The Wayward Wanderings of Victorian RMSP's

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penov Chief Commissioner

Location: By the shore of Bass Strait.

THE WAYWARD WANDERINGS OF VICTORIAN RMSP’s

What has this got to do with Railway Archaeology you say ?  Quite a deal.

The rail motor certainly had an important place in Victorian railwayana from the

1920’s. Rail motors revolutionized passenger services from the old “mixed” trains of earlier years which spent some much time shunting trucks at wayside stations and no

doubt made the thought of rail travel a dread for many people who found it took so

long to get to their destination. And Rail Motor Stopping Places enabled passengers

to alight closer to their homes or farms even though they were “out of town”.

So this thread is designed to record here on Railpage an outline of the stopping places

on the various lines.  In Victoria, stopping places were usually numbered and as locations were withdrawn or lines closed to passengers the numbers went back into the “bikky bin” to be reused at a later date.  This means that many numbers had had two or more locations in their lifetime.

Much of this collection has been made from Andrew Waugh’s 10-Year Maps of Victorian Railways. However, poring over the small print in the maps has been difficult. Some numbers have been difficult to read even with a magnifying glass. If you look at it long enough, a number can be a 6 or an 8 or a 9 or an 0, and the harder you look the more often they change. I have tried to solve the problem by looking at timetables, but some timetables do not cover the period a certain line had a railmotor service. Hence corrections will be welcomed from those who know of any error in the recording.

The first line to look at is the service provided by AEC Railmotor no 1, which was built for use in the Mallee and had open side windows from the waist up with canvas blinds although what

help they would have been in a dust storm beggars conjecture. In 1921 the Mildura Suburban Service started up from Merbein to Redcliffs with several daily trips. RMSP1 was just to the north of Red Cliffs and other stopping places had names like Ginquam Avenue, Morpung Avenue and Sunnycliffs. RMSP 12 was to the south of Redcliffs but could only have been used on the Saturday trip to and from Ouyen as the rail motor had to be turned at each terminus. The VR are reported to have angered customers by charging higher fares to those who joined the motor at the “stops” as distinct from the stations. Competition from

private bus owners who could drop people at their doors instead of the nearest level crossing eventually killed off the rail motor service in 1928.

Other early stopping places were SP22 on the Maldon line, SP11 and SP19 on the Warrnambool – Hamilton line. On the Bairnsdale to Orbost line, an AEC rail motor service of which a photo shows the canvas water bag hanging outside the last window on the left hand side for the benefit of passengers in the heat. (Don’t tell Connex about this, they might find it cheaper than ice creams ). This ran until 1935 when the passenger service was withdrawn and SP’s nod. 3,4,5,6, 15 and 16 were put back into the bikky bin to be reused.

In the suburban area from about 1927 the Fawkner to Somerton rail motor served RMSP’s

13,14, 18, 21 and 23 as well as Campbellfield and North Campbellfield which had the dignity of a name but nothing much else – still a ground level platform and SP 14 had two ground level platforms one each side of the single line.  This service was withdrawn about the time of the Olympic Games in 1956.

The  Whittlesea line became a rail motor line in the mid 1930’s serving SP’s 8, 9, 10, 17, 26, 33, 34 with 39 and 77 joining the list just before 1950. In fact SP 77 became Lalor station shortly after and the line was closed beyond that point in 1957, later extending to Epping.  

The Toolamba – Echuca and Deniliquin service commenced about the 1930’s with  AEC railmotors, and there is a PROV photo of two AEC’s crossing at Barnes, the junction for the Balranald line. This section  also became the home of Victoria’s only Brill rail motor RM44, and trailer MT200 which was purchased from the South Australian Railways in the mid 1920’s to evaluate with the PERM they had just bought from USA. The Brill seated a couple more passengers than the PERM but was single-ended, meaning that it needed  a turntable at each terminus  The Toolamba – Echuca section had RMSP’s 28, 29,30,32 and 74 together with a number of named stations which had no platforms, Hendersyde, Koyuga, Kyvalley and Kanyapella,. The Brill had an altercation  with a logging truck in 1949 and never made another trip.

Other lines that had rail motor stopping places are as follows:

Ararat – Maryborough :  SP’s 41, 42, 43,44, 45 and 46.

Melbourne – Ballarat : SP’s 64 and 65 ( between Deer Park and Melton) and SP 71 on the workers’ daily service between Ballan and Ballarat.

Wodonga – Tallangatta : SP’s 37, 38, 65, 69 and 79.

Cobram Line ; SP’s 61, 62, 63, 64.

Between Wycheproof and Dumosa on the Kulwin line , SPs 66, 67 and 68 also an SP at Wycheproof Post Office in Broadway

Heathcote  Line : SP’s 18 and 19 north of Kilmore and in its last few years of operation,

the following SP’s between Tooborac and Heathcote : SP’s 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61 and 62.

Linton Line, on the school service from Ballarat : SP’s 47,48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53.

Robinvale Line : SP 25 near Margooya.

On the Koondrook line, when  it was operated as the Shire of Kerang Tramway, a weird and wonderful home made rail motor RM45 which been constructed on a Ford two ton truck chassis coupled to a old SAR six wheel railway carriage, but after the VR took over the line, they used a 100 hp Walker rail-motor and installed SP’s 21,22,22A, and 23 between Pyramid Creek and Hinksons, and SPs 24 and 25 between Teal  Point and Koondrook.

On the Swan Hill line, SP’s 33,34,35 and 36 were installed between Swan Hill and Woorinen

for use by the Piangil rail motor and SP 26 was installed SOUTH of Swan Hill station. In the 1970’s time table this RMSP was a terminating stop and had two lines for times, arr, and dep.

Being a Walker it could be terminated there, I suspect it would have been outside the secondary college campus.

On the Portland line, there was SP 75 between Strathkellar and Moutajup.

Geelong – Ballarat line : SP’s 11,12,13, 14 and 52.

Castlemaine - Maryborough :  SP’s 27, 29, 31, 38

Stony Point Line. : A stopping place was installed at Disney St, Crib Point next to the cemetery, relocated no. SP 15, but after a few years it was named Morradoo station.

Mornington Line :. During the 1930’s SP 20 had been located at the Nepean Highway level crossing, about ¾ mile east of Mornington Station. Some time in the late 40’s / early 50’s the passenger service was withdrawn on the line and reinstated a few years later. SP20 was withdrawn and replaced by SP 16 when the line re-opened. This is probably the most well known Stopping Place on the Victorian system, being in a location  where many people would see it. In the late 1960’s two platforms were in use on each side of the crossing. The rail motor would cross the road and stop at the second platform to ensure that the flashing red lights would not operate to hold up road traffic while the train was unloading / loading passengers.  

Warburton line : In the late 1950’s  SP 20 was relocated on the Warburton line just east of where the railway crossed the main road on an overhead bridge approaching the junction of the Maroondah and Warburton Highways. It was mainly for use of students at the Catholic college. This was only a few years before the Warburton railway closed completely early in 1965, and was dismantled.

As outlined in a previous paragraph, any amendments or information for this record would be appreciated.

 
Bruce McLean Junior Train Controller

Location: Kangaroo Flat

The first rail motor stopping place on the Merbein - Mildura - Redcliffs suburban train service was on the corner of 14th Street and Ontario Avenue, Mildura.  It was located at this point to serve students attending Mildura High School.

Bruce

 
Dd893 Train Controller

Location: Castlemaine

Great write up there Penov.

Andrew Waugh's railway maps are a magnificent set for any history buff. I regularly take them with me on holidays, much to my wife's annoyance.

On the Maldon line, RMSP 22 was the Prison Farm. This was on the south side of the line after crossing Sawmill Rd. and the trestle bridge. Prisoners worked a farm that provided milk, eggs etc. to the Castlemaine Prison and also the local Hospitals.  

For the Maryborough line, RMSP 31 was Yapeen.

RMSP 36 looks to be pretty close the "S" bend over the line in the Guildford/Newstead Rd.

About 12 years ago they did a TV advert here for safety at level crossings with an N Class loco crashing into a car. Hasn't done much good has it.

RMSP 29 is around the intersection of the Guildford/Newstead and Daylesford/Newstead Rds.

I also see that by 1960, Strangways, RMSP 36 & 29 have disappeared, but Strangways has been replaced by RMSP 27.

Will check these with my old man, but I think they are pretty close.

Cheers Murray

 
penov Chief Commissioner

Location: By the shore of Bass Strait.

Thanks for the replies, gentlemen, keep them coming...

 
penov Chief Commissioner

Location: By the shore of Bass Strait.

Following up on the locations provided by Bruce and Murray, I have tried to estimate the locations of the RMSP's on the two outer suburban lines using mileages from the VR timetables. There are slight discrepancies as the timetables show station distances to the nearest quarter of a mile whilst the early Melway scale was 3 miles to the inch. The latest Channel 5 video on Rail Motors has been very useful.

On the Fawkner - Somerton line, SP 13 was at Box Forest Road at the north end of the Fawkner Cemetery; SP21 was at about the present site of Gowrie Station, and SP 24 was at about the point where the railway crosses the present Ring Road. Campbellfield station was about 50 metres north of the Camp Road level crossing with the tin shed on  the west side of the line. SP 18 was located about where the present Greyhound Racing Complex is although that would probably have been part of the old military complex in  the 1950's. SP 14 which the Channel 5 video shows was not at a level crossing, although people left the line on both sides. From the mileage it would have been approximately where Herbert Street is now located. North Campbellfield was at about the present site of Upfield station at Barry Road.

On the Whittlesea line, SP 8 was at Mann's Crossing which is in the centre of the Lalor Shopping Centre. SP77 is now Lalor Station; SP34 Epping Quarries SP was half a mile east of Epping Station, which puts it somewhere about Peppercorn Parade. SP33 was at the level crossing of Plenty Road north of South Morang station: SP 9 was at the approximate position  of Hawkstone Pde, near Plenty Road ; Mernda Station was just north of Bridge Inn Road ; SP 26 would possibly have been at Masons Road. Yan Yean station IIRC was north of Arthur's Creek Road, and I am guessing about the last two but I think SP 10 could have been at Reservoir Road and SP 17 at Cadle's Road.  If anyone can confirm of correct those locations, it would be appreciated.

 
thekeeper Junior Train Controller

Location: Mill Park Lakes

Hello Penov,

I can clear up a couple of your IIRC for the Whittlesea Line.  Yan Yean Station is just south of Arthurs Creek Rd and SP 17 was on Cade's Rd.  I also have an IIRC to add to yours - I remember being told when I was young at school that there was a RMSP at the corner of McDonalds Rd and Civic Drive at South Morang - the location of the new proposed South Morang station extension.  This is where the Findon Harriers hunting club alighted with their horses for their fox runs near the Mill Park stables, which is now the shopping centre for the suburb.  Maybe someone could shed some light on this?

 
penov Chief Commissioner

Location: By the shore of Bass Strait.



I remember being told when I was young at school that there was a RMSP at the corner of McDonalds Rd and Civic Drive at South Morang - the location of the new proposed South Morang station extension. This

- A user

Yes I believe there was - it may have been SP 39 which joined the list later than the others. It wasn't there in 1939 which was the date of the suburban timetable I took the mileages of the others from

The 1950s Country TT shows SP 39 to be between SP 34 and South Morang but shows no distances But near McDonald's Road would be the likely place.

 
Sir Thomas Bent Minister for Railways

Location: Banned

Between Bairnsdale and Orbost (taken from the History of the Eastern Railways, an internal STA/VLine publication)

  • RMSP 3: Located at 275.7km/171.5 miles on the immediate down side of Bairnsdale - opened on 10/5/1927 without a name (?) and given the name in Weekly Notice 28/27.  Apparently closed when the AEC was withdrawn in 1931.
  • RMSP 15 (1) : Located at 286.7km/178.25 miles - opened 13th March 1928.  Appears to have closed in early 1931 when the second RMSP 15 was opened.
  • RMSP 15 (2) : Located at 288.0km/179.0 miles - opened February 1931 and closed on 23/11/1931 when it was replaced by a platform called Claybank.
  • Claybank: Located at 288.5km/179.25 miles - opened to replace RMSP 15 and closed on 18/1/1954.
  • RMSP 4: located at 298.0km/185.25 miles between Bumberrah and Mossiface - opened on 10/5/1927 and closed apparently when the AEC was withdrawn.
  • RMSP 5: located at 305.2km/189.5 miles on the immediate up side of Bruthen - opened on 10/5/1927 and also apparently closed when the AEC was withdrawn
  • RMSP 6: located at 307.0km/190.75 miles on the immediate down side of Bruthen - opened on 10/5/1927 and closed also apparently when the AEC was withdrawn.
  • RMSP 16: located at 340.4km/211.5 miles between Nowa Nowa and Tostaree: opened on 13/3/1928, closed 1933.
  • Partelli: located between Tostaree and Waygara, distance from Melbourne unknown - opened on 4/9/1926 and closed either 1928/29 financial year or 1933.
  • Newmerella: located between Waygara and Orbost, 367.3km/228.25 miles - opened as a construction siding on 26/7/1915, and was also spelt Numerella; both spellings were used throughout its life.  The siding was closed in April 1916 before the line was opened.  On 4/9/1926 it was re-opened as an RMSP and not numbered, it was closed in 1933.

[Edit to include Numerella/Newmerella]

 
Sir Thomas Bent Minister for Railways

Location: Banned

One minor corrrection: Koyuga did have a platform; the mound was when visited earlier this year still visible.

 
penov Chief Commissioner

Location: By the shore of Bass Strait.



One minor corrrection: Koyuga did have a platform; the mound was when visited earlier this year still visible.

- A user

Yes. you are right. And I don't know about Hendersyde either. Being between Tooly & Tat, hardly any trains stopped there back in 1949.

Travelling on  the Brill twice in that year on both occasions, the guard would walk both through the Brill and trailer at Kyabram, calling : "Any passengers for Koyuga, Kyvalley, Kanyapella or stops". So despite Koyuga's platform it was only an optional stop.

Thanks for the locations on the Orbost line.Was there ever a stop at Newmerella, not far from Orbost ?

 
Sir Thomas Bent Minister for Railways

Location: Banned

Embarassed Yes, there was.

I'll edit the post.

 
steamfreak Chief Train Controller

Location: Wodonga, VIC

RMSP 79 is where I live (Ebden).  Nothing much to see there now though.  If there was ever a platform it must have been timber as there's no indication of any remains now.

Trevor

 
pawanoro Deputy Commissioner

On the Swan Hill line, SP’s 33,34,35 and 36 were installed between Swan Hill and Woorinen

for use by the Piangil rail motor and SP 26 was installed SOUTH of Swan Hill station. In the 1970’s time table this RMSP was a terminating stop and had two lines for times, arr, and dep.

Being a Walker it could be terminated there, I suspect it would have been outside the secondary college campus

- penov

Just found this.

From W.T.T 16/62 30th. January 1962

An additional Rail Motor Stopping Place – No. 26 – situated at mileage 213½ on the 'Up' side of Swan Hill, has been established for the convenience of students travelling to and from the Swan Hill Technical School. COMMENCING TUESDAY, 6TH FEBRUARY, 1962, the Woorinen – Swan Hill school service will operate to and from Stopping Place No. 26…

 
penov Chief Commissioner

Location: By the shore of Bass Strait.

Thanks for that, pawarano. It would make an interesting quiz question in the Victorian forum wherrizzit : "What passenger train did not originate from or terminate at, a station ?"  Times are on the 1970's TT on Mark Bau's site...

 
Greatfox Chief Train Controller

In another RMSP thread I thought I saw entries for Goroke and other stations on the Carpolac line, was that correct? if it was, were railmotors the only passenger rail transport on the Carpolac line?

 
penov Chief Commissioner

Location: By the shore of Bass Strait.



I thought I saw entries for Goroke and other stations on the Carpolac line, was that correct? if it was, were railmotors the only passenger rail transport on the Carpolac line?

- A user



Correct. In the 1955 TT there was a daily  rail motor service between Horsham and Goroke, I assume it would have been a 102hp Walker. I believe they also used an AEC in the 1930's. In fact the 1955 TT lists RMSP 70 as between Gymbowen and Goroke, so that's another SP for the list. But no railmotors ran  a service beyond there to Carpolac.

There were a number of lines with a railmotor service to the stations only.

 
PE Chief Train Controller



I thought I saw entries for Goroke and other stations on the Carpolac line, was that correct? if it was, were railmotors the only passenger rail transport on the Carpolac line?

- A user



Correct. In the 1955 TT there was a daily  rail motor service between Horsham and Goroke, I assume it would have been a 102hp Walker. I believe they also used an AEC in the 1930's. In fact the 1955 TT lists RMSP 70 as between Gymbowen and Goroke, so that's another SP for the list. But no railmotors ran  a service beyond there to Carpolac.

There were a number of lines with a railmotor service to the stations only.

- penov

The first railmotor on the line was a PMM (Dodge) in 1937. Goroke, like the Forest line, was unusual in that they never received an AEC, went straight from car goods/mixed to PMM. This remained the railmotor on the service until it was replaced by a 102 Walker in about 1952/3.

 
penov Chief Commissioner

Location: By the shore of Bass Strait.

Thanks for your correction, PE. Could you advise which lines were served by the PMMs. I remember back in 1939 they were listed in the public TTs as S (passenger mail motor) instead of M (rail motor ) or N ( rail motor - second class only). After the war I threw out my old Country TTs ( been kicking myself since).

I can remember Forrest line, Murchison East to Colbinabbin / Girgarre, possibly Picola and Katamatite but confirmation would be handy.

 
PE Chief Train Controller

Thanks for your correction, PE. Could you advise which lines were served by the PMMs. I remember back in 1939 they were listed in the public TTs as S (passenger mail motor) instead of M (rail motor ) or N ( rail motor - second class only). After the war I threw out my old Country TTs ( been kicking myself since).

I can remember Forrest line, Murchison East to Colbinabbin / Girgarre, possibly Picola and Katamatite but confirmation would be handy.

- penov

Original PMM runs and entry into service are below.

Horsham - Goroke 11/36.

Shepparton - Dookie - Katamatite 11/36.

Maryborough - Avoca - Ararat 2/37.

Birregurra - Forrest 2/37.

Murchison East - Rushworth - Colbinabbin - Girgarre 3/37.

These did change over time with replacements by AECs when traffic picked up, and also during peak periods like Easter when a Double Ender replaced the PMM on the Dookie run or an AEC or steam pass at Forrest.

Picola had from the replacement of the pass with railmotor in the 1920s an AEC until it was replaced by a 102 Walker in 1949, which was replaced in due course in 1951 with a Doubled Ender which ran the until all passenger services were withdrawn in 1954.

 
penov Chief Commissioner

Location: By the shore of Bass Strait.

Thank you for that info PE.

I understand the Dodges could seat 10 at a pinch, two rows of 4 at a squeeze and two in the front with the driver. Of course people in those days were nowhere near as large as today. I was average height at 5 foot 8 1/2 and anyone who was six feet was "enormous". That's why the Tait suburbans could hold so many more seated passengers - everyone in the peak hour used to "cuddle up", and you would get 7 across on seating for five.

 
penov Chief Commissioner

Location: By the shore of Bass Strait.

Just a final summary of findings from an Excel list I have compiled of locations of Rail Motor Stopping Places from the 10 -year maps and time tables on the web.

Rail Motor Stops were numbered up to 84 of which 19 had been used in two locations and one in three locations. There are two that I have not found, numbers RMSP 2 and RMSP 63. In the later years there were 12 named rail motor stopping places which probably had been sites of original stations which had been closed as such due to limited traffic. This means a total of 116 stopping place sites in the state over the period from the mid 1920's to the late 1970's.

Quite a number of them would have been on school services which were phased out by the late 1970's.

 
pawanoro Deputy Commissioner

From the Jungways:

RMSP No. 2 - 127 miles Toolamba - Echuca line, later named Kyvalley

RMSP No. 63 - 93¾ miles Heathcote - Bendigo line

 
penov Chief Commissioner

Location: By the shore of Bass Strait.

Thank you for those, that fills the book.

 
Bruce McLean Junior Train Controller

Location: Kangaroo Flat

Goroke Line: Passenger Mail Motor at least until Easter 1941. Christmas 1941 does not have a sentence about replacement of the Motor with a steam train.

By WTT 60/44, which was an all Country Districts WTT, an AEC (Diesel) is shown as operating to Goroke. For several years following this WTT, there were Mixed trains on certain days of the week.

Easter, 1949 is the last of my holiday WTTs which show the AEC. By Christmas, 1950, a Diesel Rail Car is shown. Later, the 102 hp Diesel Rail Car is shown.

From Peter Barry, via Bruce

 

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