Victorian Goldfields Railway (VGR) 2018

 
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Well folks, Steam is back on the VGR for 2018 so it's time for a new thread.

A huge train today double headed by J549 and Y133 hauling 7 passenger cars, an M wagon for bicycles plus the ZLP

Great to see so many cars required to carry the ever increasing number of passengers, I was at Castlemaine Station on Sunday and they had to drag 2 cars out of the shed to try to accommodate the number of walk ups on top of the pax who had pre-booked.

If you are thinking of travelling on the VGR this year make sure that you book your seat in advance, I saw the list that poor old Art had on Sunday and it looked to me like over 200 pre paid and I think some walk ups might have missed out. It was really buzzing on the platform.

BG

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  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Good to see that the VGR is being recognised by the general public for what it is, all of the hard working volunteers down there do an amazing job.
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

Well folks, Steam is back on the VGR for 2018 so it's time for a new thread.

A huge train today double headed by J515 and Y133 hauling 7 passenger cars, an M wagon for bicycles plus the ZLP

Great to see so many cars required to carry the ever increasing number of passengers, I was at Castlemaine Station on Sunday and they had to drag 2 cars out of the shed to try to accommodate the number of walk ups on top of the pax who had pre-booked.

If you are thinking of travelling on the VGR this year make sure that you book your seat in advance, I saw the list that poor old Art had on Sunday and it looked to me like over 200 pre paid and I think some walk ups might have missed out. It was really buzzing on the platform.

BG
BrentonGolding
J515?
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
J515?
trainbrain
Sorry, had J515 on the brain after reading the update on the SRHC blog, now corrected, thanks.

BG
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
I ventured down to Castlemaine Station on Sunday to pay my membership and thought I would celebrate the occasion by taking a mate and his 2 young kids for a trip on the train.

The K class looking resplendent in Red hauling 7 cars packed full of families was great to see as was the throng of people on the platform when we returned from Maldon in the afternoon.

Also of interest is the VGR Civil Blog which is now avl for all to see via a link from the VGR home page. https://vgrcivil.wordpress.com/

Nice to see that our civil boys have been down at Newport doing some re-sleepering for Steamrail and the other heritage groups that use the West Block Yard. Another positive arising out of the VGR - Steamrail joint venture arrangement.

BG
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
The VGR Civil blog is fantastic, it really shows off the amount of work that goes into keeping a preserved line running under decent traffic.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
The VGR Civil blog is fantastic, it really shows off the amount of work that goes into keeping a preserved line running under decent traffic.
LancedDendrite
Yes, there is a heck of a lot of work going on at the moment trying to "future proof" the line for the want of a better term.

Re-railing to the 80ld/yd rail that they removed from the Bandiana line and doing a heap of sleepers and point timbers as well. Ballast is on the wishlist too which some won't like but the line is getting a real workout these days and the "good old days" of light line standard with a bit of 60ld rail held down by dogspikes into the earth where the sleepers used to be all sitting direct onto the base with no ballast doesn't really cut it anymore!

Once this cycle of work is done it is hoped that it will require less frequent work although as usual sleepers are the problem, using used A and B grade stock instead of prohibitively expensive new Red Gum is still one of the main issues.

Hopefully a sleeper update on the Civil blog soon, the boys have been out and about all last week and again this week I think.

BG
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
The VGR Civil blog is fantastic, it really shows off the amount of work that goes into keeping a preserved line running under decent traffic.
LancedDendrite
I agree. The blog is one facet that is so often missing in preservation circles.
Like some others, I imagine, I unthinkingly just assumed that the track just goes on and on or deteriorates so slowly as to be in the never never basket. Obviously that is not the case had I thought about it.
I was amazed at the level of mechanisation and professionalism displayed.
Thanks to all concerned.

(Ever thought of taking over track maintenance from Metro/Vline???Smile)
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
The VGR Civil blog is fantastic, it really shows off the amount of work that goes into keeping a preserved line running under decent traffic.
I agree. The blog is one facet that is so often missing in preservation circles.
Like some others, I imagine, I unthinkingly just assumed that the track just goes on and on or deteriorates so slowly as to be in the never never basket. Obviously that is not the case had I thought about it.
I was amazed at the level of mechanisation and professionalism displayed.
Thanks to all concerned.

(Ever thought of taking over track maintenance from Metro/Vline???Smile)
YM-Mundrabilla
Most Preservation groups I believe still attempt to get you to pay for a newsletter via memberships
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Most Preservation groups I believe still attempt to get you to pay for a newsletter via memberships
Dangersdan707
That is a discussion that I would love to continue but not in this thread.

BG
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

The VGR Civil blog is fantastic, it really shows off the amount of work that goes into keeping a preserved line running under decent traffic.
Like some others, I imagine, I unthinkingly just assumed that the track just goes on and on or deteriorates so slowly as to be in the never never basket.
YM-Mundrabilla
If only YM, if only!
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
The VGR Civil blog is fantastic, it really shows off the amount of work that goes into keeping a preserved line running under decent traffic.
Like some others, I imagine, I unthinkingly just assumed that the track just goes on and on or deteriorates so slowly as to be in the never never basket.
If only YM, if only!
Lockspike
Very true Lockspike.
As a rolling stock wallah, the Way and Works Branch was always handy to blame for derailments especially as the evidence was frequently destroyed.
I agree that the track is a vital asset that is grossly ignored by the politicians and the MBAs who think that they run the show these days. Smile
One day ...............  It's only a matter of time .............  Crying or Very sad
  Carnot Minister for Railways

I ventured down to Castlemaine Station on Sunday to pay my membership and thought I would celebrate the occasion by taking a mate and his 2 young kids for a trip on the train.

The K class looking resplendent in Red hauling 7 cars packed full of families was great to see as was the throng of people on the platform when we returned from Maldon in the afternoon.

Also of interest is the VGR Civil Blog which is now avl for all to see via a link from the VGR home page. https://vgrcivil.wordpress.com/

Nice to see that our civil boys have been down at Newport doing some re-sleepering for Steamrail and the other heritage groups that use the West Block Yard. Another positive arising out of the VGR - Steamrail joint venture arrangement.

BG
BrentonGolding
Their steam locos are certainly getting a workout - 7 carriages is basically the load limit for the 1 in 40 grades.  All the more reason to donate to the K160 overhaul Wink

Talking of which, VGR was featured on local TV news after the Echuca Overlander trip last month.  In future this is hoped to be a twice-a-month excursion between Castlemaine & Echuca.
https://www.facebook.com/9NewsCentralVictoria/videos/1868851446741143/
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Their steam locos are certainly getting a workout - 7 carriages is basically the load limit for the 1 in 40 grades.  All the more reason to donate to the K160 overhaul Wink

Talking of which, VGR was featured on local TV news after the Echuca Overlander trip last month.  In future this is hoped to be a twice-a-month excursion between Castlemaine & Echuca.
https://www.facebook.com/9NewsCentralVictoria/videos/1868851446741143/
Carnot
And Swan Hill being tossed around as a regular destination as well.

The plan is to have K160 mainline certified too so get donating folks!

BG
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
The VGR Civil blog is fantastic, it really shows off the amount of work that goes into keeping a preserved line running under decent traffic.
LancedDendrite
Well blog fans the new and improved VGR Mechanical Blog is now accessible directly from the website http://www.vgr.com.au

This blog will be updated regularly with goings on in and around the workshops at Maldon plus updates on the progress of K160's restoration at Newport.

It was great to see J549 out and about yesterday hauling a "Ghost of the Shelbourne Goods" driver experience train consisting of a van at each end of a rake of 4 wheeled goods wagons.

The J had just been pressed back into service after some work in the smokebox detailed in recent posts on the mechanical blog.

BG
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Their steam locos are certainly getting a workout - 7 carriages is basically the load limit for the 1 in 40 grades.  All the more reason to donate to the K160 overhaul Wink

Talking of which, VGR was featured on local TV news after the Echuca Overlander trip last month.  In future this is hoped to be a twice-a-month excursion between Castlemaine & Echuca.
https://www.facebook.com/9NewsCentralVictoria/videos/1868851446741143/
And Swan Hill being tossed around as a regular destination as well.

The plan is to have K160 mainline certified too so get donating folks!

BG
BrentonGolding

On a more basic but equally important level...have the toilet facilities of the train as a whole been improved since the Porta-Potti fiasco of last year Question

M.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Their steam locos are certainly getting a workout - 7 carriages is basically the load limit for the 1 in 40 grades.  All the more reason to donate to the K160 overhaul Wink

Talking of which, VGR was featured on local TV news after the Echuca Overlander trip last month.  In future this is hoped to be a twice-a-month excursion between Castlemaine & Echuca.
https://www.facebook.com/9NewsCentralVictoria/videos/1868851446741143/
And Swan Hill being tossed around as a regular destination as well.

The plan is to have K160 mainline certified too so get donating folks!

BG

On a more basic but equally important level...have the toilet facilities of the train as a whole been improved since the Porta-Potti fiasco of last year Question

M.
The Vinelander
No idea Mike, the VGR has no toilets on any of our trains, only on the platforms.

You may be referring to an Echuca Overlander service or similar mainline trip, if so these are organised by Steamrail using VGR and Steamrail rollingstock so you would need to direct your enquiries to them.

BG
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Their steam locos are certainly getting a workout - 7 carriages is basically the load limit for the 1 in 40 grades.  All the more reason to donate to the K160 overhaul Wink

Talking of which, VGR was featured on local TV news after the Echuca Overlander trip last month.  In future this is hoped to be a twice-a-month excursion between Castlemaine & Echuca.
https://www.facebook.com/9NewsCentralVictoria/videos/1868851446741143/
And Swan Hill being tossed around as a regular destination as well.

The plan is to have K160 mainline certified too so get donating folks!

BG

On a more basic but equally important level...have the toilet facilities of the train as a whole been improved since the Porta-Potti fiasco of last year Question

M.
No idea Mike, the VGR has no toilets on any of our trains, only on the platforms.

You may be referring to an Echuca Overlander service or similar mainline trip, if so these are organised by Steamrail using VGR and Steamrail rollingstock so you would need to direct your enquiries to them.

BG
BrentonGolding
Yeah, that was the rather rudimentary loo in the SRV carriage on the Swan Hill trip in May last year.  No idea if it's been upgraded to something more appropriate....
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Yeah, that was the rather rudimentary loo in the SRV carriage on the Swan Hill trip in May last year.  No idea if it's been upgraded to something more appropriate....
Carnot
And yet another RP thread goes off the rails.

Or should that be down the toilet.......Crying or Very sad

BG
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
A big School Holiday running day on the VGR yesterday. The 12.00 Down ran with 6 carriages behind K190 and was pretty much packed. The first Up service from Maldon was busy as well which was great to see.

And a shout out to the pax who delayed the departure of the midday "flagship" service from Castlemaine to Maldon - they were still over on Platform 1 buying take away coffee as the SM waved the white flag. As one wag was heard to say these people are allowed to vote you know!

Also today a pretty detailed update on the VGR mechanical blog and the civil blog has been updated as well.

Both can be accessed from the homepage of the VGR website

http://www.vgr.com.au/homepage.php

Happy Steaming!

BG
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
After another busy School holiday running period if was pretty quiet by comparison this week on the VGR although there was still a healthy level of bookings for the 4 car train hauled by J549.

The VGR Civil blog has been updated this week showing the contract work that they are doing at the moment in Bendigo

https://vgrcivil.wordpress.com/

Some cool shots on there including some eye candy in the background for diesel enthusiasts.

The Mechanical blog has been updated as well showing the great work being done by the youngsters who are giving Y133 a makeover

https://vgrmechanical.wordpress.com/

Enjoy!

BG
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Well the cat is out of the bag! The much rumoured VGR Service Re-orientation Project (that means being based at and running out of Castlemaine instead of Maldon in plain English) has been made public at last.

The prospectus can be viewed at the VGR website http://www.vgr.com.au/homepage.php where there is a link to it on the LHS of the homepage, just look for Castlemaine Relocation just under the Mechanical Works Blog.

It is going to be an exciting time as the railway try to raise the $$$ required for this game changing project that is for certain!

BG
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I haven't had time to carefully read the Prospectus yet, but it certainly seems as though this a change forced by the VGR's successes to date. Good to see!
  Carnot Minister for Railways

The plans for Castlemaine make a whole lot of sense.  Not exactly cheap, but would go a long way to seeing the VGR (in co-operation with SRV) being a sustainable operation for decades to come.

Hopefully T333 will be back before too long, and that could be a welcome addition for running mainline tours over the summer fire ban period in future.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
I can't find any announcements on their webpage is there one?

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