If the points were not signal protected previously, were they compulsory stops like those on the tram network?
A potted history of signalling at VR non-interlocked staff stations.
Prior to 1908 main line points were worked by weighted levers (spur levers) and secured by hand locking bars and padlocks. Interlocking between the arrival home signals and the points was solely by the GA requiring the SM personally to wander out and check the position of the points prior to signalling a train. An instruction which, I am sure, was not always followed to the letter.
Between 1909 and the end of WWI, the VR plunger locked most of these stations. At this time plunger locking was only provided on points that were facing for trains arriving into the station. Points that were facing for moves leaving the station generally continued to secured by hand locking bars and padlocks. This included junction points, as well as points into sidings. The main line points continued to be worked by spur levers and had to be held against the weight for moves off the main line.
From around 1912 siding points from the main line were Annett locked, with duplicate locks on the two arrival homes. Around
1914 Annett locked departure home signals were provided, with some retrofitting.
Junctions generally remained secured only by hand locking bars for a long time. Some got small ground frames to work the junction (e.g. Colac, Redcliffs, Morwell). A very small number were Annett locked (e.g. Bittern, Moriac). The most common eventual approach was to plunger lock the junction points with a bracket post (e.g. Morwell - Mirboo line junction, Strathmerton, Maroona, Barnes). Many junctions however were never secured (e.g. East Natimuk, Terang, Cathkin, Echuca).
Echuca basically missed all of this, and pretty much remained as it was in 1900. There was an outer entrance to the goods yard (down near what is now the Murray Valley Hwy) from 1926 to 1958 which was properly interlocked from a auxliary frame. The two points off the Toolamba line into the loco depot and livestock sidings were Annett locked. The Up end points to between No 1 & No 2 Roads were plunger locked in 1958. But all other main line points remained secured by hand locking bars.