Yep, bad memory. I rarely caught the last carriage, but now it was mentioned....
Were you in the last carriage?
The station assistant at Watsonia had heard a strange sound as the train departed from that station, and then saw sparks under the back of the train. This concerned them and they rang Macleod. When the train arrived the last wheelset was well out of gauge and the flange ran up onto the concrete pedestrian crossing at the Down end of the station, and then dropped back down. I can still vividly remember the two very loud bangs in quick succession - I was about 50 metres away walking to the station to catch the following stopper. I don't think Macleod, or the train crew, needed the phone call to tell them something was wrong.
I had a look at the back of the train from the crossing and the righthand wheel tread was only about 1/2 an inch on the rail.
The passengers had been unloaded before attempting to move the train into the siding. It had been on an express service (stopping Rosanna, Heidelberg, Ivanhoe, Clifton Hill, then Jolimont) towards the end of the morning peak, so it was very well loaded. With arriving passengers at Macleod, the platform was jam packed. I'd never seen a platform that packed, you couldn't move along it. After the train derailed, I exited the platform down the steps at the end, crossed the line, and walked back along the other platform. You couldn't do that these days.
Restoring the service was complicated by the derailed train in Platform 1. It was only a small derailment - the tail of the train had tilted slightly over and it was well within the loading gauge. But, of course, they couldn't use platform 2 to terminate trains until senior people had come to have a look. Platform 3, which also could have been used to terminate trains, had been booked out earlier in the week for spot sleeper replacement, and hadn't been booked back in. That also needed to be inspected. So it was bus replacement Heidelberg - Greensborough for a while.
I was ok - as a local I knew about alternative public transport (local bus to Latrobe Uni, then the 256 into town) - train strikes weren't unknown in those days. But for the other passengers it was probably faster to walk to Heidelberg (about 40 minutes) than wait for a bus.
When I came home that evening the derailed carriage was still sitting in No 1 platform, still tilted over. The rest of the train had been taken away. They were terminating trains in Nos 2 & 3 platforms, with a preference for No 3.
I didn't see them recover the carriage, but I am sure it involved jacks and either a replacement bogie or wheelset.