In our March 2024 edition

March Newsrail is another big 40-page edition, packed with great content.

Our superb cover photo (by John Kirk, courtesy Journey Beyond) and lead news story concerns the special arrangements that Metro, V/Line, Yarra Trams and Journey Beyond made to ensure that 288,000 “Swifties” (Taylor Swift fans) were efficiently transported to and from the MCG to attend the three concerts of the pop megastar.

Chris Banger has produced another of his definitive railway history articles, being a feature on the Ballarat Cattle Yards/Redan Line. Beginning as a short siding to serve a mine just west of Ballarat, the line was repeatedly extended with further sidings branching off to various industries and saw an interesting variety of motive power and freight traffic over the decades. Beautifully illustrated with photographs of rail operations dating back to the 1940s, Chris’ article includes statistics, timetables, and even details of special passenger trains that ventured along the line over the years.

While we were putting this edition together, we received the sad news that Geoff Oliver has passed away. After a long career in technical and engineering roles with Victorian Railways and V/Line, Geoff retired in 1999 to pursue his two passions: volunteering with Steamrail Victoria on projects such as the restoration of A2 986, and railway photography, with Geoff providing many beautiful images to Newsrail over the years. In its recent newsletter Steamrail published a wonderful tribute to Geoff, and now we at Newsrail present our own tribute with a collection of some of our favourite photographs from Geoff’s collection.

Our Tourist and Heritage Rail article this month looks at the efforts of the Friends of the Goulburn Valley Rail Trail to honour the history of the route of the former Mansfield Line through the installation of station nameboards at former station sites along the route. The nameboards are an authentic recreation of the white-on-black VR originals.

Our other regular sections are there:

  • General works
  • Operations and sightings
  • Tramways
  • PTV service quality
  • Where is it?
  • Taildisc

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