4th June 2019 · Australia

Presenter: Rob Freeman

At our June 2019 meeting we welcomed Branch Member Rob Freeman to give us Part 2 of his Australian jaunts, this time between Melbourne and Adelaide in the mid-1990s.

Each state decided originally to go their own way when it came to track gauge with NSW going for Standard, Queensland 3′ 6″, Victoria 5′ 3″ and South Australia a mix of them all!!! Which made through travel for passengers and freight difficult.

We started with Rob getting up early to catch the ‘Overland Express’ just after dawn broke and continuing with various locos seen: Streamliner CLP, C, G, N and BL Classes as well as a 2×1 car Sprinter with a X and S Class to follow.

Off to Geelong Station where more locos of the same type along with T413, H5, an early GM rebuilt as A Class and wonderful lower quadrant semaphore signals. Back in the Melbourne suburbs there were the standard Comeng and Hitachi EMUs and even some NSW 81s.

Seymour Heritage Centre featured a T Diesel, J515 Steam loco, an F Class built by Dick Kerr and a passing V Line Sprinter.

Over at Ballarat WCR Shed were 5 disused and abandoned B Class and S312 along with the chassis of a North British R Class Hudson 4-6-4 R711 under restoration.

Ballarat Station is itself preserved and a fine building it is too as is that at Maryborough. We finished the first half at Adelaide with CLP 8 & 15 and withdrawn ‘Red Hens’ Multiple Units.

The second half took us to the Puffing Billy Heritage Railway in the Dandenong Hills. Here we saw three locos built in Victorian Railways’ own Newport Workshops in 1905-1912 at various spots along the line.

Over to Dry Creek Depot in Adelaide where further classes were seen including GM, AN, DL, Alco 600, EL,CLP, CLF and ALF. At Port Augusta a line-up of withdrawn GM Locos, and an English Electric Shunter and Double Deck container trains [no bridges to worry about heading west].

At Port Dock Museum were the first 930 Class, a 3′ 6″ gauge Garratt 400 Class, a NSU Class Crompton Diesel from 1954, EE 900 Class and Class 500,520 and 620 Steam Locos.

Back in Melbourne, Rob ascended the very high Rialto Tower where fine shots of Spencer Street Station [before the rebuild as Southern Cross] and Flinders Street Station were captured.

Trams in Adelaide and Melbourne were also seen.

An excellent presentation by Rob as usual, all done without notes too!! and very much appreciated by the 24 members and visitors present.

Rob Davidson, Branch Secretary