Ballarat to Buninyong Line

 
  MOM Chief Commissioner

Location: here, there, everywhere....
Your quite correct about the cutting, however, it's not as massive as you might remember!
The survey map shows numerious cuttings and embankments as the line weaves it way from Gear Ave. (presumably Mt Helen, although it's shown as Green Hill), roughly following the old road alignment + 1 block (possibly a country mile)!

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  wongm GEEWONG

Location: Geelong, Victoria
Access roads to the Uni from the main drag into Ballarat cross the old RoW, and that is easily discernible.
"574M"
Funnily enough, I have been to the uni many a time and have yet to notice it. Embarassed

I'll have to look harder next time I'm up there.
  Dreadnought Assistant Commissioner

Location: Oooh, look! [Pointing upwards] An eagle!!
The old railway formation near Mount Helen campus used to be very clearly visible back in the mid-80's when I attended BCAE but my last visit a year or so ago, it was very hard to make out due to re-ploughing of some paddocks and re-alignment of roads...

About a year ago, the turntable pit and cutting on the Up side of Buninyong were still quite visible as was the large embankment around 600-800m towards Ballarat.

Cheers,
Dreadnought
  penov Chief Commissioner

Location: By the shore of Bass Strait.
Replying to a couple of recent comments, looking at Google Earth around the edge of Mount Helen, there appears to be a cutting south of Gear Ave in line with
Wetlands Drive on the north. The track appears to be deviating towards the Ballarat – Buninyong Road, possibly to skirt the edge of the heavily wooded area on Mount Helen.  

The Buninyong Historical Society’s web site advises that in 1895, a flag stop called Green Hill was installed on the railway at the foot of Mount Helen, presumably later changed to Mount Helen by 1900.

Stations on the line, as listed on Andrew Waugh’s ten year maps of the VR were as follows :

1890 : Eureka, Canadian, Mount Clear, Buninyong.
1900 : Eureka, Spencer Crossing, ( that was the street where I thought Canadian might have been located). Canadian, Mount Clear, Mount Helen, Buninyong.
1910, 1920, 1930 : Eureka, York Street, Levy, Canadian, Mount Clear, Reid, Mount Helen, Buninyong.
1940 : Eureka, Canadian, Buninyong.
1950, 1960, 1970, 1980 : Eureka.

 It appears that although the rest of the line was closed about 1947, the sidings at Eureka were in use over the next thirty or more years. On the Historical Society’s website, they had a representation  of
a postcard showing the “Bunnie” crossing the Union Jack Viaduct just to the north of the town, and mentioned in a couple of previous posts This was a tank locomotive hauling a combined passenger – guards van and a bogie dogbox carriage. So there was no need for 425 foot platforms which were standard for the Melbourne suburban lines from 1925, so it is likely that the “halts” would have been a short mound, a tin shelter, a red flag in a box, and a kerosene lamp with a red shutter on each side .

 Thanks to those who replied, especially MOM who provided me with the locations for Canadian and Mount Clear stations. Obviously I was not looking far enough south in my original estimates. Mount Helen  stop would not be very far from the main road as the track skirted the bottom of the mountain, and Reid would have been somewhere near where the University buildings are now.
  pawanoro Deputy Commissioner

There is also some information on this line in:

King, Dulcie and Neil Dooley The golden steam of Ballarat. Kilmore, Vic. : Lowden, 1973. 0909706077
  Dreadnought Assistant Commissioner

Location: Oooh, look! [Pointing upwards] An eagle!!
So there was no need for 425 foot platforms which were standard for the Melbourne suburban lines from 1925, so it is likely that the “halts” would have been a short mound, a tin shelter, a red flag in a box, and a kerosene lamp with a red shutter on each side .
"penov"


From what I've gather, Levy, York Street, Reid and Mount Helen weren't even that.  The grades diagrams show most of these "stations" actually situated on the crossings!  If there had been RMSPs in the 1890's, they probably would have been accorded that title.

Eureka, Canadian and Mount Clear actually had sidings.
Canadian had a loop siding with a down end extension on the Up side of the track.  Mount Clear had only a single loop siding (on the Down side IIRC).

Buninyong originally had a four track yard with the platform on a loop (Up side of the track), dead-end extensions both Up and Down ends of No. 3 road (Up end to the TT and a separate engine shed siding, Down end to a wooden carriage dock) and a goods shed loop.

There were also reports of a dead-end siding at Buninyong into a sawmill beyond the station ground and across the Buninyong - Geelong road.

The Buninyong turntable was still intact in 1940 but had been baulked off long before that.  It was probably removed soon after during one of the great scrap drives of 1940/41.

By the mid-1940's, Buninyong only had a single loop (No.2 road & No.3 road and both its extensions abolished) and a wooden goods platform left as it was a army storage depot (mainly for barbed wire I believe).  

The Buninyong line suffered the same fate as the Wensleydale line - once WW2 was over, there was no reason left to keep it open.  Both closed (on paper at least) in 1947.

Cheers,
Dreadnought
  574M White Guru

Location: Shepparton

About a year ago, the turntable pit and cutting on the Up side of Buninyong were still quite visible as was the large embankment around 600-800m towards Ballarat.

Cheers,
Dreadnought
"Dreadnought"


That is what I recall. Particularly that embankment.

Ninthnotch, there is one interesting historical aspect that you raised with me some time back which refers to this line. Recall we were doing research on the destination discs (aka "target" discs)  for suburban trains, and you went back through the older General Appendixes?

You said to me that you had discovered that these were also used for the Ballarat-Buninyong line.  That is a fairly important part of history, that, as many of us were unaware that these destination discs ("targets") were used outside the Melbourne suburban area.

Which disc was used for the Buninyong line?
  ninthnotch Dr Beeching

Location: Not here. Try another castle.
Have to have a look in the 1913 General Appendix for that.  But from memory it was a
X

or

X

with white/violet marker lights.
  penov Chief Commissioner

Location: By the shore of Bass Strait.
Just as a matter of interest, where would they have put the discs and marker lights on a steam loco ?

  I know they had fold down white discs on both the front and rear of the loco ( on the E class front it was just above the coupling and in front of the destination board - got a photo of an E class  in plat 2 at Darling in 1912 with the desto Burnley). That would be necessary when an engine was running LE in either direction to let signalmen know he hadn't forgotten his train.
  ninthnotch Dr Beeching

Location: Not here. Try another castle.
The boards were on the front pilot below the smokebox:

  penov Chief Commissioner

Location: By the shore of Bass Strait.
Just updating from items received through another forum –
  Locations of stations / stops as determined in a VR timetable from circa 1905 – in miles & quarter-miles as was the usual thing in VR publications : ( I have had to use decimals instead of fractions).

Ballarat  to :
  Ballarat East 0.5 m ; Eureka 1.75m ; York St 2.25m
  Levy 2.5m ; Canadian 3m. ; Mount Clear 5m ;
  Reid 5.75m ; Mount Helen 6.5m. Buninyong 8 m

Buninyong Timetable : Mons to Sats.
DOWN :
Leave Ballarat :
 7.25am, 8.45am, 12.00noon, 2.40pm,  5.05pm,   6.20pm.  Sat only 10.05 pm.
 Intermediate times shown for Ballarat East,
 3 mins after B’rat, Canadian 10min.  later, all
 Other stops marked  # ( stops as required)
Trains arrived Buninyong 25 min later, except 12 noon train which was a mixed and took  30 min.  
UP :
Leave Buninyong :
 8.05am, 9.20am, 1.30pm Mixed, 3.30pm, 5.40pm.
 7.02pm  Sat. only 10.45pm.
Times at Canadian, 15 min later, arrive Ballarat East 22 min later, Ballarat 25 min later.    

FARES : Buninyong  to Ballarat :
  SINGLE, 1st, 0.7d ; 2nd, 0.6d;
   RETURN : 1st , 0.10 ½ d , 2nd 0.8 ½ d
  Not bad for a sixteen mile return trip.

From Linton to Ballarat was a 25 mile trip, with two trains a day . Fares to Ballarat were :
Single 4s 6d 1st ; 3s 0d 2nd  Return 6s9d 1st ;4s7d 2nd
For the average worker on about ten shillings a week, those fares could be a bind.
To go to Melbourne from Linton was :
Single 17s9d 1st ; 11s10d 2nd
Return 26s8d 1st; 17s9d  2nd
No wonder we read that so many men in the country would “ride the rattler” ie, jump on the trucks of a slow goods train going up a grade ; Over a weeks wages to go to the “big smoke” !

Hope this information has been of interest to some, thanks to Mark Bau’s website.
  Rodo Chief Commissioner

Location: Southern Riverina
It looks as if the steam hauled passeger train was about as fast as the modern bus servics. It does seem a bit unfortunate that the railmotor service was replaced by a bus just after 1930.  I would have thought that the line had potential to develop as a rail motor served Ballarat suburban line. I suppose that tracks were deteriorating and the Geelong road had just been built as a sealed early highway so a bus seemed the cheapest and best at the time.

I wonder how much modern road conjestion goes towards justifying a modern local train being re-developed ?
  penov Chief Commissioner

Location: By the shore of Bass Strait.

It looks as if the steam hauled passenger train was about as fast as the modern bus servics

The steam hauled passenger service only had 8 intermediate stops on the 8 mile journey assuming it stopped at ALL stopping places, whereas a bus on the highway would have had at least three stops every mile. If they had rail motors on the route in 1930, they would have been a bus on rail wheels anyway,  the AEC rail motors with a 45 hp petrol engine. To use them you would have had to have a 20 foot turntable at each terminus, like the Somerton - Fawkner rail motor from about 1927 to 1954. Although there were larger turntables at Buninyong and Ballarat for the locomotives anyway.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
It looks as if the steam hauled passeger train was about as fast as the modern bus servics. It does seem a bit unfortunate that the railmotor service was replaced by a bus just after 1930.  I would have thought that the line had potential to develop as a rail motor served Ballarat suburban line. I suppose that tracks were deteriorating and the Geelong road had just been built as a sealed early highway so a bus seemed the cheapest and best at the time.

I wonder how much modern road conjestion goes towards justifying a modern local train being re-developed ?
"Rodo"


Not to mention a maximum speed limit of I believe 70KPH on the still single lane Midland Highway between Ballarat & Buninyong.

Mike.
  MOM Chief Commissioner

Location: here, there, everywhere....
Unless there is any heavy freight, the best Ballarat could hope for would be a re-juvination of the trams lines, with Sebastipol connecting to Buninyong via Mt Helen.
  Rodo Chief Commissioner

Location: Southern Riverina
Unless there is any heavy freight, the best Ballarat could hope for would be a re-juvination of the trams lines, with Sebastipol connecting to Buninyong via Mt Helen.
"MOM"


Oh MOMMMA,

This is really a sad end.

It would be an awkward tramline extension from Sebastapol to serve Bunninyong.  A large amount of well paved urban road would have to be torn up and the deep narrow valley of the Yarrowye River crossed.

A tram could easily be extended from a planned inner Ballarat circle  that was to extend to Sovreign Hill. From there it could go out of Canadian along the fairly intact old railway formation, I don't think that any buildings are across the route, it has fences across it but possibly the easment still exists all the way from about Canadian-Bunninyong. (I think that the section from Canadian-Eureka has been built over a little, can anyone inform me ? )
From the old Bunninyong rail terminus a new tramline could be extended along the roadside to the main crossroad in the centre of that town.

This single line tram extension may cost no more than roadworks and buslanes etc. that are becoming needed on the present Geelong Road and would be less disruptive of the landscape. There is a continuing residential development going on along the old Bunnny line, the land on the east side is the site of some new suburban housing where there was nothing much before.
  PalmerEldritch Say goodnight to the bad guy

Location: Princes Park, Carlton
There is a continuing residential development going on along the old Bunnny line, the land on the east side is the site of some new suburban housing where there was nothing much before.
"Rodo"

The estate is called Canadian Lakes IIRC, and the streets were still being laid out when I was there in 2004.
  Iain Chief Commissioner

Location: Concord, NSW
The Eurkea siding was to serve the Eureka Tile Works and I thought the stop or siding at Canadian was to allow the milita to use the rifle range located in that area.
  Rodo Chief Commissioner

Location: Southern Riverina
I am not sure that the Eureka tile works were in serious operation when the line was first opened. There would have been plenty of other reasons for a siding there inluding bringing in mining supplies and there was a lot of small scale industrial activity about . The gold mining had probably revealed an ample supply of brick and tile clay.

Canadian siding was also in an area of mining and ancillary industries that also had a fair sort of population. A lot more to serve than a mere rifle range. Even the other locations that were mere stopping places probably had traffic like churns of milk, boxes of fruit & veg. etc.
  MOM Chief Commissioner

Location: here, there, everywhere....
I would think that a lot of timber would have been transhiped from these intermediate halts (stations?) as well.

Just out of interest, is there a track diagram of Bunny?
  Rodo Chief Commissioner

Location: Southern Riverina
MOM,

I dont think that the basic intermediate halts would have transhipped much timber, except possibly an odd piece of furniture, tent poles or clothesline props.  I am sure that those stations with siding accomodation would have transhipped a lot of timber for both building and mining construction. Bunninyong has a long sawmill siding south across the Geelong Road, just to load timber products.

Here is my diagram drawn from a description of a Bunninyong expedition in 1940 by Wal Larsen in his book, "Change Here For".



The turntable and down end passenger road points were out of use.
  Dendy Beginner
  Dendy Beginner

Original station building here:

http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/miscpics/0/0/3/doc/mp003267.shtml

(can't seem to edit my earlier post)
  Big-Boy Beginner

Here are some photos i got of what remains of the Old Buninyong "Bunny"Line. It is only From Buninyong Station up to Greenhill Road, Mt.Helen:























I think think this is the remains of the Mt.Helen Platform?


  574M White Guru

Location: Shepparton
Those last two photographs are certainly suggesting there was a platform there, once.  A good find!

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