On the subject of crossing bells on the Bairnsdale line. Only 2 days before the ones at Stratford were replaced, myself and one of the other local enthusiasts were standing at Hobson St commenting (to ourselves) that the striker on the old bell had just about worn its way through bell itself. It was ringing at the time as was the one at the Highway, even though no trains were anywhere near the town (but we're used to that here).
Interestingly enough, the signals were being repainted while this was happening. And only the day before this, we'd been thinking how much they could use a repaint. Coincidence?
Well, I guess it had been planned before we thought of it.
Anyway, I'm sure the bells had a few more years of life in them. I'll miss the lower pitched irregular ring of the Princes Hwy bell now.