Were guards van tied to particular locations - yards, loco depots or stations - in the 1950s? I'm particularly interested in Lithgow and Bathurst... If so, anybody know details?Not in general.
Apart from the instances listed above there were some brakevans in captive service, ie UHG/JHG with heavy draw gear used on Hunter Valley Unit Coal trains.
Apart from the above vans roamed quite freely with some restrictions.
GHG vans could not be banked in the rear due to the wooden frames and construction.
GHG's couldn't be used on express freight either due to the plain bearings.
Only KHG's converted FHG's were to be used on the west express freights, something to do with Broken Hill crews.
I knew of some MHG's at Enfield that were marked "Metro Working Only", but then again I've been in a couple of those all the way to Goulburn.
I know when I was a Guard in the middle 70's to middle 80's GHG's were not to be banked in the rear out of Lithgow and they certainly weren't allowed to run on AA tabled express freight.What type of loco was being used on the banking? That is the key issue.
I never liked being banked out of Lithgow in an old wooden van, watching the windows and doors go in and out of square as power was applied was always a little disconcerting.
There were a bunch of upgraded MHG's running around that got a bit of an internal spruce up and were fitted with roller bearing bogies with these vans turning up on all sorts of trains.
Although not a strict working pattern according to my old note books you would generally find FHG/KHG on west services, MHG/GHG on Southern services and MHG/GHG/JHG on the north. Illawarra seemed to have a bit of everything.
Just on the FHG/KHG going west thing, I seem to recall that the overhead periscope being fitted to those vans had something to do with it.
I was a fan of the KHG or Kamper van as we called them. In the Guards compartment they had a seat that was three quarteds the width of the compartment which made a lovely bed.
I'm not sure what was more important, what was doing the pushing, or what load was in front of the van (out of Lithgow 70's-80's).With the main liner on the rear that meant it would have been coupled to the van & the train would have had to have stopped for detaching.
There were differennt rules for 2200tonnes with 2 x 46/86/85 on the front with third 46/85/86 as a pilot and then a mainline diesel banking of any combination of the three. I do recall if you has three electrics up front you had to have a diesel in the rear as four electrics under load would pull too much power.
Some Guards with less intestinal fortitude would ride in the bank engine to Zig Zag and rejoin the van there.
I will conceed that it didnt really matter what the van was in steam days as the loads were much lighter so the strain on the van would not have been so high.
A few of the South Hi Wheelers were AA tabled, the fruit expresses ex-FNM, the empty car carrier trains ex-Enfield and the Tarago ore trains which compised of 22 x BDY's , brakevan and 3 x Mainline Engines, normally 80's.
How were the vans assigned - by scheduled / special trains and then did each loco depot or station have a few assigned - and if so, how many?
Were their movements controlled by the Traffic Branch like any other piece of rolling-stock - or more like locos assigned to a depot?