Memories of South Dynon in the early 19802

 
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
This thread will recall my experiences of South Dynon Loco for the roughly five years I worked there. It will get to my working on locos but to set the scene I'll run through the process that I went through to get to that stage. So if  you only want to read about what happened on the road come back in a few posts.
I joined, what was still the, Victorian Railways in January 1979, fresh out of school, a rather naive 18 year old.
After attending Head Office in Spencer St for a medical with the RMO (Railway Medical Officer) and being healthy enough for them and 20/20 vision I was accepted to join as a Trainee Engineman, also know as Locomotive Assistant or in the vernacular, a fireman.
So on January 22nd myself and five other youths arrived for an 0800 start at South Dynon Depot. We were gathered up by an instructor, Len McPhan, and taken across the depot to the Diesel Maintenance Shops to a classroom on a upper level where Len proceeded to try to introduce us to the world of a fireman on the VR. He began to teach us the basics of rules and regulations, the air brake, VR signals and other things relevant to our future jobs. We finished at 1600 to return the next day at 0745 and this continued through the first week and until the Thursday of the second one. On our second Friday we sat a test on the areas that we were expected to have learnt. None of us failed but as the test didn't take all day we were given the task of washing locos on road 3 of the Maintenance shops to fill up the rest of our shift. Locos that had come back onto the depot were re-fueled and sanded then a crew would move them to where they were to be stabled until next required or taken straight back out for another job. Either way they ran through one of roads 1 to 3 after fuelling and we were given stiff bristle brushes, buckets, detergent and had access to hoses to spray suds off.
Roads 1 to 4 of the Maintenance shops are through roads with raised platforms that stood about footplate level for ease of access to locos. Road 4 was wired for E & L class. Roads 5 to, I think they went up to, 10 were dead ends for maintenance and overhaul of locos.
So 6 youths in summer with hoses? Sure enough eventually someone sprayed a hose too high over a loco and got those on the opposite platform. So water fights would break out regularly but aiming at those with their backs to road 4 risked the 1500V overhead on road 4. No-one was electrocuted, that I heard of, but that was good luck, definitely not good management.
This began our, we were told, four year journey to becoming a driver.
I'm going to keep this short as RP doesn't seem to like long posts - it lost my first effort to start this thread.

Neil

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  david harvey Chief Train Controller

Location: Bairnsdale Wharf Line
On a visit to South Dynon in 1977, I was hoping to sight the newly purchased C class that the VR has bought from Clyde Engineering,
but alas there wasn't one to be spotted anywhere. I wasn't disappointed,for the horse power that I expected to see , went from one end of the spectrum to the other for there in steam was Polly or No 3 steam crane. No doubt waiting for for its next high speed revival.  No 3 steam crane was later rebuilt to its original condition and is on display at Sciences Works Museum at Spotswood, Melbourne.
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
On a visit to South Dynon in 1977, I was hoping to sight the newly purchased C class that the VR has bought from Clyde Engineering,
but alas there wasn't one to be spotted anywhere. I wasn't disappointed,for the horse power that I expected to see , went from one end of the spectrum to the other for there in steam was Polly or No 3 steam crane. No doubt waiting for for its next high speed revival.  No 3 steam crane was later rebuilt to its original condition and is on display at Sciences Works Museum at Spotswood, Melbourne.
david harvey
Yes, I think Polly was there for a little while after I started but disappeared, along with her breakdown train, off to Newport I assume. Never did see her fired up and working, unfortunately.
The next instalment was ready to go but RP turned it into a phantom post. Could we possibly get a "save draft" option to prevent time, ideas and memories disappearing?

Neil
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
To clarify the roads in the Maintenance building, they went up to road 11 apparently. Nos. 5 and 6 were both half the length of nos. 7 to 11, so only fitted two or, maybe, three locos in them where the others could get four or more into them.

Neil
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
On a visit to South Dynon in 1977, I was hoping to sight the newly purchased C class that the VR has bought from Clyde Engineering,
but alas there wasn't one to be spotted anywhere. I wasn't disappointed,for the horse power that I expected to see , went from one end of the spectrum to the other for there in steam was Polly or No 3 steam crane. No doubt waiting for for its next high speed revival.  No 3 steam crane was later rebuilt to its original condition and is on display at Sciences Works Museum at Spotswood, Melbourne.
Yes, I think Polly was there for a little while after I started but disappeared, along with her breakdown train, off to Newport I assume. Never did see her fired up and working, unfortunately.
The next instalment was ready to go but RP turned it into a phantom post. Could we possibly get a "save draft" option to prevent time, ideas and memories disappearing?

Neil
ngarner
I often prepare anything worthwhile in Word so that I still have my efforts if/when RP swallows them. An alternative is to highlight and Control C (copy) what you have written - just in case.
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
Thanks YM, that's been suggested to me previously but, foolishly, I ignored that advice to my loss.
I've taken it to heart now and the next instalment is virtually ready to go (in Word) but I want to put together a diagram to explain some aspects of it and I need a PC with some specific software (which is at work, but don't spread that around too much, please) so, hopefully, I can get that done tomorrow and post by Tuesday at the latest.

Neil
  david harvey Chief Train Controller

Location: Bairnsdale Wharf Line
Thanks YM, that's been suggested to me previously but, foolishly, I ignored that advice to my loss.
I've taken it to heart now and the next instalment is virtually ready to go (in Word) but I want to put together a diagram to explain some aspects of it and I need a PC with some specific software (which is at work, but don't spread that around too much, please) so, hopefully, I can get that done tomorrow and post by Tuesday at the latest.

Neil
ngarner
You have just been given some good advice Neil, it works doc works for me also ,only draw back is sometimes the article comes out with the word a Little  jumbled about
dave
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
This one is going to be a long one, as I attempt to explain how the train crew were rostered at South Dynon. To me, it all makes sense but i worked with the system for 5 years. To an outsider it could well be a case of "what does he mean by that?", so I've gone into more detail than perhaps necessary to try to make it understandable.

So to keep us productive, while we were unable to actually work on a loco, we were rostered to tasks that didn’t require any further training. I spent the next nine days in the Time Office at Dynon starting at 0745. This section of the depot occupied the eastern end of the building and employed a large number of clerks, all male at that time, who put together the loco crewing rosters for the next day(s). This section also included the Manpower clerks, three of them per shift, who signed crews on and off, allocated unoccupied crews to jobs and did first aid, if required.

The ‘standard’ rosters were posted on the northern side of the Manpower cubicles, which was actually the access corridor to the Time Office proper and listed the weeks jobs in a glass enclosed case. As an example of one of these rosters this is Goods roster 185N, as it was in 1980:

Sunday: OR (off roster)

Monday: 2235 for 2300 Hump Trimmer Pilot

Tuesday: 2257 for 2300 Centre Yard Pilot

Wednesday: 2257 for 2300 West Yard Pilot

Thursday: 2257 for 2300 East Yard Pilot

Friday: 2235 for 2300 Hump Yard Pilot

Saturday: OR

The difference between sign on times was due to the way you got to your loco; either by having to make your own way to where the loco was, with the afternoon shift crew waiting to be relieved, or taking the loco “off the pit” yourself. 25 minutes was generous if you could hitch a ride on a loco leaving the depot but not if you had to walk the distance and the East Yard was a decent hike from Dynon. However, at the end of a shift every Melbourne yard pilot was moved to the closest point to the depot without actually leaving the yard, for obvious reasons.

In the case of this particular roster the Monday and Friday jobs were both ‘get yourself to the loco’ and the middle three were “take outs”, hence the differences in starting time. Those “take out” jobs would be because the locos on the previous shift had been in the yard for some time and required re-fuelling or other servicing so were brought back “over the pit” by the afternoon shift and you took out the replacement.

By mutual agreement you could swap rosters, so there was a pin-board adjacent to the displayed roster where you could place your request and check to see who else might want to swap a roster for another, say a night for an afternoon.

From memory, four of the Time Office clerks (although it may have been three) sat along a north-south facing windowed wall and were available to answer crew questions, take requests or roster swaps, by having windows at their workstation. This area would have stretched for about 10 metres and when the new rosters went put up, before 1530 when the Time Office knocked off, they filled most of this space with long paper rolls probably 2 metres high, roughly A4 (in landscape, not portrait) in width, side by side. These sheets were pre-printed with the expected jobs detailed including blank spaces between for additional jobs or ones where the sign-on times had changed, which were written in by hand, in those pre-computer days. Cancelled jobs were ruled out to make it obvious, no liquid paper or re-printing of that page. Knowing which roster you were on from the ‘standard’ one meant you should be able to find the job you were booked on, to confirm sign on time and the job details. On Fridays the weekend ones went up with the Monday roster. The weekend ones weren’t as big due to fewer train running. However, this meant you had to check in three locations and you always had to confirm you were off roster as they had the nasty habit of booking you on if they required extra crew, unless you’d specifically asked to remain off duty and, even then, they could choose not to give you the time off if they felt so inclined.

With a Goods roster of 210 weeks, two ‘Big Wheel’ ones (senior men) ‘B’ roster of 12 weeks and ‘A’ roster about 10, a Trainee roster of at least 17 weeks and a ‘Spare’ roster of an unknown number of weeks the clerks had a big job, although if it just meant confirming jobs that were rostered it was quite straight forward.

The ‘Big Wheel’ title was a throw back to when senior crews manned the large wheeled passenger engines like the S class. These drivers didn’t suffer the indignity of night shift and largely worked prestige trains with some pilots and low stress jobs scattered in to give them some easier work to balance out their weeks. The firemen rotated in as they approached their driving qualifications and rotated out as appropriate, so no fireman spent long on these rosters.

When a job was cancelled or extra traffic was running, like the grain season, there was a lot of chopping and changing which could make finding your name difficult.

If you had a day off or more off, you had to contact the depot by phone to confirm when you were due to sign on next – no internet then either.
One of my class mates joined me in the Time Office and he decided that this was the job for him so he transferred out of the Operations section into a clerical job reducing us to a class of five.

If I can get it to work I'll post a rough floor plan of the eastern end of the depot (ground floor) to help with understanding my written description.
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
Here's the floor plan - hopefully it works

Sth Dynon floor plan
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Link didn't work for me Neil, doesn't mean it wont work for someone else though.
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
So having successfully posted that monologue, I can finally move on!
The next week I was sent back out to the Maintenance building starting at 0730 for another five days of washing locos, windows at the bare minimum but sometimes the whole thing. A T or Y class wasn’t too much of a challenge for that task but the big ones were and they were also far more likely to be washed than the smaller ones. Forget an F or E, they didn’t warrant it but a new X or C did.
Boys being boys there were more water fights and someone discovered what a loco could do to a coin placed on a rail. Contrary to federal laws a number of low value coins were reshaped by incoming locos, to the amusement of all concerned.

On the Friday, as I was preparing to sign off, I was advised that I was rostered on the following day to start at 0600 with a foreman by the name of Jim McBride. I left the depot on quite a high, knowing that I’d be actually working on a loco the next morning.

Neil
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
Link didn't work for me Neil, doesn't mean it wont work for someone else though.
wobert
Ok, thanks Wobert. I'll try another method of making it available.

Neil
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
It's fairly rudimentary but hopefully this is visible to everyone and will fill in my written descriptions


The blank area at bottom left was the pay office. In those days you were paid cash once a fortnight. You obtained a strip of paper from one of the Time Office clerks with your hours, any adjustments such as tonnage, and a total. This you handed to a clerk behind a cage, very much like a bank in many ways, who then counted out your earnings and handed it to you in a small envelope. The opening hours weren't really friendly to a 24 hour operation to the point where you had to stay after your shift or come in early if there was a mismatch in times. If you were OR you had to make a special trip in.
At the far end of the building was a canteen where the only females on the depot could be found.
Upstairs was basically one big locker area with some showers and toilets.

Neil

Nope, just a blank for me, so I'll keep trying
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
No luck Neil but big black rectangles with 'sparkly moving squares'to fool one into thinking that it is actually doing something are a frequent thing on RP so you are far from alone.
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
I will persist with this graphic - I should be able to get it up somehow, before we all forget why I'm trying to post it!

I might as well keep going in the meantime.
So, on the Saturday I signed on at 0600 and met Jim. I spent eight days with him getting a handle on how to do the job safely and be of use to the driver. A foreman gave you practical tuition on what was required of a fireman, staff exchanges by hand or auto, calling fixed and shunters signals, coupling and uncoupling locos, checking the loco tool kit to ensure you had everything you were supposed to and noting the log book accordingly, etc. Whenever they appeared with their trainee in tow the rostered fireman got a free ride, which, to be honest, wasn’t always appreciated by more experienced firemen as foremen tended to pick ‘better’ trains for their trainee to practise on. They also got you onto trains that you might not ordinarily ever get to work, such as trains worked by ‘foreign’ crews or the ‘big wheel’ rosters. They also didn’t work night shift, one of the perks of the job. They aimed for a reasonable mix of passenger and goods trains but few, if any, pilots, as you’d have plenty of time to work on them as a newly minted fireman.

We wandered out into the yard and joined the crew of F207. I was shown the ropes on what to check for and note in the log book and then all four of us (rather a tight fit in an F!) headed off the depot to the TR (Train Register) point. The depot was outside any signalled area but the moment you cleared the Moonee Ponds Creek bridge and approached the junction of the loop around the North Melbourne Workshops you came to a dwarf signal with a wooden telephone booth inside which was a phone connected directly to the West Tower signalman. The fireman would get down, go into the booth, lift the hand set and wait for the signalman to pick up. You gave him the details of the loco and what job it was heading out to do. For my first time doing this I told the signalman “F207 for the 0700 Spencer St Pass(enger) Yard Pilot”. The signalman needed this information for his TR book and to know where to direct the loco. Once past this point you were under a signalman’s control until your loco entered a yard or another depot and the signalmen had to record when and where your train/loco went.
So, the points changed to direct us over the flyover towards Spencer St and the ‘stick came off’, in other words, the signal cleared to permit us to proceed. We moved off over the flyover and made our way into one of the middle platform roads at Spencer St so the Spencer St No. 1 signalman could set the road for the pilot to set back into the Bank sidings.
Jim and I abandoned the F and its crew to let them “enjoy” their shift shunting passenger cars around in a small, jerky, F class. I can’t say too many were sorry to see the back of that class when they were finally retired. We didn’t need to ride into the sidings just to walk back to the platforms again.
Jim had a look around and focused on B68 sitting at the head of the 0820 Geelong pass. We rocked up to it and boarded, where Jim introduced us and the fireman promptly departed the loco for a ride in one of the carriages. Jim made me re-check everything that the fireman I’d replaced had already done, as practice. So, we made the run to Geelong arriving at 0928. We spent time at Geelong and brought back the 1120 up pass with the same loco. I can’t say whether it did the return to Melbourne and back without us or if we just stayed with it until it was ready to return. The latter is more likely in 1979. Geelong had a reasonable service back then but it has improved out of sight since. Arriving back at Spencer St at 1240 we eventually made our way back to the depot for a 1400 sign off and the completion of running my first real train. With Sunday off I looked forward to the Monday for my next experience with Jim.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
This topic is a fascinating piece of reading. I have always enjoyed true stories from railwaymen, and this is no exception.
  jakar Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
By mutual agreement you could swap rosters, so there was a pin-board adjacent to the displayed roster where you could place your request and check to see who else might want to swap a roster for another, say a night for an afternoon. From memory, four of the Time Office clerks (although it may have been three) sat along a north-south facing windowed wall and were available to answer crew questions, take requests or roster swaps, by having windows at their workstation. This area would have stretched for about 10 metres and when the new rosters went put up, before 1530 when the Time Office knocked off, they filled most of this space with long paper rolls probably 2 metres high, roughly A4 (in landscape, not portrait) in width, side by side. These sheets were pre-printed with the expected jobs detailed including blank spaces between for additional jobs or ones where the sign-on times had changed, which were written in by hand, in those pre-computer days. Cancelled jobs were ruled out to make it obvious, no liquid paper or re-printing of that page. Knowing which roster you were on from the ‘standard’ one meant you should be able to find the job you were booked on, to confirm sign on time and the job details. On Fridays the weekend ones went up with the Monday roster. The weekend ones weren’t as big due to fewer train running. However, this meant you had to check in three locations and you always had to confirm you were off roster as they had the nasty habit of booking you on if they required extra crew, unless you’d specifically asked to remain off duty and, even then, they could choose not to give you the time off if they felt so inclined.
ngarner
Neil its probably not much of a shock to you or others that know how slow the railways move, but apart from some minor differences that is still pretty much what occurs today! There are computers involved now, albeit running ancient DOS based software!
  david harvey Chief Train Controller

Location: Bairnsdale Wharf Line
Here's the floor plan - hopefully it works

Sth Dynon floor plan
ngarner
You appear to be having some problems Neil .                                                                                                                       The Lights are on but nobody is home.Let me remind you  now ,who can I quote ,AARR I know I will quote YOU

                         "Whats that Sonny,Speak Up, I cant here you". Correct me if I am wrong but this was the advice you gave me when my post woodn't adhere to the forum under the Old Cement Siding At Albion . It appears you have deserted the Friends of the Cement Siding group and stared your own group. bloody splinters.Best Wishes ,Not the Jedena Peoples Front
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
Here's the floor plan - hopefully it works

Sth Dynon floor plan
You appear to be having some problems Neil .                                                                                                                       The Lights are on but nobody is home.Let me remind you  now ,who can I quote ,AARR I know I will quote YOU

                         "Whats that Sonny,Speak Up, I cant here you". Correct me if I am wrong but this was the advice you gave me when my post woodn't adhere to the forum under the Old Cement Siding At Albion . It appears you have deserted the Friends of the Cement Siding group and stared your own group. bloody splinters.Best Wishes ,Not the Jedena Peoples Front
david harvey
Yes, I am. Created a drawing but so far haven't found a way to get it into a post. At least my internet isn't the cause.
The B siding thread is one I can't contribute much to any more, except to respond to something you or Shelton post, or throw in some silly comments (did I say that out loud?). It would have been different if I'd spent more than a week out at Tottenham but since that didn't happen I'll have to pass the staff to you since you did spend a decent amount of time there. Just because I'm not posting much there doesn't mean I'm not reading it all with interest. Keep the tales coming David; I'm obviously not the only one appreciating the stories.

Neil
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
By mutual agreement you could swap rosters, so there was a pin-board adjacent to the displayed roster where you could place your request and check to see who else might want to swap a roster for another, say a night for an afternoon. From memory, four of the Time Office clerks (although it may have been three) sat along a north-south facing windowed wall and were available to answer crew questions, take requests or roster swaps, by having windows at their workstation. This area would have stretched for about 10 metres and when the new rosters went put up, before 1530 when the Time Office knocked off, they filled most of this space with long paper rolls probably 2 metres high, roughly A4 (in landscape, not portrait) in width, side by side. These sheets were pre-printed with the expected jobs detailed including blank spaces between for additional jobs or ones where the sign-on times had changed, which were written in by hand, in those pre-computer days. Cancelled jobs were ruled out to make it obvious, no liquid paper or re-printing of that page. Knowing which roster you were on from the ‘standard’ one meant you should be able to find the job you were booked on, to confirm sign on time and the job details. On Fridays the weekend ones went up with the Monday roster. The weekend ones weren’t as big due to fewer train running. However, this meant you had to check in three locations and you always had to confirm you were off roster as they had the nasty habit of booking you on if they required extra crew, unless you’d specifically asked to remain off duty and, even then, they could choose not to give you the time off if they felt so inclined.
Neil its probably not much of a shock to you or others that know how slow the railways move, but apart from some minor differences that is still pretty much what occurs today! There are computers involved now, albeit running ancient DOS based software!
jakar
That is really sad, Jakar!
Literally 40 years on and the lack of progress seems to match so many things that typified the VR and seems to have been passed on to VLine in all of its guises.

Neil
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
So to pick up where I left off, Monday February 26th, I signed on at 1550 and met up with Jim again. Once again we took a loco off the pit, this time T321 which we took to the Hump Arrival Yard. Time means that the reason we did this eludes me. In 1979 the only locos used on the hump were paired H class, coupled short end to short end. T413 replaced an H class on hump duties near the end of the hump yards’ existence, for reasons I know nothing about, having ceased to be a VLine employee quite a while before this happened. Leaving the T class we made our way to North Melbourne station and caught a ‘spark’ (suburban train) which, apparently, earned their nickname due to arcing of the circuit breakers in Tait and Dogbox trains or, the more derogatory, ‘horizontal lifts’, as diesel crews tended to refer to them, since they felt themselves superior to their electric train driving counterparts.

Getting off at Spencer St we found H5 at the head of the 1725 Bacchus Marsh pass. This gave me my first experience of doing miniature electric staff hand exchanges. Being a stopping all (country) stations we wouldn’t have used the auto staff exchanger, which wouldn’t have been possible anyway as the H class and, for that matter, T class weren’t fitted with them. Collecting my first staff at Rockbank I succeeded without either dropping it or knocking the signalman for six. Probably not the cleanest exchange ever, probably helped by the maximum speed of 80kph of an H, but the first of many with only one problem, some years later, that I can recall right now. Exchanging the staff successfully at Melton, Parwan and handing it up at Bacchus March we arrived at 1835. We shunted the train into the sidings and waited for the next down arrival. It arrived with H4 at the head and once its train was stabled I was shown how to couple the two H’s together for a light engine return to Dynon. Leaving Bacchus Marsh at 2030, the later arriving crew had it easy in the cab of H4 all the way back, as far as the location, adjacent to and below the Hump, where all locos arriving from anywhere, except the east, had to reverse direction to return to the depot. With H4 towing us for the final kilometre or so we arrived back at the depot at 2135 with a few more successful hand exchanges under my belt. Nothing further happened that evening for us, as no foreman was going to demean himself by doing Fuel Point duty, so I signed off at 23:50.
Tuesdays sign on was at 1645 after which Jim and I made our way to Melbourne Yard, either the Centre or Canal Yard, where the 1745 Mildura goods, also known as the Fruit Flyer was being readied to depart. On the front were X33 and B85 with the crew from Ballarat in possession, short lived for the fireman. Leaving Melbourne Yard we made our way past Tottenham yard on the Independent goods line, through Sunshine and on towards Bacchus Marsh. At Deer Park the train was stopped, at 1830, so we could swap to an up Goods, headed by C506, which finally made an entry into the Melbourne Hump Arrival Yard at 2000. With all the down trains leaving Melbourne at that time of day there was probably a large gap before the next up was scheduled out of Ballarat, hence our change at Deer Park. Certainly, in the future I was on an up goods out of Ballarat around that time of day that took literally hours to make that journey, spending large amounts of time in passing loops waiting for multiple down trains to meet us. Once again nothing happened until I was signed off at 0045, although since I didn’t have a driving licence yet I was obviously sent home earlier than that by Jim.
Wednesday’s start time was 1805 and together we made our way to Flinders St station for the 1840 Traralgon pass with L1161 in charge. We made it as far as Berwick before we changed to an up goods hauled by L1170. This train was directed into one of the few wired roads of the Hump Arrival Yard, where we left it and returned the L to Dynon at 23:30. My official sign off time was 0205 but I would have already been at home in bed by that time.
The first day of March I started at 1715 for a 1900 Geelong goods hauled by Y130. This was a first, not having to cancel the VC (Vigilance Control) every 90 seconds, as no Y class ever had this fitted, being “shunting” locos. F, E & W class also lacked this ‘feature’ yet, strangely, the H class had VC fitted, even though most of their time was spent working the hump yard. Whether this was because they were originally ordered as T class, I don’t know, someone else, like Historian, might be able to answer that one.
We made it to North Geelong Yard at 2105, not bad for a 600hp loco, with a maximum speed of 65kph, hauling a train. Changing to an up Melbourne goods, hauled by T400, we departed at 2145 and left the train in the Arrival yard and had the loco back over the pit at 2300. Sign off was (officially) 0115.
For the last working day of the week, we started at 1605 and eventually made our way to Flinders St station, this time for the 1805 Yarram pass hauled by T382. Although it was bound for Yarram we only made it to Dandenong, at 1905, where the up Spotswood goods off the Yarram line was taken over. This train was run through to Spotswood and left there, with a 2100 return to Dynon light engine which occupied 40 minutes. Sign off was 0005 for the end of my first week on the locos.

Neil
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
My last two days with Jim started on the Monday after a full weekend off.
Signing on at 1415, we found T412 in the depot yard, climbed on board and at 1500 headed for the TR point. We collected our guard and then ran light engine to Paisley where the guard let us into one of the petroleum company sidings off the west line and assembled our train. At 1600 we got permission to return to the west line and, once the guard had restored the points for the main line and boarded his van, we set off for Newport. At Brooklyn, we stopped on the west line and added Y160 to our motive power. Working through Sunshine we diverted onto the Albion Goods line heading for Broadmeadows and eventually Wodonga. For a change we actually made it a long way from Melbourne with this train, not meeting our change-over until Kilmore East at 1930. Changing trains with the Seymour crew we boarded T413 and began the journey back to Melbourne via Tottenham we eventually tied the train up in the Melbourne Arrival yard and had 413 back over the pit at 2230, which also was our finishing time.
Tuesdays start was 1356 for the 1410 SG Goods pilot with Y122. This pilot was one of two working the standard gauge yard at South Dynon and included transferring various wagons round to North Dynon and placing them where required. Sign off was 2229 for an 8 hour 33 shift. I can’t explain why this was the case, pilots were very closely scheduled to ensure an 8-hour day and no more.

The end of my time with Jim McBride gave me more opportunities to work trains but sadly few eventuated that week. On Wednesday a 1300 start had me washing locos again until 2100. The next three days had the same starting time as Wednesday but on ‘Standby’ i.e. available to fill in on any job, that for some reason, was lacking a fireman. Given my lowly status I was sent out to wash locos, Thursday from 1625, Friday and Saturday from 1900, knocking off at 2100 each time.

Sunday had me back on the depot again at 0900 only now I was actually on a roster, being Trainee #16. Although I now had a roster it really didn’t have any specific jobs on it, just a start time. My status certainly hadn’t improved much as I spent Sunday washing locos for 8 hours, yet again.

Trainee #16 was a day shift so 0800 starts, on standby, so I sat in the meal room hoping for a driver and job but to no avail; and that’s how it played out for the Wednesday through to the Friday, since Monday and Tuesday I was OR. I didn’t get out of the meal room once in those three days, except to go home; still at least I wasn’t washing locos as that wasn’t what I signed up for.
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
Okay, trying for that elusive diagram once more

South Dynon eastern end floor plan

Let's see if this one works

Neil

Edit: it works for me, so let me know if it doesn't for you
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Okay, trying for that elusive diagram once more

South Dynon eastern end floor plan

Let's see if this one works

Neil

Edit: it works for me, so let me know if it doesn't for you
ngarner
YYYYYYYYyyyyyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyy it worked.

How did you do it, please?
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
yeah, worked for me Neil

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