Western Victorian Railfan Guide

Grain Hopper derailed at Jeparit

Article Category  Western Victorian Railfan Guide > Articles
Date Published  Sunday 1st January 2023

Grain Hopper derailed at Jeparit

The Dimboola-Rainbow branch saw its first train in at least six months last week of December.
UPDATE - 24 January, 2023 - Following repairs by V/Line Network Maintenance which restored the derailment damage at the down end of the yard, number 2 and 3 roads were booked back into service on Thursday, 19 January.

A speed restriction of 20 kilometres per hour remains to allow for consolidation through the derailment site.

UPDATE – 27 January 2023 – Locomotives G539 and BL32 were reported travelling light engine to Jeparit yesterday to collect the two ex-derailed hoppers.
Pacific National loaded wheat destined for export from Portland at Jeparit on Thursday, 29 December, with locomotives BL31, BL33 and G519 hauling a standard rake of VHGF and derivative former Victorian Railways grain hoppers.

After loading during the day, the train’s evening departure was delayed after the rearmost hopper derailed at the down end of the yard when it appears the rake was being moved from the main line into three road.

Both bogies on this wagon were off the rails, and a short section of track was slewed out of alignment.
For those not familiar with the layout of the Jeparit yard, it consists of two loop sidings (two and three roads) on the east side of the mainline, with a dead-end extension on the down-end of three road. There is also a cross-over between three and two.

Three road serves four silo complexes - (from the south) Geelong, Ascom, Jumbo, and Williamstown types; all operated as the Jeparit Graincorp site.

Trains from Dimboola enter the yard from the south, and the mainline continues north to Rainbow. The former branch line to Yanac diverges west at the down end of the yard, but only the formation remains, with all rails and sleepers removed.
Sometime after 22.30 (when our correspondent made observations), locomotives BL31 and G519 departed with most of the hoppers, but it is unknown if they travelled all the way to Portland that night or stabled somewhere en route.

BL33 and three hoppers were left stabled at the down end of the yard.

The offending hopper (VHHF 896P) was re-railed the following day.

Sometime during the day, BL33 departed with one of the wagons, while VHHE 896P and the one it was coupled to (VHAF 593P, which has a damaged coupler) were left in the dead-end extension to three road.