Avon Yard closure

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crisfitz Chief Commissioner

Location: Enroute somewhere

Surprised this slipped through the news, but as of 31st May Aurizon pulled the last of their maintenance crews from Avon, leaving only a handful of Brookfield people (train controllers and track personnel) and a small Watco presence.

Effectively Avon has closed as a locomotive and wagon depot, after opening on the 14th February 1966 as a major part of the standard gauge project. Now it is nothing more than a storage point for Aurizon rolling stock and a standard gauge CBH loading facility ( the narrow gauge long being out of use ).

I remember in the early '90s Avon being one of the biggest and busiest yards in the state. All gone now Sad

 
WAGR Chief Commissioner

Surprised this slipped through the news, but as of 31st May Aurizon pulled the last of their maintenance crews from Avon, leaving only a handful of Brookfield people (train controllers and track personnel) and a small Watco presence.

Effectively Avon has closed as a locomotive and wagon depot, after opening on the 14th February 1966 as a major part of the standard gauge project. Now it is nothing more than a storage point for Aurizon rolling stock and a standard gauge CBH loading facility ( the narrow gauge long being out of use ).

I remember in the early '90s Avon being one of the biggest and busiest yards in the state. All gone now Sad

What a sad state for WA rail

- crisfitz

 
djukinX1016 Deputy Commissioner

Surprised this slipped through the news, but as of 31st May Aurizon pulled the last of their maintenance crews from Avon, leaving only a handful of Brookfield people (train controllers and track personnel) and a small Watco presence.

Effectively Avon has closed as a locomotive and wagon depot, after opening on the 14th February 1966 as a major part of the standard gauge project. Now it is nothing more than a storage point for Aurizon rolling stock and a standard gauge CBH loading facility ( the narrow gauge long being out of use ).

I remember in the early '90s Avon being one of the biggest and busiest yards in the state. All gone now Sad

- crisfitz

Quite amazing the changes that occur, it used to have a large roster of narrow gauge locos and there was often swaps between Avon and Narngulu with the latter relying on Avon I remember seeing the job ads for support staff at Narngulu with the point of contact for the jobs being Avon Yard.

Of course Narngulu went on to outlive Avon and I note the latest exchange of P class to service Albany the locos worked from Narngulu via Forrestfield.

The shift from primarily grain haulage to a more mineral based haulage has changed the dynamic, with the depots for Narrow gauge locos now being Kwinana, Narngulu ( two loco depots) and Picton with Albany having a servicing facility for the wood chip train. Forrestfield itself having no narrow gauge trains into and out of it either and if it wasn't for its repair facilities would not see narrow gauge locos.

Regards

Phil

 
8888 Chief Commissioner

Location: Shire of Mundaring

Changing operational procedures and traffic patterns have seen a lot of changes occur to the largest facilities built in the 1960s as part of the standard gauge project.

LEIGHTON / NORTH FREMANTLE.  No standard gauge track in Leighton Yard.  Changed access to North Fremantle and North Quay terminal remodelled.

ROBB JETTY Eliminated.

KWINANA  One facility which has expanded since construction with new sidings and extension to grain terminal.

KEWDALE  Most private sidings now gone, parcels shed demolished.

FORRESTFIELD  Rationalised, notably with removal of narrow gauge hump yard and storage sidings.

AVON YARD  As noted, though much infrastructure still remains.

WEST MERREDIN  Track rationalisation, removal of gantry crane and private sidings (except CBH), closure of signal cabin.

WEST KALGOORLIE  Intact, though signal cabin closed.

For the record, the Aurizon locos still stored at Avon Yard are AB1502, 1503:  DAZ1902; AD1520, 1521.

 
bagus70 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Wanting to revisit Australia again.

It's so sad to hear that. I wonder why do they closed down the yard? Was it due to lack of activities over there?

 
P2017 Chief Commissioner

Location: Geraldton

Bagus, due to Aurizon not hauling Grain anymore that was the main commodity that Avon was used for. No point in running a depot if there is nothing there to service/maintain.

Narngulu & Narngulu East would be the biggest NG depot now wouldn't it?

 
GSRailway Chief Train Controller

Location: Western Australia

Would CBH be looking for some place to service their Locomotives and rolling stock. It could be the opportunity that they have been looking forward to.As at the moment most servicing is done on side of the track. In Albany only ex QRN locomotives are being serviced in the Depot

 
Bulbous Assistant Commissioner

There was a P class being worked over during last week in the loco depot at Avon - they probably just had a crew come out from Perth for it though.

 
Tiny Train Controller

Location: Kalgoorlie

Would CBH be looking for some place to service their Locomotives and rolling stock. It could be the opportunity that they have been looking forward to.As at the moment most servicing is done on side of the track. In Albany only ex QRN locomotives are being serviced in the Depot

- GSRailway

Aurizon own all the track within Avon Yard, with the exception of the running lines and the CBH sidings. There is no way that they will ever allow Watco/CBH access to any of the yard or facilities in Avon Yard.

Besides, it's possible that with the end of RailExpress, Aurizon may be in a position to pick up grain haulage for other exprters now. I understand they had a couple of contracts close to being signed about 12 months ago, just waiting on an ACCC decision on Rail Express.

 
1978Prime Junior Train Controller

Location: Perth

Aurizon own all the track within Avon Yard, with the exception of the running lines and the CBH sidings. There is no way that they will ever allow Watco/CBH access to any of the yard or facilities in Avon Yard.

Besides, it's possible that with the end of RailExpress, Aurizon may be in a position to pick up grain haulage for other exprters now. I understand they had a couple of contracts close to being signed about 12 months ago, just waiting on an ACCC decision on Rail Express.

- Tiny

Watco already occupies  a large section of the Avon yard

 
Tiny Train Controller

Location: Kalgoorlie

Watco already occupies  a large section of the Avon yard

- 1978Prime

Sorry, you're right. They have access to a small section for servicing and repairing near the east road entrance. Hardly a large section though.

 
1978Prime Junior Train Controller

Location: Perth

Sorry, you're right. They have access to a small section for servicing and repairing near the east road entrance. Hardly a large section though.

- Tiny

And quite basic at this stage. Maybe one building and a sea container for storage .When I went there a few weeks ago, they didn't even have a sign up yet.

 
1978Prime Junior Train Controller

Location: Perth

Someone told me today that rail used to cart fuel up there, but now goes by road.

 
JimYarin Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Someone told me today that rail used to cart fuel up there, but now goes by road.

- 1978Prime



from where to where?

 
1978Prime Junior Train Controller

Location: Perth

from where to where?

- JimYarin

from Perth to Northam

 
JimYarin Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia

and this went via avon yard?

 
1978Prime Junior Train Controller

Location: Perth

and this went via avon yard?

- JimYarin

I came up in a conversation about Avon yard, but she mentioned the fuel depot was on the other side of town.

 
wn514 Chief Commissioner

Location: at a skyhooks concert living in the 70's

I came up in a conversation about Avon yard, but she mentioned the fuel depot was on the other side of town.

- 1978Prime



yep. at east northam. you can see whats left of the industrial sidings near the station. a lot of them still have the rails in them but are not connected up to the main line.

 
crisfitz Chief Commissioner

Location: Enroute somewhere

yep. at east northam. you can see whats left of the industrial sidings near the station. a lot of them still have the rails in them but are not connected up to the main line.

- wn514

Simon Barber's book "Changing before our eyes" has a great shot of a shunt train heading to East Northam with some tankers. The last trains would have gone into there in the early 1990's.

In the '70s standard gauge sidings also existed, but I have no information on these. The points for the standard gauge sidings were located along the platform, with a diamond crossing about where the current Prospector platform is.

 
8888 Chief Commissioner

Location: Shire of Mundaring

Shell maintained a siding near the old station into the 1990s.  Access to the old yard was retained for Shell, a flour mill and the ways and works depot.

 
Bulbous Assistant Commissioner

I noticed that the AD's are still there to the west of the shop building, but for the last few days there has been two AB's and a P class back in their old spot to the east side of the shop building. I thought it might be for the ballast train duties, but that seems to have been only a P class each time it has gone past. Are they back to working out of Avon again (Aurizon)?

 
wn514 Chief Commissioner

Location: at a skyhooks concert living in the 70's

I noticed that the AD's are still there to the west of the shop building, but for the last few days there has been two AB's and a P class back in their old spot to the east side of the shop building. I thought it might be for the ballast train duties, but that seems to have been only a P class each time it has gone past. Are they back to working out of Avon again (Aurizon)?

- Bulbous



I have been told that 2 of the loco's stored at avon yard have been sold to tasrail but I don't know which 2.

wal.

 
Bulbous Assistant Commissioner

I would think they would be the two AD's, as they haven't moved for quite some time. The AB's and the P came back there within the last week.

 
SM65 Locomotive Driver

Location: Northam WA/Tom Price WA

Was talking to a couple of recently retired Avon Yard Drivers a couple of days ago.

The last remaining 12 Drivers have been told they can transfer to the depot of there choice or take redundancy and Avon Yard will close totally as of December 2013.

It's hard to believe after seeing it in its heyday.

 
Bulbous Assistant Commissioner

Noted this morning that the three AB's and the two AD's seemed to be gone from their normal place in the yard - I may have missed the AD's as I drove past, but the AB's were definately gone from the workshop.

 

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