When was last train movement to Balaclava

 
  loco958 Station Master

Can anyone tel me when there was the last train movement was recorded to balaclava and what does the future hold for yet another deserted Broad gauge line ????[/b]

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  tractorshunter Junior Train Controller

Location: Radiator Springs
It closed in the mid nineties. Others users might give you a precise date.

The only country BG line left open is the Stonie. All grain trains east of Spencer Gulf are SG only. Which means the interstate ARTC lines,the Pinnaroo & Loxton lines.

There are one or two other threads on this topic but to reaffirm what happened.

1.The construction of the Bowmans grain site on the SG line is only about 10kms away from Balaklava.

2. G&WA can't even justify the maintenance of 10kms of BG from Gawler to Roseworthy and closed that line a couple of years ago. (I got on my soapbox about this in another thread about a month ago.) So 80kms to Balaklava wasn't economical even if Bowmans wasn't built.

The only fraction of hope that the Balaklava line will ever be used again is if and when the Adelaide hills bypass is constructed, it's cheaper to follow that corridor and connect to the Pirie line at Bowmans instead of purchasing land for a new corridor between Gawler and Mallala. But that involves conversion to SG, replacing the sleepers, fresh ballast and as for the bridge at Hamley bridge meeting ARTC standards??  I think land around Mallala would have to be very expensive Rolling EyesRolling Eyes

As far as isolated BG goes, forget it they're history.

Maybe a tourist railway between Balaklava & Hamley Bridge could have some merit but as the Yorke Peninsula Tourist Railway found, the rate of track deterioration gets worse the longer the track was closed from a commercial operation. Half the reason why rail companies cease using these lines is because their stuffed from a lack of maintenence anyway.
  Roundhouse_Rat Deputy Commissioner

Location: Hamley Bridge, SA
I Live in Hamley Bridge right near the Line, cant give exact date when it shut but was in the Nineties.

In last Ten Months though I have seen two Hyrails, inspecting the line.

We Have an Underpass here in Hamley Bridge, Due to Truck taking sheet iron off the roof it, The Council has close the road due the danger of it. After the people of Hamley Bridge done petition to GWA to be get it repaired so the road could be reopen, GWA said havent got any interest repairing it.

Also a Few local community Groups in the Wakefield Plains Council are concern of the overgrowth of weeds along the Corridors, Causing a fire Hazard. This mostly came together from the Concerns of the Black Saturday Fires in Victoria.

Hopefully one day when Standard Gauge line comes in that they look into reopening the line, We can only see what the future holds.

Hamley Bridge Station, was divided into three living Zones, the Station Master Residence, Station & Signal Cabin Station Master Residence & Signal Cabin are up for sale at Present. Can Buy the Signal Cabin for $110,000, I think the Station Master Residence around the $220,000 mark.

@ tractorshunter I have suggested the idea of a tourist railway to my local community group, they want Tourist come here to Hamley Bridge but wont do the hard yards to make such a thing happen.
  loco958 Station Master

Thankyou very much,
The government of today are only interested in trams trams trams and not committing to getting trucks off roads and transport onto rail,
hence the condition of roads.
Also lost oputunities in the tourist industry with a set of Bluebirds outright owned by a winery, just stored and rotting away.
Disappointing all round.!!
  2001 Moderator The Snow Lord

Location: The road jump at Charlotte Pass. Paxman Valenta on two planks.
I Live in Hamley Bridge right near the Line, cant give exact date when it shut but was in the Nineties.
"Roundhouse_Rat"


Rail traffic on the Balaklava line survived into the new millenium. I don't have a precise date of closure, but there were grain trains servicing Owen in 2004.
  Roundhouse_Rat Deputy Commissioner

Location: Hamley Bridge, SA
could be right but seem longer then that, when start to see one train a day, didnt really took notice in the end.

love to been here when Standard Gauge got Built to Adelaide roughly 18 freight trains got detour through Hamley per Day, at times was more.
  mac042 Locomotive Driver

I remember going to Owen in 04 to put a grainy back on the rails.
I think that was one of the last rains up that way
  Alco251_244 Chief Commissioner

Location: Somewhere
2004 was the last train to Balaklava from my records. 2005 to Saddleworth and Oct 2007 to Roseworthy.

Cheers,
  trainlover Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide.
I dont think their will be any more Broad Gauge Grain trains to anywere in SA for a long time when i went Past Dry Creek on Friday they were down to just 6 and a half AHDL grain Hoppers still to be cut up.
Probally all done by now.
  craigd Deputy Commissioner

Location: A Thinktank near you
It's true that the AHDL's are starting to be cut up - they are such poorly designed vehicles anyway that their commercial value is probably nothing and they leak all over the place.

However GWA does own a fleet of BG-capable hoppers - the AHGX's which have been on lease to the Sword of El-Zorro for some time now.

The CGAY hoppers from CFCLA are probably dead-easy to convert to BG, but there needs to be a viable business case to do it. Consecutive good grain harvests would make that possible but that's something that Australia hasn't had for quite a while. And there needs to be more than just grain to keep the lines sustainably open for traffic. Tourist trains are the way to go there especially up my way.

No idea what's going on with them, and I think most of them are on standard gauge anyway since El-Zorro has run quite a few grains trains to Mallala in recent months.

What's important is that the track is still in place. Whilever that's the case, the ability to re-use the track for trains is much more feasible than if the rails are removed. The destruction by and ignorange of ARTC relating to the removal of the broad gauge connecting Belair to Mt Barker Junction when the line was changed to SG is a notable example of deliberate prevention of unwanted lines becoming commercially viable again.

Be careful that now the world economy seems to be recovering, the price of scrap steel will rise again, and that means closed lines could be ripped up to re-use rail or sell it for scrap value.

That's the big danger at the moment. SG conversion of the Gawler line is definitely in the wind, and that would isolate the BG lines, but whilever the BG is still there it's potentially available for use for grain trains and any other freight and passenger traffic which was viable.

The Canadian company that bought ABB is very pro-rail apparently, so there could be some weight in favour of at least giving serious thought to re-vitalising some of the remaining BG lines.

Craig.
  Wrigleys Chief Train Controller

There is a bit of a difference between the CGAY owned by CFCLA and operated by Genocide & Wyoming and the CGDY also owned by CFCLA but operated by EL Zorro, neither appear to be gauge convertable.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
The destruction by and ignorange of ARTC relating to the removal of the broad gauge connecting Belair to Mt Barker Junction when the line was changed to SG is a notable example of deliberate prevention of unwanted lines becoming commercially viable again.
"craigd"


Brave call.

The standardisation was a carried out in 1995.

ARTC was established in July 1998.
  craigd Deputy Commissioner

Location: A Thinktank near you
There is a bit of a difference between the CGAY owned by CFCLA and operated by Genocide & Wyoming and the CGDY also owned by CFCLA but operated by EL Zorro, neither appear to be gauge convertable.
"Wrigleys"


The bogies etc. need to be changed and brake gear maybe slightly modified where needed but it shouldn't be much. So it's a fairly big initial expense, hence my comment that it would need a viable business case to justify doing it and make the initial cost worthwhile.

Longer-term (say 5 to 10 years) it's definitely feasible and then if things didn't pan out and/or grain harvests slackened off again (like they did over the last few years thanks to the 'El-Nino' climate effect), the wagons could be re-fitted with SG bogies and go back in the SG wagon pool.

A bigger question is locomotives. GWA only has a handful of active BG locos (one 700, several 830's, and two 500's) and all are commited to the Penrice limestone trains (allowing for minimal maintenance by EDI), but plenty of locos in VIC are on BG so BG running gear suitable for locos like GM's, etc. definitely already exists and BG bogies for 830's are definitely around in storage. No other operator in SA has any BG locos here apart from heritage groups. PN's are all confined to VIC, including some BL's (cousins of the 81's and G's which are somewhat related to GWA's ALF's).

Craig.
  craigd Deputy Commissioner

Location: A Thinktank near you
The destruction by and ignorange of ARTC relating to the removal of the broad gauge connecting Belair to Mt Barker Junction when the line was changed to SG is a notable example of deliberate prevention of unwanted lines becoming commercially viable again.
"craigd"


Brave call.

The standardisation was a carried out in 1995.

ARTC was established in July 1998.
"bingley hall"


Fair cop there... But the genesis of ARTC had been happening behind closed doors well before the BG to SG conversion of Melbourne to Adelaide. Any bet the SA state goverment of the day wasn't interested in Mt Barker Junction to Victor Harbour and the federal funds under One Nation for BG to SG conversion did not provide any allowance to include supplementary BG corridors in the funding and construction model.

If supplementary BG had been included we might have seen the second track down from Belair set up dual gauge, or both tracks dual gauge, from Goodwood junction allowing full and proper diversity of use of both lines instead of the strangling way it's done now with isolated platforms and a number of stations completely closed.

Anyway that's unlikely to happen in the current setup.

More likely is use of the northern BG lines especially if there are successive good grain harvests starting from this season.

Craig.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
More likely is use of the northern BG lines especially if there are successive good grain harvests starting from this season.
Craig.
"craigd"


There are plenty of other threads already covering this subject. Unfortunately "search' is rarely your friend when trying to find them.

The upshot though is that given a) the current state of the BG Lines, b) the lack of suitable locos and rolling stock and c) the grain companies preference for road away form the main lines, all means that is highly unlikely that BG grain trains will ever run again.

It is quite likely, but by no means certain, that when the Gawler line is converted to SG then funds will be made available to also convert as far as Roseworthy for grain transport.
  Alco_Haulic Chief Commissioner

Location: Eating out...
It's true that the AHDL's are starting to be cut up - they are such poorly designed vehicles anyway that their commercial value is probably nothing and they leak all over the place.
"craigd"


That's a pretty ignorant view of them. While the AHDL's weren't the best grain wagon around, they did prove a valuable resource. Instead of seeing 100 covered vans cut up for scrap during the 1980's, we instead saw a conversion program that gave them an extra 20 years of active service.

Sounds like the cost of conversion was more than repaid years ago in my book, and both AN and GWA has had more than a profit out of them.
  Alco251_244 Chief Commissioner

Location: Somewhere
The AHDL's did need a large amount of corrosion repairs to bring them up to scratch, hence the reason for them being scrapped. There was only 36 remaining and the very last one vanished today. Next is the old FB flatcar with the 4-wheel shunt tender welded upside down to it followed by all six ATGF 12-wheel fuel tanks.

Cheers,
  Alco_Haulic Chief Commissioner

Location: Eating out...
The AHDL's did need a large amount of corrosion repairs to bring them up to scratch, hence the reason for them being scrapped. There was only 36 remaining and the very last one vanished today. Next is the old FB flatcar with the 4-wheel shunt tender welded upside down to it followed by all six ATGF 12-wheel fuel tanks.

Cheers,
"Alco251_244"


What a waste... And now I'm annoyed with myself for not getting photo's of them! Especially the old 4-wheel shunt tender.
  Alco251_244 Chief Commissioner

Location: Somewhere
A couple of shots of AHDL 76, the first BG one to go on 21/9/09.





Cheers,
  tractorshunter Junior Train Controller

Location: Radiator Springs
The AHDL's won't be missed at Port Adelaide because only the front 6 out of the 8 bottom doors could fit on the old rail shed grid plus you needed extra labour to open & close these doors on from both sides. So they were 3/4 empty then pushed on a little further to open the last doors.  Resulted with many wagons not properly emptied if the first 6 were closed before the last 2 were opened. (the grain would spill over).

This problem existed in the the Northern newer shed that unloaded 3 wagons at once. 3 AHDL's meant the back 2 doors had to remain shut until the front wagons emptied.

The old unloading shed only had BG on the south line anyway. Now redundant.

Still, they beat the hell out of the old flat tops which were left over from the old wheat bag days.
  benscaro Chief Commissioner

It's true that the AHDL's are starting to be cut up - they are such poorly designed vehicles anyway that their commercial value is probably nothing and they leak all over the place.
"craigd"


That's a pretty ignorant view of them. While the AHDL's weren't the best grain wagon around, they did prove a valuable resource. Instead of seeing 100 covered vans cut up for scrap during the 1980's, we instead saw a conversion program that gave them an extra 20 years of active service.

"Alco_Haulic"


While these wagons may not have been ideal, the AHDL on the broad/standard gauge and the similar ENHV on the narrow gauge enabled a system-wide conversion to block grain working in a very short period of time.   This could not have been done without them.

AN also did other useful things, adding a mid-section to redundant NHB iron ore hoppers to come up with 40 HCN grain hoppers and combining short NB ballast hoppers to create larger ENHGs that were also able to be used on grain (with a tarp, later steel roofed).

The modus operandi wasn’t limited to grain but was extended to other traffics, eg  AHCL cement/ lime hoppers converted from NLB/ALKY boxcars which were less successful.

All in all, give them their due, AN were pretty good at converting old CR stock into useful wagons, ensuring the taxpayer wasn't stung for hundreds of new wagons.

Ben
  tractorshunter Junior Train Controller

Location: Radiator Springs
the AHDL on the broad/standard gauge


The square AHDL's were never on standard gauge.

I'm not 100% certain about this but the AHDL's always seemed top heavy compared to the AHGX's.  Which would have made them less suitable for standard gauge and probably downright dangerous on Eyre Peninsula's narrow gauge.

Prior to 1995 when BG still served the Melbourne and Mallee lines all grain for Port Adelaide was BG except the Pirie line. There were enough AHGX's on SG to serve this purpose.

The conversion of the Mallee & Melbourne lines to SG made the Mid north BG suddenly the minority and severley affected their viability.

I assume all the BG AHGX's were converted to SG with no issues?
  Alco251_244 Chief Commissioner

Location: Somewhere
AHDL's were definately on standard gauge until around 2004 or 2005 when the SG fleet was scrapped. I have numerous photos and videos of them including a rare outing on the Apamurra line.


Here is GM42/GM43/ALF20/CLP9 hauling a 40 wagon 6Q51 empty Keith grain through Monarto South on 25/8/2001. Note the mixture of WWS, AHDL and AHGX hoppers.

As a side note all the remaining ENHV hoppers on the EP are being roaded to Adelaide in pairs for scrapping currently.

Cheers
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Nothing last's forever and sooner or later you have to bite the bullet and scrap them, these cars over the years as boxvans and as well as hopper's have probably paid for themselves 4 times over so it would not be as bad as it looks.

With todays ability to lease virtually anything that you want, these cars would now be expendable because they would sit around and rust when out of seasonal use, where as the lease hoppers can be used in other places for different things all year round nearly! Things like container hoppers can sit on special container wagons that can be used for normal containers out of grain hauling season! Much more useful type situation!
  tractorshunter Junior Train Controller

Location: Radiator Springs
AHDL's were definately on standard gauge until around 2004 or 2005 when the SG fleet was scrapped. I have numerous photos and videos of them including a rare outing on the Apamurra line.


My apologies Embarassed

You've probably already worked this out but in been a while since I've played with them.

As I previously mentioned there was enough AHGX's for the Pirie line prior to 1995 but that obviously wasn't enough to serve the newly standard gauge lines. They must have converted a lot of them to make up the numbers.

Silly me to assume that they would have built some new standard gauge AHGX type hoppers for the Melbourne and Mallee lines.

I'll go & eat some humble pie......

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