Aus Army Tanks/ APC on Victorian Tracks

 
  FlatTopT413 Locomotive Fireman

Hi All;
does anybody know of any Australian Army Leopard Tanks and APC movements over victorian tracks and what rolling stock may have been used?????

Time period is probably 1990s.

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  EFB5800 Chief Train Controller

Location: On my office roof.
Without digging through my books and papers, I can give you some general info from memory. Open to correction from anyone though.

Firstly I don't think there was much if any rail movement of army equipment in Vic in the 90's.
In the 60's era, on SG, tanks were normally carried on the NSWR TE wagons, as well as BME (later NFFF) type wagons. APCs were normally carried 2 or 3 to a wagon. 2 on short wagons like BME, UME etc, or 3 on longer wagons like these- http://www.nswrollingstock.com/BCX.htm

In the 70's - 80s the TEs would have seen little use in Vic, the BMEs would have been used for tanks. APCs were seen on FQX and SKX and perhaps any other interstate wagons of similar size with solid decks and tie rails or rings.

In early times on the SG an NSWR pass car was run ahead of the van for army staff. I think on at least one occasion some ROA stainless steel cars were attached to a tank movement.

I've never looked into BG army trains much, so I'll leave that alone.
  FlatTopT413 Locomotive Fireman

Hi EFB5800;
thanks for the reply.
Some good info from the other side of the border. I did happen to catch and photograph APCs on a freighter stuck at Culcairn in the mid 90s.
I have also got a book somewhere depicting tank movements in the NSW outback being pulled by a 49.

Again thanks for the info.
Regards
  Dave C Assistant Commissioner

Location: Maitland
The last rail movement in Victoria of Tanks and APC was in 1988 for K88 when a Squadron from 1st Armoured Regt (think it was B Sqn) was moved by rail.


  FlatTopT413 Locomotive Fireman

Hi Dave;
thanks for the reply. Any details on wagons used and SG or BG????

Regards
  Hendo Deputy Commissioner

Without digging through my books and papers, I can give you some general info from memory. Open to correction from anyone though.

Firstly I don't think there was much if any rail movement of army equipment in Vic in the 90's.
In the 60's era, on SG, tanks were normally carried on the NSWR TE wagons, as well as BME (later NFFF) type wagons. APCs were normally carried 2 or 3 to a wagon. 2 on short wagons like BME, UME etc, or 3 on longer wagons like these- http://www.nswrollingstock.com/BCX.htm

In the 70's - 80s the TEs would have seen little use in Vic, the BMEs would have been used for tanks. APCs were seen on FQX and SKX and perhaps any other interstate wagons of similar size with solid decks and tie rails or rings. .........
"EFB5800"


I have to disagree with you about the use of BME for tanks, the TE was purpose designed for the transportation of tanks and would have been used, if needed, right until the demise of the Leopard's. The TE were acquired in the 1950's specifically for the Centurion tanks and were owned by the Army's Royal Australian Engineers, then by the RACT when it was formed in the 1970's. The wagons were managed by the NSWGR. It would not have been unusual for them to pick up tanks at Seymour if needed.

It is only with the acquisition of the M3 Abrams that the Army had to commission new tank wagons.

The BME's would probably have been too long, a tank may well have broken the frame if loaded.

For the poster who mentioned Exercise Kangaroo 88, there was no such exercise. K89 was in the NT and Kimberley, possibly tanks but I don't recall them. K83 was in the Pilbara, no tanks from memory. K81 was at Shoalwater Bay, I don't recall tanks being there. The first time I remember tanks in Shoalwater was in 82 during a Diamond Dollar exercise, they made good stump finders.


Cheers,
Hendo
  EFB5800 Chief Train Controller

Location: On my office roof.
Please excuse the shonkiness of these pics. It's just to much effort for me to get my scanner out and get it to work.

This is the centre spread of the Oct 64' VR Newsletter. It shows a tank train on the up at Violet Town behind T359 and 358. The caption describes it as "TRAIN TAKES TANKS : A special train last month brought to Seymour sixteen 48ton Centurion tanks that had been engaged in army exercises in Queensland. The train is shown about to pass over the Violet Town level crossing. At Seymour, the tanks are about to be driven on to a temporary unloading ramp."

It looks like there is a pass car at the rear and all that can be seen under the tanks are BMEs from the front. The lower photo shows a TE at the ramp. I guess it may have had up to six TEs at the rear.

Perhaps a bit OT, there was at least until recent years a concrete ramp at the end of the extended down end cripple track at Seymour loop for loading army gear. I heard that it never saw a tank as it was too weak or the angle was wrong or something. It certainly didn't have any scratches at the top angle that you would think 50ton tanks would leave.
The last 'tank wagon' I saw at the Seymour ramp was a TE in the early 90's. It was one of the 2 NZEF conversions for carrying the spans for the new Parramatta River bridge at Meadowbank. Those 2 plus the other original TEs are now at Monegheeta, so I'd say it was there for the army to put it on a truck.

Even more OT, the TEs are seen in a few VR Newsletters, but not with tanks. They were often used for heavy loads to Melbourne, using wagons between as spacers.

PS, love the wedgee on that army dude!




  BOLIVIA Station Master

The TE wagon was purpose built for the Centurion tanks .And used from their arrival in Australia in Oct 51 to their retirement from Dec 76.
the TE could also be used by the railways for any other purpose required when available ,usually out of gauge loadings and special movements.
Centurions where also moved on BME ,s
The train shown arriving at Seymour Oct 64 in EFB5800 post left Seymour for Clapham Junction  in  9th Feb 64 conveying 17 Centurions and variants on a train made up of SHG ,FS, MLV, 6 TE, 11 BME equal to 1265 tons.
The off loading ramp in these pictures appears to be a section from a Centurion bridge layer unit.
With the arrival of the Leopard family of fighting vehichles in Dec 76 the BME ,BEX wagons where used  for the transportation of this type on the standard gauge .
Leopards where never placed on TE,s.
  Sarails Assistant Commissioner

Location: @ Work
I was always under the understanding that the TE's wern't available and they were delviered on SAR FB flats
  SA_trains Deputy Commissioner

Location: ACT
I was always under the understanding that the TE's wern't available and they were delviered on SAR FB flats
"Sarails"


As much as I'd like this statement to be true, sadly it is not...  Sad

There are heaps of photos around that show the Centurions loaded (or being loaded) onto TE's at the docks when the MBTs were being delivered.

That said... my interest is more in the Leopard era of MBT and am interested in the BMX wagons quoted above. Does anyone make a kit of these? If yes, I think I'll need some...

For those interested in modelling a rail movement, especially of the 1980's to "now'ish" the correct Leopard is available along with Unimogs and the M577 (M113 command variant) are available from Roco (Herpa). The "correct'ish" M113 is also available from Roco (Herpa) but not with the correct turret. Trident make the Hamel Gun (L118 or M119A1 depending who's army...). Roco (Herpa) also make Landrovers but not all the right versions of the 110. Their Landrover is a "Staff Car". Still... the making of all the things you would need as a military load are there! Just need the railway wagons!

To model "now", the M1A1 Abrams MBT is available (Roco/Herpa) as are the LAV (Trident I think). The LAV would go onto any standard flat car, but to move the M1A1 would require the modelling of the CQTY flat car. A reasonable amount of work in that...

Cheers,

Dan
  BOLIVIA Station Master

No Dan
,there is no kit available for the much needed BME, BEX But this may change soon as I need a lot of these also.

Some Blog Posts that might be of interest .I now have  castings  for the Saladin turret, T50 turret , M125 mortar ,the correct Armoured Fitters,
and the 2 versions of the tilley with the back cannopy tarped and the back with no tarp.
I am currently working on a post on the modelling of these and the prototype trains .Hopefully this will get finalised over the holidays.


http://bolivanswgr.blogspot.com.au/2011/10/military-might.html

http://bolivanswgr.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/m113a-history-and-variants-in.html

http://bolivanswgr.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/px-wagon.html
  Dave C Assistant Commissioner

Location: Maitland
yes the year was 1989 for K89 and the defentily was no rail movement of Tanks or APC in Vic from 1990 - 1996 and as far as I know 1AR was not moved on rail untill after the move to Darwin.

Hope this helps.


  EFB5800 Chief Train Controller

Location: On my office roof.
There is a pic in the DEC 77' Newsrail by Chris Kayler-Thompson, dated 3-10-77. It shows the front of a military movement to Bandiana on SG. It appears to be a down train, so is likely to have loaded at Seymour.

The visible part of the consist is-
C504
1 WAGR WFX 60' flat loaded with 1 Leopard ARV
1 NSWR EMX 45' flat wagon carrying an unidentified box structure.
1 ANR ROX 75' flat loaded with 1 damaged looking truck or prime mover.
1 WAGR WFX 60' flat loaded with 1 Leopard ARV
2 NSWR BME or BMX 45' flats carrying Centurion tanks.

Intesting as it is likely an intrastate VR train, with wagons from 3 other systems, but none of their own.
  YM-Mundrabilla The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
There is a pic in the DEC 77' Newsrail by Chris Kayler-Thompson, dated 3-10-77. It shows the front of a military movement to Bandiana on SG. It appears to be a down train, so is likely to have loaded at Seymour.

The visible part of the consist is-
C504
1 WAGR WFX 60' flat loaded with 1 Leopard ARV
1 NSWR EMX 45' flat wagon carrying an unidentified box structure.
1 ANR ROX 75' flat loaded with 1 damaged looking truck or prime mover.
1 WAGR WFX 60' flat loaded with 1 Leopard ARV
2 NSWR BME or BMX 45' flats carrying Centurion tanks.

Intesting as it is likely an intrastate VR train, with wagons from 3 other systems, but none of their own.
"EFB5800"


Victoria was never that strong with heavy load flats (or flats at  all for that matter prior to container traffic), there were the special transformer wagons of course, but the only heavy flats that I recall were a couple of cut down S class tenders. Happy to be corrected!
  FlatTopT413 Locomotive Fireman

Hi All;
thanks for the replies.
Got a couple of avenues to follow, with thanks.........
  electrax Assistant Commissioner

Without digging through my books and papers, I can give you some general info from memory. Open to correction from anyone though.

Firstly I don't think there was much if any rail movement of army equipment in Vic in the 90's.
In the 60's era, on SG, tanks were normally carried on the NSWR TE wagons, as well as BME (later NFFF) type wagons. APCs were normally carried 2 or 3 to a wagon. 2 on short wagons like BME, UME etc, or 3 on longer wagons like these- http://www.nswrollingstock.com/BCX.htm

In the 70's - 80s�the TEs would have seen little use in Vic, the BMEs would have been used for tanks. APCs were seen on FQX and SKX and perhaps any other interstate wagons of similar size with solid decks and tie rails or rings.

In early times on the SG an NSWR pass car was run ahead of the van for army staff. I think on at least one occasion some ROA stainless steel cars were attached to a tank movement.

I've never looked into BG army trains much, so I'll leave that alone.

Only BME/BEX and TE wagons in NSW could be loaded with tanks.  It would appear that RBX.124 was used as a staff car during the late 1960s.
EFB5800
  electrax Assistant Commissioner

Without digging through my books and papers, I can give you some general info from memory. Open to correction from anyone though.

Firstly I don't think there was much if any rail movement of army equipment in Vic in the 90's.
In the 60's era, on SG, tanks were normally carried on the NSWR TE wagons, as well as BME (later NFFF) type wagons. APCs were normally carried 2 or 3 to a wagon. 2 on short wagons like BME, UME etc, or 3 on longer wagons like these- http://www.nswrollingstock.com/BCX.htm

In the 70's - 80s�the TEs would have seen little use in Vic, the BMEs would have been used for tanks. APCs were seen on FQX and SKX and perhaps any other interstate wagons of similar size with solid decks and tie rails or rings.

In early times on the SG an NSWR pass car was run ahead of the van for army staff. I think on at least one occasion some ROA stainless steel cars were attached to a tank movement.

I've never looked into BG army trains much, so I'll leave that alone.

Only BME/BEX and TE wagons in NSW could be loaded with tanks.  It would appear that RBX.124 was used as a staff car during the late 1960s.
  electrax Assistant Commissioner

Without digging through my books and papers, I can give you some general info from memory. Open to correction from anyone though.

Firstly I don't think there was much if any rail movement of army equipment in Vic in the 90's.
In the 60's era, on SG, tanks were normally carried on the NSWR TE wagons, as well as BME (later NFFF) type wagons. APCs were normally carried 2 or 3 to a wagon. 2 on short wagons like BME, UME etc, or 3 on longer wagons like these- http://www.nswrollingstock.com/BCX.htm

In the 70's - 80s�the TEs would have seen little use in Vic, the BMEs would have been used for tanks. APCs were seen on FQX and SKX and perhaps any other interstate wagons of similar size with solid decks and tie rails or rings.

In early times on the SG an NSWR pass car was run ahead of the van for army staff. I think on at least one occasion some ROA stainless steel cars were attached to a tank movement.

I've never looked into BG army trains much, so I'll leave that alone.

Only BME/BEX and TE wagons in NSW could be loaded with tanks.  It would appear that RBX.124 was used as a staff car during the late 1960s.
  electrax Assistant Commissioner

Without digging through my books and papers, I can give you some general info from memory. Open to correction from anyone though.

Firstly I don't think there was much if any rail movement of army equipment in Vic in the 90's.
In the 60's era, on SG, tanks were normally carried on the NSWR TE wagons, as well as BME (later NFFF) type wagons. APCs were normally carried 2 or 3 to a wagon. 2 on short wagons like BME, UME etc, or 3 on longer wagons like these- http://www.nswrollingstock.com/BCX.htm

In the 70's - 80s�the TEs would have seen little use in Vic, the BMEs would have been used for tanks. APCs were seen on FQX and SKX and perhaps any other interstate wagons of similar size with solid decks and tie rails or rings.

In early times on the SG an NSWR pass car was run ahead of the van for army staff. I think on at least one occasion some ROA stainless steel cars were attached to a tank movement.

I've never looked into BG army trains much, so I'll leave that alone.

Only BME/BEX and TE wagons in NSW could be loaded with tanks.  It would appear that RBX.124 was used as a staff car during the late 1960s.
  electrax Assistant Commissioner

NSW Digest, v1, n11, February 1964; p8 - news item D502 cites the movement of 17 Centurion tanks on 6 x TE and 11 x BME wagons from Seymour, Vic to Clapham, Qld. Gross trailing load was 1,265 tons.
  ARodH Chief Train Controller

Location: East Oakleigh, Vic
Ah that movement, mentioned here http://bolivanswgr.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/raac-centurion-tank.html with a SHG guard van, FS carriage and MLV louvre van making up the rest of the consist.
I thought about getting the BME's to make that train load, but it would look ridiculous on the current small layout I'm building, it'd probably look great on a large layout like what some clubs have.
  pawanoro Deputy Commissioner


I was always under the understanding that the TE's wern't available and they were delviered on SAR FB flats
Sarails


As much as I'd like this statement to be true, sadly it is not...  /images/smiles/icon_sad.gif

There are heaps of photos around that show the Centurions loaded (or being loaded) onto TE's at the docks when the MBTs were being delivered.
SA_trains


Dan,

Plenty of Centurions were delivered via Melbourne and used specially modified FB wagons classed FBT on broad gauge. In addition at the time of delivery TE wagons couldn't come south of Wodonga so Centurions heading to Puckapunyal from north of the Murray were railed on FBT's from Bandiana to Dysart. For further info see this post in a previous thread.
  SA_trains Deputy Commissioner

Location: ACT
Hi Pawano,

After that post from some time ago, I became aware of the use of FBT flat wagons. courtesy of the Bolivia blog. That said, the only evidence I have seen is that the first two centurions were delivered to Melbourne and moved to Puka on FBT. The rest of the Centurions were delivered to Sydney and seem to have been moved on TE wagons.

If you have evidence of other moves of armored vehicles on FBT wagons then I would be very interested. The history of the FBT is something I am fascinated with.

For those interested, a FBT wagon still exists at Port Augusta. Much to my amazement. Well it was there last September anyway.
  pawanoro Deputy Commissioner

VR records list 95 trips made by FBT wagons while in Victoria during 1951 and 1952. As I mentioned many are from Bandiord or Bandiana to Dysart, TE wagons were unable to come south of Wodonga until 1962. There are also many trips from Victoria Dock so more than the first two Centurions were landed in Melbourne.
  SA_trains Deputy Commissioner

Location: ACT
VR records list 95 trips made by FBT wagons while in Victoria during 1951 and 1952. As I mentioned many are from Bandiord or Bandiana to Dysart, TE wagons were unable to come south of Wodonga until 1962. There are also many trips from Victoria Dock so more than the first two Centurions were landed in Melbourne.
pawanoro

Hi Pawanoror,

Thanks for the information. Very interesting. So to be clear, the movements were from Victoria Docks to Bandiord (where's that?) or Bandiana or Dysart?

What are the VR records that you refer to? Are they an on-line source or are they a book that you hold?

From the Army records that I've seen on-line, the first delivery of two tanks was to Melbourne, then a larger delivery to Sydney. From your information, it would seem that subsequent deliveries arrived in Australia in Melbourne and/or Sydney. There was about 150 Centurions all up of different variants, so multiple movements from the docks to barracks!

Regards,

Dan

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