Our April 2021 edition has a magnificent cover photograph, courtesy of Thomas Hobley, of S313 on its 60th anniversary run to Seymour and back, marking the return of heritage rail services to the main line.
Inside, our main feature article for this month is another wonderful photo essay from Andrew Blair, once again taking us on a journey that is has not been possible to make for decades.
Andrew takes us back to 1972 for a journey from Balranald in the NSW Riverina through to Echuca. Other than seasonal wheat and rice trains, this line saw very little traffic in its later years. On the day he travelled, Andrew was the only passenger on the Walker railcar as it called at various stations along the route, picking up and delivering parcels and other small items. Andrew was fortunate to have a driver who was happy to let him take photographs along the line, even stopping at the Wakool River to allow Andrew to get out and take photos of the railcar as it crossed the bridge. Just three years after Andrew’s journey, Victorian Railways withdrew the passenger service and the scenes that Andrew had captured with his camera lens and notes passed into history.
We also have a concise history of the Barnes to Balranald railway, which had the interesting distinction of being a Victorian Railways line that ran entirely outside of Victoria.
We also have a round-up of recent rail news, including details of a new railway station to be built at Pakenham East, and recent stats on public transport vs road usage following the recent relaxation of COVID restrictions.
Our Preservation section features the project by the Young Volunteers’ Group at Victorian Goldfields Railway to restore the last remaining Ice Van in trafficable condition, T222.
Taildisc runs over two pages this edition, with a number of interesting photographs and other details sent in by readers in response to articles in recent editions, such as our March 2021 Kew Line feature.