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 In Victoria, stopping places were usually numbered and as locations were withdrawn or lines closed to passengers the numbers went back into the “bikky bin” to be reused at a later date.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.