May Newsrail is a delight for rail fans, its 36 pages including stunning photography by noted photographers, and fascinating historic features by noted authors.
Our striking cover photograph commemorates 100 years since the opening of the final stage of the line from Wodonga to Cudgewa, which had some of the most spectacular scenery of any railway in Victoria. The accompanying article on the construction and opening of the line, written by our Features Editor Mark Cauchi, is one of three feature articles we present this month.
We also have another article by author Norman Houghton, who was recently awarded an Order of Australia for his tireless work in recording the industrial and railway history of Victoria’s south west. Winchelsea Station is today just a stop on the Warrnambool passenger rail service, but Norman shows us its past importance as a railhead for nearby stone and later coal mining operations.
Noted rail photographer and former Newsrail editor John Dare has also written a fascinating new article on the trial-use of Bluebird railcars to provide passenger services on the Gippsland Line following the cessation of electric services to Warragul in 1998. The centre pages of this edition feature remarkable photographs by John of these railcars in the red and blue V/Line livery of the era, as they ran a series of test runs between Traralgon and Melbourne.
Our News and Works columns cover a whole range of recent developments, from progress on the Metro project to calls for the Shepparton to Dookie Line to be reopened as a record grain season sees heavy road transport hammering the roads in the region. We also note the ending of an era as the Wallan Down Distant semaphore signal is decommissioned, the last semaphore on the North Eastern Line (and quite possibly the last distant semaphore anywhere on the Victorian main line network).
Our Operations and Sightings column is a treat for lovers of the EMD “bulldog” locomotives, with photos of A66, S313, and various SSR locomotives including the striking sight of CLF3, dubbed ‘Space Ghost’, in service in Victoria. We also capture an interesting training run that saw N475 run all the way to Dunolly.
Our Preservation section features some interesting developments from the Yarra Valley Railway, which is roaring ahead with its project to extend its operations through to Yarra Glen.
Taildisc once again runs over two pages this edition, with yet more interesting reader feedback and photographs, including the demolition of Kew Station, the mysterious refreshment rooms that were once in use at Underbool in the state’s Mallee region, and some interesting research on Lal Lal that may help explain why this station had a turntable for a few brief years of its existence.