the VGR launched the K160 Overhaul appeal to assist in getting K160 back into service as quick as possible. Please donate if you can to assist in getting her back in steam quickly. We have multiple packages for people to sign up to with rewards from a seat on the K's first mainline test run all the way up to a driver experience. All donations are tax deductible. Visit http://www.vgr.com.au/k160appeal.pdf  for more information.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Big day of School Holiday fun on the VGR today as K190 and Y133 double headed a 9 car train packed with families from Castlemaine out to Maldon and back. A great sight to behold on a lovely sunny day in The Maine.

BG
  ryleyrail Station Master

What is the plan for the Castlemaine yard alterations that I have seen mentioned on your social medias?
  D3621 Locomotive Driver

Location: Castlemaine Vic
What is the plan for the Castlemaine yard alterations that I have seen mentioned on your social medias?
ryleyrail
Castlemaine will become the railways operational base with all trains operating out of Castlemaine instead of Maldon, with maintenance facilities located there, an engine shed, extension to the current carriage shed and more. (all pending funding and approval from some government authorities). We hope to begin construction early next year. At the moment we are doing a fair bit of prep work on site to prepare for everything.

The railway's members and volunteers will be given the information about the redevelopment first, it will then can public knowledge, if the board decides to do so.

Cheers Adisson.
  ryleyrail Station Master

What is the plan for the Castlemaine yard alterations that I have seen mentioned on your social medias?
Castlemaine will become the railways operational base with all trains operating out of Castlemaine instead of Maldon, with maintenance facilities located there, an engine shed, extension to the current carriage shed and more. (all pending funding and approval from some government authorities). We hope to begin construction early next year. At the moment we are doing a fair bit of prep work on site to prepare for everything.

The railway's members and volunteers will be given the information about the redevelopment first, it will then can public knowledge, if the board decides to do so.

Cheers Adisson.
D3621
Thanks for your informative reply Adisson.

I would just like to say...
I went on the VGR in the winter months and, due to lack of seating and the Y class pulling the service for the first part, I was sat in first class carriage Macedon. Though this costed more than an excursion class ticket, it was well worth the money. The view from the platform on Tambo (especially when behind K153 on the return journey) was unbeatable. The Victorian Goldfields Railway really is in a class of its own with the service provided to its first class passengers, and the VGR should keep up the good work in the future.

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