July Newsrail is currently being printed and will be on its way out to subscribers and retailers soon. And there’s quite a bit of content packed into this one!
This month we mark 70 years of the incredible and iconic B Class diesel-electric. 14 July 1952 was the day that B60, Victoria’s first mainline diesel locomotive, entered service. This locomotive, together with B61, delivered the following month, smashed a range of records over the following weeks, including several records for the tonnage they were able to haul up the infamous Ingliston Bank. They also achieved a record point-to-point speed with The Overland when they made up 40 minutes of lost time with a late-running Overland train and went on to arrive at Melbourne 11 minutes early.
Yet, as our interview with Victorian Railways driver Trevor Penn reveals, the Bs were for most of their career a modern diesel on a steam-era railway, running antiquated rolling stock and antiquated operational practices. As well as discussing their features, and a few of their interesting idiosyncrasies, Trevor takes us back to the 1970s and the days of B Class locos with heavily-laden wheat trains made up of four-wheeled GY wagons with leaky brakes, and the battle to keep the train under control on the steep downhill grades between Woodend and Sunshine.
1 July marks exactly 60 years since the closure of the Colac to Beech Forest/Weeaproinah railway line. Thanks to the Cleverdon family, we have some wonderful photographs that show the railway in its final days.
And for our final feature, Mark Cauchi and Robert Carlisle take us back in time to 1875 and a works outing that took hundreds of Williamstown Railway Workshops workers and their families to Ballarat. It features a couple of stunning photographs of Ballarat Station in its early years, prior to the construction of its clock tower and other later additions.
- Calendar anniversaries
- General works
- Operations and sightings
- Photos in focus
- PTV service quality
- Where is it?