How did the SAR divisions operate?

 
  Streamliner Junior Train Controller

Location: NSW South Coast
Finding no easy answers in my books or on the interweb, I ask the brains trust- To further my knowledge into how the SAR actually operated, and to be more than just a spotter and a collector of models.

I am aware the SAR was divided up into divisions, Adelaide, Tailem Bend, Peterborough, Port Lincoln etc (feel free to correct and expand)
But what I'm curious is where those assigned Locos in particular travelled. I know of the mighty 600s being allocated to Tailem Bend loco (and spent most of their lives forgotten doing the run to the border). Narrow Gauge being pretty easy to figure out where the operating area was, BG I'm a little unsure.

As an example- say loco 836, being allocated to Tailem Bend division, was it used along the whole south line into Mile end, or only to the east of the depot and the branchlines? And did Adelaide locos only operate to the north and south of the Mount Lofty ranges? How much cross over was there?

Thanks in advance

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  xdford Chief Train Controller

...
As an example- say loco 836, being allocated to Tailem Bend division, was it used along the whole south line into Mile end, or only to the east of the depot and the branchlines? And did Adelaide locos only operate to the north and south of the Mount Lofty ranges? How much cross over was there?

Thanks in advance
Streamliner
Locos 830-839 and 841 were allocated to Tailem Bend and for the most part were serviced there, when the electrician there felt like it from all reports.  They mostly went to the Murray Lands lines and sometimes doubled up to Serviceton and Mt Gambier and operated to Kingston. A few freights (not Jets) to Serviceton "lost" a 930 or 700 at TB and replaced by an 830, the bigger locos being used/needed over the hills for obvious reasons. One or two made their way to Adelaide when loadings got heavy or extra locos were needed in the Adelaide area for extra loading or as in the case in about July 73 where a number of incidents (12 as I recall) sidelined a couple of locos.

When I was at Diesel Depot ( 9 months in 74/75) a few TB 830's came down for D services(which was a big job) or bogie changes or both as TB AFAIK did not have a pit to drop the wheels. An 830 from Adelaide would go up on the TB passenger on a Sunday and either came back next morning on 336 (Up TB Passenger) or stay there for a few days while the 830 from TB would make its way down and be at ME ready for servicing. It would be too late in the day for the unit to go back the same day on the pass so the TB unit would do a Holdens run to either Woodville or Elizabeth or a Stanvac or Tonsley or a couple of combinations - if memory serves correctly there were two of each of the Stanvac and Tonsley services at the time and probably the same for Woodville and Elizabeth if something needed checking or it may have gone back at night as a "Banker" or even towed back if loading was light.

Two BG 500's (502 and 07) were allocated to Peterborough and again AFAIK never really left receiving all their servicing there. D services there was considered a two day job up there.  Prior to that the locos were given A and B services at Terowie but were taken back in trains on a rotation.

Hope that covers the things you are asking and I think I have covered most of the possibilities...

Trevor
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Thanks Trevor.
Interesting and informative.
  Streamliner Junior Train Controller

Location: NSW South Coast
Thanks for passing on your experiences and giving us an insight into how it was in the good old days.
  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL
Finding no easy answers in my books or on the interweb, I ask the brains trust- To further my knowledge into how the SAR actually operated, and to be more than just a spotter and a collector of models.

I am aware the SAR was divided up into divisions, Adelaide, Tailem Bend, Peterborough, Port Lincoln etc (feel free to correct and expand)
But what I'm curious is where those assigned Locos in particular travelled. I know of the mighty 600s being allocated to Tailem Bend loco (and spent most of their lives forgotten doing the run to the border). Narrow Gauge being pretty easy to figure out where the operating area was, BG I'm a little unsure.
Streamliner
I'm also interested in the differences between the divisions.  They're sometimes mentioned in the various SAR books and the Convention notes but the distinction is unclear.

Were they basically operational assignment areas for different locos and trains, and otherwise there wasn't a great deal of difference between them?  Were locos regularly changed when they crossed division points (e.g. 500s took the Overland over the hills, which were then changed to 600s - did something similar happen with freights?).  I guess coming in from the narrow gauge it's obvious that loads were transferred and engines changed, but how about elsewhere?
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
The Tailem Bend Division was actually the Murray Bridge Division with the headquarters and train control at that station.
Tailem Bend had the yard and the locomotive depot.

I seem to recall Adelaide Control handled trains through to Tailem Bend with Murray Bridge taking over from there to the mallee and the south east.
  allan Chief Commissioner

Perhaps the answer lies in the Working Time Tables. Until the 1980s these were published at least annually, for each division.

With the exception of passenger services, there were very few "through" trains. Goods trains ran into the key yards on each division where they were broken up and remarshalled. Especially in the later years, where the locos in each division were pretty much the same, even trains to and from Melbourne (except express goods trains) were longer and heavier between Tailem and the border than they were over the hills.

The divisions were, effectively, isolated by natural barriers: the sea, terrain or gauge.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Loading off westbound jets from Melbourne was frequently detached at Tailem Bend and reattached to the UP Mount Gambier goods. Caught up with the rest of its original train at the bogie exchange. No loss of transit time - good efficient working rather than the 'lowest common denominator' sometimes used elsewhere.
  xdford Chief Train Controller

I'm also interested in the differences between the divisions.  They're sometimes mentioned in the various SAR books and the Convention notes but the distinction is unclear.

Were they basically operational assignment areas for different locos and trains, and otherwise there wasn't a great deal of difference between them?  Were locos regularly changed when they crossed division points (e.g. 500s took the Overland over the hills, which were then changed to 600s - did something similar happen with freights?).  I guess coming in from the narrow gauge it's obvious that loads were transferred and engines changed, but how about elsewhere?n
SAR523

Most steam locos were as you say, changed at the division point which was Tailem Bend, conveniently at the extent of the range of the engines coal and water resources. 7 of the 600's did handle most if not all of the main work from TB on east while 3 were allocated to Adelaide Division. All 10 would most likely have been allocated to TB in their last years.

I don't know of the allocation of 700's/720's or 750's if any were actually assigned to TB depot although I have seen a picture of a 700 at Renmark. I believe that there were two 620's allocated to TB in the early 60's and 624 ran only one extra wheat special to Karoonda in 64 as the 830's took over most steam workings very early proving their reliability, so 624 (and 627?) were withdrawn to Adelaide circa 1965. I don't know how often a 500 would have gone to Serviceton and the 500 book states that it was highly unlikely one ever went to Mt Gambier.

Apart from the 830's and 500's at TB depot and the 2 BG 500's at Peterborough, most engines worked through and the division points became more of a manpower allocation rather than locomotive ones.  

Peterborough and TB crews often worked to Adelaide  as did some Pt Pirie crews on selected runs to Adelaide and Peterborough, although the Pirie crews mainly worked  shunter jobs on either Broad or Standard Gauge and swap jobs where they would meet an Adelaide crew on a pass or freight and swap trains. Peterborough crews in the early days of the BG had one of their destinations as being Riverton where the barracks were part of the station building ( and you thought it was a bigger building because it was the refreshment rooms stop...) and also did swap jobs with Adelaide crews. as well as going through. Most Peterborough Drivers were Bluebird qualified so a usual turn was to take a freight to Adelaide and drive the Bluebird back, the fireman travelling Passenger.  

AFAIK, Mt Gambier and Tailem Bend crews also did regular "swap jobs" as did possibly Renmark and TB crews. And of course Adelaide Bluebird drivers swapped at Keith with Mt Gambier drivers, the crib break being taken at Murray Bridge in both directions...

Edit - Also AFAIK to emphasise the crossover of division points, the Cambrai/Sedan Goods were operated by TB crews who drove their 830 to Monarto South then North. Whether wheat was left at Monarto South to be picked up to go to Pt Adelaide I am not sure!

Hope this Helps

Trevor

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