Castlemaine to Maryborough line

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qldchook Station Master

Was just wondering if this line is used and if so what services run on it? 

 
Sir Thomas Bent Minister for Railways

Location: Banned

Hasn't been used in a number of years.

 
woodford Chief Commissioner

I drove between Maryborough and Castlemaine some weeks ago and I noticed there was a number of washouts along the line where flooding had washed out some of the ballast and subgrade. From memory it was not to far from Castlemaine.

 
Carnot Chief Commissioner

The washouts are mostly between Guildford and Campbell's Creek.  That occurred during the 2010/2011 floods.

The last through trains were in 2004 (I think), although the Moolort-Maryborough section was used up until just recently for a quarry there.  Some videos of the last freight train movements in 2004 on this line exist on Youtube.

 
Ballast_Plough Chief Commissioner

Location: Lilydale, Vic

Out of interest, what is the setup for the Maldon Junction? Have the points been pulled out or just spiked for the branch line?

What was the process when the line to Maryborough was still open - were the points staff locked?

 
bevans - Administrator Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Out of interest, what is the setup for the Maldon Junction? Have the points been pulled out or just spiked for the branch line?What was the process when the line to Maryborough was still open - were the points staff locked?

- Ballast_Plough



The junction is still in place.

Regards
Brian

 

Location: Exit...Stage Left!

Out of interest, what is the setup for the Maldon Junction? Have the points been pulled out or just spiked for the branch line?What was the process when the line to Maryborough was still open - were the points staff locked?

- Ballast_Plough



The junction is still in place.

Regards
Brian

- bevans

Yes, but that is not what he is asking.

I'm not too sure, but I think that the junction is spiked at present. No idea what the setup was in the past.

 
VRfan - Moderator Moderator

Location: In front of my computer :-p

The VGR only commenced operating into Castlemaine after the Maryborough line was suspended. IIRC when the Maryborough line was opened, the points were spiked for that line. When services were suspended and the VGR commenced operations, the points were simply spiked in the other direction.

Of course the big question is what happens to Maldon Jct - Castlemaine if the Maryborough line ever re-opens. I wonder if there's room to put a second line in so that VGR operations can remain isolated from the mainline?

 
Carnot Chief Commissioner


Of course the big question is what happens to Maldon Jct - Castlemaine if the Maryborough line ever re-opens. I wonder if there's room to put a second line in so that VGR operations can remain isolated from the mainline?

- VRfan



Having a quick look at Googlemaps and from memory - probably quite achievable if you sacrificed a few trees, did a bit of excavating, and perhaps re-aligned the existing track a metre or two to the West.  Of course the Maryborough track would tap in to the Castlemaine loop (the middle track).  Mind you the NIMBY factor can be quite high in some parts of the 'maine....

 
MEASWELL Locomotive Driver

Location: werribee/tullamarine

I suppose we will have to wait on the report about the Geelong-Ballarat-Bendigo rail link to see if the line is upgraded & re-opened. Due next year i believe .

 
Rodo Chief Commissioner

Location: Southern Riverina

Out of interest, what is the setup for the Maldon Junction? Have the points been pulled out or just spiked for the branch line? What was the process when the line to Maryborough was still open - were the points staff locked?

- Ballast_Plough


When both lines were in use, the points were staff locked by a drawer lock. The electric staff for the Newstead- Castlemaine section operated this lock, enabling the points to be set to run a train toward Maldon. When the Maldon train was clear of the junction, the junction points could be reset toward Maryborough. This enabled the withdrawal of the electric staff which was then sunk in the intermediate electric staff instrument at Maldon Junction.

I can remember viewing the rusted up drawer lock at Maldon Junction some years after Maldon and Shelbourne trains stopped running. I don't think that the points were spiked over then, just locked in place by the drawer lock ?

Previous to this, 3 position automatic semaphore signals protected the motorised points at the junction, as part of the Castlemaine interlocking. If both lines were to be in use in the future I would presume it likely that a similar arrangement be re-installed.
(colour light signals as with the rest of the track controlled interlocking, I should think)

 
kuldalai Chief Commissioner

There are two route options for running  bg  passenger trains between Ballarat - Maryborough and Bendigo .

1. Via Guildford and Castlemaine - would require re-opening a rail line and line upgrade.

2.  Via Dunolly and Eaglehawk which would use an existing used railway, and upgrading of a lesser degree.

Also the second route probably offers a better passenger catchment  .    Lets wait and see .

 
outwest Locomotive Driver

Was just wondering if this line is used and if so what services run on it? 

- qldchook

The Vinelander was actually diverted this way once for a short period of time. Maybe someone has some info on that.

 
Sir Thomas Bent Minister for Railways

Location: Banned

IIRC that may have been the route that it took in the early days.

 
VRfan - Moderator Moderator

Location: In front of my computer :-p


2.  Via Dunolly and Eaglehawk which would use an existing used railway, and upgrading of a lesser degree.

- kuldalai



Wouldn't this be a significantly longer journey and it doesn't connect Castlemaine and Maryborough. Also, the train needs to reverse at Inglewood. Not a big deal in a railcar set, but still slower than just running straight through.

 
The Vinelander Chief Commissioner

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line

Was just wondering if this line is used and if so what services run on it? 

- qldchook

The Vinelander was actually diverted this way once for a short period of time. Maybe someone has some info on that.

- outwest



Getting somewhat off thread here, but IMO still very interesting.

Long...long before my namesake train commenced service, the 17:30 overnight Mildura train used to operate via Castlemaine...See Below link from 1928:

http://www.victorianrailways.net/timetables/1928country/23_24.html

Of particular note was the train, running express to Gisborne, yet still taking fully 3 hours to travel from Melbourne to Castlemaine...See below link:

http://www.victorianrailways.net/timetables/1928country/19_20.html


All very interesting and a special thanks to Mark Bau for his VR website.

Mike.

 
bevans - Administrator Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia

There are two route options for running bg passenger trains between Ballarat - Maryborough and Bendigo .

1. Via Guildford and Castlemaine - would require re-opening a rail line and line upgrade.

2. Via Dunolly and Eaglehawk which would use an existing used railway, and upgrading of a lesser degree.

Also the second route probably offers a better passenger catchment . Lets wait and see .

- kuldalai



Could we expect a time when both routes are likely to be used again for Passenger services?

Regards
Brian

 
Carnot Chief Commissioner

There are two route options for running bg passenger trains between Ballarat - Maryborough and Bendigo .

1. Via Guildford and Castlemaine - would require re-opening a rail line and line upgrade.

2. Via Dunolly and Eaglehawk which would use an existing used railway, and upgrading of a lesser degree.

Also the second route probably offers a better passenger catchment . Lets wait and see .

- kuldalai



Could we expect a time when both routes are likely to be used again for Passenger services?

Regards
Brian

- bevans



Unless the State's finances improve dramatically or hordes of people all of a sudden decide to live in the region (i.e. 1850s gold-rush style), I cannot see it happening unfortunately.

Newstead, Inglewood and Dunolly aren't exactly booming metropolises...  Nice towns though with lovely Victorian era streetscapes and architecture.

 
Ballast_Plough Chief Commissioner

Location: Lilydale, Vic

Maryborough - Castlemaine has to compete with a much more direct bus route which is probably why the route via Inglewood makes more sense for a rail connection to Bendigo.

 
VRfan - Moderator Moderator

Location: In front of my computer :-p

The *only* reason I can see for a passenger service between Maryborough and Bendigo is part of an overall plan to connect Bendigo, Ballarat and ultimately Geelong. The intermediate towns via either route are small at best.

I would imagine Maryborough - Dunolly - Inglewood - Bendigo might be looked at because you wouldn't use up any paths on the busier Bendigo - Castlemaine section. However, you have to reverse at Inglewood, there's dual gauge (limiting speeds to 80km/h) from Maryborough to Dunolly and the section from Inglewood to Bendigo is suspended.

If you look at the more direct route from Maryborough to Bendigo via Castlemaine, the actual suspended section (Maryborough to Castlemaine) is roughly the same distance as Bendigo to Inglewood). In addition to Bendigo, it also has the potential to attract passengers from the Castlemaine community who want to travel to Maryborough, Ballarat or Geelong. There's no lengthy section of dual gauge and no reversal required. Another positive is that it provides an alternative route to Geelong for export grain off the Piangil line. However, the condition of the line is worse than Bendigo - Inglewood and there is the issue of accomodating the VGR if they don't want any political fallout in the region.

 
The Vinelander Chief Commissioner

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line

Unless the State's finances improve dramatically or hordes of people all of a sudden decide to live in the region (i.e. 1850s gold-rush style), I cannot see it happening unfortunately.

Newstead, Inglewood and Dunolly aren't exactly booming metropolises...  Nice towns though with lovely Victorian era streetscapes and architecture.

- Carnot



In my view, the way Melbourne is bursting at the seams, and notwithstanding the incremental increase in popularity of the limited Maryborough service, the government almost unwittingly has encouraged decentralisation of the population to the not so far away regional towns and cities. IMO the logical extension of this is to encourage the re-population of the rural communities in between these larger rural cities. Towns which come to mind being Harcourt, Guildford, Newstead, Carisbrook and the small towns between Ballarat and Geelong.

We all know that trains will pick up pax numbers along a given routewhereas a bus will not attract the same number of pax, hence the pax desertion of RFR trains when track works are undertaken and bus replacements are implemented.

Even the reinstated very slow Albury service is carrying many more pax than the former bus services was carrying.

Mike.




 
Nightfire Chief Commissioner

Location: Gippsland

I suppose we will have to wait on the report about the Geelong-Ballarat-Bendigo rail link to see if the line is upgraded & re-opened. Due next year i believe .

- MEASWELL

It's easy to see In today's current economic climate, that this report/study will come to nothing !!! (extra express buses at the most)

The study was only started to rattle a few feathers of voters In the region and line the pockets of a few consultants (jobs for mates etc)

 
railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train


2.  Via Dunolly and Eaglehawk which would use an existing used railway, and upgrading of a lesser degree.

- kuldalai



Wouldn't this be a significantly longer journey and it doesn't connect Castlemaine and Maryborough. Also, the train needs to reverse at Inglewood. Not a big deal in a railcar set, but still slower than just running straight through.

- VRfan



It does connect Maryborough but not Castlemaine. The Mildura line runs through both Maryborough and Dunolly.

Castlemaine passengers could always change at Footscray, Sunshine or Bendigo...

 
outwest Locomotive Driver

IIRC that may have been the route that it took in the early days.

- Sir Thomas Bent

Pretty sure it happened late 80s early nineties might have been just a oncer due to some problem on its usual path.

 
Sir Thomas Bent Minister for Railways

Location: Banned

A comparison to Melbourne-Albury is invalid. The train - in the form of allocated cars on two return XPT services - still operated.

It's still a vast waste of money, as is the Ballarat-Maryborough white elephant.

 

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