Refreshment room era Overland stopped at both Murray Bridge and Tailem Bend?

 
  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL
Just received the latest Modelling the Railways of SA convention notes and was reading the hefty Murray bridge article.

If I'm reading things correctly, a down Overland would stop at Murray Bridge for refreshments and then toddle down the tracks about 15 miles to Tailem bend where it stopped again for a loco changeover (probably from a 500 to a 600) for the trip on to Serviceton.

Is that about right?  Was the stop at Tailem bend of any significant duration or was the changeover relatively quick?

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  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
I don't know for sure but seeing as The Overland was the premier train of the old SAR I would imagine the loco change over would be pretty quick. The other loco to take over probably would already be waiting in a siding at Tailem Bend waiting on the arrival of the Overland, then quickly detach  the Adelaide division loco and go to the loco depot and then attach the Tailem Bend loco, check the airbrakes and be on your way.
  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL
Thanks David.  That's what I'm guessing but any full stop (let alone one where you change locos and have to redo the air) is pretty inefficient compared to just continuing through.

Just struck me as a bit odd as the train is already stopping for quite some time in Murrary Bridge for the passengers to use the refreshment rooms.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Any stop would not have been more than seven, possibly as little as four minutes.

On the down trip the track layout particularly suited loco changes. The train would arrive on road 1 (platform 1) with the new loco waiting on road 2. The train engine would run ahead to the siding off road 1 and the new loco run ahead to the main line. The switches would be changed to road 1 to main and the new engine would back down onto the train and couple up. Then an abbreviated air test to ensure continuity and the train would be away. Only slightly more complicated on the up journey.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

I can imagine a number of operational conveniences which may have been associated with doing steam-era loco changes specifically at Tailem Bend:
  • Locos maybe not having the range to do an extra 50km (TB-MB light engine, then MB-TB hauling the train) on top of the scheduled haulage beyond TB.
  • Combining the loco change with detaching/attaching coaches (?) for the lines diverging to the east of TB.
  • Lack of track capacity to handle lots of additional MB-TB light engine runs between the depot and the locomotive change.
  • The required servicing facilities or an adequate-sized turntable for the Adelaide loco maybe only available at MB.
  • Convenience of using a smaller loco from TB onwards instead of a bigger one needed to haul up the hill after crossing the river.
  • If it continued beyond the time where the number of those operational conveniences dropped to one or two, it was probably a classic case of progress being sacrificed on the altar of If It Ain't Broke Don't Fix It.


Were there SAR in-house refreshments at Murray Bridge? If there were not and passengers just wandered off to local businesses instead, that could explain why the refreshment stop remained there, remember at that time there was no SE Freeway so TB was not the last highway town before Adelaide like it is these days.
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
Were there SAR in-house refreshments at Murray Bridge?
justapassenger
Yes - on the platform - I seem to recall them being in the existing station building but someone may have a better recollection than me.

What ended them was the provision of on-train refreshments both on the Overland and on the Mt Gambier trains.
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
Any stop would not have been more than seven, possibly as little as four minutes.

On the down trip the track layout particularly suited loco changes. The train would arrive on road 1 (platform 1) with the new loco waiting on road 2. The train engine would run ahead to the siding off road 1 and the new loco run ahead to the main line. The switches would be changed to road 1 to main and the new engine would back down onto the train and couple up. Then an abbreviated air test to ensure continuity and the train would be away. Only slightly more complicated on the up journey.
steam4ian
Serviceton was similarly laid out to permit easy locomotive changes.

Like Tailem Bend all traces of the original layout have disappeared.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Justapax.

I guess Webb chose TB for the main marshalling yard because of available space, lots of flat land, and the fact that it was already the junction to the Murray lands lines. There could also have been labour issues, better to start with a clean slate. There is land west of Murray Bridge but it is not flat. Because trains would be held there the marshalling yard would have need to be flat so up journeys would have to begin by backing down to Murray Bridge station area.

Murray Bridge loco facilities were antiquated; there is a wonderful series of pictures of an S class jacked up on a pigsty of sleepers having the 6'6" driving wheels changed out. The turn table was tiny, it still is extant at the western end of the yard.

Murray Bridge refreshment room building is still extant as is the station building. I am not sure if the refreshment rooms were railway operated or leased out.

A large loco, 500 class, would still be required to lift the down train out from the river crossing.

Not all trains were passenger trains and most of these were broken down at TB as you proposed. In the days of steam there were no through freight to Melbourne like the "Jets" which came with the diesel era.

Ian
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Even in the jet era westbound jets frequently detached loading at the Bend to be picked up by the Mt Gambier. Eastbound loading was also worked forward to the Bend for attaching to eastbound jets.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Even in the jet era westbound jets frequently detached loading at the Bend to be picked up by the Mt Gambier. Eastbound loading was also worked forward to the Bend for attaching to eastbound jets.

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