For the first time in nearly 52 years since it was withdrawn from the Victorian Railways and nearly 100 years since built, A2 986 returns to the mainline!
Nearly 5 months ago, A2 986 operated for the first time under its own power around Newport Workshops and today onto the mainline!
Here the pairing of A2 986 and T395 roll across McIntyre Road level crossing at Brooklyn as 0586. To the right on the signal marked as MEL is the last remaining operational disc signal in Victoria. No doubt soon, this will also become history.
A2 986 began mainline testing operating a series of trips between Newport and Sunshine. This allowed for testing at low speed in a controlled environment. Some adjustments have been found to fix at a later date though the overall testing was a success.
A T class diesel (no. 395) was used to provide a modest load for A2 986, to provide a train to base radio for communication and to help with driver training of V/Line crews on the goods only railway line to Sunshine.