The Kew Railway Line continues to fascinate rail fans, despite its short length, and even more than sixty years after its closure. Our authors Mark Cauchi, Michael Guiney and Trevor Penn have written an authoritative piece on the decline, closure and dismantling of the line. It is extensively researched, busts one or two myths about the reasons for the railway’s demise. It is accompanied by an amazing collection of photographs of the final years of the line, including L class locomotives doing test runs along the line, the plant trains used in the dismantling of the line, and then the extraordinary sight of bridges still in place over the filled-in cuttings between Hawthorn and Barker Stations after the rails had been removed.
We also have a piece on the recent use of N Class locomotives for driver training, which saw a sudden proliferation of the class around Ballarat, where they were once a common sight but in more recent times have barely been seen.
We also have a very busy News section with stories on a new proposal for restoring Mildura Line passenger services, level crossing removals, recent mishaps, and calls for an upgrade of Caulfield Station ahead of the opening of the Metro Tunnel.
Our Preservation section features a fascinating update from Steamrail Victoria, which has just organised to get a new set of driving wheels and tyres made for veteran locomomtive Y112 to ensure it can continue to steam well into the future.
We’ve also got all our other regular sections, with a beautiful (and oh-so-Melbourne) photo for the Tramways column, a colour photograph of an A2 working a pick-up goods at Wallace Station back in 1957 for our Taildisc column, and details of the new PTV timetable in our Operations section.
Our cover photograph, from the Charles Craig collection and provided to Newsrail courtesy of Paul Kennelly, features a D3 locomotive pushing a plant train across the Barkers Road level crossing in 1958 as works to dismantle the railway got under way; note the catenary had already been removed.