Steamrail's Eureka Express feauturing R711's return to Ballarat

 
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Steamrail today posted the details of an upcoming tour to Ballarat

It will include the first visit of R711 to Ballarat since 2004 when it was with West Coast Railway.

According to Steamrail, the R class will be turned at Ballarat East and lead both ways via Bacchus Marsh.

I'm assuming this means the issues with heritage operators accessing the turntable at Ballarat East have been rectified, if so this is a positive outcome.

link: https://www.trybooking.com/events/landing?eid=724230&



I'm looking forward to this one.

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  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Good to see they must have fixed the turntable at East Ballarat.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
The turntable was booked out for many years as not needed by the teams at east Ballarat.

For interest was the east Ballarat turntable the only unit ever installed in the Ballarat area ?
  Carnot Minister for Railways

At one stage Ballarat East had 2x 70 ft turntables next to each other in the Engine shed.

There were also turntables at Ballan and Skipton many decades ago.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Is the turntable at Maldon ex Skipton?
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

At one stage Ballarat East had 2x 70 ft turntables next to each other in the Engine shed.

There were also turntables at Ballan and Skipton many decades ago.
Carnot
Ballan, while it was the end of the line, or used to turn bank engines?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
At one stage Ballarat East had 2x 70 ft turntables next to each other in the Engine shed.

There were also turntables at Ballan and Skipton many decades ago.
Ballan, while it was the end of the line, or used to turn bank engines?
Lockspike
Not sure.

Perhaps it was both but there were several (?) gunzel trips to Ballan back in the days which used the turntable. At least one was a 'would be' Overland simulation with two A2s and a long string of E cars.

There also used to be a regular roadside goods from Ballarat which finished at Ballan. I have seen both N and A2 class locos on this but I assume that anything available was probably good enough.

Even further back, in the era of two A2s on the Overland, there were two appropriately spaced water cranes at Ballan so that the two Overland engines could both take water simultaneously.
  K160 Minister for Railways

Location: Bendigo
At one stage Ballarat East had 2x 70 ft turntables next to each other in the Engine shed.

There were also turntables at Ballan and Skipton many decades ago.
Carnot

The other table was a Cowan Sheldon table. It was one of 6 ordered by the VR from Cowans, Sheldon and Co. Ltd. Of Carlisle UK in February 1952 and installed in 1955. The Ballarat one was removed in 1961 and re-located to the-then new South Dynon loco depot to turn SG locomotives. The pit was then filled in and from what I understand the shed that WCR used as a workshop in the 1990s and early 2000s is located where this table was.In 1982 the former table from Ballarat East at South Dynon was removed and replaced with the overhauled table ex-Benalla (also a Cowans Sheldon type). After removal it was overhauled and then installed at Geelong in 1987. The removed table from Geelong remains at Newport.

If you want to read more on Cowan Sheldon turntables I recommend reading Chris Bangers article in the December 1997 issue of Newsrail.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
At one stage Ballarat East had 2x 70 ft turntables next to each other in the Engine shed.

There were also turntables at Ballan and Skipton many decades ago.
Carnot

Slightly off topic but given the growth of housing to the south and west of Ballarat might we see trains again to Skipton?
  K160 Minister for Railways

Location: Bendigo
Is the turntable at Maldon ex Skipton?
BrentonGolding

Yes it is. Re-located to Maldon in 1988 to replace the 50ft beam that was still in situ at Maldon. Otherwise they would have been splitting K and J-class locos just to turn them.
  K160 Minister for Railways

Location: Bendigo
Just some further info.

The Wycheproof turntable is currently having work done to it in preparation for a rather large tour for Cruise Express in May. This tour is likely to require the Ballarat East table back in service also. You can read the itinerary at: https://cruiseexpress.com.au/cruise-list/southern-steam-spectacular/
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Just some further info.

The Wycheproof turntable is currently having work done to it in preparation for a rather large tour for Cruise Express in May. This tour is likely to require the Ballarat East table back in service also. You can read the itinerary at: https://cruiseexpress.com.au/cruise-list/southern-steam-spectacular/
K160

Are you refering to this trip: https://www.railpage.com.au/events/southern-steam-spectacular ??
  K160 Minister for Railways

Location: Bendigo
Yes that one.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Hopefully that also will mean the Wycheproof turntable will then be in service for 707 Operations "Grainlander to Sea Lake (And the Silo Art Trail)" tour, featuring R707 on the weekend of the 7th to the 9th of May.

May looks to be a busy month for the Sea Lake line and steam trains.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Further to that, As a fan of mainline heritage steam operations, it's good to see turntable maintenance being given some decent consideration, what with Ballarat East and Wycheproof both apparently being re-instated and Bacchus Marsh being retained during the recent station re-build when it could have easily been a casualty of progress.

Hopefully this points towards a more heritage friendly feeling in the air.

Does anybody know of any other locations with turntables that could get a new lease on life?
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Does anybody know of any other locations with turntables that could get a new lease on life?
"Gman_86"
Colac and St Arnaud come to mind.

What happened to the Benalla and Deniliquin turntables - anyone?
  K160 Minister for Railways

Location: Bendigo
Benalla turntable is still in situ AFAIK. The Mornington Railway has the ex-Deniliquin table last I heard (don’t think it’s the Wodonga one).
  steamfreak Assistant Commissioner

Location: Wodonga, VIC
Benalla turntable is still in situ AFAIK. The Mornington Railway has the ex-Deniliquin table last I heard (don’t think it’s the Wodonga one).
K160
Yep - Benalla definitely still there in the weeds!
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Is Yarrawonga's turntable still connected to the mainline?

I remember it was last time I was there (not long after conversion to SG) and I know I've seen photos of the turntable rails being gauge converted back at the time the line there was done. Is it still connected?

Also, while I'm at it, what is the current status of Albury's turntable?
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
what is the current status of Albury's turntable?
Gman_86
Last time I was there (19/06/2016) there were large trees growing between the rails in tracks either side of the table, thus it hadn't been used for some time!

  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Whilst on the subject, Google Maps Satellite View still shows the Mildura table in place. Is it current?

Adding a wish, I'd like to see an unused table (Benalla?  Mildura?) plonked into a circular hole at Bairnsdale - I believe the new work at Stratford would allow an R class through.
  steamfreak Assistant Commissioner

Location: Wodonga, VIC
Is Yarrawonga's turntable still connected to the mainline?

I remember it was last time I was there (not long after conversion to SG) and I know I've seen photos of the turntable rails being gauge converted back at the time the line there was done. Is it still connected?

Also, while I'm at it, what is the current status of Albury's turntable?
Gman_86
Yarrawonga's turntable was still connected when I last looked a couple of years ago.

Albury's will need work on the approach track (the tree in between the tracks has died and rotted away) and presumably the electrics etc. will need inspection and update?  3801 will come in r-send first and out chimney first this Easter weekend.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Is Yarrawonga's turntable still connected to the mainline?

I remember it was last time I was there (not long after conversion to SG) and I know I've seen photos of the turntable rails being gauge converted back at the time the line there was done. Is it still connected?

Also, while I'm at it, what is the current status of Albury's turntable?
Yarrawonga's turntable was still connected when I last looked a couple of years ago.
steamfreak

Yes it is I looked when I was there several months ago.
  gunzel42 Locomotive Driver

At one stage Ballarat East had 2x 70 ft turntables next to each other in the Engine shed.

There were also turntables at Ballan and Skipton many decades ago.

Slightly off topic but given the growth of housing to the south and west of Ballarat might we see trains again to Skipton?
bevans
Looking forward to hearing the announcement 'Train now arriving at Haddon, change here for trams to Upper Terminus and Lower Terminus'.

Some of the rail in use at the MTPA at Haddon is ex Skipton line, purchased in situ and dragged from the rail corridor onto the site.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
I saw on social media in the past 24 hours, Steamrail have announced that due to the popularity of this trip to Ballarat on the 24th of April, they have added locomotive A2 986 to assist R711 with the increase in the length of the train.

It's good to see Mainline heritage is back and strong.

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