Traralgon to Stratford Branch Line

 
  Z0MER Junior Train Controller

I am very interested in the former branchline from Traralgon to Stratford.  I was wondering if anyone knew of any publications, videos, websites with information, maps and pics of this line.  
Also if anyone has any pictures, particularly of the area where  the line branched off from traralgon through the cutting and under (or formally over) the Princes Hwy.  Any replies will be greatly appreciated.

Zomer

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  tranzitjim Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
You are clearly talking about the route via Maffra and Heyfield.
  B 67 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland
Not sure that you could really call this a branchline. It had relatively heavy rail and most goods train from Orbost and Bairnsdale did use it to save running around at the former terminal station at Sale.

Unfortunately I was rarely out this way when the line was open. So not many photos (except the Stratford - Maffra section).

I have a number of books with photos of the line (the Train Hobby series has a number of them) plus early Newsrail / Divisional Diary magazines. I've seen some of where the lines diverged at Traralgon, but can't recall where. I kick myself for never bothering to walk to that point when the track was still there not that many years ago.

An early Newsrail (or DD) shows photos of the level crossing on the Princes Hwy (Argyle St) and the newly built line parallel that passed under the highway by way of a long cutting and bridge. The cutting has been almost entirely filled today, with little clue that it ever existed.
  Z0MER Junior Train Controller

It might be a big ask but to you know which Newsrail these pictures are in? Smile

I love walking up to the cutting left today and seeing the remnants of the sleepers.  Unfortunantly other people dont share the love of these proud formations and tend to use this area as a rubbish ground.  Once i figure how to add pictures ill post some up. Smile
  B 67 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland
I have just had a quick look through the collection. It is the October 1970 Divisional Diary (which pre-dated Newsrail). Apparently the cutting came into use on Sunday the 23rd of August 1970. Photos show the cutting with a 280hp Walker running on the original ground level line and Y106 with a goods, also on the old line, about to cross the highway. The new cutting and underpass shown beside the train.

Shall scan and upload when I have more time.
  angus42 Chief Train Controller

Location: Around Kyneton-Melbourne
Not sure that you could really call this a branchline. It had relatively heavy rail and most goods train from Orbost and Bairnsdale did use it to save running around at the former terminal station at Sale.
"B 67"


Extra passenger trains at holiday times also ran this way, to avoid reversing at Sale (when there were extra trains to Bairnsdale; I'm talking about pre-1980 timetables, I guess).  Not being at home now, I can't quote specific examples.  I think these trains replaced the regular railmotor connections from Traralgon to Maffra, but I'll have to check to be sure.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Extra passenger trains at holiday times also ran this way, to avoid reversing at Sale (when there were extra trains to Bairnsdale; I'm talking about pre-1980 timetables, I guess).  Not being at home now, I can't quote specific examples.  I think these trains replaced the regular railmotor connections from Traralgon to Maffra, but I'll have to check to be sure.
"angus42"

In the 60s at least there was one passenger train running on this route during each Easter holidays, but I was unaware of this occurring other than at Easter. Not certain about the 70s and 80s though...
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

In the ' 70s and early ' 80s until the opening of the new through running Sale station a direct Bairnsdale pass always operated on the evening of Black Thursday from Traralgon via Maffra to Stratford Junction and onto Bairnsdale.

Stratford Junction signal box was on the embankment on the Up side of the Princes Highway road underpass well out of Stratford. As a cross country line  Traralgon - Maffra - Stratford Jct it survived well into the 1980's operating the Maffra - Stratford Jct section for containerized milk product traffic. this eventually went to road and that section finally closed .
  Z0MER Junior Train Controller

"this eventually went to road and that section finally closed"..................

I think this thread it getting to me....... Sad
  ninthnotch Dr Beeching

Location: Not here. Try another castle.
From vague memory, did the former signalbox at Stratford Jn end up with Puffing Billy?
  dan Train Controller

Location: East Gippsland, Victoria
Here is a thread that could be of intrest with many pictures along the north gippsland line (Traralgon-Maffra-Stratford). hope this can help and i hope there are more pictures of this line out there. There doesnt seem to be to many publications/information on this line or the Bairnsdal-eOrbost line for that matter.  Sad


http://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11312129-0-asc-s0.htm

the images dont seem to be working, i have a couple of them saved for modelling purposes. i'll try and and post them, there quite good.
  Z0MER Junior Train Controller

All the pics I clicked on worked.  Some of the old Sale, Maffra and Heyfield station pics linked to were fantastic!!!  Thanks a lot!!!
  Eaglemist Assistant Commissioner

Location: East Gippsland
From vague memory, did the former signalbox at Stratford Jn end up with Puffing Billy?
"ninthnotch"

Yes, but the white ants had a field day so it is no more.  Otherwise coulda been the new Belgrave Box!
  Z0MER Junior Train Controller

I followed this line in my car from end to end today.  I crossed every road crossing (with exceptions to some driveways) and was surprised that many rails have been left along the "not so frequented" roads.  Im kicking myself that I didnt take my camera but this gives me an excuse to go out and do it again.  There are many trestle bridges still intact.  I will head out there again in the not to distant future and take a cameraload of pictures and upload them for all to enjoy.
Laughing
  Bree76 Chief Train Controller

Location: Nibiru
I followed this line in my car from end to end today.
"Z0MER"


I've done this archaeological trip a few times. Disappointing that the highway bridge was demolished and filled in at Traralgon (for the highway duplication in the early 90s if I recall), and that Heyfield station has gone. I also remember seeing the odd train running on this line in the mid-80s, when dad took us kids up to Lake Glenmaggie, however I was pretty young (ie. 10) when the first stretch closed in 1986, so memories are vague.

Just out of interest, did you take a detour at Maffra and check out the Briagalong line? That's a bit trickier to find, as it was closed some 50+ years ago. I spotted some of the formation on a trip out there a couple of years ago, however I can't remember if there were any structures remaining (ie. trestles, etc). Note also that on Google Earth that Briagalong is in hi-res, and you can spot where the line came into the town.

brionnach_1976
  B 67 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland
I seem to recall crossing and re-crossing the line near and at Cowwarr in the early 1980s on a bus heading for Licola (school camp). I recall GYs at the silo there. I thought it odd, because, having lived in western Victoria earlier, where silos are everywhere, I was just surprised to see one in Gippsland.

Naturally I can kick myself now for not having bothered to head out this way to take photos when the line was still open. I did have both a car and a camera before the line closed.  Evil or Very Mad

This week, Wellington Shire put a notice in the paper advising of the intention to close Railway Pde in Briagolong and sell the land to an abutting property owner. There is no actual road along the section of road reserve in question. Nor is there ever likely to be. Briag has both a Station St and Railway Pde. Oddly enough, neither of them pass the former station site or railway reservation.

Very little infrastructure remains of the Briagolong line. I'm sure I saw a telegraph pole along the line at one point, but it doesn't appear to be there now (unlike another example still standing between Traralgon and Glengarry). About all you'll find is the formation itself, a few sleepers near Maffra (and possibly elsewhere). The bases of the brick piers for the bridge over the Avon River at Bushy Park, and that's pretty much it. There may be a culvert or two along the way, but to be honest, I'm not even sure about that. The grade down into Boisedale via cutting (now a tip) and a long embankment is probably the most spectacular remnant of the line today.
  Z0MER Junior Train Controller

"Just out of interest, did you take a detour at Maffra and check out the Briagalong line?"

No.  I thought id save that for another trip as i did not have my camera.  Instead I opted to go to Hobbies Plus in Stratford prior to my return trip. Smile.  Always good to go in there.
I only have vague memories of this line in operation as im only 25 now.  I only with I could have ridden this line when it was in its former glory.  Sad to say all i can do is dream Sad
  ninthnotch Dr Beeching

Location: Not here. Try another castle.
"Just out of interest, did you take a detour at Maffra and check out the Briagalong line?"

No.  I thought id save that for another trip as i did not have my camera.  Instead I opted to go to Hobbies Plus in Stratford prior to my return trip. Smile.  Always good to go in there.
I only have vague memories of this line in operation as im only 25 now.  I only with I could have ridden this line when it was in its former glory.  Sad to say all i can do is dream Sad
"Z0MER"
If you're 25 and have memories of the Maffra-Briagolong line in operation, that'd be interesting...
  Bree76 Chief Train Controller

Location: Nibiru
"Just out of interest, did you take a detour at Maffra and check out the Briagalong line?"

No.  I thought id save that for another trip as i did not have my camera.  Instead I opted to go to Hobbies Plus in Stratford prior to my return trip. Smile.  Always good to go in there.
I only have vague memories of this line in operation as im only 25 now.  I only with I could have ridden this line when it was in its former glory.  Sad to say all i can do is dream Sad
"Z0MER"
If you're 25 and have memories of the Maffra-Briagolong line in operation, that'd be interesting...
"ninthnotch"


I think ZOMER may be referring to the Traralgon-Stratford (via Maffra) line.
  Z0MER Junior Train Controller

ooops.....your correct.  it would be amazing to see the briag line running but i dont think that would be possible.  My memories are of trains running under the highway in traralgon and seeing the trains run between glengarry and toongabie.  Shame im too young to remember these lines clearly.  As many young people will be in the same situation.  All we have are the stories of others and the small amount of pics available.  Sad  Shame dont you think??.......
  Dreadnought Assistant Commissioner

Location: Oooh, look! [Pointing upwards] An eagle!!
Check out my Railpage gallery.  In the 1980's, I rode the line on a Traralgon-Bairnsdale goods (with a single 3rd series T up front and a ZLP van) while a friend of mine motorcaded it.  I've got a few photos of the trip in the gallery.  I was lucky as the train shunted at Heyfield, Maffra and Stratford.

I bailed out at Stratford and we motorcaded it through to Bairnsdale.  
We then drove back via "old" Sale and got more photos there...

Good day, great memories...
Cheers,
Dreadnought
  Bree76 Chief Train Controller

Location: Nibiru
Check out my Railpage Australia™ gallery.  In the 1980's, I rode the line on a Traralgon-Bairnsdale goods (with a single 3rd series T up front and a ZLP van) while a friend of mine motorcaded it.  I've got a few photos of the trip in the gallery.  I was lucky as the train shunted at Heyfield, Maffra and Stratford.

I bailed out at Stratford and we motorcaded it through to Bairnsdale.  
We then drove back via "old" Sale and got more photos there...

Good day, great memories...
Cheers,
Dreadnought
"Dreadnought"


Is anyone ever able to access the Railpage Gallery? I always seem to get "timed out" messages.

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