1983 Erskineville derailment

  3l diesel

Hi All,

Just yesterday, an email came my way referring me to to the Rail Motor Society's webpage wherein were some technical files on various railcars including the Budd cars used mainly in the Illawarra. I understand that after the Budd cars were in a derailment at Erskineville in 1983, that the decision was taken to de-motor them and use them as locomotive hauled stock - of which I had plenty of experience of - but that is another story.

What I would like to ask here is what actually happened at Erskineville and why was it that the Budd cars were de-motored subsequent to that derailment? Can anyone recall the detail?

Thank you for considering.

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  Spletsie Chief Commissioner

Just had a look at the April 1983 Railway Digest. It has the following information:

The Budd cars started to give trouble in late August 1982, and were replacedfor a short period by a loco hauled set made up of 7 six-wheel bogie cars, (non air-conditioned). C55 had this composition with 4464 on 4/9 and 4477 on 11/9. However, on 18/9 4477 was towing the Budd cars with engines running to provide air conditioning only. The running continued up to the Illawarra closure over Christmas when the opportunity was taken to repair the Budd cars. They were returned to normal self-propelled service.

On 8/2 the down South Coast Daylight (C55) was derailed at the junctionof the Illawarra dive and down Illawarra at 0940. The leading carriage struck a stanchion and badly damaged the signal troughing and pneumatic air supply to the points causing signals and points between Redfern and Sydenham to be put out of use. By 0950 all trains were able to move under normal working and all lines became available except the down dive and down Illawarra.

A 620 class DMU was used to convey passengers via Acdep Sidings toSydney Terminal and a relief train left Sydney just ahead of C147 Passenger to Wollongong. Both trains were well loaded. The relief train terminated at Dapto with buses being used to bring passengers from Nowra to meet the train. Rerailing was completed and the line re-opened by 2130.

The June 1983 Railway Digest says:

Since the derailment of the Budd set at Illawarra Junction on 8/2, a substitute loco-hauled set has operated all normal Budd set runs. This set has been formed by 4 air-conditioned and 2 non air-conditioned cars, using spare cars and cars made available by reducing the two Newcastle Flyer sets to six cars.

I have not found anything regarding de-motoring of the Budd set, but itseems that they already had problems and the derailment may have been the final straw.
  DHT Assistant Commissioner

The book Railmotors and XPTs has a bit of information about the Budd cars, including some vague references to reliability issues prior to the derailment.

A news clip is also available:

You tube clip of a news report on the derailment
  bl262000 Junior Train Controller
  DHT Assistant Commissioner

Alternatively search youtube using the following string:

staterail 1983 budd cars derail

Comes up as the first video.

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