During one of our chats, he remarked on the Balranald train. The DERM would run to Moulamein on the Tuesday (I think), return to Echuca Wednesday. He identified a business opportunity to attach perishable goods in vans, which arrived into Moulamein earlier that day, to the DERM and extend it to Balranald. The train was not publicly advertised, as it was technically a goods working, although I guess the locals soon enough worked it out. That arrangement continued until the DERM was withdrawn about the late 1970's.
Passenger trains ran (ISTR) to Moulamein on Tuesday, from Balranald to Echuca on Wednesday, then Thursday to Balranald, returning Friday. Change at Echuca for Bendigo, thence per the mid-day up to Melbourne; dunno if there was a connection to/from the Toolamba motor as well available. i think the Toolamba arrived into Echuca before the morning from Bendigo, so maybe passengers from Seymour could enjoy the tour.
Filling in a couple of details.
The working started sometime between Nov 68 and Nov 69. In 1968 the Balranald service was a 153hp Walker which did two return trips per week Down Mon/Up Tues, Down Thurs/Up Fri. The goods service ran Down on Tues, but only to Moulamein, returning Wednesday, and Down all the way to Balranald on Friday, returning on Sunday.
By Nov 69 it had been replaced by a DERM. On Monday it ran to Moulamein and stabled. On Tuesday it ran as 'Diesel Electric Rail Motor (Empty) hauling Goods Vehicles' from Moulamein to Balranald. A footnote stated that it could haul up to three vehicles, with a total weight not exceeding 60 tons. The goods vehicles came Down to Moulamein on the Tuesday goods, which arrived at 3 pm, and the DERM departed at 3.40 pm. Hauling the goods vehicles, the DERM took 2 hours and 5 minutes to get to Balranald. The Goods vehicles stayed at Balranald until the 6 pm Sunday Goods left - which must have done wonders for the utilisation. In theory, they could have been attached to the Up Wednesday DERM which was scheduled to leave Moulamein after the DERM, but the running time was too short to haul any vehicles.
The timetable remained unaltered until the passenger service was withdrawn on 10 November 1975, with the last Up being on the 6 November.
DERMs hauled freight vehicles elsewhere and at other times as well.
In 1931 permission was granted to haul up to two louvre trucks and a Z van behind the PERM (or Brill) between Warrenheip and Geelong (if a trailer was hauled, only two louvre trucks, or one louvre and a Z van could be hauled). This, of course, was pretty much all down hill. But getting to Warrenheip involved getting up the Warrenheip bank. Permission was granted to haul one less vehicle up the bank. I'd have liked to see a DERM hauling a louvre and a Z van up the bank. Slow and noisy would spring to mind. The other vehicle appears to have been taken out by the Ballarat pilot and picked up at Warrenheip. In Jan 1932 someone saw the light and permission was granted for the pilot to haul the DERM and the trailing load up the bank to Warrenheip where it was let go to manage the rest on its own.
The 1936 GA had a page and a half of sections where a PERM or a Brill could haul vehicles. The vehicles ranged from passenger cars (BC, ABC), to vans (Z, CE), and freight stock (horse boxes, UB, I, livestock). Typically two vehicles could be attached. Around Echuca, for example, permission was granted to haul either 1) two Z vans or UB truck, 2) horse box and Z van, 3) loaded I truck and Z van, or 4) any fixed wheeled stock truck and Z van. These could be hauled to/from Bendigo, Deni, or Toolamba. The best permission was No 20 Up Sunday Whittlesea which could haul two standard trailers AND an ABC type car.
These permissions were all still pretty much in the 1953 GA.