Sunday was OR so Monday I signed on with Driver Sarniak at 1610 for the 1735 Bendigo. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if this was a departure from Melbourne Yard or a travel to Newport to relieve it. The amount of time between sign on and train time would suggest the latter but as I made no note about Newport or travel to there, it is more likely to be a departure from Melbourne although why the 1:25 delay between sign on and departure time I can’t explain. Wherever the train departed from we had T360, Y119 and Y168 to provide the power. When we finally got the train on the move we only travelled a relatively short distance as we were stopped at Sunbury to wait for the up pass carrying the Bendigo crew, who were our change over, at 1850. Having a pair of locos limited to 60 kph on the train didn’t encourage rapid movement. We left the train in the down road and crossed to line to climb onto the up platform to meet them as we were going to return to Melbourne travelling per the same pass and weren’t going to miss it. Our original instructions were to relieve the pass crew on arrival at Spencer St but this wasn’t necessary in the end. On return to Dynon we went onto standby and remained that way until 2310 when we signed off.
On Tuesday I signed on at 1600 with Driver Weeks for the 1659 Werribee pass. Y125 had been allocated to this train so we took it to Spencer St to couple up and test the brakes. Getting the right away from the guard we set off to do the all stations from Newport, including the now defunct Paisley and Galvin stations, neither of which had many people get off; one reason why they no longer cater for passengers. Departing from Newport we crossed the junction for the Williamstown line, which the workshops junction also came off, as we followed the curve to the right. Passing the workshops on our left we diverged onto the East line at Newport South junction at the locos maximum speed, immediately after which we crossed the Champion Rd level crossing. This junction is a little out of the ordinary. Following the line straight through takes you from the down line onto the West line. Following the diverge, as we did, effectively keeps you on the ‘down’ line; at least this is a ‘high’ speed junction with 65 kph maximum speed through the diverge instead of the standard speed. This may have something to do with the location of the original single line but that is only my theory, not confirmed fact. The East line curved to the west before we crossed the Altona line junction and passed what is now the Mobile refinery on the left as we approached the Paisley island platform to stop. Getting the right away from the guard again we passed under Millers Rd and then, as the line curved towards the south west, the, now removed, petroleum distribution sidings off the west line that the Paisley oil train started and finished at. Continuing on along the straight we slowed prior to the Maidstone St crossing to stop just beyond it at Galvin’s island platform. This whole area was largely empty paddocks back then, once past the refinery’s. Getting under way again the line continued in a straight line to Laverton which we stopped at after passing under the Princes Highway. A lot more people got off the train here than at the previous two stations combined. The short run over Aviation Rd level crossing to Aircraft gave the Y class little time to get any speed up before stopping again. However, the long straight past the RAAF airbase on the right and lots more empty fields, with only a slight left hand curve just before Hoppers Crossing, gave it a chance to get up to maximum speed, although that isn’t really saying much compared to the VR’s main line locos. Getting underway for the final leg we ran the reasonably short distance in a straight line into Werribee station, stopping at 1755. Our last passenger departed to platform as I uncoupled so we could run around and form the 1805 up pass. Getting underway again we repeated the down run in reverse to arrive back at Spencer St at 1858. The loco was uncoupled and returned to the depot for us to go onto standby. We probably had a meal break as well before Manpower called on us at 2000 to take T387 out to Spencer St for a train to an unrecorded destination. Once we had handed the loco over to the crew running the train we then waited for the 2010 up Geelong pass to arrive. T391 drew to a halt and we exchanged places with the crew that brought it in. Eventually we returned it to Dynon and, although my notes aren’t explicit about this, went back onto standby until sign off at 0000.
Wednesday’s start was 1710 with Brian Smith, however, the job of taking out a loco for a Serviceton ‘Jet’ was either cancelled or taken off us, to dump us on standby. Eventually we were given a job by Manpower to test the train for the 2115 ‘Jet’ which we took Y116 from the depot to North Dynon Yard for the purpose. Once the train had been cleared so the train loco could just drop on and do a continuity test we returned 116 to Fuel Point and ourselves to the meal room. Sometime later Manpower gave us an identical job only this one for the 0015 Albury. Y155 was taken from the SG turntable to South Dynon Yard and we repeated the earlier exercise, just on rolling stock running on a slightly narrower gauge. Once again, with the train ready for the loco that was going to haul it we took 155 back to the SG Fuel Point and signed off at 0150.
Returning to Dynon before 1600 to collect my pay, I was teamed up with Driver Weeks again, once again for the 1659 Werribee. Tonight’s loco was Y136 and succeeded in beating 125 to Werribee by a whole minute. It didn’t do as well on the up trip though as we didn’t get back to Spencer St until 1900. Standby was broken by our being called at 2030 to take out the loco for the 2145 Serviceton. C509 was removed from the depot yard and taken to North Dynon where the train was tested and we waited for the crew running the train to relieve us. We made it back to the depot at 2200 and spent the next two hours on standby to finish at 0000.
Friday was a 1605 start to run the 1825 Yarram pass with Driver Spiess. We found T410 where it was stabled in the yard and set off for Flinders St. I have a feeling that the PB Pilot shunted the cars into platform 1 for us so we could drop on and do the brake tests. Getting away from platform 1 we ran through Jolimont and out along the local lines to Caulfield and on to Dandenong. Collecting the staff, we set off for Cranbourne where the up Spotswood goods was already waiting for us to effect a change over. Stopping at 1920 we handed the pass over to the Korrumburra crew and shifted our kit bags and billy, to B77 waiting for us in the loop. A B class on the Korrumburra line was rather unusual as most trains in that era were T class hauled. With a new staff we returned to Dandenong and then retraced our path to Flinders St, although on the up we did not use platform 1 to travel on to Spencer St. Coming off the new viaduct we diverged onto the main goods lines to bypass the both Spencer St and North Melbourne stations and re-join the suburban lines at South Kensington. Running through Footscray and on to Spotswood we pushed the train back into the sidings across the Hudson St gated crossing which would have annoyed the local car drivers as the gates were kept closed from before our actual arrival into the station until we were clear of the crossing as we pushed the train back. Once the train was tied up we then blocked the crossing again as the light engine returned to the down line and then crossed over to the up line for the run back to the depot. We returned the T class to Dynon at 2250 and signed off at 2305.
For my sixth shift in a row, and the last day of February, I started at 1600 with Brian again for standby. Manpower decided that nothing much was going to require our services after some time in the meal room so sent us to the Fuel Point at 1830. Just before 2300 we decided we had done enough and signed off at that time.