September Newsrail is one for fans of classic diesels.
Our cover photo is of A66, but our key A Class story concerns A62. We speak to Kim Baxter, diesel fitter at Seven-O-Seven Operations and find out more about the current project to return A62 to operation, including the successful restart of its prime mover for the first time in many years.
Back in 2020, one of our most popular editions was our special on the Bendigo Loco Depot. Kel Pell, one of the railwaymen who wrote about their time at that depot, has written this month about Korong Vale. While today it is nothing more than a single set of points from where the Sea Lake and Manangatang Lines diverge, 60 years ago it was an major railway centre with a a large yard, a locomotive depot, and substantial station buildings that even included a bar! Kel discusses the hive of activity that came each year with the grain harvest, including his own work maintaining the diesel locomotives needed to haul it in an article beautifully illustrated with photographs from Michael Schrader and Wal Jack, among others.
Nick Anchen has recently reprinted one of his most popular books, A railway to Cudgewa, with the reprint incorporating extra pages to incorporate yet more photographs of this most scenic of VR branch lines. We publish a couple of short stories from the book, each concerning T Class locomotives that ran away on the steep descent from Shelley to Beetoomba, each derailing spectacularly; thankfully, without loss of life.
Moving to the present day, we take a look at the latest developments on the Albury line, which in the space of just one month saw the last run of a conventional locomotive-hauled passenger service, the withdrawal of the standard gauge N Class fleet and nine cars hauled to Ettamogah for storage – pending reactivation in tourist and heritage rail use, and finally the introduction of a new timetable. However, not all services are as rapid as the use of a VLocity railcar would suggest.
All our regular columns are there:
- Calendar anniversaries
- General works
- Operations and sightings
- PTV service quality
- Where is it?