Changing locos and crews - Lithgow & Bathurst pre-Blue Mtns electrification?

 
  nick_sheridan Locomotive Fireman

Hi,

Hi, I'm trying to work out operating scenarios for a layout based on the western lines....

As a generalisation, for various classes of trains (express passenger, express freight, mixed, local freight etc) I'd like to know if crews and / or locos were (generally) changed at Lithgow and/or Bathurst back in the 1940s and early 1950s (ie PRE-Blue Mountains electrification)?

Or was Orange or elsewhere the main change place as is noted in the latest AMRM by John McKenzie in his Byways review for 1960s and later? In that case, was Bathurst just a depot for Bathurst area-bankers and maybe locos to Oberon and / or Cowra?

In the below I've ignored Oberon - I assume through freights would just drop wagons at Tarana for Oberon... and loaded timber products would just be picked up when available by the next freight passing though Tarana (going East or West as required)?

Sorry for the length of the following scenarios... just wanted to capture the options.... but any insight would be appreciated (btw thanks for the guards van responses!)..... so would trains travelling:

(1). West from...

(1.1.) Sydney change locos and / or crews at Lithgow prior to going to Bathurst (and beyond)?
express passenger - ?
express freight - ?
mixed - ?
local freight - ?

(1.2.) Sydney change locos and / or crews at Lithgow prior to going to Mudgee?

express passenger - ?
express freight - ?
mixed - ?
local freight - ?


(1.3.) Lithgow change locos and / or crews at Bathurst prior to going to Orange (and beyond)?
express passenger - ?
express freight - ?
mixed - ?
local freight - ?



(1.4.) Lithgow change locos and / or crews at Bathurst prior to going down the Cowra line?
express passenger - ?
express freight - ?
mixed - ?
local freight - ?



(2.) East from...

(2.1.) East from the Mudgee line change locos and / or crews at Lithgow prior to going to Sydney?
express passenger - ?
express freight - ?
mixed - ?
local freight - ?

(2.2.) East from Bathurst change locos and / or crews at Lithgow going to Sydney?
express passenger - ?
express freight - ?
mixed - ?
local freight - ?


(2.3.) East from Orange (and west) change locos and / or crews at Bathurst before going to Lithgow (and beyond)?
express passenger - ?
express freight - ?
mixed - ?
local freight - ?


(2.4.) East from the Cowra line change locos and / or crews at Bathurst before going to Lithgow (and beyond)?
Express passenger - ?
express freight - ?
mixed - ?
local freight - ?




cheers nick

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  johnboy Chief Commissioner

Location: Up the road from Gulgong
This may not be much help as my Grandfather was mainly a SydneyLithgow driver before the 1950s. They changed often at Valley Heights (and Lithgow... but that was his terminus) for both freight and passenger.
  Grantham Minister for Railways

Location: I'm with stupid!
Wow, that's a long list.

I think you'll find that with a few exceptions, crews didn't work through a depot. So when they got to Lithgow, they'd change crews, goods trains would change engines, and likely as not remarshal the train into a size to suit the gradients prevailing to the next destination(s).

The exceptions were special purpose depots, like Valley Heights (banking depot), Capertee, (not sure why there was still a depot there) and I'm sure others that I know nothing about, but generally one crew worked to the next major depot, then either went to barracks or worked another train home.

Hope that is of assistance.

M
  nick_sheridan Locomotive Fireman

Wow, that's a long list.

I think you'll find that with a few exceptions, crews didn't work through a depot. So when they got to Lithgow, they'd change crews, goods trains would change engines, and likely as not remarshal the train into a size to suit the gradients prevailing to the next destination(s).

The exceptions were special purpose depots, like Valley Heights (banking depot), Capertee, (not sure why there was still a depot there) and I'm sure others that I know nothing about, but generally one crew worked to the next major depot, then either went to barracks or worked another train home.

Hope that is of assistance.

M
Grantham
Thanks for the responses - yes i went on and on and on and....!
Real questions:
- would Lithgow crews change at Bathurst and vice versa?
- From what I can see, Bathurst seems to be a bank engine place - so most loco changes for west-bound trains were maybe at Orange?
- East-bound trains would generally be hauled up the hill by 57s... but would passenger locos swap too?
cheers nick
  Grantham Minister for Railways

Location: I'm with stupid!
I don't know that passenger engines swapped at Lithgow after the introduction of the C36 class, but the trains tended to have divisions. For example the Mudgee mail would be divided off a west train at Wallerawang, the back several cars would be uncoupled at the station and had another engine attached to run out on the branch to Mudgee.

For a modelling project, (your layout?) you can't go too far wrong if you change engines anywhere you please. A few engines would work through at best, and even they might be changed if conditions dictated.

M
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

In the book "36", in the section detailing operations 1951-60 it states "... on the west, practically all passenger and mail services (the Central West was about the only train to rate a 38 ), working as far as Parkes and Dubbo, and making good use of the overhead coal stage immediately on the Sydney side of Lithgow" which certainly suggests that they were not changed at Lithgow.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Steam day operations had the following depots for goods trains, Enfield, Valley Heights, Lithgow, Bathurst, Blayney, Orange, Wellington, Dubbo.  Also Parkes if including there.

Generally speaking Valley Heights men assisted trains to Katoomba, also worked a pick to Lithgow.

Other than the above, & generally speaking for goods trains, each depot worked trains only to the location on the other side, eg: Lithgow would work to Enfield & Bathurst.  Bathurst men would work to Lithgow & Orange or Blayney for Cowra trains, with the same formula along the route. Difference was Wellington crews were involved in the pick up only.

The working usually involved both barracks working as well as change over along the line or return/round trip working.  In the 50's with standard goods engines as the primary power, they were slower than the later 36cl hauled services, & as the 36's were introduced at a higher percentage, a 75% load condition was brought in, meaning all the trains basically ran to the running times of a 36cl with the same load as a 36cl, which was 75% of the freighters load.

Passenger trains though were worked from Sydney to Bathurst by both Eveleigh & Bathurst special class diagram drivers. Bathurst also worked to Dubbo on the mails or return to OGE on the EXP when it only ran to OGE.  Some special passenger trains ran from Lithgow only & crewed by Lithgow men.  The non through services were both Lithgow & Eveleigh over the mountains.

Generally speaking the exp passenger including mails had a through engine from Sydney, & would be coaled on the main at Lithgow coal stage, shovel forward to BX & OGE, same on return.  

Other through passenger engines would do likewise, unless an engine change took place.

EXP freight. The closest you would come to an exp freight, all called goods trains back then would be deemed fast stock & goods or meat & perishables, which did not mean a lot other than they held to a higher priority in the train running.  As mentioned already, standard goods engines were the primary locomotives at that time, & with lighter loads would have an accelerated timetable as the only concession to EXP status.  Consider also how few bogie vehicles there were in operation in the period you are looking at also.

As for engines, they would generally work one section only with a fresh engine taking over at each location.  Thus at Lithgow fresh engine to Bx, then another one to Oge, then another fresh one to Dubbo/Parkes.  Cowra line trains usually had a fresh engine from Lithgow, then another from BX to CWRA.

Mudgee line, was basically the same, although there were crews stationed at Ben Bullen, & Capertee & Mudgee.  Lithgow men would work the short trains to stations like Portland & Ben Bullen & return in the single shift. Ben Bullen (Cullen Bullen forget exactly which one) crews worked the local area & loaded the trains  Capertee crews worked several trains including pick up services & to Kandos. The mail was worked by Lithgow to barracks & returned that evening. Fresh engines ex Lithgow, same at Mudgee.

The Mudgee line used to have several stock trains on the line usually Tuesday Night & early Wednesday morning, same Saturday night & different times on Sundays.

As mentioned all goods trains changed engines at Lithgow, & in the 50's a fair proportion of the goods trains in both directions were hauled by 57/58cl.  When introduced to service the 40cl were rostered on the daily goods from Darling Harbour to Bourke #65 as far as OGE in double consist.  With these engines there would have been a crew change at Lithgow, BX & OGE, same on return.

As good as I can get for you
  a6et Minister for Railways

In the book "36", in the section detailing operations 1951-60 it states "... on the west, practically all passenger and mail services (the Central West was about the only train to rate a 38 ), working as far as Parkes and Dubbo, and making good use of the overhead coal stage immediately on the Sydney side of Lithgow" which certainly suggests that they were not changed at Lithgow.
duttonbay

John

The 38's never went to Parkes, they were allowed to Dubbo but there were track problems for some years & they came off at OGE, IIRC there was something with the bridge at Wellington. They came off at OGE & replaced with 36cl, until the tracks & infrastructure was fixed, but when the 42 & 43cl arrived they took over the daylight running as far as OGE & return tripped until Electrification when 38's were allocated to Lithgow, by which time they were permitted to run to Dubbo.

As Dubbo & OGE had Northern coal supplied for the 38c the roster for them was Lthg - Dubbo (coal & return to Lthg) shovel forward at BX & OGE both directions. At Lthg on return from Dubbo, the whole lot of the coal left in the tender was shovelled to the front of the tender to reach OGE, again with shovel forward, & was filled with Northern coal, return to Lthg, shovel forward at each location & return to Dubbo that evening.

Photo's of 38's coaled at Dubbo shows the tenders very very full for obvious reasons.
  Grantham Minister for Railways

Location: I'm with stupid!
Steam day operations had the following depots for goods trains, Enfield, Valley Heights, Lithgow, Bathurst, Blayney, Orange, Wellington, Dubbo.  Also Parkes if including there.

Generally speaking Valley Heights men assisted trains to Katoomba, also worked a pick to Lithgow.

Other than the above, & generally speaking for goods trains, each depot worked trains only to the location on the other side, eg: Lithgow would work to Enfield & Bathurst.  Bathurst men would work to Lithgow & Orange or Blayney for Cowra trains, with the same formula along the route. Difference was Wellington crews were involved in the pick up only.

The working usually involved both barracks working as well as change over along the line or return/round trip working.  In the 50's with standard goods engines as the primary power, they were slower than the later 36cl hauled services, & as the 36's were introduced at a higher percentage, a 75% load condition was brought in, meaning all the trains basically ran to the running times of a 36cl with the same load as a 36cl, which was 75% of the freighters load.

Passenger trains though were worked from Sydney to Bathurst by both Eveleigh & Bathurst special class diagram drivers. Bathurst also worked to Dubbo on the mails or return to OGE on the EXP when it only ran to OGE.  Some special passenger trains ran from Lithgow only & crewed by Lithgow men.  The non through services were both Lithgow & Eveleigh over the mountains.

Generally speaking the exp passenger including mails had a through engine from Sydney, & would be coaled on the main at Lithgow coal stage, shovel forward to BX & OGE, same on return.  

Other through passenger engines would do likewise, unless an engine change took place.

EXP freight. The closest you would come to an exp freight, all called goods trains back then would be deemed fast stock & goods or meat & perishables, which did not mean a lot other than they held to a higher priority in the train running.  As mentioned already, standard goods engines were the primary locomotives at that time, & with lighter loads would have an accelerated timetable as the only concession to EXP status.  Consider also how few bogie vehicles there were in operation in the period you are looking at also.

As for engines, they would generally work one section only with a fresh engine taking over at each location.  Thus at Lithgow fresh engine to Bx, then another one to Oge, then another fresh one to Dubbo/Parkes.  Cowra line trains usually had a fresh engine from Lithgow, then another from BX to CWRA.

Mudgee line, was basically the same, although there were crews stationed at Ben Bullen, & Capertee & Mudgee.  Lithgow men would work the short trains to stations like Portland & Ben Bullen & return in the single shift. Ben Bullen (Cullen Bullen forget exactly which one) crews worked the local area & loaded the trains  Capertee crews worked several trains including pick up services & to Kandos. The mail was worked by Lithgow to barracks & returned that evening. Fresh engines ex Lithgow, same at Mudgee.

The Mudgee line used to have several stock trains on the line usually Tuesday Night & early Wednesday morning, same Saturday night & different times on Sundays.

As mentioned all goods trains changed engines at Lithgow, & in the 50's a fair proportion of the goods trains in both directions were hauled by 57/58cl.  When introduced to service the 40cl were rostered on the daily goods from Darling Harbour to Bourke #65 as far as OGE in double consist.  With these engines there would have been a crew change at Lithgow, BX & OGE, same on return.

As good as I can get for you
a6et
Thanks for putting more detail than I. Smile

It was a different railway back then.

M
  a6et Minister for Railways

Thanks for putting more detail than I. Smile

It was a different railway back then.

M
Grantham

Thanks for the thanks.

I have likely missed some details, but it certainly was different even in my time on steam. I am thankful of those drivers I worked with at Enfield, also I met a fair few BX drivers & came good mates with a couple of them, especially with getting lifts to Tumulla for W/E photographic expeditions.  Meeting a fair few Lithgow men as we came in contact with them very frequently at Delec & the SOR's at Lithgow also helped & those at OGE were generally very friendly with a Chargeman there also having a Chargeman brother at Delec helped with introductions.

I always learnt from those men, & held on to a lot of the info they came out with, & without doubt it was tough times, several of my Enfield regular drivers were big engine drivers as well.
  nick_sheridan Locomotive Fireman

Great info thanks - its hard to wade into long-disappeared arcane practices for a non-railway person in order to simulate the prototype in model form. cheers nick
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

The 38's never went to Parkes,....
"a6et"

I know that. My quote was from the book "36" and referred to 36 class workings. The section in brackets was simply pointing out that the 36 class worked all the passenger trains except the Central West, in those days. Since it was not from the book "38" the detailed working of the 38 class was out of scope.

And thanks for your detailed posting. I enjoyed reading it.

I only ever travelled through Lithgow once, in 1966 (as a 15yo) on the Central West. I rode in the cab of a 46 to Lithgow which was replaced by 3802, with the crew continuing to Bathurst. Sadly for me, a loco inspector at Lighgow meant I was banished back to the passenger car.
  nick_sheridan Locomotive Fireman

Great info thanks - its hard to wade into long-disappeared arcane practices for a non-railway person in order to simulate the prototype in model form. cheers nick
nick_sheridan
To better explain - I'm trying to plan a layout simulating 'real' work - so going from somewhere (Lithgow) to somewhere (Bathurst) and clocking off or working back home.
thanks again, nick
  a6et Minister for Railways

To better explain - I'm trying to plan a layout simulating 'real' work - so going from somewhere (Lithgow) to somewhere (Bathurst) and clocking off or working back home.
thanks again, nick
nick_sheridan

As I mentioned & if using the Lthg - Bx as the example, it would depend on the overall time tabling of the trains & there would be different scenario's to work on & each would be dependant on the working shift of the crew, within the award pattern, & much if the train was a through train that did not shunt or was deemed a pick up.

What is needed to be considered with the working is if its round trip, it becomes a local shift & the crew were required to home & finished under 10hours at their starting point.

When return working took place, usually it would mean the train crew would have the engine either prepared for them & often on the train, (shed crew) they signed on/off (SOD) with 10 minutes allocated & a set walking time to the train, say 5 minutes if close to depot, time to change over with the shed crew, & for the guard to get their working sheet. You would allow say 30minutes from SOD to train depart, a similar time would be needed to be included in the return work when the train would arrive at Lithgow for the crew to be relieved, get sheet, walk to SOD thus total of 60minutes out of the working.

It was not unusual however for crews to SOD at Eskbank or the station for round trip working, as west trains usually started from that yard. It also meant they had to finish there as well, when this took place, they would SOD at the same time as the train was due to depart, & they would relieve the shed crew as it departed, they would give the train details & exchange the drivers sheet with the guard on the way through. The shed crew would walk back to Loco, 25 minutes for it.  Time adjustment to shift is a fair bit when this happened.

At the turn round point, in this case BX depending on the shift time frame, the crew would be either relieved by a BX shed crew, & have a minimum of 25 minutes break at the station for a meal.  This like on road crib allowance of 15 minutes had to be taken between the 3rd & 5th hour. If engine went to loco, then the break was in the depot meal room, they would then get another engine for the return to go out onto the train, perhaps another engine change, or if the engine was going through go up & relieve the incoming crew.  you need to make LE running between station & loco or walking time IIRC was 8 minutes at BX.

When a through engine working was utilised, allowance for the crews to recondition the fire & take water a firemans responsibility, while the drivers oiled & checked the running gear, the incoming fireman did the fire & outgoing took water. Allow another 25 minutes between arrival & departure for this. Also the incoming crew to walk & SOD, for their next shift.

Then calculate running time of train to BX including any shunting along the way. All pick up services had times allocated at each location. Also all goods trains in both directions would take water & recondition fire at Tarana, 25 minutes.

Return working was often a nightmare for crew rosterings especially when a busy season, any delay in a shift would mean them working to "availability" they had to have a minimum of 11 hours off between shifts in their home depot, it also usually meant shed crews were needed in sometimes extra numbers for preparing & relieving crews on long hours &/or to get them off for the next shift.

Barracks working.  In this case the crew would SOD, & would prepare their own engine as this was a short run, they were allowed 58 minutes (normally) to prepare their engine, run to the TT & to the departure road & take water.  Whistle out (WO) & run to train, in the case of Lthg it would be the yard at Eskbank, in this case LE running to Eskbank would take 11 minutes onto train, then 20 minutes for brake examination prior to departure, allow 30 minutes for this yard working.

The same working would then take place as per the round trip until arrival at BX. If the engine was going through the same allowance at the station would take place, & the crew walk to loco SOD & go to barracks.  However as most goods trains had engine changes the crew would take the engine to loco & SOD.  Include app 25 minutes after arrival for running to loco & SOD.

In barracks, a minimum time off between shifts were 8 hours, thus the crew is available to work a train back to their home depot after only 8 hours.  The return working could entail the crew preparing their own engine as it was going out, or if there was crew shortages at Lthg, the a BX crew could have the engine prepared for them, & even on the train, thus saving around 70minutes of working time for the barracks crew.

They would work the train to Lithgow new yard, & generally take the engine to loco, & SOD allow 40 minutes after arrival for that.

As the old yard, that is Eskbank was quite small, sometimes through trains would have an engine change at the coal stage, or most Cowra & some Mudgee line trains were scheduled to depart from Wallerawang, meaning a local train, often one going to Portland or Ben Bullen would take the loading there & leave for the Cowra/Mudgee departure.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

As I mentioned & if using the Lthg - Bx as the example, it would depend on the overall time tabling of the trains & there would be different scenario's to work on & each would be dependant on the working shift of the crew, within the award pattern, & much if the train was a through train that did not shunt or was deemed a pick up.
"a6et"

Was there any changeover working, where crews on up and down trains would swap at an intermediate station to return to their home depot? Your example mentions Bathurst, which was a loco depot - could it happen at any intermediate station?
  a6et Minister for Railways

Was there any changeover working, where crews on up and down trains would swap at an intermediate station to return to their home depot? Your example mentions Bathurst, which was a loco depot - could it happen at any intermediate station?
duttonbay

Change over working was usually confined to Single line areas, or in some cases such as existed on the Southern line from Goulburn to Enfield on a couple of trains, or more specifically an up pick up service being worked forward from Glbn, & a 2nd crew signed on around 4 -5 hours later to work an Exp goods service, & would C/O at the station that the pick was put away for the exp goods. Case in point used to be 78 pick up & I cannot remember the exp goods, the C/O was usually taken at Moss Vale. That allowed the 2nd crew to work the pick up through to Enfield or close to it, while the first crew would get to Enfield under their time.

Change over working would have been possible & likely probable.  While C/O working was ok, it had issues when on double line rather than on single line working, owing to the likelihood of one train having to be held at a station for the C/O to take place.  Control officers & the traffic branch really worked against that sort or working on Double lines unless it was the full train crew, enginemen & guard.

If a down & up pick up train worked at corresponding departure times, & had a common location & time to cross, such as Tarana then it would be the likely scenario.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Thanks for the answer - I was wondering about the double-line complication.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Thanks for the answer - I was wondering about the double-line complication.
duttonbay

No Worries.  After I posted the reply, I do remember when at PTK, there was a regular C/O working with Enfield crew that eliminated barracks working for the Enfield crew & home passenger running.  It was the last pm goods at night from both locations, & carried out usually at Coal Cliff or Otford.

The thing that was a problem on the western line & as my 1965 TT is down the back, I am not sure how many of the stations were manned on 24hr basis, many used to only have staff on for when passenger trains ran, or other specific working, as such the C/O's had to be arranged & advised by control to the appropriate station & to stop the trains for the C/O to take place.

When stations were switched out, the signals were left at clear on non track circuited locations or if circuited for automatic working there was no way a crew could be advised of the C/O location.

RE the 38cl bit.  I understand you quoted from the 36cl book, but what that quote & similar/worse ones end up doing, especially when it comes to those who do not know it, they pick the quote & with Parkes mentioned they assume that 38cl could have run there.  I have tried to provide correct info in all I put out, & I have had some bitter experiences when simple quotes such as found in other books as well saying I am wrong.   One instance was regarding a photo in a particular locomotive class book, which was had a wrong description for it, it was only after I was able to show how the photo was wrong & applied to another class of engine.

As my layout progresses, I am working on timetable running, & have been questioned regarding it, saying it rarely works, the problem is that none of my modelling colleagues had any real experience in train working as I have tried to show them some relevant aspects that I want to introduce, they are realising its different to what they thought.

When Nick asked the questions & the thread expanded a bit before I replied it really had me interested as here was someone else that was interested in more than just running trains around a room.  In the timetabling & running times, with associated depot & yard times, it means the operators have to have their minds on the task before them, especially when you also work to the old priority train type of running.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

RE the 38cl bit.  I understand you quoted from the 36cl book, but what that quote & similar/worse ones end up doing, especially when it comes to those who do not know it, they pick the quote & with Parkes mentioned they assume that 38cl could have run there.  
"a6et"

Ah yes, apologies for that. I can understand how the quote could be taken out of context as you have described.

Incidentally, I am also most interested in more prototypical operations of model railways. In my case the Dutton Bay used the old South Australian system called Permissive Block. But we didn't go as far as prototypical rostering of the crews.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Ah yes, apologies for that. I can understand how the quote could be taken out of context as you have described.

Incidentally, I am also most interested in more prototypical operations of model railways. In my case the Dutton Bay used the old South Australian system called Permissive Block. But we didn't go as far as prototypical rostering of the crews.
duttonbay

No worries John.

Good Ol permissive block, we had several areas of it in NSW, the best way to describe it was keep your eyes open, & if something goes wrong, its all yours.

The aspect of crew rostering is a next step into the realms of going to fuller degrees of prototypical train operations.  I recently, that is the last meeting I had here at my home, for our group meeting I gave a presentation about how I was or wanted to operate the layout on operating nights, it included a break down of what I considered were to be the job descriptions needed to operate trains, it included a list of train priorities, as well as a simplified type of train numbering that identified both train type & locomotive type.

The intention to use running times, allows for smooth operations but can cause issues if a train is running early/late in order to meet crossings, it also requires more effort on the part of the operator/driver to drive his train to a controlled method of operation.  I highlighted the aspect of how I will show a set up of colour lights to indicate tracks, & they will work in conjuction with the points to show which way the points are facing, based on normal or reverse position.

The next part to work on is the running times, as well as the other associated times, as I will also be looking to operate to a fast clock setup, the times will include shunting allowances, as well as for times to service a loco at one of the locations, likewise time for the crew to have crib.  Times will also be there for SOD, preparation of engine, run to train, brakes etc.  What this means is that the depot will  have a chargeman/shed crew, also a control officer who has to be consulted before & during operations.  

Much of it has been made out with some fine tuning of them along with the items still to be worked on & finalised.
  torana Station Master

Location: Menangle.N.S.W.
I might be a bit late in contributing to your plans , but if you get a chance .Have a good detailed look at the 'Wallerawang Model Train Layout'.It does the rounds of the Model Train Exhibitions.And it is detailed to perfection.With a fiddle yard with plenty of roads held at the back of the layout.

It might just pay you to get out there and have a good look at what some clubs/guys have done with their modelling.

Torana.  Dave.
Kings Park.N.S.W.

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