Memories of South Dynon in the early 19802

 
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
How come you gave it up after 5 years Neil? If it's none of my business, ignore me.
"wobert"


Good question, wobert.
It had been my dream during the last few years of my high schooling, not helped by watching double-headed New X dragging ballast trains for the Macleod to Greensborugh duplication. Once on the job, over the years the rose-coloured glasses came off with the reality of rotating shift work and the demands that placed on the body, coupled with a gradual shift in personal priorities. My interest in rail has never wavered, however, the dream faded until it was totally gone and I found myself heading in other directions. Frustration with the additional year of being a fireman, considering I was told "4 years to be a driver", didn't help either. Driving trains may not have been the mental challenge that I discovered I needed in a work-place, considering I'm now in ICT and the problem solving is something that I really enjoy, once the frustration of 'why doesn't that work?' is overcome.
There are still times when I dream of being in the cab, especially a few years ago when a friend gave away his auto mechanic's training and signed up with Metro to train to drive sparks; something I would have spent a lot of years doing as the employment contract I signed in 1979 stated that after I qualified I would have transferred to the ERD until I earned enough seniority to be able to transfer back to a diesel depot, although the Kennett era may have changed that.
An additional complication, that probably would have come up, was that my eye sight deteriorated, from 20/20 when I started, to the point where I was wearing prescription glasses for driving a car, especially at night, by 1985 and that may have put the khyber on my long term career. Victorian Railways, and its immediate successor, insisted that enginemen had (near) perfect sight and I didn't fit that category by the end of 1983. The RMO hadn't, yet, picked up on it, and, to be honest, neither had I, although I did notice that picking out signal light colours, especially those fitted with single lens heads, was getting harder than it had been in 1979.

Neil

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  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Thanx Neil
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
It appears that I swapped away from 32N but I don’t know what Afternoon roster I took up instead, either way Sunday was OR.
Mondays start was 1430 with Driver D Keary for the 1605 Seymour pass. With this much lead time before the train departed we must have had to get to Spencer St and wait for the loco to come in off another train. B85 was taken over from another crew and coupled to the train, tested and we were ready to depart. Getting away from the platform, we made our way up the grades past Essendon to stop at Broadmeadows. From there we stopped at Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Wallan, Heathcote Junction, Wandong, Kilmore East, Broadford and Tallarook to cross the Goulburn River and draw to a halt at Seymour at 1755. Relieved of the loco we then waited around in Seymour until S301 arrived to form the 1912 up pass. Getting underway on the return run I’m fairly sure we stopped everywhere that we had on the down until we drew into Spencer St at 2053. The S wasn’t much use facing the direction it was so we took it back to Dynon hostler end leading, to leave it at the Fuel Point and sign off at 2125.
Tuesday was also 1430, also for the 1605 Seymour pass, but with Driver Bissell instead of Keary. The loco running the down today was B81 which was only slightly faster than no. 85 as we arrived at Seymour at 1754. The up pass was hauled by X33 and, based on our arrival at Spencer St this time, there must have been some delays on the Monday as we drew to a halt at 2035. Although an old X would have been more versatile than an S it must have required fuelling as it also was returned to Dynon with our sign off at 2100. On both days my notes indicate that we would have been paid for 6 and a half hours due to a mileage allowance, if we hadn’t worked that long.
Wednesday was 1530 for Fuel Point with, someone from my early VR days, Foreman Jim McBride. I have no idea why he was working Fuel Point with me, considering Foremen took on loco assistants all year round, as one was preparing to do with me mid-December 1983, so the fact it was December 16 had nothing to do with his being rostered with me. We worked ‘the Point’ for our full shift to sign off at 2330.
Thursday was a 1424 start with Driver Noel White for us to make our way to Broadmeadows to meet an up goods off the Seymour line. We waited on the up platform until 1525 when S302 and T329 drew up next to us with the up Apex quarry, although this wasn’t the Westall bound version but one bound for the Brooklyn alternative. With the signal cleared for our diverging onto the Albion loop line we made our way, over the Moonee Ponds Creek and Maribyrnong River bridges, to Sunshine where we picked up the staff for Brooklyn section. The guard came forward to use the staff to unlock the points to access the line leading to the quarry siding where we travelled along, at low speed, due to the lines condition to stop the train, at 1730, so we could run the locos around. Once re-coupled, we then started the process of unloading the wagons from no. 302. With unloading finally completed we moved back to short of the points leading to the main line, at 1930. With permission to regain the main line the guard let us out of the siding and restored the points once we were clear of them. With the staff on the loco again we returned to Sunshine to hand the staff back to the Sunshine signalman. With clear signals we moved onto Albion where we turned onto the loop line again to retrace our path back to Broadmeadows. With the signal allowing access to the suburban lines clear we ran into the platform where our relief was waiting for us. Relieved of the train we waited for an up spark to travel back to North Melbourne and the walk back to the depot where we arrived at 2330 to sign off at 2345.
Friday’s start was 1515, once again with Noel White, to relieve a crew off the up ‘Ford’ train and run it on from Newport to Upfield. After travelling per to Newport we waited for the train to arrive in the back road behind the signal box. We took over T390 at 1645 and got the train moving again towards Brooklyn. Collecting the staff, we ran on to Sunshine and followed the same path to Broadmeadows as I had the day before although this time we ran through Broadmeadows platform without stopping. Climbing the grade to Somerton we were directed into the sidings where we could run around before descending to the Ford sidings, arriving at 1915. We then proceeded to shunt the wagons where they were required and collect those to form the Geelong bound train. At 2130 we departed the Ford sidings, after the obligatory examination, to return up the grade to the Somerton sidings. Once the loco was run around we crossed the SG line and headed down the grade towards Broadmeadows again. Crossing the down suburban line we retraced our path back to Sunshine. We were relieved but I failed to note exactly where; I’m inclined to say Newport since that was the usual location. Wherever it was it occurred at 2330 and our return to the depot would have been by taxi as we signed off at 2350.
Saturday was OR.

Neil
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
33A began with Sunday rostered off and BJ and I re-united for the week that finished on Boxing Day.
Monday’s start was 1345 for the 1410 Arden St Pilot. Y136 was tied up waiting for us in the sidings. We worked the cement sidings and the warehouses until 2140 when we returned the Y to the depot and signed off at 2215.
The sign on time on Tuesday was also 1345, this time for the No. 6 Dock Pilot. Y134 was provided to run this job, so we worked the docks as directed until 2150 when we finished with it to make our way back to Dynon to sign off at 2215.
Wednesday was on at 1300 rostered to work a 1400, what appears to have been a Dandenong/GMH Pilot. I even got to record that we would have used Y101 for this job but before we got too far from Manpower we were re-tasked to run the, rather, delayed 1100 Seymour goods. T384 provided the power and I’m inclined to say it was already attached to the train ready to go as once we departed we made it all the way to Seymour at 1530. This would also suggest that we ran via Essendon, and not Tottenham, to get there that quickly. Once in the yard at Seymour we had a wait before the 1912 up pass was due, which we were to travel per back to Melbourne on. What loco hauled this I didn’t record but we were back in Melbourne at 2100. Making our way back to the depot we signed off at 2130.
Christmas Eve was a 1353 start for a 1410 Pass Yard Pilot worked with Y108. We spent the shift shuttling fixed consists between the Bank sidings and the platforms until 2200, yet officially we signed off at 2315, a bit of fiction there, I would say.
Friday, being Christmas day was rostered on at 1330 for a South Geelong pass which did not run so we were rostered off instead and Saturday was OR as rostered as well.

Rolling onto 34D Sunday was rostered ‘if required’ but being December 27th there was little need for a standby crew, so BJ and I had the day off.
Monday’s roster was 0635 for the 0700 Canal Pilot but this didn’t run so we gained an extra day off.
Tuesday we signed on at 0635 for the 0700 Trimmer Pilot. The start time suggests that we took F202 off the pit but I’m not sure of that anymore. However, whether we took the F off the pit or it was already waiting for us on the hump siding it didn’t move very much once we were settled into the crew’s cabin. We left the cabin early, at 1425, with official sign off at 1525.
We signed on at 0635 on Wednesday for the 0700 Dynon Jet Pilot. Climbing on to Y124 we left the depot and made our way to North Dynon where we set about preparing those ‘Jets’ that were still running. As with the Trimmer the day before, we tied up the loco at 1425 to sign off at 1525 again.
Thursday, the last day of 1981, was an 0635 start for the 0700 Centre Yard Pilot. Y108 was waiting for us to take control and do whatever was required, although with the next day being a public holiday at the end of the week following Christmas I don’t imagine that there was actually all that much to do. According to my notes we tied up the loco at 1435 but weren’t signed off until 1525; some of that time would have been spent in the queue of enginemen waiting to collect our pay.
Friday had the 0700 West Yard Pilot rostered but this didn’t run, due to the holiday, and I was rostered off instead.
Saturday was also OR.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Thanks Neil.
A lot of memories.
Did the Arden street pilot also shunt Macauley in your day, please?
Vans of dog food used to originate from Macauley way back but I don't recall precisely when.
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
Thanks Neil.
A lot of memories.
Did the Arden street pilot also shunt Macauley in your day, please?
Vans of dog food used to originate from Macauley way back but I don't recall precisely when.
"YM-Mundrabilla"


Sure did. There were about three loading docks that were consistently shunted on the north side of Macauley Rd LX. I couldn't tell you what was loaded, even when working the sidings as everything went into boxcars and we only moved in when everything was ready to go.  
So, effectively there were two portions to the Arden St Pilot; namely, the cement and Ways & Works sidings within the area that is currently being turned into Arden station on MM1 and surrounds, and those sidings north of the LX.

Neil
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Thanks Neil.
A lot of memories.
Did the Arden street pilot also shunt Macauley in your day, please?
Vans of dog food used to originate from Macauley way back but I don't recall precisely when.


Sure did. There were about three loading docks that were consistently shunted on the north side of Macauley Rd LX. I couldn't tell you what was loaded, even when working the sidings as everything went into boxcars and we only moved in when everything was ready to go.  
So, effectively there were two portions to the Arden St Pilot; namely, the cement and Ways & Works sidings within the area that is currently being turned into Arden station on MM1 and surrounds, and those sidings north of the LX.

Neil
ngarner
Thanks Neil.
SCT was based in a shed/s at Macauley in those days.
The building was stacked wall to wall and floor to ceiling* with pallets of tinned dog food. Entering the place involved negotiating a narrow, dimly lit, maze of ~5 metre high pallets to get from Langford Street to the office in the middle of the building.
Those were the days........Smile
* Saw tooth roof IIRC.
Regards
YM
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
Thanks Neil.
A lot of memories.
Did the Arden street pilot also shunt Macauley in your day, please?
Vans of dog food used to originate from Macauley way back but I don't recall precisely when.


Sure did. There were about three loading docks that were consistently shunted on the north side of Macauley Rd LX. I couldn't tell you what was loaded, even when working the sidings as everything went into boxcars and we only moved in when everything was ready to go.  
So, effectively there were two portions to the Arden St Pilot; namely, the cement and Ways & Works sidings within the area that is currently being turned into Arden station on MM1 and surrounds, and those sidings north of the LX.

Neil
ngarner
Thanks Neil.
SCT was based in a shed/s at Macauley in those days.
The building was stacked wall to wall and floor to ceiling* with pallets of tinned dog food. Entering the place involved negotiating a narrow, dimly lit, maze of ~5 metre high pallets to get from Langford Street to the office in the middle of the building.
Those were the days........Smile
* Saw tooth roof IIRC.
Regards
YM
"YM-Mundrabilla"


There was definitely at least one saw-tooth roof on those sidings; IIRC it was the one that was shunted the most so that would tie in with your memories

Neil
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Thanks Neil.
A lot of memories.
Did the Arden street pilot also shunt Macauley in your day, please?
Vans of dog food used to originate from Macauley way back but I don't recall precisely when.


Sure did. There were about three loading docks that were consistently shunted on the north side of Macauley Rd LX. I couldn't tell you what was loaded, even when working the sidings as everything went into boxcars and we only moved in when everything was ready to go.  
So, effectively there were two portions to the Arden St Pilot; namely, the cement and Ways & Works sidings within the area that is currently being turned into Arden station on MM1 and surrounds, and those sidings north of the LX.

Neil
Thanks Neil.
SCT was based in a shed/s at Macauley in those days.
The building was stacked wall to wall and floor to ceiling* with pallets of tinned dog food. Entering the place involved negotiating a narrow, dimly lit, maze of ~5 metre high pallets to get from Langford Street to the office in the middle of the building.
Those were the days........Smile
* Saw tooth roof IIRC.
Regards
YM


There was definitely at least one saw-tooth roof on those sidings; IIRC it was the one that was shunted the most so that would tie in with your memories

Neil
ngarner
We couldn't both be wrong ........................ (could we ??) Smile
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
Exchanging roster 36N, which was midnight to 0100 starts, for 84A, I also had Sunday off.
For the first full week of 1982, Monday was a 1404 start for a 1500 Pass Yard Pilot. I didn’t record who I worked with but, whoever it was, we made our way to Spencer St via North Melbourne and a spark ride where we found Y145 tied up. Releasing the hand-brake we got to work and shunted the station and yard until 2145 when the hand-brake was cranked back on and we left the loco to return to Dynon to sign off at 2215.
Tuesday’s start was for a 1400 standby, which lasted for 30 minutes before I was tasked with working the Diesel Maintenance Shops. The normal start time for this job was 1500 yet we worked for the standard 8 hours, shuttling locos in or out of the shops until 2257 with sign off at 2315, meaning I worked nine and a quarter hours.
Wednesday, I signed on at 1345 to take the locos out to Paisley to form the 1600 Wodonga oil train. I joined Driver M Collins to locate S306 & T369 already coupled up in multi-unit, for us, in one of the through roads. Heading for the TR point in the S class we collected our guard as we changed locos to head for Paisley in no. 369. Running ‘light’ to Paisley, we left the West line, courtesy of the guard operating the point controls, to assemble our train. Once it was complete and examined, we waited for permission to return to the main line, although I get the strong impression that we were in the sidings for far longer than usual, as once we were on the road we were met by our relief crew at Newport at 1725. Returning to the depot by spark I signed off at 1838, for a day just under 5 hours.
Thursday was on at 1250 for the 1405 Bacchus Marsh pass. I’m assuming that with the New Deal, and more intensive use of locos, we had to make our way to Spencer St and wait for our loco to come in with another train, otherwise 75 minutes sign on before the train was excessive. T389 became available to us so we coupled up, tested and prepared to depart. On departure time we set off to stop all stations from Sunshine, with the usual staff exchanges, from Rockbank onwards, to arrive at “the Marsh” at 1507. I uncoupled for the carriages so we could run around to form the 1530 up pass. BJ did a continuity test, assisted by myself, and we were ready to do the reverse run. Fewer passengers meant shorter stops so we were able to draw into Spencer St at 1627. We returned to Dynon, although I can’t say whether that was with the loco or ‘travelling per’. Once back at the depot we spent some time in the meal room but signed off at 1950, probably to pre-empt the Manpower clerk’s attempts to send us to the Fuel Point.
Signing on at 1353 on Friday, we once again made our way to Spencer St, although this time to work one of the 1500 Pass Yard Pilots. We found Y147 tied up waiting for us and proceeded to shuttle carriage rakes in and out of the platforms until 2140 when I cranked on the hand brake and we headed for our individual homes, with an official sign off of 2310.
Saturday was another Pilot, on at 1335 to work the 1400 Centre Yard. Y126 was the loco of choice today, sitting at the northern end of the yard. With the hand brake off we got to work to do whatever was necessary on this early January Saturday afternoon. I gather not a lot was required as I noted that we tied the Y class up again at 1935, and, like Friday’s fiction, officially signed off at 2115.

Neil
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
I returned to 36A but BJ didn’t; possibly too many road jobs on this roster for his liking?
Sunday was OR, so the working week started at 1515 with Driver P Hampton. We were rostered to run portion of the Ford train to or from Upfield but there were more pressing needs so we were removed from that task and allocated one that wouldn’t have appeared on the roster. We were told to find T345 on the depot and head out to the Ways & Works sidings at North Melbourne. The VR had a converted van, coded WZ from memory, that was ordinarily used, with some eight, or so, bogie tank wagons, for weed spraying but which could also be used for attacking bushfires. Each wagon had a hose coupling to the adjacent wagon and the last to the WZ van. So finding and taking the T class through the TR point and into the sidings we were coupled up to this rake and scheduled to depart at 1600 for Wallan as there was a bushfire burning north of Wandong that, apparently, the railways had been asked to assist in fighting. I can’t recall if we headed up the suburban line via Essendon or around the Albion loop line via Tottenham but once past Broadmeadows we got up speed to tackle the grades up to Beveridge and then travelled on to stop at Wallan, most likely on the down main as trains weren’t running past this point due to the danger the fire posed. I didn’t record when we got to Wallan but once there we then had a decent wait before authority was given for us to move on up the grade to Heathcote Junction. During the wait the crew of the WZ tested their generators, pumps and aim with the purpose fitted nozzles, which proved to be quite impressive, the distance that could be reached. So, at 2000, we were given instructions to move on to Wandong from where we would then start to put out any smouldering sleepers or line-side fires as the worst of the fire had obviously moved on. Cresting the Great Divide, we rolled down to Wandong to stop so the fire-fighting crew could get their equipment set up properly and running. Getting underway again, at low speed and stopping whenever required, we watched for signals from the crew of the WZ, right behind the T class, and, probably more interesting, the streams of water attacking anything that was showing signs of smoke or flame. We moved on through the section towards Kilmore East dousing whatever was still showing signs of the fire passing through, at least, until something went wrong with the equipment in the WZ that generated the pressure and the former streams of water became a trickle which the crew were unable to correct, for all their efforts. With the main unit out of action there wasn’t any point in our continuing on so at Kilmore East we were told that we were going to terminate there. Running the T around the train, we prepared to return it to North Melbourne for stabling, and fixing of whatever the problem was. At 2120, we departed Kilmore East on the up and made somewhat better time of this journey as we had no need to travel slowly anymore, once past the bushfire affected area. Pushing the train back into its siding and tying it up at 2300, we returned no. 345 to the depot to sign off at 2330.
Tuesday was on at 1435 for a 1500 ‘something’, probably a Melbourne Yard Pilot but we were moved to run the West Yard Pilot instead. Y171 was waiting for us when we made it to the east end of the Canal Yard, on foot. Our gang of shunters joined us as we set to work moving wagons around from D balloon, the Cowper St sheds and other areas. We tied the loco up again at 2216 with an official sign off at 2315.
My starting time was changed by the Roster clerk to 1505 for Wednesday, with a change of driver and job. I signed on with Driver E King for the 1620 Bacchus Marsh pass. As had become the norm with the 'New Deal' our sign on time was a lot earlier than the departure time of our train. We took possession of T347, probably at Spencer St, coupled up and did the usual tests. We did the usual stopping all from Sunshine to arrive at Bacchus Marsh at 1736. As we were scheduled to form the 1805 up, I cut off and re-coupled once the loco had run around. The return journey took us until 1930 to complete, after which we returned to Dynon to go onto standby until 2105 when Manpower decided we were better employed working the Fuel Point. After two hours of shuttling locos around, numbers unrecorded, we signed off for the day.
Thursday I was back working with Driver Hampton and also the Fuel Point, as we were rostered on at 1530 for an 8 hour shift there.
Fridays start was 1424 for us to walk back to North Melbourne so we could travel by spark to Broadmeadows, to relieve the crew of the up Apex quarry. They must have been running late as the usual change-over was at North Melbourne. We waited on the up line platform for S308 and T350 to draw up next to us with a trailing load of 1530 tonnes. Relieving the previous crew, we then descended the grade on the suburban line, ran through North Melbourne, Spencer St and Flinders St to climb the grade towards Caulfield. On arrival at Westall, at 1645, we entered the loop and then pushed back into the unloading siding. The unloading process took until around 1930 as I noted that we earned 4 hours of tonnage allowance. With the wagons empty we drew forward into the loop so we could run the locos around to put the T as the leading loco. We were allowed to depart the loop at 2015 and made a decent run as far as Jolimont where we were stopped so we could be relieved, at 2045. Again, this was unusual as we would normally have run the train to North Melbourne for relief. As we had to travel there anyway, by spark after relief, it doesn’t make much sense for this to have happened. Whatever the reason we made our way back to Dynon and signed off on arrival at 2110.
Saturday was OR.

Neil
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Again, this was unusual as we would normally have run the train to North Melbourne for relief. As we had to travel there anyway, by spark after relief, it doesn’t make much sense for this to have happened. Whatever the reason we made our way back to Dynon and signed off on arrival at 2110.
"ngarner"
Nick Anchen has a book out called "Right Way; Wrong Way; Rail Way". Items like your relief on this job would qualify for inclusion.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Early in the National Rail days when the NSW - Long Island slab was still transhipped at Albury it was proposed that the Albury - Long Island train would change crew in the platform at North Melbourne. The Victorian powers that be of the time nearly had a fit.
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
Early in the National Rail days when the NSW - Long Island slab was still transhipped at Albury it was proposed that the Albury - Long Island train would change crew in the platform at North Melbourne. The Victorian powers that be of the time nearly had a fit.
"YM-Mundrabilla"


They obviously weren't familiar with the way the Westall bound Apex was dealt with for years; presumably those with experience in running railways in Victoria were long gone! Any crew change realistically shouldn't have taken more than 5 minutes, including the fireman checking the toolkit etc and the driver signing the chart and I imagine that a lot of the procedures I did daily didn't exist in NR days.

Neil
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Those were the 'transition' days when many who perceived that their job security had been affected by the formation of National Rail (NR) were actively hostile (read bloody minded) thereto and hell bent on creating as many obstacles to NR as possible.
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
Sunday started roster 37D with BJ re-joining me on our scheduled roster which started with an 0730 Fuel Point. Being a Sunday I’m inclined to say we spent a fair bit of the shift sitting in the crew room waiting for the fitters to finish with the few locos that would have come onto the depot. That said we persisted for the full shift to knock off at 1530.
Monday’s sign on was 0800 and I get the impression that the job we signed on for didn’t run as we ended up making our way to Spencer St to run an 0900 Pass Yard Pilot. There is another job underneath Pass Yard but it’s too well obscured to make out anymore. Either way, we ended up on Y165 to keep the ‘New Deal’ working until 1650 when we tied up the loco with official sign off at 1700.
Due to personal needs I applied for Tuesday off and the Roster clerk was nice enough to permit me this.
So, back at Dynon on Wednesday at 0710 BJ and I were rostered for the 0730 Ways and Works Pilot; whatever the roster had on it was obviously another cancellation. Y138 provided the horsepower so we shunted wagons either freshly repaired or in need of attention around the North Melbourne wagon workshops, within the reversing circle, however we weren’t limited to this small area for the shift. For some reason unremembered, we picked up a gang of shunters to manoeuvre across the suburban lines at North Melbourne, dodging sparks, to climb the grade up to Royal Park and continue on as far as Jewell where we shunted at 0950 before returning to the Ways and Works sidings. To cap this excursion from the Ways and Works Yard we repeated it again, from 1330. After giving 138 a bit of road running we returned it to the depot at 1500 to sign off at 1515.
Thursday we actually signed on to run the job that was listed on the roster, namely on at 0815 for the 0840 SG Pass Yard Pilot. Of the four SG Y class Y155 was allocated to us so we dealt with the up ‘Aurora’ and ‘Spirit’ and hauling the “Spirit’ cars back to the SG carriage shed at Dynon. Once the cars were in the shed we then did whatever was required, swapping in or out carriages as required and generally occupying our time until 1500 when we could no longer make any excuses and deposited the Y to the Fuel Point and returned ourselves to the Manpower Clerk who let us sit out the rest of our shift in the meal room with no Fuel Point duty.
Friday, in a recurring theme for the week, had us work a different job to the one on the roster, which appears to have been a Maribyrnong goods. Instead, we signed on at 0620 to make our way back to Spencer St for the third time in the week to run the 0645 Pass Yard Pilot, this time with Y140. Apart from the earlier start there would have been little to distinguish this shift from Mondays, other than us putting the handbrake on at 1415, an earlier finish compared to Monday, to sign off at 1500.
Saturday was OR.

Neil
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
I rolled onto 38N but BJ swapped with Driver Ian Bowles for the week, which began on Monday, with a 1715 sign on. We were rostered to take out the loco for the 1900 Geelong goods but we were removed from this task, instead, going straight onto standby until 2145. Manpower called on us to take Y139 into the SG Yards to test the 2300 down SG goods. Removing the Y from the turntable we ventured onto the main line briefly before entering the yard and coupling to the train where the train examiner then did his thing. With the 2300 ready to go, except for a loco, we then went on to do the same for the 0300 goods. This train was obviously ready well before its departure time as we were able to test it and return 139 to the depot at 0045 to sign off at 0100.
Tuesday’s start was 1714 to run the 1825 Sale pass, however for some reason I was teamed up with Driver Noel Slater, even though this was the job that the crew working roster 38N were supposed to do so what happened to Driver Bowles I have no idea. We had the luxury of being tasked with taking L1173 off the depot so didn’t have to make the trek to North Melbourne station and spark it to Spencer St from there. Instead, we arrived in style, until relieved of 1173, to take control of L1156 which was running our pass, train 8430. As a Sale bound train we had an express run to Dandenong from Flinders St and then another express run to Warragul where we arrived at 1955. Relieved by either a Warragul or Traralgon crew we were then directed to the car park where a taxi arrived to take us back to Pakenham, as there was no train available to return us towards Melbourne. Deposited at Pakenham by the taxi driver, we made our way into where L1169 was waiting for us. I’m inclined to suggest that there was a crew on the L who made use of our taxi to go back to Warragul. Taking possession of 1169 we departed Pakenham at 2050 but had a rather slow run through Dandenong, Caulfield and Melbourne to leave the train in the Arrivals Yard at 2345. Taking the loco back to Dynon we signed off at 0026.
I signed on with Driver Bowles again on Wednesday at 1725 for a Wodonga bound goods. This would have been the oil train out of Paisley which we travelled per to Broadmeadows to meet. Waiting on the platform T352 and Y156 drew into the platform after the spark we had arrived on had cleared the platform again. Behind the two powering locos was T347 being towed dead. At 1820 we relieved the previous Dynon crew and set off northwards to tackle the various grades as far as Heathcote Junction where the locos then gained a bit of a reprieve from their hard work as we rolled on towards Seymour. Approaching Kilmore East the distant was against us as the 1945 up goods we were changing over with was to meet us there. The grain movement for the season was underway as this train had S301, T357 and T406 up front with a load of 1,800 tonnes heading for Geelong. We stopped at Kilmore at 2310 and had a wait before the up goods rolled to a halt adjacent to no. 352. We changed trains and got underway on the return path back towards Melbourne at 2330. Dragging the load up to Heathcote Junction the locos had it a lot easier from that point on until we were stopped at Broadmeadows at 0030, where another Dynon crew were standing waiting for us. The driver climbed on board T357 to get himself organised while his fireman and I separated the S class from the rest of the train, stowed the jumper cable in whichever engine it had come out of, as, back then, jumper cables were never left in the socket but stowed away in the long end locker of hood locos or the nose of bulldog types, and hooked up the brake hoses onto their dummy couplings, to protect them from damage. With no. 301 ready to go the signalman ‘cleared the stick’ for us so we could run ‘light’ back to Dynon using the, now quiet, suburban lines while the crew of the T prepared to head for Newport via Sunshine. The S had done all that was required of it, getting the load over the dividing range, and the two T class had sufficient power to lift the load the rest of the way to Geelong, so we returned 301 to Dynon, instead of having a taxi ride there. Departing Broadmeadows at 0045 we left the loco in the hands of the fitters at Fuel Point at 0125 and signed off at 0140.
Thursday was on at 1720 with a walk to North Melbourne and spark to Spencer St to catch travel per the 1830 Bendigo pass. My notes indicate that I expected to run a goods out of Tottenham Yard to Bendigo but that was either mistaken or the train was cancelled. Instead, we rode all the way to Bendigo so we could run the 2115 up goods bound for Geelong. Once at Bendigo we found our train, led by X43 and S308. Departing the yard with 1560 tonnes hanging off the coupling of the S class, we gained speed through Kangaroo flat to tackle the grade up to Big Hill tunnel and once over the crest dropped down the grade to Castlemaine with the both locos dynamic brakes working to retard the descent. Running through Castlemaine the locos took on the challenge of the climb up to Elphinstone tunnel. Once over the crest of the climb the locos took on the role of holding the train back more than dragging it up hills. Running over both Malmsbury and Taradale viaducts and dropping down the grade from Woodend we eventually entered the suburban area. As we approached Sunshine we prepared to collect the Brooklyn staff and head towards Newport. After the staff exchange at Brooklyn we travelled on to the back road at Newport where we drew to a halt at 0150 with another crew were waiting to take over from us. Even though both locos were not required on the level run to Geelong we didn’t get to return to Dynon with one of them, instead returning by taxi, although I get the impression that we had to wait for it to turn up as we didn’t get to sign off until 0245.
Friday’s start and job were the same as Wednesday, i.e. 1725 to run the Wodonga oil from Broadmeadows and change over with the 1945 up. Once at Broadmeadows the down ‘oily’ drew into the platform, unusually with just T373 at the front, instead of the more usual situation of having at least a Y class in support. We set off along the down line to only get as far as Donnybrook by 2230 where we stopped as the 1945 had made far better time than two nights earlier. One reason would have been that the load was under 1,000 tonnes tonight. For all that it still had T371, 333 and 331 in the traces to get the load over the climb up to Heathcote Junction. Taking possession of the triple headed T class we set off on the up trip, tonight running through Broadmeadows onto the Albion Loop line instead of being replaced by another crew.  At the Albion end we joined the suburban line to travel on to Sunshine and then follow the same route as Thursday, going through Brooklyn to Newport. When we stopped behind the signal box at Newport we were advised that T371 was to come off the train for return to Dynon, so I set about doing that as our relief took over T333. Once the locos were separated we moved 371 out of the way of the train we’d brought in so it could depart for Geelong. In addition to keeping 371 in our control we were told we had to add S302 to return it to Dynon as well. Coupling up to the S class I connected all the brake hoses and added the jumper cable before we indicated to the signalman that we were ready to head back to the depot. The return to Dynon ‘light’ had us back around 0110 as we signed off at 0125.
Saturday was OR.

Neil
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
I moved onto 39A but, once again, BJ swapped away so I worked with a number of different drivers over the course of the week.
Sunday being the last day of January, I asked for the day off, which was granted, instead of starting at 0859 to relieve the up ‘Overland’.
Monday, being a public holiday, I was rostered off again, instead of an 0835 Traralgon, which probably didn’t run anyway.
Tuesday was on at 0907 with Driver Dietz for a job that we were removed from. Instead we were re-allocated to a 1005 light engine to Upfield to run one of the Geelong bound Ford trains. T353 had been rostered for this so we removed it from the depot yard and proceeded out to the TR point and beyond where we were met by our guard. My memory is that we negotiated the junction at North Melbourne to head along the Upfield line, following some distance behind a spark. Back then most of the level crossings at the southern end were still manually operated gates with semaphore signals controlled by the gate keeper, which made for a fairly tedious journey as something a bit out of the ordinary threw the gate-keepers routine. We made it up the grade from Macauley without any issues but once past Royal Park we had to maintain a relatively low speed as we watched the gate keepers come out of their cabins, on receiving the bell signal indicating a train approaching from the preceding cabin or signal box, to close all four gates at the best opportunity traffic gave them and then wander over to the signal lever frame to clear ‘the stick’ for us. With the close proximity of many of them from Park St on to Brunswick we could see a number of them at various stages of clearing the line for us. The northern section was less of a hassle in this regard but it took us until 1139 to finally arrive in the broad gauge sidings at the Ford factory. The train wasn’t scheduled to depart for Geelong until 1400 so we spent some of that time shunting the big Ford specific box wagons around. Once our train was assembled and tested we only had to wait for the right away. Running around at Somerton was a fairly quick process and we obviously were able to cross the SG almost immediately as we were pulling up on the back road at Newport at 1445. This was either an incredibly good run or we left the Ford sidings early; I can’t remember which now. We handed control of no. 353 to another crew and took possession of S305 on an up goods bound for the Arrivals Yard. This, as was most common, was to run via Tottenham Yard so we retraced our path as far as Brooklyn before ascending the grade to the flyover to Tottenham. We would have some wagons removed from the rear of the train by the Top Yard Pilot and once the guards van was restored to the rear of the train and a continuity test completed headed on along the up independent goods line. We finally made it to the Arrival Yard and were uncoupled, to move on to the reversing point beneath the hump where we relocated to the hostlers’ end to take 305 to the Fuel Point where we left it, at 1655, to sign off at 1710.
I signed on at 0835 on Wednesday, again with Driver Dietz, to run the 0920 Traralgon out of the East Yard. We took possession of L1157 in the wired road of the depot and took it out to the East Yard where we were coupled up and tested the train. With the test complete, the dwarf cleared for us to depart the Yard and head for the viaduct to Flinders St. We worked our way through Melbourne, up the grade to Caulfield and continued heading eastward towards Dandenong. Once past Dandenong, we continued looking for the 1029 up, which was our change-over. We travelled through the single line section from Bunyip to Longwarry with the staff and reached Drouin without seeing the 1029. Since we weren’t stopped at Drouin we knew we would get to Warragul as there was nowhere else to do a change-over. We arrived at Warragul at 1225 and handed the train over to the eastern region crew to run the balance of the distance to Traralgon. I can’t say when the 1029 arrived at Warragul but I am of the opinion that we had to wait for it. One reason for this is the time we finally made it back to Melbourne. When we finally were able to take control of the up goods it had L1168 with 1171, with the modified nose, in multiple unit. Departing Warragul, we climbed the easier grade up to Drouin than the down trains descended and continued on our way. We may well have shunted at Dandenong, and possibly Berwick or other locations east of Dandenong, but once on the up side of that station continued on stopping only where signals held us back. We eventually pulled into the Arrivals Yard and were released from the train to leave the western end of the Arrivals Yard to a point where we could move to 1171 for the short trip back towards the next reversing point beneath the hump. At this point we returned to 1168 to run into the depot. We deposited the paired L class at Fuel Point at 1750 to sign off at 1805.
Thursday’s start was 0930, rostered for an 0950 light engine run to Caulfield to collect a Maribyrnong bound load of briquettes. I’m not sure exactly what happened here but that job is crossed out and I, obviously, went straight onto standby. Eventually, I was called out by Manpower at 1110 to team up with Driver C Johnson to run the P10 Pilot. We took T322 ‘off the pit’, I would suggest, to Tottenham where we collected the loading and a gang of shunters to work the area this Pilot covered. There wasn’t a lot of work offering since we had returned to Tottenham and deposited whatever wagons we had there by 1545 and were instructed to return to Dynon light engine. This took 30 minutes and I signed off at 1630, for a shortened shift.
Friday was officially off roster but the Roster Clerk had other ideas so I was back at Dynon at 1820, this time with Driver Dave Gauwitz, to, once again, run the 0920 goods out of the East Yard, although this time it was only scheduled to travel as far as Warragul, according to my notes. L1160 and 1163 had been coupled in multi for us by the fitters so we ran these two to the East Yard and repeated the testing, departure and run to Dandenong. Our change-over, once again was the 1029 and we actually met it at Nar Nar Goon where we stopped at 1210. The up was also a double header with L1158 leading and, once again, 1171 providing additional power. With the change-over effected, we started our run back towards Melbourne. The run still wasn’t the fastest as we finally deposited the pair L’s at Fuel Point at 1540 with a sign off at 1610, for a second shortened shift in a row.
Saturday was rostered off and I was given the day off, unlike Friday.

Neil
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
Continuing on to 40D, without trying to swap away from the roster rotation, I had both Sunday and Monday rostered off, to have BJ re-join me for the first time in a while.
Tuesday’s start was 0345 to run an 0400 light engine to Caulfield to take a briquette load to Maribyrnong. BJ and I took B67 off the pit and picked up our guard near where we run under the hump before setting off to Caulfield. On arrival at Caulfield I coupled up to the rake, BJ did a continuity test and we were ready to go. The signal cleared and we departed at 0500 for the drop down to South Yarra. Rolling through Jolimont, we passed through the, now long gone, stabling sidings with their many sparks as their drivers prepped those not already in service for the on-coming peak hour. Travelling over the ‘new’ viaduct we continued on along the goods lines to re-join the suburban lines at South Kensington and head on to the Maribyrnong junction. Wandering along the goods line we pulled into the yard at 0630, where I uncoupled from the train. In the next two hours we coupled to a rake of empties, BJ did a brake test and we prepared to travel back towards the east. Departing Maribyrnong at 0830 we returned to the suburban lines and headed back to Spencer St on the goods lines again. Crossing the viaduct for the third time today we climbed the grade to Caulfield but ran through this station as far as Oakleigh where we arrived at 0950 to be met by an L class with an eastern depot crew who were going to take the train on. I uncoupled and we cleared the rake so the L class could replace the B. At 1015 we were in the up end cab once again, to return to Maribyrnong running ‘light’ once more. We arrived back at Maribyrnong Goods at 1100 where a taxi was idling with another Dynon crew waiting to relieve us. The taxi returned us to Dynon where we signed off at 1120.
On Wednesday, we started at 0400 for the 0435 Port Melbourne Pilot. Y132 was waiting in the depot yard for us so we took it off the pit to the East Yard to collect our load. Heading for Jolimont we ran around in the sidings adjacent to Jolimont Workshops and then headed for Montague where we spent some time shunting in the small yard there. With our work at Montague done, we re-joined the suburban line and headed for Graham where we entered the Port Yard. I don’t recall what happened now but I have a note that Driver S Reid took over from BJ at 0900 for the rest of the shift. At 1110 Driver Reid and I left 132 tied up, with the hand brake cranked on, and made our way over to the nearest station to travel per back to Dynon where I signed off at 1230.
Thursday’s start was 0405 to run the 0425 light engines to Bacchus Marsh for the up morning commuter trains. The two locos were coupled in the depot yard, being B81 and B85, but on checking their loco the other crew discovered problems with no. 85 and advised the Fuel Point Foreman that it was defective. B85 was uncoupled from no. 81 and B70 was allocated to replace it and coupled up instead, by a fitter, with ‘helpful’ comments from the two firemen, as we were more than capable of doing it ourselves but fitters always did coupling of locos on the depot. After the delay in getting no. 85 replaced we set off for ‘the Marsh’ with a little more haste than would have been required usually. On arrival the two locos were separated by us firemen and coupled to their respective trains. As BJ and I were running the 0630 up, we were first to shunt the carriages into the platform after the continuity test. With our Melbourne bound passengers on board, the correct staff on the loco and the departure home signal clear we set off for the stopping all stations, including Parwan, even though there were few passengers ever using that station. We pulled into the platform at Spencer St at 0727 to hand the loco over to another crew for a down train. BJ contacted Manpower and was advised that our next task was to relieve the Wodonga crew of the up ‘Aurora’. We made our way around to platform 1 and waited for X49 to draw to a stop adjacent to us at 0955. We took over from the Wodonga crew so they could go for their ‘rest’ and I uncoupled the new X from the train so we could run around to take the emptied cars to the South Dynon SG car shed. I failed to note when we left the carriages in the shed and deposited the X at the SG Fuel Point but once back at Manpower we were given the job of taking out the loco for the 1200 down Geelong pass. When this happened and which loco it was, that we took back to Spencer St, I didn’t note, partially because I was running out of room to record these details. Whatever the details were, we had made it back to Dynon once more around 1200 and we signed off at 1215.
Friday was on at 0420 for us to walk up to North Melbourne station where we met the up ‘Apex’. X52 with T403 trailing drew to a stop level with the bottom of the platform ramp so we could relieve the crew. At 0450 we had the train moving once more, after also allowing the guard to change, to set off for Westall where we drew into the loop siding at 0600. Pushing the train back into the unloading siding we then proceeded to unload each wagon. With this finished we drew the train back out to the loop and ran the locos around. Continuity test completed we were ready to go with the empty train. We departed the loop siding at 0945 to travel as far as Caulfield where we ran into one of the centre roads and stopped at 1010. Our locos were requiring fuel and servicing so another pair were on their way from Dynon light engine. The other locos arrived so I uncoupled and we were given the road to return to Dynon at 1030, while the fresh locos replaced ours. Running back to Dynon in no. 403 we made it back to the depot around 1130 as we signed off at 1145.
Saturdays job was cancelled before we signed on at 0330 so we went straight on to standby. My notes say that this lasted until 0520 but the job we were given by Manpower was Fuel Point but we didn’t start there until 0700. I can't explain the difference  there as we certainly weren't due for a meal break yet. I didn’t record which locos we moved between and 1100 when we walked away from the crew room with sign off at 1130.


Neil
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
I did a swap with another fireman, away from 41N onto 67D instead, with Sunday off.
To begin the week an 0400 standby quickly changed to the 0435 Port Melbourne Pilot, with Driver Trevor Lamb. We located Y121 and headed for the East Yard to collect our loading. With that in tow, we reversed at Jolimont to shunt Montague before moving on to Port Melbourne Yard. We shunted, and rested, there until 1045 when a relief crew appeared to replace us. Travelling per to Flinders St and on to North Melbourne to walk back to the depot, where we signed off at 1230.
Tuesday was rostered for another 0400 start, this time rostered to actually work the Port Melbourne Pilot, this time with Driver Ian Anthony, who I was working 67D with. The wagons were different, but the loco; the collection of loading from the East Yard; the reversal at Jolimont; and the shunting of Montague and Port Melbourne were all the same. We were relieved at 1035 and made better connections as we were back at the depot to sign off at 1200.
Wednesday I applied for the day off and the Roster clerk was kind enough to give me the day.
So, back on Thursday at 0405, again with Driver Anthony, we were rostered for the 0425 light engines to Bacchus Marsh to bring up two of the morning commuter trains. Together with the crew of the 0630 we located our locos, X52 and B77, with the X class being our loco for the 0715. We drew the B class to the reversing point beneath the hump and then sat back to enjoy the run to Bacchus Marsh. Once at ‘the Marsh’, we firemen separated the locos and I then coupled no. 52 to the carriages in the yard, a continuity test was completed and then we waited for the 0630 to shunt into the platform and then to depart. Once the 0630 was clear, the signalman allowed us to move onto the main line and then set back into the platform for our turn. With our passengers on the train and the staff on the loco we got the ‘all clear’ from the station assistant and the guard and set off to chase the 0630 into Melbourne. I failed to note when we arrived but we would have had to return the X class to Dynon, for turning, if nothing else. Nothing else happened for the balance of the shift, not even Fuel Point so we signed off at 1205.
Friday’s start was 0245, changed from the rostered 0445 start but whatever we were supposed to run had been cancelled, so, instead we settled into the meal room until Manpower found us a job. We walked to North Melbourne station where we met a Geelong bound train, hauled by T341, and took over from the previous crew at 0400. We set off and stayed on the suburban lines to Newport, instead of going via Tottenham Yard, and then ran on to North Geelong where we arrived at 0550. With the T released from the train we took it to Geelong depot where we left it at the local Fuel Point to walk on to Geelong station where we waited for the 0655 up passenger train. We ‘travelled per’ this train which made it to Spencer St at 0805. We made our way back to North Melbourne by spark to report back to Manpower, who had nothing more for us. We signed off at 0920 for a short shift.
Saturday was a 0330 start for Fuel Point duty. The usual climbing up and down to throw points, move the turntable, crank on the hand brake and periods of sitting in between filled the shift until 1100 with sign off at 1130 to finish the week.
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
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.
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
I swapped away from 44N, back to 38N, a roster I’d worked only six weeks earlier.
Monday was supposed to be 1715 for a 1900 Geelong but, being the Labour Day public holiday, this was cancelled and so I was not required to work.
Tuesday was 1714 for the 1825 Sale pass with Driver S Sarniak. Unlike the last time running this train the pair of us had to ‘shanks pony’ to North Melbourne station and then travel by spark to Spencer St where L1154 was waiting for us to take possession. Once again we did the express run from Flinders St to Dandenong and then on to Warragul non-stop, with only the slowing for the staff pickup at Bunyip and drop off at Longwarry to really hinder our progress, although the run was a little slower than previously as we stopped at Warragul at 2002. Relieved by of the train we then travelled per, from 2015, all the way back to Dynon, presumably by taxi, since I used the same form of transport previously. Dropped off in the depot car park at 2220 Manpower put us on standby which was unbroken until 0114 when we signed off.
The first major change occurred on Wednesday, with an altered sign on time of 1715, with Driver B Edwards, to run the 1810 South Geelong pass. I was supposed to work with Driver Sarniak again, on a completely different train but Manpower deemed that my presence on the pass was more important so I changed jobs and drivers. B63 was to run the train but I’m not sure if we took it off the depot or had to get to Spencer St ourselves to take control of it, probably the latter. Either way, we found ourselves in the cab with a brake test and other basic preparation complete and ready to depart. Clearing the platform, we ran to Newport and headed on to Geelong, where we picked up the staff from the signalman on our way towards the tunnel. Emerging from the tunnel we almost immediately ran over the McKillop St level crossing then descended the grade to South Geelong station, to ‘hand up’ the staff while still moving. Arrival time was 1935 after which we shunted to the siding where we organised the run around ready to haul the empty cars back to Geelong Yard. Once the signalman was able to get ‘line clear’ he let us out onto the main line and provided us with the staff for that run. At the other end of the tunnel we diverged into the sidings where we left the carriages tied up. The loco came with us to Geelong depot, as far as I can recall, where we left it at the Fuel Point. We had a break before we needed to get S311 from Geelong depot to North Geelong Yard to run the 2155 up goods. Once we had set back into the siding with our train we coupled up and a brake test was performed before we were able to set off towards Melbourne. We made good time as far as Newport where we were relieved by the crew that was taking the train on towards Sunshine and its ultimate destination. Comparing this travel time to the down pass shows a similar time taken, although the pass travelled the extra distances of Spencer St to Newport and also North Geelong to South Geelong. We returned to Dynon, most likely by spark, since they were still running and our sign off time was 0016; a taxi would have been somewhat quicker.
On Thursday, I was supposed to start at 1720, with Driver Sarniak for a Bendigo, based on the previous time I worked this roster, however, as I arrived at Dynon early, to collect my pay from the pay office and did that quickly enough that, Manpower signed me on at 1714 and paired me with Driver P Gooding and a changed job of the 1825 Warragul pass, the same job as Tuesday. Flexibility on the part of the Manpower clerk was certainly a necessity; if one, or both, crew failed to appear by their sign on time he had to find replacements fairly quickly, that weren’t going to run into substantial overtime before the job was done. I obviously replaced someone who either hadn’t arrived or wasn’t going to, leaving Driver Sarniak with no fireman, unless the one I replaced finally arrived or there was one already on standby. This was the sort of event that a newly minted fireman would be waiting for, as I did back in early 1979. Making our way to Spencer St we found L1158, at the head of the train, waiting for us. We repeated the run of Tuesday to arrive at 2000 to hand over to a local crew. Once again we then travelled per from 2015 but only as far as Dandenong this time, where we climbed out of the taxi around 2120. Making our way into Dandenong Yard we climbed onto L1154 and at 2130 were departing on the run to the Arrivals Yard, which occupied us until 2350. With the L class deposited in the one wired road at Fuel Point, for its sand boxes to be topped off, we returned to Manpower to go onto standby until we signed off at 0114.
Friday’s job was also changed, this time to a 1615 sign on for the 1714 Dimboola pass, with Driver M Griffiths. Drvier Sarniak did not lose my assistance this time as I was rostered with Driver Griffiths from the start. S315 was the loco assigned and being an S we would have had to take it off the pit ourselves, which saved us the hike to North Melbourne station, although it did mean putting up with the extremely rudimentary conditions of the hostler ‘cab’. To couple up with an S meant stopping a decent distance short of the train to provide enough room to enable me to clamber down to rail level so I could then align the couplers and undo the brake hose from the dummy coupling. Coupled up and relocated to the proper cab the train was examined and we were ready to go. Stopping at Sunshine we got under way again to run express to Ballarat, on the auto exchanger at every station, or as close to it as traffic permitted. We descended Warrenheip bank to stop at Ballarat platform 1 at 1905. Relieved by either a Ballarat or Ararat crew, we had a wait before the up train we were running back to Melbourne arrived, the 2000. X48 drew into platform 2 with its train where we took over and set off to get up as much speed as possible before hitting the grades of the bank. Once at Warrenheip we picked up the staff for Bungaree and headed for that station. We worked our way back to Melbourne, dealing with the on-coming traffic, of which there was usually a decent amount and being one of the few trains going against the grain meant we had lower priority than the down traffic. We finally made it into the Arrivals Yard at 0105 and then took the X class back to Dynon to sign off at 0140.
Saturday was rostered off and there was no change in that regard.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I'm only guessing here, but I suspect that the jobs like the Sale and Dimmy pass runs could have been a nice change from doing the various yard pilot work.
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
I'm only guessing here, but I suspect that the jobs like the Sale and Dimmy pass runs could have been a nice change from doing the various yard pilot work.
Valvegear
Any road job was appreciated, considering Pilots made up the bulk of the Dynon Goods rosters.
Of the other depots around the state I'm inclined to say that only Geelong had quite a few Pilots to work, with North Geelong Yard, the grain loop and Geelong station yard; most other depots had largely road jobs, but they also had far fewer crew allocated.

Wobert asked a little while ago why I gave the job away after five years. One reason that I didn't consider, at the time, was that I signed up because I wanted to work on trains travelling from point a to b, no sitting on a Pilot shuttling to and fro in the same small area and life at South Dynon did not fulfil enough of that desire, as anyone who reads this can see. I'm inclined to say most crew at Dynon would have preferred road jobs, although there were some more than happy to putter around a yard; BJ was one of those few. Swapping rosters might have enabled you to get more road jobs but there weren't enough of them to keep everyone happy, so you just did your best to get the jobs you preferred.

Neil
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
I gave 41A a miss, instead swapping to 208D, which had Sunday OR.
Monday was an 0330 start for Fuel Point duty, with Driver B Evans. As had become my norm, I didn’t record any of the action during the shift, so all I can report is that we gave it away at Fuel point at 1100 to sign off at 1130.
Tuesdays start was 0325 for the 0400 Dandenong Pilot, once again with Driver Evans. Y104 was removed from the depot and taken to the East Yard to couple to whatever loading was offering. We set off through Melbourne to climb the grade to Malvern, run through Caulfield and onwards. We may have shunted at Westall but I can’t confirm this anymore. We made it to Dandenong, but I didn’t record when, to deposit our train in the Yard there and then had some time to kill before the up load was ready for us to haul back to Melbourne. Once we were coupled to it, and it was examined, we dragged it back to the Arrivals Yard and left it there while the Y was returned to Dynon, at 1230. We signed off at 1250 for a longer shift than expected, for a relatively short distance trip.
On Wednesday, Driver Evans and I started at 0330 for something that had been cancelled. Instead we made our way to the meal room and took a seat. Manpower eventually called on us to climb into the waiting taxi for a ride to Brooklyn where we relieved a crew at 0525, who departed for Dynon in the taxi. We took over T345 and spent some time doing I’m not sure what anymore. Whatever we were doing was complete around 0600 when we were dispatched back to Dynon LE where we left the T in the hands of the fitters and returned to standby as of 0640, albeit briefly. Manpower found another job for us at 0700, this time we were told to travel to St Albans to relieve the crew of an up goods. We hiked to North Melbourne and then caught a spark to St Albans which then meant we had to cross both the road and rail line to get to the up platform on the main line, on the down side of the level crossing. We stood on the platform until B66 appeared, to stop near us to do the crew change. Once we had possession of no. 66, we proceeded on to Sunshine where we diverted onto the Brooklyn line, with the staff collected from the signalman. We passed through Brooklyn with a full staff exchange and moved on to Newport where another crew were waiting for us. Relieved of the train, which then headed on to Geelong, we made our way to the suburban platform to travel back to North Melbourne and another hike of the path to the depot, where we made it back at 1135 and signed off at 1155.
Thursday was another 0330 start, this time with Driver R Williams, but, unfortunately for me, it was for Fuel Point duty once again. As was the case on Monday, I did a lot of clambering under and down as we moved locos around. With the layout of Dynon, every loco on the broad gauge had to reverse direction once it had been refuelled, no matter where it was going to be left, which meant at least one scramble along the footplate, descending to ground level, throwing the point level, climbing back up to footplate level to make your way back to the cab again. Going to the turntable meant a minimum of two points, unless you travelled all the way to the extreme west of the depot trackage to pass to the south of the Maintenance shops but this was extremely rare and was still no guarantee of not having to do the descent and climb again, depending on which way the points to the turntable were lying. Of course, the turntable meant another climb down and then you still had to climb up to footplate level once more to crank on the handbrake, unless you had a very considerate driver. The only advantage of your driver taking one loco while you took a second solo, which was not supposed to happen but often did if the locos were going to different locations, meant you got to drive but then you had to do everything yourself; both VC’s, points and, if stabling on the turntable, descending to turn the table to a vacant road, climbing back on board to move the loco into the road, applying the hand brake and then restoring the table to the access road. Anyone caught being lazy and not restoring the table to the access road would cop a fair bit of abuse as it was expected to be left that way. There were occasions when a loco needed to be moved from one side of the access road to the other without using the table as anything more than a link and having to realign it to just cross it would be very irritating. The Fuel Point Foreman had to know about firemen driving, especially if a crew reappeared separately, but turned a blind eye as I never heard of anyone getting into strife for this happening. They probably considered it to their advantage as this was a faster method of dealing with multiple locos than a crew dealing with locos going to different stabling sites together. We finished at the ‘Point’ at 1100 to sign off at 1130.
Fridays start was 0400, once again with Driver Williams but this time we at least we able to leave the depot as we ran the 0435 Port Melbourne Pilot. Y164 was allocated and with it we did the usual tasks of collecting our loading from the East Yard, running around at Jolimont, shunting at Montague and then shunting at the Port Melbourne Yard until relief arrived at 1045. Freed from the loco we travelled back to Dynon via Flinders St to sign off at 1200.
Saturday was rostered off.

Neil

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