I returned to 42A to re-unite with BJ for at least some of the days of the week.
With Sunday, OR the week started at 1345, by BJ driving on the 1410 No. 7 Dock Pilot using Y108. We started the shift in the Canal Yard to move rakes into the docks, crossing Footscray Rd on the level every time we entered or left. At some point in time, not recorded, the Dock Pilot was cancelled, and instead we were directed to Arden St to take over that Pilot’s duties. Oddly enough, we kept Y108 after this change of duties, since the Arden St Pilot usually had a loco on site for the day and afternoon shifts. Either some problem developed with the Y class already on site or someone decided that loco could return to Dynon to be replaced by us and no. 108. Whatever happened we finished off our shift working around Arden St and Macauley until 2105 when we manoeuvred 108 across North Melbourne Junction, in between sparks, to return it to Dynon Fuel Point with sign off at 2145.
On Tuesday, we signed on at 1345 to run the 1400 light engines to Paisley to prepare the 1600 Wodonga oil train. This train was either building in weight or the loco roster clerks realised they needed some higher horsepower locos in the North East as the paired locos we climbed onto in the depot yard were S313 and T338. We checked the two locos out then from the S class headed off the pit to change to the T for the reversal and run to Paisley. I can’t remember if the guard joined us in the confines of the flat top or if he travelled in the more spacious S class cab. With nowhere to sit and no view except sideways out of the side windows, past BJ or myself, capped by anyone being even roughly average height having to stoop in one of those cabs, I, personally, would have chosen the S class. Wherever he rode, he got the duty of unlocking the points into the Paisley sidings when we arrived at that spot on the West line. We moved the locos into the sidings and he then restored the points to their normal direction so that line could continue to carry traffic. Once within the sidings we then set about putting the train together. Once complete, BJ walked around the complete train doing a full examination, with me assisting with the application and release of the brakes, from the S class, as he needed. With the train ready to go we moved up to the points to the West line again to wait for permission to access the main again. We were scheduled to depart at 1600 but my notes about subsequent times suggest we didn’t depart Paisley then. If we were late and missed that slot, then we would have had to wait until Control determined the line could be accessed. Once on the main line we headed for Newport where we entered the back road to head for Brooklyn with the staff for that staff station. As we approached the staff exchange platform at Brooklyn the signal for Sunshine was against us with a crew on the ground nearby and a taxi in the background. Relieved of the train at 1905, which is why I think we were delayed at Paisley, we climbed into the taxi and rode back to Dynon, where we signed off at 2030.
On Wednesday I signed on at 1505 with Driver M Leveque, instead of BJ for some unknown reason, for the 1635 Kyneton pass. T408 was to be our loco and once at Spencer St with the loco attached to the train the brakes were tested and we prepared to depart. Getting the ‘right away’ we set off, to stop at Sunshine and again at St Albans, where we changed over with a Bendigo crew, at 1658. This crew were supposed to be off the 1430 up, according to my notes. What exactly happened here is a bit unclear as we didn’t take over another train, so we must have ‘travelled per’ but whether that was on the 1430 or by spark I can’t recall and my notes don’t mention any travelling. Whatever happened we returned to Dynon and went onto standby until 1805, when I became a driverless fireman; not a state that any fireman wanted to be in on standby! Luckily for me Driver Ian Kercher needed a loco assistant at 1845 and I was given the job. Manpower made use of the newly paired team by getting us to take out the locos for the 2015 Albury SG. Collecting X45 and T355, we made our way into the SG yards to couple up and let the train examiner do his thing. We stayed with the locos until around 2000 when the train crew arrived to allow us to make our way back to the depot again to resume our seats, back on standby. Once again, I became driver-less at 2035, which would explain why Manpower left me alone for the rest of the shift to enable me to sign off at 2305 without any further jobs.
BJ reappeared on Thursday as we signed on at 1455, rostered for a job that had been cancelled or allocated to another crew, so instead we were tasked to take out the loco for the 1515 Bairnsdale, which I take to be a goods, not a pass, which explains why we only got 20 minutes to get the loco off the depot, coupled onto the train, tested and ready to go. Class leader L1150 was rostered so we took it to the East Yard, coupled on and had the train tested. Although we were officially only supposed to the taking the loco out no-one arrived to relieve us so we departed Melbourne Yard and headed east. Even running behind time due our late allocation to the job we still made it into Dandenong at 1750 before we met our relief changeover. This was an eastern depot crew, on L1171, running ‘light’, so they had less excuse, than us, to be running as late as they were. Swapping L class with them we then continued to run ‘light’ back to Flinders St where ‘A’ signal box directed us, over the Yarra River, onto the Port Melbourne line. We ran light to Graham and then entered the Port Melbourne Yard where we tied up the L class, at 1835, for another crew to use for a down goods train, while we then relieved the Port Melbourne Pilot at 1845, which was being run with Y126. Eventually, we departed Port LE to return to Dynon and sign off at 2230.
Friday’s start was 1215 but the job we were supposed to run was cancelled so Driver Warren Soderman and I were reallocated to run the 1250 Spotswood oil Pilot instead. H3 was made available to us and our loading would have been in the Centre Yard. After coupling and testing we departed to go via Spion Kop and join the suburban lines at South Kensington. Travelling on to Spotswood we pushed back into the sidings to start shunting the various oil terminals found there. These tasks did not require a whole shift as we returned H3 to the Fuel Point before 1900 as Manpower tasked us with that duty at 1900, to fill in the remainder of the shift. We left the crew room at 2000 and were signed off at 2015.
Saturday was rostered for an 1124 start for something to do at Jolimont but the Roster clerk responded positively to my request to not work that day.