Memories of South Dynon in the early 19802

 
  ngarner Deputy Commissioner

Location: Seville
Reading about ". . . departing Newport in a taxi with our guard . . ." had me wondering how many of our young readers would be asking, "What's a guard?" or " Why did you need to be guarded?"
Valvegear
That thought dates you but, then, considering I wrote it, I'm guilty of that as well and am willing to admit that I'm old.

Neil

Sponsored advertisement

  ngarner Deputy Commissioner

Location: Seville
Continuing to follow the roster I moved onto 141A, Sunday was rostered off.

Monday’s shift began at 1245, working with Driver P Botha. My, now obscured, notes indicate that we were supposed to work one of the many Pilots around Melbourne which may have been the Dynon ‘Jet’ but that’s not definite. Instead, we ended up tasked to prepare the Wodonga ‘oily’, and then run it as train 9325, departing the Paisley sidings at 1600. In a change to the norm, we climbed onto X49, which had T401 in multi on the down end of the X. Another crew climbed on board T401 and they were towed past the TR point to the reversing location below the hump. Our guard joined us here and then the crew of no. 401 took over to tow no. 49, and us, as far as the Paisley sidings, along the suburban lines. After the guard had given us access to the sidings, we uncoupled the T class, disconnected the MU cable and four brake hoses so its crew could return to the West line and head back to Dynon. With our ‘tow’ departed and the points reset for the main line, we then proceeded to assemble our train. With it complete, Driver Botha carried out the examination, with my assistance in applying and releasing the train brakes, as needed. Around 1600, the guard was given permission, by the Newport signalman, to change the points so we could depart the sidings. The train was stopped when it was clear of the points so the guard could restore them to normal and then board the van. My notes indicate that I drove for at least some of this run, so it is likely that I was the one in control from when we departed from the sidings. Powering back to Newport we ran behind the signalbox where the staff was collected, by hand, not by me for a change. Powering along the West line, we approached Brooklyn for a full staff exchange, which I may have done from the driver’s seat but I can’t be sure anymore, and moved on towards Sunshine. When the road and signal cleared to allow us to enter Sunshine station I notched up no. 49 and we entered the platform. I would have handed the staff up here as the platform was on my side of the loco, before we continued on towards Albion and the junction for the Loop line. Crossing the up suburban line we moved on towards Broadmeadows and at that end entered the passing loop. When the platform was clear of sparks the signal cleared and I notched up the X to climb the grade to the platform, where another crew, most likely a Dynon ‘Big Wheel’ one, based on relatively recent experience, were standing at the far end to relieve us. Stopping the train adjacent to them, at 1835, they climbed into the cab and we handed the train over to them. Departing the cab, we watched the train travel past us as the new crew powered away from Broadmeadows and then waited for an up spark to arrive to take us back to North Melbourne. After walking from the station back to the depot we ended up on standby to complete the shift, once more without being sent to work the Fuel Point. Sign off was 2045.
On Tuesday, I started at 1435 for the 1500 Dynon ‘Jet’ Pilot, working with Driver J Contessa. Y123 was our loco, when we got to it and together we assembled, or finished off assembling, the various afternoon Adelaide bound ‘Jets’ working largely within North Dynon Yard, although making occasional forays to other parts of Melbourne Yard, like the TNT sidings adjacent to the standard gauge main line, near Dynon, or one of the Hump Yard balloon loops. We worked the yard until the last ‘Jet’ departed and our shunters advised us everything was done, to then return the Y to Dynon leaving it at Fuel Point at 2240 and off at 2255.
Wednesday’s sign on was 1505 for the 1620 Bacchus Marsh pass, train 8127, with Driver Ray Pizzica. We had T365 for our loco and made the usual stopping all station run from Sunshine, arrived at ‘the Marsh’ at 1722. Once the carriages were empty of passengers, we pushed the carriages back onto the main line then waited for the signalman to change the points and clear the disc to allow us to enter the yard. Clear of the main line, I uncoupled the loco in preparation for the up journey, which we had to wait for some time for, as we were waiting for another down pass to terminate before any return to Melbourne was scheduled. This train arrived, hauled by T358, and repeated the process that we had used, earlier, to get their train into the yard. The next steps in this process are unclear but the two carriage rakes were combined and somehow no. 358 ended up coupled directly to the train with no. 365 leading. Eventually, we were handed the staff and the road was cleared for our departure, as train 8156, up empty cars bound back for Spencer St. We departed the yard at 2035 to work our way back to Melbourne, fighting our way against outbound traffic. We eventually drew the train to a halt at one of Spencer Streets platforms at 2205. Whether a Pilot coupled to the rake to drag it back into the Bank sidings or we pushed the rake back into the sidings ourselves I didn’t note. However, once freed of the rake of carriages the crew on no. 358 got to do some work as they hauled us over the flyover back to Dynon. With the locos being attended to by the fitters both crews returned to Manpower where I and Ray signed off at 2305.
Thursday was payday, so I know I was at the depot early. Once my pay was safely in my pocket, I signed on at 1450, once again with Ray, rostered to run the ‘Ford’ train from Newport to Upfield and back again. We travelled ‘per’ by spark to Newport to wait for the up, train 9260, to arrive behind the signalbox. The train drew to a halt behind the ‘box hauled by T375 so we climbed into the cab and relieved the crew. With them heading for the station to return to Dynon we got the train moving again at 1605 to travel through Brooklyn, Sunshine and Broadmeadows to climb the grade to Somerton to cross ‘the gauge’ and enter the sidings. I uncoupled and we ran the T class around to re-couple at the up end of the train. With a proceed aspect on the signal we moved onto the dual gauge line to access the Ford sidings, where we arrived at 1845. We shunted the newly arrived wagons to where they were needed and then proceeded to assemble the down train, no. 9281. After a meal break, we departed the Ford factory at 2100 and ascended the grade back to Somerton for the run-around. Crossing ‘the gauge’ again we dropped down the grade to Broadmeadows to cross the suburban lines and enter the Loop line. Gaining access to the suburban lines at Albion, we ran through Sunshine, collecting the Brooklyn staff on the way through, and continued on to Newport where we stopped near the crew standing near the signalbox waiting to relieve us. We were relieved at 2210, to cross to the platform to travelled ‘per’ the next up spark, to return to the depot with sign off being 2300.
Friday was a 1500 start to work the Fuel Point with Driver R Gale. After sign on, we walked to the Fuel Point foreman’s office to make our presence known and took some seats in the adjacent crew room. We moved locos after they had been refuelled to wherever we were directed to by the foreman until 2220, when we left Fuel Point to sign off at 2300.
Saturday was rostered off.

Neil
  Djebel Junior Train Controller

I don't suppose you remember why T401 went with you to get to the oily?  Seems a weird thing to do, especially when you and your driver were being paid anyway.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I don't suppose you remember why T401 went with you to get to the oily?  Seems a weird thing to do, especially when you and your driver were being paid anyway.
Djebel
Is X 49 a 'theoretical' single ended loco?
  ngarner Deputy Commissioner

Location: Seville
I don't suppose you remember why T401 went with you to get to the oily?  Seems a weird thing to do, especially when you and your driver were being paid anyway.
Djebel
As YM has commented, the new X were basically single-ended locos; only allowed long end leading for short runs, such as Dynon to Spencer St or Wodonga depot to Albury, and restricted to 50kph, from memory, in doing so. Emergencies were the pretty much the only other exception. If you ever get into the cab of one of these, or see photos, you'll understand better why this is the case. The seats are non-reversible, unlike the Old X, T and Y class with the drivers console set up for short end leading, in a way that makes it really awkward to operate in the opposite direction.
So, with the decent journey distance between Dynon and Paisley it was easier to have the T and another crew do the trip to get us there at a reasonable speed, since the T would have been able to travel at line speed to Newport and then 100kph to Paisley, without infringing on the rules regarding the New X. If you've read even some of this thread, you'll probably have noted how much time Dynon crews spent on standby, so having one crew active in assisting us get to Paisley really wasn't going to upset anyone as the amount of money paid to crews to sit around, waiting for something to offer would have been quite a decent percentage of the budgeted cost of keeping South Dynon operating.
These rules also applied to the C class, as they are almost a carbon copy as far as cab layout is concerned, in case anyone was wondering.

Neil
  Djebel Junior Train Controller

Makes sense.  I'm not familiar enough with the loco numbers/series to immediately think, "New X".  But basically the answer is: "Because V/Line was too stingy to spring for a second set of controls."
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Makes sense.  I'm not familiar enough with the loco numbers/series to immediately think, "New X".  But basically the answer is: "Because V/Line was too stingy to spring for a second set of controls."
"Djebel"
Are you sure that these X class locos were ordered by V/Line?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Makes sense.  I'm not familiar enough with the loco numbers/series to immediately think, "New X".  But basically the answer is: "Because V/Line was too stingy to spring for a second set of controls."
Are you sure that these X class locos were ordered by V/Line?
Valvegear
Probably not, but whatever the railways in Victoria were called that day before the single organisation got Jeffed into the multi-headed shambles that we have today. .................... Rolling Eyes
  ngarner Deputy Commissioner

Location: Seville
Makes sense.  I'm not familiar enough with the loco numbers/series to immediately think, "New X".  But basically the answer is: "Because V/Line was too stingy to spring for a second set of controls."
Are you sure that these X class locos were ordered by V/Line?
Valvegear
Definitely ordered by Victorian Railways. VicRail came into official being around the time I was an engineman with the original VLine being introduced after that. Think of the 'spiked crossover', or 'teacup', tangerine livery introduced on the B class in 1982 for VicRail.
Not knowing the origin of the design of these and the C class, I would say it was intentional, yes, possibly as a cost cutting measure but also with the realisation that both classes tended to be used back-to-back on the Western line; e.g. The Overland and 'Jets' and the SG line had turntables at both ends with virtually no intermediate locations requiring a reversal of direction, the Ford plant at Upfield being effectively the only one and that only required a relatively short long end leading run between Somerton and the plant. No train that I am aware of arrived and departed from Ford with the same loco, except the Upfield SG Pilot and that was always the sole SG T class or one of the four SG Y's heading to Dynon, not Albury.

Neil
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
In the days when the Ford (SG) car train ran it was normally/supposedly a T class job.
  ngarner Deputy Commissioner

Location: Seville
Breaking the run of sequential rosters, the Roster Clerk shifted me back to 130D, instead of moving on to 142D, working with Driver Ian Anthony for the whole week. As I wasn’t officially allocated a place on the roster, I was only pencilling the next week’s roster in, just in case it changed, as happened this week, so 142D’s jobs are not available to report anymore.

Sunday was off.
Monday was rostered on at 0450 for a Bendigo, changing over with a 0615 up, however this train had been cancelled, or run by another crew. Instead, we went onto standby to sit it out in the meal room for hours until Manpower called us out to give us the task of taking out the loco for the 0945 Serviceton ‘Jet’. We walked out to the depot yard to locate C507, probably on the turntable, prepared it and headed for the TR point. Making our way to North Dynon yard, we coupled up and waited for the train examiner. Once the train was checked, we were directed to get the train underway as the crew running it towards Ballarat were delayed. We departed the Yard, crossed the Maribyrnong, ran through the Bunbury St tunnel, travelled the dual gauge to diverge onto the Down Independent Goods line, ran past Tottenham Yard and descended the grade towards Sunshine. We stopped at the home signal, until the ‘stick’ cleared. We got the train moving again to join the main line and stop at the platform where our relief were waiting. After relief, we crossed to the up platform and caught the next spark back to the depot. We returned to the depot to sign off at 1130.
Tuesday’s start was 0405 for 0425 light engines to ‘the Marsh’ running as train 0101. Together with the crew running the following up pass we found B64 and B70 coupled together for us by the fitters. We climbed into B64 as the other crew boarded B70. Leaving the depot, we reversed beneath the hump and joined the main line at South Kensington to run through Sunshine and on to ‘the Marsh’. Directed, by the signalman, straight into the yard, at 0525, on arrival there, we separated the locos, coupled each to its own train and completed a continuity test. We were running the 0630 up, the first departure, so when the disc signal cleared we drew the train out of the yard onto the main line. When the road was set for the platform, and the signal cleared, we pushed back into the platform to enable our passengers to board. On departure time, with a clear ‘stick’ and staff on the loco we powered away from the platform to stop at the usual stations to Sunshine performing hand exchanges of the staff at each to Rockbank. After the set down only stop at Sunshine we continued in to be directed into an empty platform at Spencer St where we drew to a halt at 0730. The details of what happened next are not recorded so we either returned the T to Dynon or were relieved to make the same journey by spark to go onto standby until 1205 when we signed off, having dodged the Fuel Point duty bullet once more.
Wednesday’s start was at 0510 for the 0625 Sunbury pass, train 8007. The early departure time makes me think that we actually took our own loco off the pit for this job as the first sparks running through North Melbourne, on the up, would have limited the amount of time available to get us to Spencer St and settled before departure time. The loco allocated to run this train was H3. Interestingly, this is the first Sunbury local that I worked in my time at Dynon, and I only worked one more in the next five months, for a total of two in five years. There was one occasion in March 1981 where I was rostered to work a late morning Sunbury but was taken off the job when I signed on. With the train examiner finished his job we prepared to depart and then worked the ‘all stations’ beyond St Albans to Sunbury where we arrived at 0705, which was 10 minutes ahead of the timetable. Considering the maximum speed, of an H class, was 80kph, the timetable must have had some padding to allow that to occur. On arrival at Sunbury I cut off so we could run the H around the carriage rake, then coupled up after which we manoeuvred the train from the down platform to the up one, most likely via the centre road. Once in the correct platform we waited for our passengers to board and our departure time of 0735, running as train 8020. With the all clear given, we set off to collect more passengers on the way back to the city and drew to a halt at Spencer St at 0825. The H was released from the carriages and I would suggest that we then returned it to Dynon, since they weren’t used a lot on passenger trains with the coming of the ‘New Deal’. Back at the depot we were relegated to standby by the Manpower clerk and stayed in the meal room for the rest of the shift to sign off at 1310.
The roster had us booked off on Thursday, however, the Roster Clerk decided that he needed us to work, so booked us both on, at 0440, to work the 0500 Newmarket-Brooklyn Pilot. The decline in livestock traffic was noticeable by this stage as there used to be at least one Newmarket Stock Pilot, if not two, for both day and afternoon shifts plus another working exclusively at Brooklyn. Now one loco was covering both locations and only for one shift. We took Y158 off the pit to either Brooklyn or Newmarket, my notes are very vague on this point. What I did record is that Ian handed the loco over to my control when we were at Brooklyn as we prepared to transfer a rake of livestock wagons to Newmarket. This was achieved by climbing up towards Tottenham, with the staff on the loco, along the Up Independent Goods line into the Centre Yard, where we then ran around the rake, re-coupled and departed to travel to Newmarket, via the high line goods line to Kensington and the suburban line to the Racecourse line junction. We, presumably, did some shunting at Newmarket, with the loco still under my control to make up another rake which was then transferred to the Centre Yard. On arrival at the Centre Yard Ian took over again but whether that was so he could take the Y back to Dynon, having completed everything required of us, or to return to one of the stockyard sidings, to do more shunting, I failed to note. Either way, we finished working at 1200 and with the loco in the fitter’s hands at Fuel Point we made our way to Manpower to sign off at 1240.
Friday’s start was an 0530 on to work the 0615 Frankston goods. We removed T380 from the depot and ran it past the East Yard to then set back into that Yard to couple to the train. Once the train examiner had finished his job, we prepared to depart when I was given control of the train. With the dwarf signal cleared I applied power and we moved out of the Yard, past Spencer St station through Viaduct Junction and onto the new viaduct. Passing Flinders St ‘A’ box, we ran through the road, known as 12 West and 12 East, even though it was the one stretch of track, between platforms 9 and 10 and on along the ‘Special lines’ towards Richmond. Joining the Caulfield Local Lines, we passed through Richmond station, crossed the Yarra River at Cremorne and cleared South Yarra station where power was applied to tackle the grades the other side of the William St bridge. Climbing up to Malvern I reduced power as we crested the grade and approached Caulfield. Passing through this station, although whether through the centre road or the platform, I can’t recall now, we swung onto the Frankston line to continue on towards Frankston. My impression is that we ran through to Frankston without any stops, since we arrived into the yard at that station at 0800. One of us cut the loco off the train, technically my job but I may not have done it since I was in the driver’s seat, and the loco was attached to the other end of the train. Whatever shunting may have been required was done before a continuity test was completed and we departed Frankston on the up journey, past the cleared disc signal at 0850, with me still in the driver’s seat. This trip was obviously not a straight run back to Melbourne, based on the time it took us to get back to the Arrivals Yard so we had to have shunted at a number of locations en route, including the yard at Caulfield, if I remember correctly. Departing Caulfield, we made no more stops for shunting and descended into South Yarra, passed through Flinders St again and onto the goods line to stop in the Arrival Yard to leave whatever we had brought back with us for the Hump Pilot to deal with. With the T class returned to Fuel Point at 1300 we made our way back to the depot and signed off at 1330.
Saturday was an 0400 on rostered to standby. At 0700, Manpower called on us to take out the loco for the 0845 Bendigo pass. In the depot yard, we climbed onto X43 where I released the handbrake, checked the tool kit, the VC seals and the other items on the check list, to confirm a loco was okay to go, and then we headed for the TR point. Once over the flyover, we dropped the X class onto the train and began the train examination when that gent rolled up and banged on the side of the loco to get our attention, which was their usual way of letting a crew know that they were ready to go to work. At some point, the crew running the train arrived and relieved us. We then made our way to platform 2 tasked with the job of relieving the up ‘Overland’. This train arrived into the platform, hauled by twin S class, nos. 302 & 312. The Ararat crew stopped the train near where we were standing, so we climbed into the cab and let the foreign crew head off to their rest. I uncoupled the paired S class and we drew into the dead end to change locos. When the points changed and signal cleared, we throttled up and set off to take them to Dynon for refuelling. We left the locos at Fuel Point and returned to Manpower, who didn’t give us any time in the depot meal room, instead sending us straight back to Fuel Point, to work there from 1030 onwards. We shifted locos until 1200 when we signed off.

Neil
  ngarner Deputy Commissioner

Location: Seville
I was rolled onto 131N which had Sunday OR.

Monday, I was rostered to relieve the Port Melbourne Pilot, with Driver M Wilson, and to bring an up load into the Arrivals Yard departing Port at 2100, however I was put straight onto standby, when I signed on at 1700, apparently on my lonesome, as Driver Wilson seems to have been given a different job, with another fireman. I registered my disapproval of this turn of events by knocking off at 1900, having sat in the meal room for two hours, doing nothing.
Tuesdays start was on at 1714 to run the 1826 Sale pass, train 8431, rostered, once more, to work with Driver Wilson, which actually happened this time, unlike the day before. We made our way to Spencer St to where L1152 was waiting for us in platform 8. We relieved the crew in occupation of the cab, settled in and waited for the ‘right away’ from station staff and guard. Getting under way we passed HQ as we accessed the original viaduct on our way to platform 1 at Flinders St. After the pickup there we headed on to Caulfield where we collected a few more passengers and then travelled on, to Dandenong for another pickup of passengers. Being a longer distance train I assume that we then ran to Warragul with no more stops, where we arrived at 1958 to be relieved by an eastern depot crew, who took the train onwards. Our return was supposed to be travelling ‘per’ on the 2015 up but, for reasons unrecorded and remembered, ended up getting into a taxi that pulled up in the station forecourt to take us back towards Melbourne, as far as Pakenham station, where we left the taxi and entered the platform to wait for the next up spark from there. After changing trains at one of the city stations, we made the walk back to Dynon from North Melbourne, where we reported back to Manpower at 2150. We adjourned to the meal room on standby until we signed off at 0114.
Wednesdays start was 1716 for the 1810 South Geelong pass, train 8271, once more with Driver Wilson. After getting ourselves to Spencer St our train had B83 at the pointy end. Relieving the occupying crew, we got underway when given the all clear. Stopping for the pick up only at Footscray we continued on to Geelong, for a pause, before heading for the tunnel, picking up the staff on the way towards it and heading on to stop at the platform at South Geelong at 1925. The loco was cut off to run around and recoupled on the up end of the train. After the obligatory continuity test, we prepared for the up empty cars back to Geelong Station Yard. This run was unrecorded so I can’t provide timings but once the carriage rake was stabled we ran no. 83 over the pit at Geelong depot. Here we had a break, including our meal break, before taking X50 off the pit to North Geelong Yard where we set back onto our train to form the 2115 up, running as train 9144, bound for Melbourne. I noted that the load was over 1,000 tons, so we earned the tonnage allowance for our efforts in moving this load. My noes indicate we earned 3 hours’ worth of this allowance, which in conjunction with other occasions it was earned suggests that it was paid on an hourly rate, so if you worked more than 1,00 tons for, say, 2:15 you were paid for 3 hours’ worth. Departing North Geelong, we made our way out of Geelong to pass through Lara and Little River to enter the suburban area again. At Newport we headed towards Brooklyn, then through Tottenham and on towards Melbourne through the Bunbury St tunnel. Instead of going towards the Arrivals Yard, we ran past the Bogie Exchange and South Dynon to terminate the train in the Canal Yard, where we drew to a halt at 2345. With the loco released from the train we then ran it back to the depot to leave it at Fuel Point. We ended up on standby to finish the shift, signing off at 0116.
Thursday was a 1735 start for an 1820 Korrumburra goods, with Driver Wilson. Being pay day I was at the depot early. My notes record that I thought that we were only taking the loco off the pit since we were supposed to change over with the 1520 up from ‘the ‘Burra’. The up goods was obviously running behind time, as not only did we take T373 off the pit to the East Yard and test the train, we also departed the Yard heading towards Dandenong. As I didn’t think we were going to run the train, I failed to note the trains running number. We cleared Flinders St and continued on over the Yarra River to climb the grades to Malvern. We ran through Caulfield and headed on towards Dandenong where we finally met the change-over at Dandenong. I wrote down a time for when we finished this run but scratched it out, probably because I anticipated this event happening a lot earlier than it did. In the end I failed to record our actual change-over time. Our change-over was train 9480, being run with T371, so we exchanged sister locos with the Korrumburra crew and then set off on the return journey to pass through Melbourne, continued on past the Arrivals Yard and headed on along the suburban line through to Spotswood, as the loading was purely sand, in the relatively new VHSX bogie covered hopper wagons, from Koala siding, near Nyora. We arrived as Spotswood and pushed the train back into the sidings there to tie the train up at 2050. Uncoupling the loco, we returned to the up main line and then ran ‘light’ back to the depot. In a repeat of the previous shift we completed the shift sitting in the meal room on standby, signing off at 0135.
On Friday, it was 1715 on for the 1940 Seymour goods, train 9327, which was scheduled to depart from Tottenham Yard. Tonight’s driver was D Arnott, which was the one change from the posted roster, which listed me as working with a Driver D Jones. We found T342 idling in the depot Yard and took it off the pit for the light engine run to Tottenham. We were due to change-over with the 2315 up out of Seymour, train 9334. At Tottenham, we coupled to the loading, tested the train and prepared to head away from Melbourne. Cleared to depart, we drew out of the Yard and dropped down to Sunshine to wait for access to the suburban lines. When the signal cleared we moved off the Goods Lines and travelled through Sunshine to diverge onto the Albion Loop line. At the Broadmeadows end of the Loop we climbed up the grade to pass through Broadmeadows and set off to head away from Melbourne. Climbing the grade up to Somerton, then the next climb up to Beveridge we dropped down to Wallan to then attack the grade up to Heathcote Junction. Once over the crest of the Great Dividing Range, the T class was throttled back as the grades became descents more often than climbs. Taking advantage of the momentum grades meant an easier run for the loco until the flatter track around Tallarook. We crossed the Goulburn River and entered Seymour Yard to stop at 2305. Train 9334 was still in the Yard, headed by S305, with a trailing load of over 1,000 tons, so we left no. 342 and took charge of the S class instead. Getting the okay to depart and a clear signal, we powered out of Seymour to re-cross the Goulburn and head for Melbourne once more. The run to and through Tallarook was simple enough but once we hit the grades approaching Broadford our speed would have dropped off, however once successfully over the Great Divide at Heathcote Junction the S class did more work retarding the trains speed via the dynamic brake than dragging it us hills. Going the usual route of the Albion Loop line and Tottenham Yard we drew into the Arrivals Yard, to have the loco cut off by the shunter and then ran it back to the depot where we left it at 0245, which gave us four hours of the tonnage allowance, with sign off at 0300.
Saturday was rostered off and remained that way.

Neil
  Djebel Junior Train Controller

I was just re-reading this thread, and I have a question.

If you took over a string of locos, were you responsible for checking and signing off all of the locos (toolkit, VC tags intact, etc), or only loco(s) that you were in the cab of?
  ngarner Deputy Commissioner

Location: Seville
I was just re-reading this thread, and I have a question.

If you took over a string of locos, were you responsible for checking and signing off all of the locos (toolkit, VC tags intact, etc), or only loco(s) that you were in the cab of?
Djebel
Thankfully, only the one that we were working on. To check each loco of a multiple unit would have added a lot of time to any change over, not something that too many would be happy about. That said, if a pair of locos were begin taken off the pit for the Overland or a 'Jet', as an example, you'd be more likely to check the loco that was going to be leading, than the one actually used to depart the depot. In a case like that, a diligent crew would check both, to avoid problems later. Note the 'diligent'; some crew were sloppy when it came to doing this. I recall a driver in 1979, transferred from Albury for disciplinary reasons, who told me to "stop looking for rabbits" both at Dynon and after changing over on the Seymour line, when checking for detonators, flags and other equipment in the cabinet in the cab. I only worked with him twice, within a the space of about 10 days, which I didn't complain about. He went out of his way to be less than pleasant.

Neil
  ngarner Deputy Commissioner

Location: Seville
Officially, I was put onto roster 132A but this didn’t work out the way the Roster Clerk envisaged.

Sunday was on at 0915 for the 0930 Canal Pilot with Driver Ian Anthony again. Together we took Y165 off the pit and out to the Canal Yard where our shunting team joined us and set to directing us to gather the vehicles from wherever they were to assemble the trains departing from that Yard. Interestingly, considering it was a Sunday and not that many trains ran on that day of the week, we still put in a complete shift and didn’t sign off until 1745.
Monday was quite a change of pace as I was rostered on, at 0940, to run the 1020 Geelong goods, train 9245, although this was not what 132A had rostered. Instead of filling the driver’s seat in an unofficial, and frowned upon by Head Office, way, this time I had a fireman of my own as I was working under the instruction of ILR D Tong, informally known around the depot as a foreman. I have no idea what the ILR stands for anymore, although the ‘IL’ suggests ‘Instructing Locomotive’. To cap my first officially sanctioned drive, I ended up with 1245 tons trailing behind the loco, meaning earning the tonnage allowance. After meeting Foreman Tong and my fireman (poor guy didn’t rate a mention at all in my diary, so I have no idea who he was now), we walked out to the depot yard to where S300 was sitting. While my fireman checked his list of items, Foreman Tong and I worked through what a driver needed to check on a loco to confirm it was okay to leave the depot, including signing the speed chart. Satisfied that S300 was good to go, we left our kit bags in the cab and made our way through the engine room to the hostler’s cab and prepared to head off the pit. Releasing the brakes, I applied power and took us out to the TR point where the fireman climbed down, via the rear door and auto coupler, to advise the West Tower Signalman of our destination. He scrambled back into the loco reversing his earlier descent. At some point in time, either 1982 or ’83, someone thought to add a stirrup step, adjacent to the rear coupler of all S class, to make it easier for crew to enter and exit from this end; a much appreciated improvement! With the fireman back in his place, the dwarf cleared to allow us to head to the yard where the train was made up waiting for us. With a successful coupling, we relocated to the quieter, and better fitted out, cab and I worked with the train examiner to confirm the train was not going to give us any problems. The guard appeared and advised me the train had “13 equal to 26”, meaning that we had 13 bogie vehicles, which counted as equal to 26 four-wheel wagons, with 840 ton trailing. With the train examiner finished and off to examine the next train the guard got my attention by opening the brake pipe cock in the van briefly and, on leaning out and looking back, he gave me the ‘all clear’ with a green flag. I released the train brakes, holding it with the independent (loco only) brake until the brake pipe was fully charged again, released the loco’s brakes and opened the throttle. With the train moving I checked the rear to get the okay from the guard, indicating the train was following properly and we hadn’t left him behind accidently. Working our way out of Melbourne Yard to the Down Independent Goods line we headed for Tottenham Yard. Once past the trailing points into the Yard, I stopped the train, threw the reverser and applied power to set back into the Yard, following the relayed instructions from the fireman. We had additional vehicles added to the train here, although I can’t say if the local Pilot added them or if I was responsible for that manoeuvre, to take the trains weight up to 1246 tons. With another examination, to confirm the new vehicles were fit to go and successfully combined with the original 13 wagons, the Yard foreman was advised we were ready to depart and he gave us the all clear when the Goods line was clear of approaching trains. Releasing the brakes, and applying power, I worked the train out of the Yard back onto the Down Independent Goods line and followed the signals protecting the junction of the lines to Brooklyn and Sunshine. With the left hand home semaphore indicating the road was set and clear to Brooklyn I applied more power with the fireman collecting the staff from the signalman. Travelling over the bridge, I kept the train under control on the descent into Brooklyn where the fireman did a full hand exchange of the staff. In a less formal setting I might have done the exchange, if the signalman was on my side of the loco, but with everything being done by the book, there was no way I was going to get involved in any staff exchanges. Keeping the train moving on the line to Newport the fireman handed up the staff, actually down in this case, and I kept us moving towards Newport South Junction. Once on the main line, more power was applied to get us up to the speed limit of the train. I took us through Werribee and Little River, until approaching Lara the signals required me to slow the train. Stopping the train where the signals were against us, we prepared to change over with the oncoming up pass. B83 drew to a halt adjacent to the S class and both crews exchanged locos. Signing the speed chart on the B, while the fireman did a rapid fire check of his items, I released the brakes and got the train moving when the guard gave me ‘right away’. With Foreman Tong’s guidance I had no problems stopping at Little River or any subsequent station, unlike that time on that am up Werribee pass. I don’t know whether I had so much to take in, or if I was over-excited to actually be driving officially, that I forgot to record times from the time we left Melbourne Yard. I got the pass into Spencer St successfully and, presumably, returned to Dynon but that is conjecture as my only, final, timing note was that I was signed off with 8 hours on duty. I didn’t even both to record that time, which would officially have been 1740 but it is unlikely I was still at the depot at that time, as working with Foremen seemed to grant that privilege.
Tuesday was an 0820 start for the 0855 Shepparton pass, train 8307, once again under Foreman Tong’s tuition. With only 35 minutes between sign on and train departure time I would suggest that we made our way to Spencer St by foot and spark, unless we hitched a ride on another loco heading to Spencer St over the flyover, a not uncommon way of getting there if the timing was right. B65 was attached to the train for the north bound run and we joined the crew in the cab. My notes indicate there was a ‘Big Wheel’ crew there either ahead of us or we joined them on the trek from Dynon, but exactly what happened is not clear due to the brevity of my records. Either way, I was in the driver’s seat at departure time from Spencer St, releasing the brakes and notching up the throttle on getting the ‘all clear’ from platform staff and guard. Controlling the train’s speed through the multiple points at the end of the platforms and then on the departure road leading to the Dudley St junction we headed towards North Melbourne station. Once on the suburban lines, speed was increased a little until North Melbourne Junction restricted it again. Once through the junction and on the Broadmeadows line the B was notched up again to climb the grades to that station. Stopping briefly for the ‘pick up only’, I acknowledged the ‘right away’ from the guard with a pop on the whistle and notched up once more. As the train cleared the platform I checked that everything was following as it ought to, aided by the guard doing the same from his end. Climbing the grade to Somerton under full throttle, at least until line speed of 115kph was reached, the throttle was backed off as we levelled off along the stretch between Somerton and the approach to Donnybrook. With the climb to Beveridge approaching I notched up again to try to maintain maximum speed and backed off once more as we crested that grade. The loco was given something of a rest on the line approaching Wallan with its combination of short level stretches and gentle declines. Running through Wallan, at speed, the throttle was notched up again as we headed for the grade up to Heathcote Junction. Cresting over the Divide I notched back the throttle again and may have even engaged the dynamic brake on the drop through Wandong, although the B class were notorious for having an incredibly useless dynamic brake. Any other loco fitted with one would hold a train reasonably well on down-grades, requiring only limited use of the air brake but not the B class; air brakes were definitely needed with those locos. We continued on towards Kilmore East where, from here through to the approaches to Tallarook, Foreman Tong would have guided me in the best way to make use of the momentum grades, something I, and various guards, being jostled in the van, at the rear, could have benefited from in earlier years. Powering through Tallarook to Schoolhouse Lane I eased up as we approached the single line crossing of the Goulburn River and the run into Seymour station. On stopping in the platform at Seymour, I gave up the driver’s seat to a qualified driver, hence my reference to the ‘Big Wheel’ driver earlier. Whether Foreman Tong and I stayed in the cab, or not, my memory doesn’t enable me to recall but the pair of us did stay on the train through to Shepparton, since, after the loco had been run around and re-coupled for the up run as train 8318, I took control once more as we prepared to depart again. Leaning out of the driver’s window to accept the green flag from the guard, I popped the whistle, in acknowledgement, once more and opened the throttle again. We made it across Wyndham St crossing safely, a single long blast of the whistle at the whistle board and again before the actual crossing, and I kept the power up to maintain the timetable. The flatter track of this stretch, as far as Mangalore, made it easier to maintain a steady speed than further south. With guidance, I was able to make the stops along the way without any major complications, while the fireman handled the staff exchanges, most of which were on his side of the loco anyway. At Mangalore, he handed up the staff from the window in the driver’s door while I stopped the train. Getting the ‘right away’ again, I opened the throttle to cross the junction onto the up line to Seymour and then controlled our speed down the hill into the platform. Stationary in the platform, I once again handed over the controls for the, qualified, driver to take us from there to near Beveridge. At this point I was, once again, placed at the controls, although why, at speed, in this location, I can’t explain. Back in the driver’s seat, I controlled our speed down the grade into Donnybrook, on through Craigieburn and Somerton to hold our speed down the grade into Broadmeadows. Stopping within the platform, I applied power again in response to the guard’s green flag and we descended the Glenroy bank, ran through Essendon and North Melbourne to work through the junctions back into a platform at Spencer St. We were relieved and I repeated Mondays record of 8 hours work without noting the actual time. If I’d thought about it I should have questioned whether I was entitled to the mileage that the ‘Big Wheel’ crews got for doing this Shepparton run; having done my fair share of the driving I reckon, now, that I should have.
Wednesday, I reverted to my normal role of fireman again, although once more working a ‘Big Wheel’ job, firing for Driver J McSmith on the ‘down Apex’, train 9317, to the quarry to re-load the train. It appears that I was not supposed to be rostered under instruction this day, as there are no changes to my notes, unlike the following day. Sign on was 0915 to take fresh locos from Dynon to Newport to meet the train. At this point in time the ‘Apex’ had three unloading locations, the best-known, Westall and, slightly less common, Brooklyn, with another in the Geelong area. Never actually running the Geelong leg I’m not sure of the exact location the train was unloaded and I’m not sure how long the ‘Apex’ worked to Geelong. T360, with its ‘chopped’ nose, instead of the high hood at the short end, like its sisters, had been coupled to S307 by the fitters, on one of the through roads in the depot yard. We boarded the T, although our kit bags would have been shoved through an open door onto the floor of the S class from ground level to be dealt with later, for the run from the depot through the TR point, to the reversing spot and then moved to the S for the run to Newport. We would have used the suburban lines to get to Newport since there was nothing we needed to add to the train at Tottenham. At Newport, the signalman arranged for our locos to get to the front of the train, with the previous locos released to return to Dynon for fuel and servicing. Once the locos were coupled up to the train we relocated to the T class once more, this time taking our kit bags with us. Taking possession of the staff for Brooklyn, we set off, at 1005, to get the train to Broadmeadows and onto the Seymour line. Once on that line we made our way to Kilmore East, and the quarry siding, where I failed to record what time we drew to a halt with the train under the loading chute. With the locos attached to the up end of the train we began the loading shuffle, working from no. 307. Loading was completed so we prepared to return towards Melbourne as train 9318. We moved onto the main line at 1455, with over 1,000 tons trailing, to work our way back as far as Broadmeadows, where a goods roster crew were waiting to relieve us, although exactly when that happened is also lost to time, since I didn’t write it down again. We watched the ‘Apex’ disappear, whether towards Essendon or Albion I can’t say anymore, crossed the line and waited for the next spark to terminate to form an up so we could travel ‘per’ back to the depot. Sign off was 1730, officially, although whether that involved the fairly routine ‘Big Wheel’ shenanigans, or not, I don’t recall.
Thursday was 0703 rostered to work with Foreman Tong again running the 0755 Horsham pass, train 8105, via North Geelong and return with the up ‘Jet’, train 9146, however I get the impression he was either sick or required on some other duty, which would have made the ‘Big Wheel’ crew rostered to the train happy; not to have their day disrupted by myself and Foreman Tong. Instead, I went straight onto standby until called upon by Manpower to team up with Driver F Delaney to work the Instructional Pilot from 0840. Y119 was allocated to the task of training up new shunters, although which part of Melbourne Yard we worked in, or if we moved around so they could experience different parts of the bigger Yard I didn’t note. Nor did I record when we wrapped up working this Pilot but I finished with a full 8 hour shift with no other jobs recorded so it may have occupied most of the shift.
The roster had a 1050 start for a Brooklyn Pilot for Fridays job but the Pilot was obviously cancelled early enough that the Roster Clerk changed me to an 0900 sign on for standby. This only lasted for 25 minutes before I was teamed with Driver K Whelan to travel to Frankston to relieve an up ballast coming from Hastings. This could be an indication that the line was being prepared for re-opening, after the, relatively, recent closure. Making the walk to North Melbourne station we caught an up spark to where we could change to a Frankston bound one and then travelled to that station where we arrived at 1100. The ballast train had not made it back from Hastings when we arrived, so we found somewhere to wait until it did arrive. Eventually it appeared around the curve on the down end of the station, hauled by Y class nos. 165 and 158. It stopped in the yard so we made our way across the tracks to it and relieved the previous crew, so they could travel back to Dynon. Taking over at 1200 we eventually were given access to the main line and set off on the up run towards Melbourne. Our maximum speed of 65kph wouldn’t have caused too many problems for a following spark as we didn’t have to stop anywhere unless we caught up to a preceding one. We continued on through Caulfield, South Yarra, Flinders St and across the viaduct. At Spencer St we would have followed the goods line but we kept on going through to South Kensington and the Independent Goods lines to pass by Tottenham Yard and re-join the main line on the up side of Sunshine then travel through the junction onto the Ballarat line. Our final destination was the Boral siding, off the main line at Deer Park West and, even with an empty train, it took us until 1415 to get to the siding there. We ran around and obviously shunted the train so it could be reloaded, since we remained within the Boral sidings until 1630. Gaining access to the main line, once more, we took the loaded train back past Tottenham Yard, on the Independent Goods lines again, to stable it somewhere in the North Melbourne area, probably the Ways and Works sidings. With the paired Y class released from the train we returned them to Fuel Point at 1720 and I signed off at 1740.
The Roster Clerk gave me Saturday off, which was fair enough in retrospect, as I’d already worked six days, including two under instruction, although my pencilled note indicates that 132A would have been on for a Kensington Pilot.

Neil
  ngarner Deputy Commissioner

Location: Seville
These weeks are taking longer to transcribe than more usual ones, so bear with me if the gaps between posts get bigger for a little while.

I wasn’t allocated to a roster this week as Foreman Tong was available to teach me more tricks of the trade, at least for the majority of the week, earning his keep trying to teach me the finer points of driving. Foremen had the luxury of rarely working weekends or true night shift so I benefited in getting Sunday off as well.
Monday was the only day I spent sitting on the fireman’s side of a loco, on at 0755 to work, with Driver C Davey, the 0835 Chrysler, train 9501. This was the second, and final time, I worked this job and it is no clearer in my memory than the first time. We took T409 off the pit to the Yard, where the loading was waiting us, most likely the Centre Yard. Coupled up, train examined, we departed the Yard and made our way to the siding near Upfield. Shunting the sidings, we made up the return load and, when ready, departed the sidings to return the load to Melbourne. Making our way back to Melbourne Yard, we left the rake of wagons where directed and returned no. 409 to the depot at 1300. Manpower directed us to take us seat, on standby, which is where we were still sitting as our shift wound up, signing off at 1555.
Tuesday was on at 0635, once more with Foreman Tong, displacing a ‘Big Wheel’ driver from his usual spot to run the 0755 Horsham pass, train 8105, although that doesn’t appear to be the job originally written into my diary but what was underneath can’t be made out anymore, other that the train time was probably 0750 and it was a pass, based on the train number not being modified from 8xxx. Foreman Tong and I made our way to Spencer St, probably in company of the ‘Big Wheel’ crew whose job I was taking over. At Spencer St, B64 was at the head of the N set and at least three of us relieved the crew in the cab. Signing the speed chart and whatever other tasks I was told to do we prepared to head west. On being given the ‘right away’, the brakes were released, whistle popped and power applied to take us out of the platform, through the station throat and towards Dudley St. Joining the main lines power was increased to take us through North Melbourne and South Kensington. Over the Maribyrnong River the throttle was eased as I prepared to stop the train at Footscray. With no issues stopping there, I watched for the guards ‘all clear’ and got the train moving once more with the usual acknowledgements. Controlling our speed along the suburban lines, including the drop to Stoney Creek from Yarraville and the climb up to Spotswood once over the creek we approached Newport. The home signal protecting the junction was displaying clear medium speed so, I ensured we were travelling no more than 40kph under the gantry as we were directed onto the line towards Geelong. Once clear of the next signal, I opened the throttle more but didn’t take speed up beyond 65kph, being the speed through Newport South junction as we moved from the down line to the East one. As we passed the first automatic I wound up the loco to line speed as we approached Paisley. With relatively flat, double track ahead of us, I maintained line speed relatively easily, the grade up to Hoppers Crossing having the benefit of momentum and few other challenges until we approached North Shore. Here the signals told me to reduce to medium speed once more as we approached the crossover that would enable us to take the loop line between North Geelong ‘A’ and ‘C’ ‘boxes. Running through the crossover at 40kph and then the points leading onto the loop line the fireman prepared to collect the staff from the ‘C’ box signalman by hand, so I kept our speed steady for that event. He received the staff, called “North Geelong ‘C’ – Gheringhap” as he read the engraved words on one end, so knowing we had the authority to continue I notched up again when the rear of the train had cleared the last of the junction points at North Geelong ‘C’. From here it was a case of easing the train for the fireman to do hand exchanges on the way to Warrenheip but otherwise maintaining line speed as much as possible. At Warrenheip, the fireman handed up the staff through the driver’s door as I eased the throttle preparing for the descent into Ballarat East. Controlling our speed down the grade the distant on the up side of Ballarat East was against us, which was expected, and the train was slowed as we ran under the footbridge, past the former East platforms, through the, opened, Humphrey St gates and into the station throat. I stopped the train in platform 1 as near the relief crew as I could manage and we handed over the train to them, 1 minute ahead of the timetable at 0954. The fact I noted that suggests I was rather proud of what I’d achieved, mind you, having foreman Tong standing at my shoulder would have had a lot to do with this achievement! We had the up ‘Jet’, train 9146 as our return trip which was something like an hour away so we took a break. We would have been on platform 2 waiting, before the crossing gates on Lydiard St opened, to allow the ‘Jet’ to enter the station. C509 came over the crossing, under the station roof and stopped adjacent to us. We climbed onto the footplate, opened the driver’s door and crowded in. The newly arrived crew passed on the trains details and departed. Signing the speed chart, I had ‘27 equal to 54 equal to 73’, 1255 tons trailing. This means we had 27 vehicles behind us, but as some right behind the loco were the VQDW, or their interstate counterparts, with paired 40’ TNT containers, the standard ‘bogie equals two 4-wheelers’ was an inaccurate calculation as these were slightly longer than three 4-wheelers long, hence the extra number, 73. At 1050, with the signals ahead of us all cleared, I opened the throttle on no. 509 to get the train moving once more, probably to the relief of anyone waiting at the Lydiard St crossing. Speed was restricted through the yard but as we neared Ballart East again the throttle was opened up gradually to notch 8 to tackle the grades up to Warrenheip. As we came under the road bridge on the down side I eased up on the throttle to enable the fireman to go onto the footplate, behind me, so he could collect the staff, since we were following the usual route for this train, via North Geelong. He returned to the cab with the staff, called ‘Warrenheip – Lal Lal’ and sat down in his seat again. Over the crest of the grade, I let the train push us towards the speed limit for the ‘Jet’ and engaged the dynamic brake. Being a relatively new loco this was about all that was necessary to hold the train, except for slowing for staff exchanges, which the air brake aided with. Approaching North Geelong ‘C’ once more I slowed for the points taking us onto the loop line. As we passed the signal box the fireman handed up the staff as we entered the loop properly. Controlling our speed around this loop we passed under the Princes Highway overpass and we were all looking for the home signal controlling access to the main line, to see if we had a clear road. I can’t say anymore if I had to stop the train there or if it was clear and I could pick up speed a little. Either way, once on the main line again, I notched up to train speed and had little trouble maintaining it until approaching Newport. Here the signals would have been displaying medium speed aspects as we would have been turned onto the Goods line, that starts just on the up side of Newport South junction, and leads to no. 3 road, the one behind the signal box. Although the signals enabled us to proceed as far as the up end of the station platforms I stopped the train behind the signal box as there was another crew standing on the ground there, obviously there to relieve us. Handing over the train at 1435, we made our way to the platform, caught the next up spark to North Melbourne and trekked back to Dynon where we signed off at 1520.
Wednesday was on at 0602 for the 0654 Geelong pass, train 8213. Making our way to Spencer St, we took over B82 at the head of the train and the down trip would have been very similar to the down run on Tuesday, except for stopping at the stations from Little River onwards, with foreman Tong ensuring I applied the brake sufficiently and the right times. We drew into Geelong station at 0820, which only gave us 5 minutes to run the loco around, do a continuity test and anything else necessary, as we were forming train 8230, the 0825 up. I didn’t note that we departed late but that doesn’t mean anything, as I would have written down the up train time off the roster the day before, and, unless something unusual happened, wouldn’t have noted any changes. Whatever time we departed I did what I could to maintain speed between stations, since this was another all stations, based on the arrival time at Spencer St. I stopped the train in one of the platforms there at 0950 and that appears to have been all that we did that day as, once more, I noted an 8 hour shift but no sign off time and certainly no other jobs.
Thursdays start was 0858, for train 9315, the down ‘Apex’ again, once more displacing a ‘Big Wheel’ driver. In a repeat of the last time I worked this train, as a fireman, we took fresh locos from Dynon to Newport, once again with T360 but the S class was no. 306 instead of no. 307 this time. Once more leaving our kit bags in the S, I drove from no. 360 to the TR point then to the hump where we all moved to no. 306. Once more travelling along the suburban lines the ‘Apex’ would have been tied up in no. 3 road line, the locos uncoupled and allowed to manoeuvre to the up suburban line, which cleared the path for us to take their place. This, probably, would have meant stopping in the down platform, pushing back into one of the two spark stabling sidings and then dropping onto the ‘Apex’ wagons. Once the locos were coupled, foreman Tong and I did a continuity test from the T class, while the fireman did his checks and obtained the staff from the signalman. At 1019, as train 9315, I opened the throttle to get the train moving, made up of 21 equal to 42, weighing a maximum of 450 tons, depending on the type of van at each end of the rake. Passing the Newport spark sidings, we moved onto the West line, where I maintained a steady albeit moderate speed, passing ‘Little Brooklyn’ before travelling under the Princes Highway and approaching Brooklyn. I slowed the train for the fireman to carry out the staff exchange and sounded the whistle as we approached the Somerville Rd crossing. The fireman read out “Brooklyn to Sunshine” aloud as we crossed the Somerville Rd crossing. Continuing onto the Sunshine line, I kept the train moving towards the GEB sidings and the home signal protecting the junction with the main line. I’m inclined to say I had to stop the train at this signal as the main line was nearly always busy and timing the arrival of a goods so it could run through without stopping was difficult to say the least. Once the signalmen had a path for us they set the road and the signal cleared, so I notched up to climb the short grade and enter the station. The fireman handed up the staff and I kept the train moving towards the junction for the loop line. I probably maintained our speed at around 40kph as that was the speed limit coming off the line from Brooklyn and also through the loop line junction, however, once clear of that junction I notched up to get the train up to 80kph. I kept the train as close to this speed as possible until the approach to the passing track short of Broadmeadows where the signals required me to reduce to medium speed once more for the points at the up end of the passing track. I would have notched up slowly once through the points to kept the train moving up this grade to stop short of the home signal. When the signal cleared, I applied power again to get us up to the junction, not exceeding 40kph again, and once the rear of the train was through the junction I applied more power to take us up to the trains permitted speed again. From here, apart from a somewhat lower speed and a heavier train the drive would have been like the Shepparton run the previous week, until we cleared Kilmore East station and approached the quarry junction. Here speed was reduced to cross to the up line and immediately into the quarry approach road. I drew the train under the loading bins and stopped when the guard indicated we were in the correct position for loading, which was at 1200. The fireman left the cab to uncouple and I eased back onto the train when he signalled, having applied the train brakes first. I reversed and pulled away from the rake on further signalling from the fireman. I halted to enable him to return to the locos and then moved the locos into the dead end for the reversal. Applying the engine brakes, I removed the reversing handle, cut out the T class brake handles and we climbed to ground level to walk to the S class. With kit bags thrust into the cab ahead of us, we climbed in and, once seated, I inserted the reversing handle into its socket and moved it into the forward direction, then cut in the S class brakes, ensuring the independent brake handle was in the applied position first. Releasing the brakes, I moved the locos into the passing road, although I can’t tell you who changed the points, guard or fireman; that’s something I don’t remember. It was probably the guards job officially but since he would have had to walk the length of the train and on to the point lever before that happened, it was probably done by firemen on a regular basis, to speed things up a little. Once past the points, at the up end, I stopped the locos clear of the points and they were reversed, probably by the fireman, who would have then hopped onto the T class steps, where I could see him, where he would have waved me back onto the rake. Once he had coupled the locos to the train, he returned to the cab while I pumped up the train brakes for the loading sequence to start. Responding to the guards signalling when wagons were full I moved the train so empty hoppers were under the loading chute. Once loading was complete, the guard advised me that the weight of the train was now 1456 tons. I drew the train towards the main line access and stopped again so the could contact the Kilmore East signalman to advise him we were ready to return to the main line, this time as train 9316. At 1430, the signal cleared to permit us to depart the siding, so I released the brakes and applied a notch or two of power to get us underway once more. Once clear of the junction, I notched up more to build up speed for the grades on the other side of Kilmore East. Notch 8 would have been reached reasonably quickly, unless I did what most Dynon drivers generally did, which was just push the throttle straight to 8 and let the locos work it out for themselves. This didn’t work with the C class, as I’ve probably mentioned, as the turbochargers didn’t like that sort of treatment and a number were blown up, by this driving technique, in their early years, requiring specific instruction from Head Office to insist that they be notched up one notch at a time, to allow the turbo to keep pace. As we crested the grade at Heathcote Junction I eased the throttle back until it was idle and then set up the dynamic brake to retard our descent towards Wallan. Coming off the grade the dynamic brake was shut down and the throttle opened again to maintain momentum. From here it was power towards Beveridge, retard the train down to Donnybrook then power to Somerton with the dynamic in use again from there down to near Broadmeadows. Approaching Broadmeadows, the distant would have been against us, so the air brake would have also been applied. The home arrival signal was clear but the home departure wasn’t and there was another crew standing on the platform, obviously there to relieve us, so I stopped the train as near to them as I could, at 1530. They replaced us in the cab and once the home signal cleared, headed on towards whichever unloading siding this load was intended for. We crossed the pit to wait for the next up spark, although it appears, once again, that at North Melbourne I would have stayed on the spark to continue on for home, unless I had failed to visit the Pay Office first thing, on arrival at Dynon, that morning. I noted another 8 hour shift but no sign off time.
Friday was on at for the 0755 Shepparton once more, train 8307. ‘Big Wheel’ drivers would have been sick of the sight of Foreman Tong and myself, something I can appreciate now, after my recent complaints of being displaced by other foremen and their fireman ‘shadows’. Once more we made the trip to Spencer St where we joined the ‘Big Wheel’ crew on X43. In a repeat of the previous week, I took the train through to Seymour, however, on arrival at Seymour, at 1013, foreman Tong and I left the cab to the ‘Big Wheel’ crew for them to take the train on to Shepparton and the up trip back to Seymour. I have no idea what we did in the three and a half hours it took before the pass returned as train 8316, but I imagine that there would have been some discussion about techniques. At 1340, the ‘Big Wheel’ crew stopped the X class and its train in the platform and we invaded the cab once more. This time I took the controls and stayed at them all the way back to Spencer St where we drew to a halt at 1500, 5 down on the timetable; whether that was due to my efforts or some other reason I can’t tell you. Once more I recorded an 8 hour shift with no sign off time.
Saturday was OR.

Neil
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
'These weeks are taking longer to transcribe than more usual ones, so bear with me if the gaps between posts get bigger for a little while.'
Not to worry Neil.
Keep them coming, whenever, please.
Always interesting to read of the real world as it once was.
  ngarner Deputy Commissioner

Location: Seville
Here we go, for those who have been patiently waiting for me to get my act together!

The Roster Clerk had, obviously, been advised not to put me against any roster as I didn’t note any roster number for the week, since Foreman Tong had the ‘privilege’ of tutoring me for the whole week. Sunday was OR once more.
Monday was on at 0835 for the 0950 Bendigo pass, train 8015. After making our way to Spencer St we climbed into the cab of X40, displacing whoever was already in the driver’s seat. With the speed chart signed, the train examined I waited for the ‘all clear’ from platform and guard. Receiving this, I released the brakes and opened the throttle. Negotiating our way out of Spencer St, once clear of the junction I open the throttle more as we headed towards North Melbourne, with a speed limit of 65kh. Clearing the North Melbourne Junction and then crossing the Maribyrnong River bridge, I increased power as we approached Footscray for the climb towards the station. Sounding a long whistle, I powered through the curved platform and continued on towards Middle Footscray, adding more power with the increased speed limit of 80kph from Footscray. Approaching West Footscray more power was applied for the climb over the, relatively new, grade separation of Ashley St at Tottenham and then eased off again as we crested over this point. Curving around towards Sunshine, I prepared to stop there. Braking to a halt in the platform for the ‘pickup only’, the crew member on the platform side looked for the guards ‘right away’. On receiving it, I released the brakes, acknowledged it with the whistle and notched up again. Whether the train got back up to 80kph before Albion I don’t recall but, either way, once past Albion I pushed the train on up to speed limit of 95kph. Clearing the crossing at St Albans with the appropriate sounding of the whistle at the whistle board and just before the crossing, we left the overhead equipment for the sparks behind and I kept our speed, as near, to 95kph, as I could, until we passed through Sydenham when I was finally able to increase our speed to the line speed of 115kph. Clearing Diggers Rest, we curved towards the long stretch towards Sunbury. As we neared the Gap Rd level crossing I slowed the train for the ‘pick up’ only at Sunbury. With any additional passengers on board, on getting the ‘all clear’ from the guard, I notched up as quickly as possible, as we passed under the bluestone bridge carrying Macedon Rd over the line, to tackle the grade up through the curved cutting, past Rupertswood station, and on out of the valley, towards the flatter track at the top of the valley. Once at the top of the grade, I would have been able to ease back on the throttle a bit as we ran through Clarkefield, Riddells Creek and Gisbourne, under clear signals. Sometime after clearing the home departure at Gisbourne, power was increased again to tackle the long climb up Macedon bank. Cresting the grade with the line leading straight to the station, I backed off power again and prepared to stop at the station as we passed under the Calder highway overpass. Braking to a halt within the platform, I notched up again with the ‘all clear’ to pass the sidings and signal box on the far side of the up line. Curving to the right as we accelerated back up to line speed we headed towards the remains of Carlsruhe. Passing the platform, at speed, we headed on towards Kyneton, our next stop. Approaching Kyneton, through the left hand cutting, the distant was clear but I closed the throttle and braked to a stop in the platform. Once again, notching up after the station stop I got the train up to line speed again. We ran through Malmsbury to cross the viaduct at speed, then Taradale’s station and viaduct and then curved through Elphinstone. As we approached the tunnel I eased off the throttle and prepared to engage the dynamic brake for the descent into Castlemaine. Dropping down through the site of Chewton the Maryborough branch appeared from the west and I braked to a stand at Castlemaine. Notching up once more to attack the grades, through Harcourt, on the way up to the Big Hill tunnel I eased off as the grades changed within the tunnel and once more prepared to hold the train speed with the dynamic brakes for the final approach into Bendigo. As the line levelled off near Kangaroo Flat the dynamic was shut down and the throttle opened enough to maintain our speed. Slowing the train as we approached the Myrtle St overpass to the line speed of 30kph through to the station throat and its maze of points I slowed more as we entered one of the platform roads, with arrival at 1204, 9 late. The fireman climbed down into the pit to uncouple and once the loco was separated from the carriage rake, he climbed back into the cab. I opened the throttle a notch, or two, to approach the departure home and opened it more when it cleared. Passing Bendigo ‘C’ box, I slowed the loco as we crossed the Williamson St crossing and halted clear of the disc signal on the down side of that crossing. The signalman changed the road and cleared the disc to allow us to head back towards ‘B’ box so we could run around the train. I threw the reverser, released the brakes and opened the throttle again to run towards ‘B’ box where the disc signal was clear to let us run onto the up main. Stopping clear of the dwarf signal, allowing access to the platform from here, the road was reversed and the dwarf signal, allowing us to drop onto the train again, cleared. Once more getting the loco moving, we crossed the station throat, re-entered the platform road where I stopped short of the carriages. The fireman descended to rail level and set up for re-coupling. Once this was complete we had a break, before forming the 1400 up pass, running as train 8052. On receiving the ‘right away’ I opened the throttle to get the train moving and through the throat onto the up main line where I was able to open it up a lot more, once under the Myrtle St bridge again, to get up speed for the run at the Big Hill grade. The stopping pattern of this ‘express’ was Castlemaine and Kyneton, with a ‘set down’ only at Sunshine. Using the dynamic brake once through the tunnel on the grades into Castlemaine, then opening up to notch 8 as quickly as possible on departure from there for the Chewton bank I kept the train as close to line speed as possible on the up run. After the stops at both Kyneton and Sunshine we approached Spencer St to finally arrive at 1606, 6 late. Once again sign off was noted as off after 8 hours.
Tuesday was an 0745 start to run the 0900 Geelong pass, train 8225. We invaded the cab of B80 at Spencer St and completed the usual pre-run procedures. Releasing brakes and notching up I got the train moving to Footscray for the ‘pick up’ only. Getting underway once more I slowed for the Newport Junction and then opened the throttle again. Stopping from Little River onwards on the outward journey we drew to a halt at Geelong platform at 1008, 3 late, where we were to from the 1030 up, train 8238. Working with the fireman to uncouple, the run-around the cars and re-couple, I did a continuity test under foreman Tongs guidance, signed the speed chart and prepared to return to Melbourne. Getting underway, once more, to negotiate the departure from Geelong station and its throat I kept power on as we passed the local depot and ran along the straight approach to North Geelong station. Stopping the train within the platform, I re-applied power on seeing the guards ‘all clear’, acknowledging it with a pop on the whistle. Accelerating through the western junction of North Geelong Yard we headed towards North Shore station. Running under the Princes Highway overpass, past the grain loop approach and into the curves near that station I slowed the train, crossed Station St with the require whistles and stopped in the platform. The fireman relayed the ‘right away’ to me this time and I got the train moving again, for the decent length straight to Corio. Notching up again to leave Corio we got up to line speed during the longer run to Lara. After the stop there, where the fireman once again passed on the ‘right away’ I opened the throttle to head for Little River. With the process repeated there, although this time I was leaning out to accept the ‘right away’ once more, here. Running into the metropolitan area and on to Spencer St we drew to a halt in the platform at 1138, still running 3 late. Foreman Tong and I left the loco and, once more, were singed off for an 8-hour shift.
Wednesday was on at 0700 and before we took on a main line run, we took out the locos for both the Hump Pilot and Trimmer, off the pit. H3 and 4 were coupled in multi with F212 coupled to them, but not in multi, in one of the through roads on the depot, although which was the leading loco I can’t recall. Driving, from whichever was leading, to the TR point and then on to the reversing point beneath the hump, we moved to the loco at the far end of the three and moved into the Arrival Yard. At this point we probably handed over the paired H class to the crew running the Hump Pilot then drove the F up the Hump approach and reversed it into its siding. We then made our way to the footbridge leading to North Melbourne station to catch a spark to Spencer St. We joined the 1000 Geelong pass, train 8227, which had B67 at the front. In echoes of the day before, we ran to Geelong where arrival was 1123, 8 late, to form the 1130 up pass, train 8240. After the run around, I got the train moving back to Melbourne where we drew to a stop at 1249, 9 down on the timetable, for another 8-hour sign off.
Thursdays start was 0820 for the 0900 Seymour, train 9313. Once we had made our way to Spencer St, we found T369 at the head of its train, to climb into the cab. Apart from the ‘stopping all’ stations variation this was otherwise similar to the Shepparton runs. After departure from Broadmeadows, with a fully opened throttle, this was eased back on cresting the grade at Somerton, until approaching Craigieburn, where I braked to a stop there. After the ‘right away’ the throttle was opened up again to get as close to 100kph as the T could get until braking for the stop at Donnybrook was necessary. Departure from Donnybrook was under notch 8 and it was left there until we’d crested the grade where Beveridge station used to exist, when it was eased back a bit for the stretch to Wallan, in the same way as the Shepparton pass’. Braking, and blowing the whistle, as we neared the level crossing on the up side of Wallan and the curve into the platform, the train was halted once again. Wallan’s departure resembled the one from Donnybrook, although there was a little more level track here to try to build up speed before the 1-in-48 grade up to the Heathcote Junction crest. We slogged up the grade in notch 8 until just before the crest, with the platform at Heathcote being only a short distance beyond that point. Stopping on the down grade required a little more care than the earlier, flatter, stops but getting away from this station, consequently, a lot easier on the T class, with whistle sounding again for the crossing, but power wasn’t kept up for too long with Wandong being not all that far away down the grade. Stopping here was a challenge with the down grade encouraging overshooting. Getting away from Wandong was, once again, easier on loco but a higher notch setting was maintained to keep up time as we headed for Kilmore East. With the flatter track on the approaches to Kilmore East this was less of a challenge due to grade but more of one due to having to stop from 100kph. With another successful stop within the platform length, I once more opened the throttle to tackle on the slow rise through the down side curve and the long climbing straight where the ‘Apex’ siding diverged to the right. The throttle would have been kept in the higher notches for this stretch and the climb into Broadford station. The grade drops away almost immediately after getting away from here, with its relatively tight S-bend curves, so the T had assistance to get up to its maximum speed again. The momentum grades help goods trains but to maintain the timetable the T was, once more, kept powering. Braking into Tallarook, powering away from here wasn’t too bad, with its slight upgrade, but I had to slow the train for the single line over the Goulburn River at Schoolhouse Lane and then keep it relatively low with speed limits applying into Seymour proper. I braked to a halt in the platform at 1100 and Foreman Tong and I left the loco. We then waited at Seymour station until the 1340 up pass, train 8316, which was the up Shepparton, arrived into the platform. B65 rolled to a halt and we invaded the cab, probably to the disgust of the ‘Big Wheel’ driver. Taking his seat, I applied power when the ‘right away’ was given and brought the train back to Melbourne, including the Broadmeadows ‘set down’ only to arrive at Spencer St at 1455 for another 8-hour sign off.
On Friday we signed on at 0756 for the 0855 Ballarat, train 8109. We relieved yet another driver of the controls, this time of B74, when we got to the Spencer St platform the train was departing from. This train ran via ‘the Marsh’, so after getting to the Sunshine ‘pick up only’, on accepting the ‘right away’ from the guard we curved through the junction and onto the South line as I notched up. I’m not certain of the stopping pattern of this train but the amount of time allowed for it to get to Ballarat suggests that it was a limited stopper. I’m assuming that it stopped at ‘the Marsh’, Ballan and Ballan as many more would have added considerable time. The flat line before Ardeer and Deer Park would have enable line speed to be achieved fairly quickly so the throttle could be eased off a little, however the curve and grade leading to Deer Park West junction would have needed more power again. Once on the undulating line heading for Rockbank 115kph would have been reasonably easy on the loco, with the fireman setting up the auto exchanger to collect the staff there. The road to Melton would have been similar except for speed limited curve on the up. Slowing for this curve I notched up again as the staff exchange occurred with the auto in action again, with maybe a little easing off approaching and crossing some of the bridge but full power would have been brought into play for the short climb off the bridge and then eased back again for the relatively flat run to Parwan. With another exchange complete at Parwan the throttle was eased more for the drop into the valley to pass over the curves over the, backfilled, former Parwan trestles but with the climb out of the valley I would have notched up to 8 again roughly halfway through the curves to climb out of the valley again. Easing up again, once over the crest, we dropped into Bacchus Marsh where I had to slow substantially for the points into the platform. The fireman handed up the staff as I braked the train to a halt. On getting the ‘right away’ the throttle was notched up but only enough to get up to the maximum speed for returning to the main line. Once the train was clear of the crossing I opened the throttle fully again to take on the sweeping curves and grade up towards Rowsley and this power level would have been maintained along this whole stretch with the exception of the slight dip between Rowsley and the horseshoe curve bridge. Climbing the long grade towards Bank Box, power would only have been eased off somewhere between Bank Box loop and Ironbark Gully bridge, on finally reaching more level track. The run from here to Ballan would have had the throttle open but not all the way. On the approach to Ballan power was shut off and the brakes applied for the stop, and collection of the staff, there. With the ‘right away’ passed across the cab by the fireman, notch 8 was selected again to get us back under way until we were back up to line speed, allowing for a few sharper curves. Running past Gordon station, we followed the line to the left towards Wallace, on the now closed ‘loop’ still at line speed with enough throttle to keep us there. Running through the closed station we then curved around towards Bungaree, past the site of the future, but reasonably short lived Bungaree loop. On approach to Bungaree the fireman raised the trapdoor and carried out another exchange with the throttle being advanced gradually on the up-grade. Swinging around the curve past what used to be Dunnstown we approached Warrenheip where I had to shut off and brake for the junction’s 40kph speed. The staff was handed up, probably using the auto once more and I opened the throttle to get us back up to line speed once the rear of the train was off the junction, although this was short lived with the grade assisting an increase in speed. Descending the grade, I slowed the train for the approach to Ballarat and stopped in platform 1 at 1050, 5 minutes early. We formed the 1145 up, train 8134, so the fireman dropped into the pit to cut off. Once uncoupled I moved the loco to the departure home waiting for the home signal to allow us to cross Lydiard St as we performed the run around. On the far side of the crossing I stopped the loco and we quickly changed ends. With the dwarf cleared to allow us to run past the train I accelerated the loco over the crossing and ran to the far end of the station throat so we could back onto the train again. Re-coupled, I did a continuity test accompanied by Foreman Tong pointing out what to check and what to ignore. After our break, the fireman passed on the ‘right away’ again and I opened the throttle to repeat the down run, only in reverse this time. Really the only major difference was the descent from Bank Box to Bacchus Marsh, which required a lot less power but a whole lot more braking and, attempting, use of the dynamic brake. I drew the train to a halt at Spencer St at 1332, a whole minute early. The now standard 8-hour shift was recorded once more.
Saturday was OR, as was to be expected.

Neil
  ngarner Deputy Commissioner

Location: Seville
Right, the hard yards have been done and I think I can get back to posting more regularly again.

Sunday, I was rostered off and, once more, not allocated to a roster; my notes indicate that, officially, I was ‘swinging’, as a fireman once again. Whether this was in case I needed more tuition from Foreman Tong, the Roster clerk was taking no chances, or he had insufficient time to allocate me to a roster, I can’t say. At least he was consistent in my starting times for the week.
Monday’s sign on was at 0500, with Driver F. Pellizari, rostered to run the 0615 Werribee Pass, train 8209. I can’t say if we took our own loco off the pit or if it was already at Spencer St and we had to make our own way there but 75 minutes is a decent amount of time and the sparks were not common at that time of morning, so I’m inclined to go with we took it off the pit. Whichever we took control of it, our loco was T406 and with it coupled to the train the brake test was undertaken. On departure time we set off for Footscray with its ‘pick up only’ and then continued on toward Werribee. Once through Newport station we stopped at Paisley, and Galvin, with minimal passengers getting on or off, then continued on to Laverton, Aircraft, Hoppers Crossing and finally into Werribee, where arrival would have been around 0700, however, I failed to record the actual time we stopped. We formed the 0753 up, train 8218, so, reverting to my more familiar role, I climbed down and cut off the T class. We ran around and I returned to rail level to re-couple. Getting underway once more we ran the reverse stopping pattern on our way back into Melbourne, to arrive at Spencer St at 0820. That is the easy part to record; what we did after that is rather cryptic. We were relieved of T406, that or returned it to Dynon and then took over control of X43, presumably at Spencer St but that is a guess. My notes indicate that we shunted the loco and its train ‘over pit’ but what exactly that entailed I can’t say anymore. Shunting a train into the Bank sidings was a reasonably common event but not one that usually was written down, due to the frequency of it happening. Including ‘over pit’ suggests that whole train was taken to Dynon but the why is absent from my notes. There must have been some standby after this mysterious activity as we didn’t sign off until 1300.
Tuesday’s start was 0525, to work with Rail Motor Driver D Clark, who more commonly drove DRCs, ‘super’ DERMs (#55 and 61) and the remaining standard DERMs, since conversion of #57 to a ‘super’ DERM was never completed after work began around 1979. I would suggest that too many railmotors were defective so he was required to use a loco to work the trains on his usual roster. The first of these was the 0640 Werribee, running as train 8211. The next unknown is whether he signed on at the Railmotor Depot at Spencer St, the low brick building to the north of platforms 7 and 8 surrounded by sidings and the station throat, with me having to make my way to meet him, or whether he also signed on at Dynon so we could take the allocated loco off the pit. Whatever manner we linked up together and gained control of the loco, we ended up with T351 rostered for the Werribee pass and made the trip to that station arriving at 0725. This formed the 0758 up, although what train number that was is absent from my notes, so once again I cut off for the run around and coupled up again for the return trip. This train should have arrived around 0845 but the actual time was not recorded. We were relieved of T351 but took control of, its immediate sister in, T352 with which we were scheduled to run the 0905 ‘Marsh’ pass, train 8207. Departing Spencer St, we made the all stations stops from Sunshine on to Bacchus Marsh where we drew to a halt at an unrecorded time. After arrival I cut off to enable the loco to run around and then re-coupled for the return run. For some weird reason I made no attempt to record any of the major details of the up journey, other than it was train 8126, departing at 1055. Running the train back into Spencer St, repeating the stopping all stations, to Sunshine, pattern I’m not sure what happened after our arrival. Whether Driver Clark finished his shift, having completed his roster, and I returned to Dynon to sit out my remaining shift solo or we did this together I have no idea anymore. Whichever option it ended up being I knocked off, a trifle early, at 1315.
Wednesday was on at 0500, with Driver W Winton, rostered to work the same train as on Monday. Our loco this time was T404 and the run from Spencer St to Werribee, as train 8209, departing at 0615 again, was a decent one as I recorded our terminating 3 minutes early. Once again, we ran around and formed the up, train 8218. Departing Werribee at 0753 we ran back into Spencer St, collecting inbound workers along the way to arrive 1 minute ahead of timetable. I released the T class from the rake of carriages but we retained control of the loco whilst coupling S309 and H3 to it before we took all three over the flyover back over the pit. I failed to record any timing for this but the likelihood that it took us that much time is fairly low so there would have been a decent amount of time on standby before we signed off at 1300.
On Thursday it was an 0520 start, working with Driver Brown for the 0600 Jolimont Pilot. Our loco was E1109 and this was the last time I worked on one of the ‘electric chairs’, both because of my resignation later in the year and also because of their removal from service in the not too distant future. We shuttled the departmental wagons around the sidings of Jolimont Yard and the spark stabling sidings, collecting used brake blocks, replenishing supplies of new ones and collecting other debris from these sidings. We returned to the depot to sign off at 1330, almost solely so we could queue up for our pay, otherwise I’m more than inclined to say I would have headed straight home form Flinders St.
Friday’s start was at 0455, with Driver P Gooding, instead of Driver W Schang, who I was originally rostered to work with. We were booked for the 0548 South Geelong pass, train 8207. B68 was allocated for this run so once I had coupled on and the train had been tested, we waited for departure time. Getting underway we ran to Footscray for the ‘pick up only’, although I don’t imagine too many joined the train there. From here I’m unsure of the stopping pattern but being an early South Geelong bound run I’m inclined to suggest we didn’t stop too many times on our way to Geelong, which would be supported by our return journey departure time. Departing that station, I received the staff from the ‘B’ box signalman as we headed towards the tunnel and made our way to South Geelong, where the staff was handed up again. My timing was amok again as I recorded our arrival at 06 but no minutes. I left the loco to uncouple and we then ran around the train so we could form the 0725 up, train 8224. With another staff on the loco, we set off once more, with a load of commuters, up the grade towards the tunnel. The staff was handed up after leaving the tunnel and we stopped in platform 2 briefly so more passengers could join the train. As one of the last trains departing Geelong to arrive before 0900 I’m inclined to say we stopped at the station around Geelong, although whether we also stopped at Lara and Little River I can’t say. Once again, arrival time at Spencer St was recorded solely as 08--, not very good record keeping in hindsight. Once at Spencer St, we would have been relieved of the loco, so it could run another pass somewhere while we made our way back to Dynon to take up seats in the meal room on standby. This lasted until sign off at 1255. Finishing a shift with Fuel Point duty appeared to be something of the past now.
Saturday was OR.

Neil
  ngarner Deputy Commissioner

Location: Seville
The Roster Clerk allocated me to a roster this week but I was back in the situation where he could shuffle me to another one with no warning since I wasn’t officially allocated to it, as I was when on the Goods Roster. This made it impossible to exchange weeks to something of more interest or better working hours. As a result, I ended up on 53N, a week of night shift Melbourne Yard Pilots; not my first choice in jobs, nor in starting times.

So Sunday was OR.
Monday was on at 2235 for the 2300 Trimmer Pilot, with Driver S Creely. After presenting ourselves to the Manpower clerk and not being told we’d been moved to a more interesting job, we wandered along the SG line to a point near the hump where we then made our way to the Trimmer cabin, past F201, idling in its stub siding. We took seats on either side of the, cheap, kitchen table in the cabin, at least for a little while, and hoped that the West Tower Hump Operator and the shunters, a bit further up the slope from us, didn’t mess things up too badly in the early hours of the morning when we’d have preferred getting some sleep to rescuing stray wagons. It is almost guaranteed that our slumber was disturbed, more than once, by such an event, otherwise there was little point in having a crew rostered for this duty. We were officially off at 0725, although whether we actually returned to the depot or, even, left it that late to head for home, I rather doubt now.
Tuesdays start was at 2257 for 2300 Centre Yard Pilot, once more with Driver Creely. Even though the distance to the Centre Yard was further that the Trimmer cabin we still only had 3 minutes to walk from the depot to where the loco was tied up, at the northern end of the Yard, something of an impossibility, so, we definitely weren’t ready to go to work at 2300. Y120 was idling in the Yard waiting for us, so releasing the hand brake, checking for the usual items in the toolkit, although no VC seal checks were ever required on a Y class, since they weren’t fitted with Vigilance Controls and writing up the log book we moved south into the Yard to meet the shunting team we were working with that night. As was usual, we shunted for, probably, about four hours, although with the demise of the paper trains there was now less to do at night, before the shunters disappeared to their cabin and we tried to make ourselves comfortable for an hour or twos napping before we picked up where we left off to finish the shift. We moved no. 120 back to the northern end of the Yard, I applied the hand brake and we left the loco to itself at 0650, with the day shift crew still only signing on. Officially, we were off at 0703.
Wednesday was also on at 2257, once again the 2300 Centre Yard Pilot, although working with Driver J Grech tonight. This was somewhat unusual as a week on the Melbourne Yard Pilots meant you almost never worked the same Pilot twice in that week. I had been rostered to work another Pilot, possibly the West Yard but had been switched back onto the same one as the night before possibly to cover an absent fireman, although that meant someone else had to cover what I was rostered to work. Once again I can say for certainty that we were not on Y118, at 2300.  120 must have been returned to the depot for servicing or repairs as changing a Y class mid-week was rather uncommon. We cleared some of the hump yard balloons and shunted the sheds at the southern end of Melbourne Yard. We ‘lost’ our shunters again around the same time as the night before and they, probably, stayed away for a similar amount of time, as well, not that this made it any easier to get comfortable in a Y class seat or floor. I know that some drivers, BJ Smith included, thought that having a loco idle for a few hours was not a good idea, as it would give HQ an idea that we weren’t working hard enough, so they would run the loco up and down the road it was in for some time while the shunters were all off snoozing. I really don’t imagine that those sort of tricks would have fooled anybody reading the speed chart, since these drivers tended to open the throttle to, say, notch 3 for a minute, or two, then brake, throw the reverser and do this a number of times, which really failed to replicate the actual movement of a Pilot at work. There was a lot more opening of the throttle rapidly, followed by rapid braking, being repeated or steady travel along a road to the far end of that siding, before a pause, then moving back the way we’d come for a period of time before some of the acceleration and braking as first described. This night must have been a little quieter compared to Monday as the loco was tied up at 0630. As per usual, we were signed off at 0703.
Thursday was 2257 for 2300 East Yard for some slight variation, although not that much, although I was back working with Driver Creely again. This night’s loco was Y123 and once the hand brake was off we headed to the throat of the Yard where the shunters would have been waiting for us. Once again we made up trains, although this time eastern district bound ones before the usual ‘break’ in the middle of the shift. The shunters returned, to reduce complaints from the day shift crew for slacking off all night and we worked until sometime before 0700, being off at 0703 again.
To finish the week Friday was on at 2235 for the 2300 East Yard Pilot, again, once more with Driver Grech. As happened on Wednesday, I was moved from another job, this one the Hump Pilot, as I wrote H4 and, probably, H1 before crossing them both out, to write in the East Yard Pilot once more. I’m not sure what was going on with the actual locos working the Yard Pilot this week, changing every night, since this time we worked on Y126, instead of no. 123, maybe they, unlike me, were getting some change of scenery. We worked pretty much as I had the night before to tie up the loco around 0700 with sign off at 0725.
Saturday was OR, largely due to the Melbourne Yard Pilots not working Sunday morning.

As an aside, at some point during this period I was approached to see if I was interested in being trained to work steam locos. Although I was very interested, I didn’t see a lot of point, since I was going to be working from the ERD at some point in the foreseeable future, for an unknown length of time. By the time I was senior enough to return to Dynon, the training would have been years earlier and almost guaranteed to be in need of refreshing, so I, somewhat reluctantly but realistically, said no to the offer.

Neil
  ngarner Deputy Commissioner

Location: Seville
The roster clerk moved me to Roster 105A this week, presumably filling a vacancy due to another fireman on leave or doing something other than working the locos.

Sunday was OR.
Monday I was rostered on at 1550 to run the 1705 Kyneton pass with Driver M Wilson but I failed to make it to work due to some illness.
Tuesday’s rostered job was on at 1500 for a Westall, presumably something to do with the Apex goods but the bug that kept me absent on Monday was still having its impact on me.
Wednesday was rostered for a start at 1600, supposedly for a 1600 Seymour, however I think that the actual train time must have been a little later than that, but for the third day running I was off on sick leave.
Having recovered my health, I arrived at Dynon on Thursday signing on with the Manpower Clerk at 1450 for the 1540 Warragul pass, train 8421, working with Driver Wilson. Interestingly, being payday may have encouraged me to recover my health, considering there was nothing in the way of electronic banking back then. Having made our way to Spencer St we relieved another crew of L1171, the only one modified with a lowered nose and cab. Departing Spencer St, we ran over the viaduct to Flinders St, where the train number changed to 8422, to pick up more passengers. Getting underway once more, we ran to Caulfield and then Dandenong, for the ‘pick up only’ stops at both stations. I’m not certain of the stopping pattern of this train but I’m inclined to say that this was a limited stops run, as a travel time of just under two hours was not really possible when stopping at all of the intermediate stations. That said we drew into Warragul’s down platform at 1730, 3 late on the timetable, to hand control over to a local crew. Our change-over was the 1650 up but that was obviously not the timing of the train out of Warragul. I didn’t record when we took over L1159 at the head of this train, no. 9458, but we got the train moving onto the grade towards Drouin. However, no. 1159 wasn’t in the best of form as we struggled along as far as Pakenham where we stopped and I uncoupled the L class from the train so we could move it out of the way and tie it up. The problems that we had with no. 1159 were more than one defective traction motor. We then took over T354, although how, and why, it was at Pakenham, I don’t recall, since this was a rather out of the way location to stable a loco. Since I didn’t note a tonnage allowance, exchanging an L for a T was not a serious problem, as a T was permitted to haul a maximum of 1015 tonnes on the up from Pakenham, somewhat less than an L was allowed, which was 1420. With no. 354 attached to the train and a continuity test performed, we got the train moving once, with a loco in somewhat better working form, albeit a lot noisier one and with lesser power. We dragged the train the rest of the way to Melbourne and into the Arrivals Yard. With the T cut off, we returned it to the depot to finally sign off at 2345.
Friday’s start was at 1345, with Driver M Griffiths, so we could travel ‘per’ to Frankston. We made our way to North Melbourne station and then caught at least one spark towards Frankston. My notes indicate that we began our journey at 1445 but I’m not sure where this time began, at Dynon, North Melbourne or a city station. We finally arrived at Frankston, where we then waited for the up goods out of Long Island, running as train 9522. S305, with T407 trailing in support, appeared rounding the curve off the Stony Point line and drew to a halt near us, more than likely in the goods yard, to avoid interfering with the sparks. We relieved the incoming crew to take control of the train at 1655. Getting the train underway, we made our way back towards Caulfield and then on to Melbourne. My notes indicate that we finished working this train at 1845 but I’m not sure where we tied it up, or if we were relieved, since we didn’t finally sign off until 2200, which is 15 minutes past our 8-hours on duty. This suggests that we were not that close to Dynon wherever the train was left, Tottenham Yard is a possibility to allow for the missing time but my notes are lacking in confirmation of this.
The Roster Clerk booked me on for Saturday at 1245, which, I can almost guarantee, was not part of 105A’s roster. He may have been making up for my missing the first half of the week. Driver W Wos and I were rostered for the 1400 Albury rest job, working train 9445. Taking 42205 off the SG turntable, we worked the loco into South Dynon Yard, were coupled up and the train was tested. Departing the Yard, we crossed the Maribyrnong and entered the Bunbury St tunnel. Approaching Tottenham Yard the broad gauge diverged to the left and we continued on along the, now, standard gauge only towards Sunshine. We worked our way along the Albion loop line and eventually left Melbourne behind to climb over the Great Divide, cross the Goulburn and head on towards Wodonga. I gather we ran through Wodonga, to take the train into Albury where we handed it over to a NSW crew at 2115. A taxi waiting for us in the station forecourt took us back to Wodonga depot where we signed off at 2130. For our efforts we were paid equal to 1305, although the mileage allowance may have modified that more.

Neil
  ngarner Deputy Commissioner

Location: Seville
Not a good couple of weeks for either me or my, then employer...

The Roster Clerk had another change in roster for me, shifting me to 55D this time.
Obviously, Sunday found us in Wodonga preparing to bring an up goods back to Melbourne to complete our rest job, which would not have been part of roster 55D. We were required back at Wodonga depot at 0525 to work the 0630 up, train 9492. After signing on at Wodonga, a taxi would have transferred us across the border to Albury where X53 was at the head of our train. Taking over the New X, we checked everything was as it was supposed to be and then departed the Yard to cross the Murray back into Victoria and headed south. With another uneventful trip, I can’t recall anything specific to relate. With both of the overnight express trains ahead of us the only reason for any stops would have been to cross Sydney bound trains, the ‘Daylight’ would definitely have been a train that we were put aside for. Eventually, travelling through the Bunbury St tunnel and into South Dynon Yard we drew to a halt and were uncoupled from the train. Taking the loco onto the main on the Moonee Ponds creek bridge we then reversed into the SG Fuel Point where we left the loco at 1115 to make our way to Manpower where we signed off at 1130, getting paid equal to 1210 for our efforts.
Monday was on at 0730 for a full shift of Fuel Point duty. I met up with Driver S Greely, once more, and together we made our way to the Fuel Point Foreman’s office to present ourselves to him and then take a seat, in the waiting room adjacent to his office, to wait for his orders on what loco to take to what part of the depot We spent the shift shuttling locos around the depot once they were released by the fitters until around 1515 when we headed back to the depot where we signed off at 1530.
Tuesday’s sign on was at 0610 to work with Driver Ian Barkla, rostered to run some locos ‘light’ to Newport departing at 0630. The fitters had coupled T406 to T389 and left them for us in one of the through roads. Heading off the depot in no. 389, we departed the TR point and stopped beneath the hump to transfer to no. 406. With the signal cleared by the West Tower signalman, we set off to pass the Arrivals Yard and dropped off Spion Kop, to join the suburban lines at South Kensington. We ran to Newport where the signalman set the road for the Workshops and cleared the signal. With a low speed caution displaying we ran into the ‘shops and tied up the locos where directed. We then made our way back to Newport station, where we waited for the 0645 up pass out of Geelong. I don’t recall if we were given the job of relieving this train back at Dynon or whether the message was passed on to us while we were somewhere around Newport but, either way, when the train drew into Newport it stopped and we climbed on to the cab of B72 to relieve the previous crew, at 0734. Getting the train on the move again we ran it into Spencer St where we drew to a halt at 0751. I’m fairly sure that we were relieved of the loco and returned to Dynon, to take up seats in the meal room on standby until we were signed off at 1240.
Wednesday’s start was at 0722 for the ANZAC Pilot, however, the evening before I’d been out with friends and in a sequence of events, that only the young and foolish get themselves into, I took a tumble onto a road whilst walking backwards and landed heavily on my left elbow. I went to bed without any thoughts about it but the following morning, when I drove to work, I had trouble straightening my arm to change gears. It caused me enough problems that, as I was preparing to sign on, I spoke to the Manpower assistant who was working first aid duty. He took me to the depot’s first aid room and had a look at my elbow. Not sure of the problem, he bound it tightly and then sent me to the RMO at HQ. His biggest concern was that I was going to claim that it happened on the job and kept raising this point, no matter how often I told him it hadn’t. So I returned my kit bag to my car and then walked to North Melbourne station to catch a spark to Spencer St. Making my way to the RMO’s rooms, the doctor removed the wrapping the first aid officer had applied, and my elbow was checked out but nothing much was diagnosed. The doctor sent me back to Dynon, recommending I see my own GP. So, I walked back to Spencer St and caught the next spark to North Melbourne. Once off the footbridge from the station, as I was walking along the path, back to the depot, I started to get some serious shooting pains originating from my elbow; so strong that I had to stop walking. There was a track gang working on ‘the gauge’ alongside the path and I later wondered what they thought I was doing, as I would be walking along normally and then I’d stop for a short period, before starting moving again, only to repeat this process any number of times. I eventually made it back to the depot and was deemed ‘unfit for duty’. There was no way I was now able to change gears in a manual car, as my arm was now incapable of straightening, so I grabbed my kit bag, using my right arm, and made my way back to North Melbourne, to return home by spark. The upshot was that my GP diagnosed fluid on the elbow, with the consequences being that I couldn’t flex my left arm for quite a few days. Meanwhile, my car sat in the depot car park until rescued some days later, which was something of a feat in itself, as the depot car park had a notorious reputation for theft and break-ins.
Instead of signing on at 0710 on Thursday to work the Powerhouse Pilot I stayed at home.
Likewise, on Friday I was off sick instead of signing on at 0710 for the 0730 Ways and Works Pilot.
Saturday was OR, irrespective of whether my arm would have enabled me to work or not.

Neil
  ngarner Deputy Commissioner

Location: Seville
The Roster Clerk left me following the roster, so I rotated onto 56N; not that he got as much out of me as he would have hoped, since it was Wednesday before my elbow had drained of the fluid, to enable it to bend enough to permit me to work again. What 56N had as jobs on Monday and Tuesday I didn’t record, probably since I had no idea of what roster I was being put onto, not having not been at the depot on Friday or any of the weekend. I only found out this, and what time to come in for my next shift, when I rang the depot to let the Time Office know what day I was going to be fit for work again.
So, having found out what I was booked to work, I arrived back at Dynon to sign on at 1910 on the Wednesday for the 2010 Geelong pass, train 8279. I joined Driver R Oaff and, together, we made our way to Spencer St, where we took control of X39 at the head of the train. With the train examined successfully, we departed on receiving the ‘all clear’ from platform and guard. Stopping at Footscray for the ‘pick up only’ we then ran on through Newport and continued on our way towards Geelong. What stopping pattern we followed I can’t say but we drew to a halt at Geelong station, at 2112. We were, either, relieved at the station so we could make our own way to Geelong depot, or we took the X to the depot ourselves, although which option of the two of these it was I can’t recall and nothing was written down to clarify this, as details such as this were not noted down being just part of the job. After having our meal break at the depot, we were rostered to run the 2255 Melbourne goods, train 9294. Our locos, T384 and Y174, had been coupled together by the local fitters, for us at Geelong depot. With the dwarf signal cleared to allow us to depart the depot, after I called the local signalman, either working in the Maitland St or North Geelong ‘B’ box, from the northern TR point, we ran the locos to North Geelong and then reversed into the yard to couple to the train. We worked with the train examiner to get the train tested before we were ready to depart. With the line clear, the ‘A’ box signalman set the road and cleared the signal to allow us to get the train underway. Powering away from North Geelong, we ran the train back towards Melbourne, more than likely, including the common detour via Brooklyn and Tottenham Yard before continuing on to the Arrivals Yard. With the locos cut off we ran them back to Dynon, including the change to the Y class for the final stretch from the hump. We left them at Fuel Point and signed off at 0310.
Thursday was 1800 on with Driver P Martin, however, he was not originally rostered to work with me, Driver M Reeder was. The change of driver, unfortunately, did not result in a change of task for me as I still ended up working a full shift at Fuel Point duty. Together, we worked as directed, moving locos, until I finished the shift early, by signing off at 0015. There is the distinct possibility that all of the climbing onto and off locos, that Fuel Point duty required, may have stressed the elbow more than was comfortable, that, or there was a distinct drop-off of locos to move and I gave it away as a result.
Friday’s sign on was at 2140, with Driver P Gooding, although he was not my originally rostered driver. It is also likely that I spent time, on standby, waiting for him to sign on. The details of who I was supposed to originally work with are too obscured to be able to make out anymore, as is the job that I was taken off. Instead, Driver Gooding and I ran the 2355 Shepparton, train 9355. We made our way out to the yard where we found B72 coupled to T386 by the fitters for us. Climbing onto the T, we departed the depot and took the locos to the yard where the train had been assembled for us. We were coupled to the train and then relocated to the B class, following which the train was tested. On departing the yard, we made our way over the Maribyrnong and on to the Independent Goods lines. We made our way to Tottenham Yard, where we may have stopped for additional loading although I can’t be certain about that now. Continuing on to Sunshine, we proceeded on to Albion where we joined the Loop line to Broadmeadows. Gaining access to the main line and, passing through Broadmeadows station we proceeded to climb the various grades as far as Wallan where we were stopped by the signalman and advised that we were to add Y166 to our train. The loco would have been in the yard on the far side of the standard gauge line, but whether we left the train on the main line or pushed it back into the refuge siding on the up side of the level crossing, I can’t tell. Either way, I uncoupled both locos from the train, we crossed the up main and entered the yard. I coupled the Y to the T, connected the brake pipe and released the hand brake. We then returned to the down main and dropped back onto our train. I recoupled the three locos then a continuity test was completed. With the successful addition of the Y class done we then got underway again to tackle the grade over the dividing range. Clear of that obstacle we then continued past Wandong, Kilmore East and the quarry siding to find the distant at Broadford against us, as we approached that station. The distant stayed at caution although the home arrival was clear which allowed us to draw to a halt at the home departure at the down end of the platform, which was against us. Our changeover was with the 0150 up, although from which station that was supposed to be, I’m not sure. We changed over at 0325, to train 9306, which had T388 at the front and, after the guards had also successfully changed vans, we got under way on our return to Melbourne. Retracing our path through Kilmore East we climbed past Wandong on our way back up over the divide and once over the crest the T class got a bit of a break. Rolling through Wallan, power was increased to take on the line towards Beveridge, although it was eased again once we crested that location. Returning to Broadmeadows we diverged back onto the Albion Loop line and then joined the Independent Goods lines on the up side of Sunshine. Passing Tottenham Yard once more we made our way to the Arrivals Yard where the train was left and we took no. 388 back over the pit, where we left it in the hands of a fitter at 0630. Walking back to the depot we signed off at 0655.
Saturday was rostered off.

Neil
  ngarner Deputy Commissioner

Location: Seville
The Roster Clerk rolled me over onto 57A, which started the week with Sunday Fuel Point duty, starting at 1500 with Driver F Atwell. Either it was a very quiet shift or I wasn’t too keen to spend 8 hours climbing all over locos, since I returned to the Manpower Clerk’s window and signed off at 1830, which still paid me equal to 7 hours, which obviously I deemed sufficient.
On Monday, it was a 1547 start, with Driver J Lodington, rostered to work the 1702 Werribee pass, train 8257. We took control of T381, probably at Dynon but it may have been at Spencer St, and since there is no record of exactly how we got onto the loco I really can’t confirm which now. However, once we were in charge of the loco and it was attached to the train, we carried out the usual tests and set off for Werribee at departure time. Doing the usual ‘stopping all stations’ run, we arrived at Werribee to deposit our load of homeward bound commuters at the platform and then began to organise ourselves for the 1832 up pass, back to Melbourne, running as train 8270. I failed to record our arrival time for some reason, but uncoupled for the run-around and reunited loco to train once they were in the correct order for the up journey. Departing Werribee, with far fewer passengers, we made our way back to Spencer St, where, once again, our arrival time went unrecorded. Relieved, or returning the T class to the depot, we were directed to the meal room by Manpower on our reporting back to him to spend most of the balance of the shift on standby, with me, or both of us, signing off at 2250, an hour short of 8 hours.
Tuesday’s sign on was at 1620, to work with Driver G Bryceson. This time it was the 1728 Werribee pass, train 8263, that I was to work. Our loco this day was T351 and as for Monday, I have no recollection of how we gained control of it. Repeating the previous days run we delivered our passengers to their home station, once more neglecting to record when we arrived at Werribee. The return train was the 1850 up pass, train 8272, and after the run-around and continuity test we returned the carriages and few passengers to Melbourne, time unrecorded yet again. Once more back at Dynon we spent some time in the meal room but, unlike Monday, we actually got to send a bit more time on a loco. Manpower called us out and tasked us to take out the loco for the 2225 Geelong goods, so we found T364 in the depot, and headed off the pit to whichever Yard this train was departing from. We coupled on and began testing the train with the train examiner until, at some point, the crew running it arrived to relieve us. Making our way back to Dynon on foot we probably signed off on our return as sign off was at 2345, a little short of a full shift.
Wednesday’s start was at 1450 with Driver F Atwell again. We were rostered to run the 1540 Warragul pass, train 8421. We made our way to Spencer St platform 8 where L1173 was at the head of the train and relieved the crew currently occupying the cab. With the ‘all clear’ given, the brakes were released and the L notched up to cross the viaduct to platform 1 at Flinders St for our first stop. On departure we became train 8422 to run over the Yarra River at Cremorne then climb up to Malvern before stopping at Caulfield for the ‘pick up only’. Getting underway again, we ran to Dandenong for the next stop and then headed on towards Warragul. Approaching Bunyip the train was slowed for the points leading into the platform road with the staff being handed up there before entering the single line section to Longwarry. Having crossed the Bunyip River, I handed up the staff at Longwarry before leaving the single line section. We ran on to drop down the grade from Drouin, with the widely separated lines, both horizontally and vertically, to enter Warragul platform, although once more at a time unrecorded. A local crew would have relieved us, even though our return run wasn’t until 1855, working train 9458. This train drew to a halt, led by L1169, with T412 attached dead. Replacing the eastern depot crew, we got it underway once more to tackle the climb up to Drouin, a bit more of a challenge on the up, compared to the down direction. Once up this grade the L class had it a lot easier, even dragging the weight of the T with no tractive effort to assist We worked our way back towards Melbourne to eventually run into the Arrivals Yard, where both locos were cut off. Running forward, to clear the road, so we could take the locos back to the depot we continued to work from the L class, even with the T being the leading loco as far as the reversing point beneath the hump. I was really off my game in recording times this week as I have no idea when we made it back to Dynon but I’m fairly sure it was earlier than 2230, as we signed off after exactly 8 hours on duty, not that common a feat without some, standby, padding in between.
On Thursday it was a 1500 start, again with Driver F Atwell, rostered for a 1545 Boral ballast, near Deer Park West. This had been cancelled, or was run by another crew, so Manpower sent us into the meal room instead, on standby, until 1815 when he called us out to allocate us the job of taking out the loco for the 1900 Bendigo, train 9057. We took X36 off the pit, probably, to the Centre Yard, where we were coupled on and the train tested. As was reasonably common, the Bendigo crew had not made it this far yet, so we were instructed to get the train moving to the point where they could take over from us. Running via the Independent Goods lines as far as Tottenham Yard, we added Y118 to the train, more than likely within the Yard confines, to avoid blocking the Goods line. Once the Y was attached behind no. 36, and a continuity test was complete, we were given the ‘ok’ to depart the Yard, to climb over the crest of the grade, just past Tottenham signal box. We then dropped down to stop short of the home signal protecting access to the main line. When the signal cleared, we moved on but only as far as the down platform where the, somewhat delayed, Bendigo crew were standing waiting to relieve us. Relieved of the train we changed platforms to catch a spark to North Melbourne from where we then walked back to the depot and I signed off at 2100.
Friday was a 1505 start for the 1620 Bacchus Marsh pass, train 8127, working with Driver F Atwell, for the final time this week. We probably had the luxury of taking our loco off the pit, to run a passenger train, since the loco allocated to run this train was H3 and H class were not commonly found at Spencer St, pre or post ‘New Deal’. Attached to the carriages and tested we got underway on departure time with the usual waving of hands, flags and acknowledging whistles. Powering away from the platform we made our way through the station throat, onto the suburban lines and headed on to Sunshine. After the ‘pick up only’ stop there we then proceeded to stop at all stations, collecting the staff at Rockbank and making exchanges from there on until the last one was handed up at ‘the Marsh’. Once again I have no idea of our arrival time, however I cut off so we could run around and then move the carriages into the yard where they were stabled. In a change from the usual, at 1745 we were handed a staff for Parwan and the dwarf was cleared for us to head back ‘light’ towards Melbourne. Exchanging the staff at Parwan, we crossed the weir but had the Melton distant against us. We approached the home arrival signal, also against us, where ahead of us we could see the rear of another passenger train. Train 8146 had broken down, hauled by my favourite (not) B class no. 61, which had completely disgraced itself by dropped its brake rigging. We manoeuvred around the train, handing up the staff as we did so, and then dropped onto the B class. The crew of the B must have done enough to ensure that the damaged rigging was not going to cause any problems when the loco moved and so we coupled up. I assume the other fireman did most of the work since he was already there but I may have contributed to this effort. Once everything was connected up, and a continuity test had proven that, we received the Rockbank staff and the H class was put to the task of completing the unfinished journey to Melbourne. I’m inclined to say we only slowed for the staff drop off at Rockbank and worked up to our maximum speed again, to continue on to Sunshine for the next, scheduled, stop, albeit at a considerably slower speed than the B class would have been able to travel, in working order. Getting underway once more, we made it into a Spencer St platform and then, without a doubt, pushed no. 61 over the flyover and back to Fuel Point, after release from the train. The fitters, probably, topped off the fuel tanks and sand hoppers of the B class but, instead of it then going to a ready road, one of the crew working Fuel Point duty would have transferred it to the workshops for repairs. We returned to the Manpower Clerk, to be directed to the meal room, where we stayed until signing off at 2305.
Saturday was OR.

Neil
  ngarner Deputy Commissioner

Location: Seville
Instead of rolling onto 58D, I was moved to 112D, which I had not anticipated as I had recorded the jobs of 58D. Reading them now is a bit difficult but those I can make out suggest that Tuesday may have been a Hump Pilot; Wednesday, the Dandenong ‘Pilot’; and Saturday, the No. 6 Dock Pilot. Two sequential day shift rosters was not something I objected to, although I may have been getting a bit tired of doing Werribee passenger trains by the end of this period, as they just kept popping up.
The Sunday was rostered off and, for a change, so was Monday.
I arrived for an 0555 sign on for the 0610 Special Pilot, to work with Driver D Grant. The pair of us would have located Y125 in the depot yard, possibly the BG turntable, as this was not a regular Pilot like the Melbourne Yard ones, and then headed off the pit. Heading to where we were to meet up with this Pilots shunting team, they climbed onto the Y class and we set to work, although what that work was I no longer remember. Whatever we did, we worked until 1410 when no. 125 was returned to Fuel Point and we made our way back to Manpower to sign off at 1430.
Wednesday was an 0556 start to work the 0610 SG Pilot. Driver Grant and I teamed up once more, and after sign on, made our way across the SG main line into the Yard where Y103 was tied up as close as the night shift could get to the depot. Releasing the hand brake and checking the loco we then moved towards the middle of the Yard to meet up with this days shunting team. We set to work moving wagons around, largely within South Dynon Yard but would have made some sorties into North Dynon to collect wagons from there for adding to north bound trains. We did this until 1430, when the Y class was once more tied up as near to the depot as possible, to sign off at 1435. Once we had signed off we joined the queue at the Pay Office since Thursday was, still then, the Melbourne Show public holiday, quite some time before Jeff Kennett abolished it, and making the Pay Officers work a public holiday was not going to happen.
Thursday’s start was on at 0500 to run the 0615 Werribee pass, train 8209, today with Driver G Bentley. We took possession of T347 to couple to the carriage rake and test it. Departing Spencer St, we did the usual ‘all stations’, for not much patronage, and once at Werribee, at a time unrecorded, we set to the task of preparing to run the 0733 up, train 8218. With the loco at the up end and everything else ready, we got underway once more, although with fewer passengers than would usually be the case, to return to Spencer St and off-load those who had made the inbound trip. Once more, our arrival time is missing from my notes. Returning to Dynon, we, unsurprisingly, ended up on standby until 1100 when one, or both, of us decided we’d had enough sitting around and signed off but were paid equal to nine hours, for our effort.
Friday was an 0445 start for the 0530 Werribee pass, train 8203. Today’s driver was McNulty and the loco was T351. This would definitely have been a case of take the loco off the pit to Spencer St with only 45 minutes between sign on and train departure. Other than those details, the only other real change, apart from moving a reasonably larger number of people on the up trip, was that we ran the 0703 up, train 8212, this time. Once more, on return to Dynon we ended up on standby and remained that way until sign off at 1145.
I signed on at 0605 on Saturday for the 0630 Canal Pilot. I assume that my driver was McNulty again but it is possible it was either of the other two I’d worked with early in the week or possibly a fourth driver, who went unrecorded. Y118 was allocated to this duty and so, after taking control of it, more than likely by crossing the Moonee Ponds creek and then walking to the west end of the Canal Yard, we met our shunters and got to work. There was a reasonable amount of work offering for this Pilot, as we worked until 1300 when we, most likely, returned no. 118 to the depot and signed off at 1355.

Neil

Sponsored advertisement

Display from: