East Tower, Melbourne Yard and the Hump

 
  wongm GEEWONG

Location: Geelong, Victoria
I presume everyone knows West Tower, mainly because it still exists. Located beside Dudley Street beside the hump at Melbourne Yard, it was the main signal box for the area between the mid 1960s (when the Hump was built) and the 1990s they the yard closed.

[img]http://wongm.railgeelong.com/melbourne-freight-terminals/image/500/D242_4240.jpg[/img]


I knew about East Tower from signal diagrams, but had never seen a photo until now...
http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/pictures/gid/slv-pic-aaa39318/1/pi002022



And the view east from West Tower (wrongly captioned) - the first few of the hump yard bowls have been removed.
http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/pictures/gid/slv-pic-aaa39322/1/pi002025



A 1971 signal diagram of the central Melbourne Yard area is here:
http://www.victorianrailways.net/signaling/completedia/humpdia.html

And a 1983 diagram of the Hump itself:
http://www.victorianrailways.net/signaling/completedia/melbyardwest.html

Sponsored advertisement

  heisdeadjim Chief Commissioner

So what's the status of West Tower now?
  RATLSNAKE Chief Train Controller

So what's the status of West Tower now?
"heisdeadjim"


One of the few large circa-1983 V/LINE logos left? Razz
  wongm GEEWONG

Location: Geelong, Victoria
So what's the status of West Tower now?
"heisdeadjim"

The signal box still exists in some form:
http://vicsig.net/index.php?page=infrastructure&box=West%20Tower

The downstairs sections were once the office of Southern Shorthaul Railroad, a newsagent uses another part as a distribution depot.

One of the few large circa-1983 V/LINE logos left?
"RATLSNAKE"

If you look very closely at the eastern face you can see where the VR wings used to be.
  crackheadjim Train Controller

Location: Prison
I think somewhere I have some video I took of the East tower being pulled down. If I find it ever I will post it up on youtube or somewhere.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Is It likely that the West Tower will be turn down to make way for the RRL ?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Is It likely that the West Tower will be turn down to make way for the RRL ?
"Nightfire"


IMO, though the West Tower is on increasingly valuable land and I reckon its future is limited, I don't believe it is close enough to the RRL route to be an obstacle.

Mike
.
  brads Train Controller

Location: Werribee, Victoria
This is the area for the 'proposed' second docklands football stadium isn't it?
  heisdeadjim Chief Commissioner

Something is pinging in my brain on West Tower re asbestos issues?
  EpicFail Station Master

RTBU Rail Division, Volume 4, Issue 22, 26 November 2007

Members Highlight Safety Concerns
Concerns raised by our members at West Tower of asbestos
at this site, has seen extensive testing being undertaken.
The air quality tests results have come back showing no air
contamination but a test result on dust particles of the Dynon
Road panel came back positive indicating the presence of
asbestos fibres. There was also a positive identification of
asbestos containing material in the form of sprayed insulation
on the ceiling above ceiling tiles on the 3rd floor.
A complete clean and vacuum and further testing of West Tower
Signalling control room was undertaken by a Victorian Trades
Hall Council authorised tester. RTBU Signalling members
had been concerned for some time with reports of asbestos
in the West Tower building and on Thursday November 8th
the situation came rapidly to a head. An urgent meeting was
convened that morning on site with the West Tower RTBU
Delegate and OH&S representative RTBU Signalling section
Secretary Alan Mann and myself attended a meeting with
management representatives from V/Line Network & Access
Operations management and VicTrack.
On safety grounds it was agreed that the Signalling Control
panel needed to be evacuated whilst a clean up and retification
works were undertaken. A further and more intensive cleanup
of the site was also undertaken that weekend. My thanks
go to the members at West Tower and the RTBU Delegate
Mark Sterslon supported by Alan Mann who showed a steely
resolve to ensure management did not brush their concerns
under the carpet.
The issue of asbestos at West Tower has raised a whole
number of matters which V/Line management now have to
urgently address. Not the least of these being the ongoing
health and safety of our members working in signal boxes with
asbestos risks on site and the process of medical testing for
members.
As we go to press the old Pacific National signalling sites
apparently have had their asbestos registers (showing where
asbestos is and what type of asbestos it may be and the
location in the boxes) misplaced. A further meeting with senior
V/Line management and V/Line Network & Access Operations
management and the Rail Operations Division is due this
Thursday to seek an urgent resolution to this matter. An
RTBU leaflet has also been sent out onto the job highlighting
a number of matters arising from the West Tower situation.
  wolfpac Minister for Railways

Location: Over here...
This is the area for the 'proposed' second docklands football stadium isn't it?
"brads"


I thought that was further down, near where the old Overland carriage sheds are? South Dynon?

'E Gate' rings a bell?

Wolfpac
  ozfreight Chief Train Controller

Location: hawthorn 3122
yes , E-Gate. The area of railyards now occupied by PN steel yard and what is left of the storage yards, Mainco and other ancilliary services.
The state government wants to build some sort of wanky high tech suburb on this site, where there will be minimal use of motorcars , latest in urban ecological design , energy saving all over the joint and other features that gets  trendy architects and land developers salivating. PN leases expires in a few years (2014 ?) with no alternative site suggested so far .
  Highrailer Assistant Commissioner

Location: Somewhere out on the track......anywhere around the country
yes , E-Gate. The area of railyards now occupied by PN steel yard and what is left of the storage yards, Mainco and other ancilliary services.
The state government wants to build some sort of wanky high tech suburb on this site, where there will be minimal use of motorcars , latest in urban ecological design , energy saving all over the joint and other features that gets  trendy architects and land developers salivating. PN leases expires in a few years (2014 ?) with no alternative site suggested so far .
"ozfreight"


Somerton i believe is the suggested new site & there's also been a whisper of using Nth Geelong, we can only wait n see !
  wongm GEEWONG

Location: Geelong, Victoria
I noticed on Friday afternoon the remains of the Hump Yard tracks was being pulled up, between the hump crest and the Dudley Street bridge an excavator was pulling up the rails. There was also big piles of scrap metal, of what looked to be the retarders.

I'm guessing the clean up is to make room for the new tracks for Regional Rail Link project.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I noticed on Friday afternoon the remains of the Hump Yard tracks was being pulled up, between the hump crest and the Dudley Street bridge an excavator was pulling up the rails. There was also big piles of scrap metal, of what looked to be the retarders.
"wongm"


Marcus, I recall as a young kid (10 or 12) watching cars being humped on a long rake from behind North Melbourne railway station.  IIRC the hump was 24x7 but in the last years it was running an afternoon shift only?  I recall a F class shunter as the trimmer.

The Hump yard was surely a great project for VR at the time and some very specialist people were involved in its construction. It is a shame it  is gone but other yards around the world still hump cars.

I remember the strange looking signal at the top of the hump near the cabin.

Bailey Yard for Union Pacific is a large yard which still runs 24x7 some action can be seen here:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oEcV3FWWt8

Bailey Yard in the USA humps around 3000 cars per day according to their fact sheet: http://www.uprr.com/aboutup/facilities/bailey/factsheet.shtml

Regards
Brian
  Rocket Deputy Commissioner

I noticed on Friday afternoon the remains of the Hump Yard tracks was being pulled up, between the hump crest and the Dudley Street bridge an excavator was pulling up the rails. There was also big piles of scrap metal, of what looked to be the retarders.
"wongm"


Marcus, I recall as a young kid (10 or 12) watching cars being humped on a long rake from behind North Melbourne railway station.  IIRC the hump was 24x7 but in the last years it was running an afternoon shift only?  I recall a F class shunter as the trimmer.

The Hump yard was surely a great project for VR at the time and some very specialist people were involved in its construction. It is a shame it  is gone but other yards around the world still hump cars.

I remember the strange looking signal at the top of the hump near the cabin.

Bailey Yard for Union Pacific is a large yard which still runs 24x7 some action can be seen here:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oEcV3FWWt8

Bailey Yard in the USA humps around 3000 cars per day according to their fact sheet: http://www.uprr.com/aboutup/facilities/bailey/factsheet.shtml

Regards
Brian
"bevans"


No, the hump did not operate a full day shift. Just afternoon and night shift. It's claim to fame was that it was the only dead end hump yard in the world and frankly was a waste of space. The East Yard, Centre Yard and Canal Yard pilots still spent endless boring hours kicking out rakes of wagons after they had been over the hump.
  A no 1 Chief Commissioner

Location: I see a Seagoon
Hay Rocket
You would have done the Trimmer then
I did it only once and the highlight trip was to take the Y class we had and return to South Dynon and change it over with a F class

It was the last and only time i got a go on an F
  vlocity160 V/Gunzel

Might be a stupid question but what was the purpose of the hump yard and what was it about the yard that had wagons on the side saying "Do not loose or hump shunt"?
  wongm GEEWONG

Location: Geelong, Victoria
Might be a stupid question but what was the purpose of the hump yard and what was it about the yard that had wagons on the side saying "Do not loose or hump shunt"?
"vlocity160"

For a start:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classification_yard

And more specific to us:
http://users.vic.chariot.net.au/~ser567/melbyard.html

In short:
- A train would arrive into the arrivals yard, located west of North Melbourne station. It is still in existence today for spark and V/Line stabling, along with miscellaneous freights.
- Someone would walk along the train, write down the wagon numbers and the wagon destinations, then send them over to West Tower
- The consist would be entered into a computer
- The hump engine would couple onto the down end of the rake of wagons, then push them towards the hump
- Each wagon would be uncoupled as they rolled over the crest of the hump
- The computer would operate the points leading down into Melbourne Yard, tracks were grouped into 4 balloons (A, B, C and D), with each track dedicated to a specific destination
- The wagon would roll down the hump, getting directed into the track for the final destination
- Brakes called 'retarders' were located along the tracks, these would slow down wagons as the rolled, so they didn't go too fast and crash into wagons already in the destination track
- Each other wagon would get pushed over the hump, the computer flinging the points over to send the wagons to the correct spot, and operating the retarders to control their speed

Once everything was over, a loco would go to each track, and made up a trains as required, which would then depart to wherever they were headed.

The 'trimmer' was a loco that sat around until a wagon was sent into the wrong track from the hump, it would then go off and shunt the wagon into the correct track.

"Do not loose or hump shunt" means the wagon was fragile or carrying something fragile, and could not be bumped around. As for loose shunting:
http://ukhrail.uel.ac.uk/glossary/gl-l.html

A process of shunting in which a vehicle, which is not coupled to the shunting locomotive, is propelled forward and then allowed to continue moving under its own momentum. Also known as fly shunting.
  vlocity160 V/Gunzel

Sounds like an interesting and intelligent concept! A pitty it is not still in existance today. Would have liked to of seen it in operation and so forth. Thanks Marcus Smile
  M636C Minister for Railways

There were two other hump yards worth mentioning, one in Te Rapa(Hamilton) in New Zealand and a narrow gauge hump yard in Forrestfield in WA. Both have gone now. The Forrestfield hump was more or less where the  QR national yard is  now located.

I mention it because the Forrestfield yard had hydraulic retarders which were vertical cylinders with mushroom heads inside the rails that were struck by the flanges of the wagon as it rolled down the hump. These were connected together so that more force was applied to faster moving wagons. It sounded to me like a sure way to derail a wagon but I never saw one come off. There was a distinctive noise as the wagons ran over the retarders, a bit like empty bottles rattling.

M636C
  Rocket Deputy Commissioner

The 'trimmer' was a loco that sat around until a wagon was sent into the wrong track from the hump, it would then go off and shunt the wagon into the correct track.

"Do not loose or hump shunt" means the wagon was fragile or carrying something fragile, and could not be bumped around. As for loose shunting:
http://ukhrail.uel.ac.uk/glossary/gl-l.html
"wongm"


The trimmer also placed the "no loose shunts" down in to the required roads.
They would be cut off at the crest and the rake being humped would be backed off to allow the wagons to be placed in to one of the balloon roads.

I hated the trimmer with a passion and would often swap on to the hump locos or a road job if I could get it. Nothing quite as bad as a night of broken sleep.

One of the more interesting humps that I watched was in Innsbruck, Austria. The hump was about a metre high and the wagons were slowed by a gang of chaps that would run around the yard placing skids over the rail head to slow the approaching wagons.
  A no 1 Chief Commissioner

Location: I see a Seagoon
Rocket
I would take it from the above post that you don't want the Trimmers humpy perserved?
  Ballast_Plough Chief Commissioner

Location: Lilydale, Vic
A mate who used to work out of Dynon said it was an old trick to take one of the dirty S classes or equivalent (that were prone to belching smoke) along the track lead which passed underneath the crest of the hump. Trick would be to give a squirt on the throttle as you pass under the humpy and the black smoke would pass right into the aircon unit and fill the shack with acrid smoke and fumes.

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.