Western Victorian Railfan Guide Home   |   Photo Gallery   |   News Archive   |   Western Standard Gauge Line - Trains and Tracks

News Archive


Passenger Services Feasibility Study Released

Eight Victorian councils including the Horsham and Ararat Rural Cities, and the Southern Grampians, Glenelg, Northern Grampians, Yarriambiack, Hindmarsh, and West Wimmera Shire Councils, have combined to launch a comprehensive public transport strategy as the first step towards lobbying for improved rail and coach services to boost business, tourism, health and education in Western Victoria.

The study which was released in March recommends increased passenger rail and coach services between Ararat and Melbourne and return of passenger rail services to both Horsham and Hamilton. It also recommends extra coach services to improve connections between road and rail services across the Wimmera and Western Victoria and into South Australia.

A copy of the report can be downloaded here

A V/Locity passenger train at Ararat.

Steam Special to Jeparit in the '80s

In 1985 or 1986 this steam special was photographed at Jeparit on the Dimboola to Yaapeet branch.

The photo shows not only the locomotive D3 639 which hauled the train, but also the 'Jumbo' grain silo under construction to the left, the station building that was demolished soon after, and the wires that were used to activate the signals protecting the approaches from the Yaapeet and Yanac lines at the down end of the yard.

This photo was contributed to our collection without any additional information - any more details about anything in the picture, particularly the special train and the date, would be welcome. You can comment on the photo on our Facebook page by clicking here. - Fri 27 Dec 2016.

In 1985 or 1986 this steam special was photographed at Jeparit on the Dimboola to Yaapeet branch.

Ballast Program in Western Victoria

During late October and early November, the Australian Rail Track Corporation undertook a ballasting program on the western standard gauge line.

The train was loaded at Maroona and Glenorchy and travelled to discharge ballast at various locations between the up side of Tatyoon through to the South Australian border.

The work area will move across the border into South Australia once completed in Victoria.

Pacific National are providing the hook and pull services with locomotive 8139 hauling a rake of 22 ADFF hoppers with an NDPF van at each end. - Thurs 3 Nov 2016.

8139 leading a ballast train heading west out of Nhill on Wed.2.11.2016.

Pimpinio Loop Extension Works

As part of the project to extend a number of crossing loops between Melbourne and Adelaide work is underway at Pimpinio Loop this week.

The original turnout at the down end of the loops has already been removed and the number two track extended just over 300 metres to make it long enough to hold 1,800 metre trains.

The superseded signals are being removed and their replacements will be commissioned before the loops is again made available for crossing trains by the end of the week. - Wed 29 June 2016.

Victorian rail investment to benefit entire industry

GrainCorp has welcomed the Victorian government's recent announcement of $8.5 million to upgrade State-owned rail sidings at major grain silos around the State.

Five railway sidings in the Wimmera will be amongst seventeen throughout Victoria and Southern New South Wales that will be upgraded.

The investment by the Government will address lost time and poor train utilisation caused by slow train loading facilities at country sites, and inefficient track layouts at most sites that require excessive shunting.

This complements GranCorp's Project Regeneration initiative which will see them invest up to $80 million to improve their infrastructure to enable quicker out loading of the grain into trains.

The local sites to benefit from this funding are Beulah, Murtoa, Nhill, Rainbow and Warracknabeal.

GrainCorp's Regional Manager for Victoria, Peter Johnston, said the investment would deliver significant benefits across an important regional industry.

"The Victorian government's investment complements GrainCorp's own investment of up to $80 million across key sites on the Victorian rail network. These upgrades will deliver improved rail efficiency for the users of GrainCorp's open network and reduce costs," Mr Johnston said.

"The primary beneficiaries of this investment are Victoria's grain growers, as greater rail efficiency will unlock at least $5 per tonne that goes into their pockets through sharper prices for their grain.

"The many customers using our network will also benefit from significantly improved rail efficiency, allowing them to get Victoria's crop to its destination as quickly and efficiently as possible.

"Local communities will see a major reduction in heavy vehicle movements as around half a million tonnes of grain each year is returned to rail. This means less wear and tear on local roads and improved safety.

"Investment in the government-owned rail infrastructure is critical to GrainCorp's ability to deliver the benefits of our major Project Regeneration initiative. We are pleased to be able to partner with the Victorian government to deliver these outcomes and we congratulate them on their proactive approach and vision to grow one of Australia's most important industries."

"We hope the Federal government will deliver similar investment in ARTC infrastructure at Murtoa and Nhill," Mr Johnston said. - Mon.2.May.2016

Article courtesy of the - Dimboola Courier

The first train to load grain at the Bow Hill facility north of Rainbow in September last year.
Rainbow is one of the five locations in the Wimmera that will benefit from this funding announcement.


Infrastructure Projects in Western Victoria

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) are currently undertaking two significant infrastructure projects in the Dimboola area on the main Melbourne to Adelaide railway line.

Pimpinio Loop, between Dimboola and Horsham, is one of four crossing loops on this line that are being extended to facilitate more efficient timetabling of 1800m long trains. The others include Pyrenees Loop near Ararat, Murtoa Loop, Diapur Loop and Mile End in suburban Adelaide in South Australia.

The work to be carried out at each site includes earthworks, construction of additional track sections, installation of new turnouts and the repositioning of signalling equipment and installation of new LED signals.

Work began in October last year at Pyrenees Loop with the required earthworks, with the equipment to undertake this work moving west as this task was completed at each site.

This was followed by the installation of the track and eventually the signalling and commissioning.

It is anticipated that Pimpinio Loop should be completed by April this year, and the whole project completed by July.

The second task is the replacement of the steel deck on one of the rail bridges that span the Wimmera River at Lochiel.

The railway line is carried over the river on a series of five bridges with embankments in-between, with the fourth span from the east crossing the main channel. The bridge being upgraded is the one to west of this.

Work began last week, and it is anticipated that it will be completed by the end of this week (Fri.11.3.2016). - Tue.8.3.2016

NR55 and NR66 leading PM5 through the work site at the down end of Pimpinio Loop just after the new turnout had been installed - Thu.25.2.2016

Lochiel bridge number 5 which is having its deck replaced.


Lochiel (Dimboola) Derailment - 13 December 2015

The following article appeared on our sister website the Dimboola Courier on the 13th of December 2015.

Rail traffic through the Wimmera was disrupted for over eleven hours today when a Melbourne bound train carrying intermodal containers and operated by Aurizon came apart near Pink Lake soon after 9 am this morning.

The train came to a stop blocking the River Road level crossing after three wagons were damaged and the rear bogie of one became derailed. A road crane arrived on the scene at around 2.45 pm which was used to re-rail the wagon and reposition a container on another wagon. No significant track damage was observed.

The three locomotives along with the front ten wagons, which included one of the damaged ones, were cleared to leave the site at about 5.30 pm and they proceeded to Dimboola where the wagons were stowed whilst two of the locomotives returned to Lochiel to collect the remaining damaged wagons and take them to Dimboola.

The locomotives then returned for a third time to collect the remainder of the train and clear the line, allowing the backlog of trains waiting further west to continue their journeys towards Melbourne.

A crane being used to reposition a dislodged container on the train - Sun.13.12.2015

Ouyen Derailment - 29 December 2015

The railway line to Mildura was blocked for the second time in two months when a loaded grain train derailed when entering the Ouyen yard late in the afternoon of Tuesday the 30th of December.

The train, operated by Pacific National as train number 9156, consisted of locomotives G542 and XR554 hauling forty loaded VHGF grain hoppers. These had been loaded earlier in the day with wheat at Carwarp, between Ouyen and Mildura, and were destined for unloading at the Geelong GrainCorp terminal.

At about 17.15 the train entered the Ouyen yard, slowing to a stop for a crew change at the station, when a wagon near the centre of the train derailed. This derailment significantly damaged the track for about 170 metres from the down side of the level crossing into the yard. The train came to a stop blocking Williams Street.

At around midday the next day the undamaged front portion of the train was separated from the damaged hoppers as the clean-up began. By this time, many investigators and recovery workers had arrived on the scene along with three road cranes, a truck load of replacement bogies and truck load of new rail.

Plans were being formulated to unload at least fourteen of the damaged hoppers before they could be cleared off the line to allow the track to be repaired. Six hoppers at the back of the train appeared to be undamaged, but as there are no locomotives north of Ouyen, these cannot be moved until the track is repaired.

In the yard the two locomotives were separated with XR554 remaining on site to assist with the recovery operations, while G542 was coupled to the intact twenty hoppers and departed for Geelong at 14.42.

It is anticipated that it will be well into next week before the line can be reopened.

This incident comes just over seven weeks after traffic on this line was disrupted following a derailment at Nunga south of Ouyen on the 9th of November. - Thurs.31.12.2015

A loaded grain hopper that came to rest on the Williams Street level crossing in Ouyen - Tues.30.12.2015

December 2015

Due to embankment repair works at Berrybank in Victoria and upgrades to the tunnel at Ambleside in South Australia, no trains will operate between Melbourne and Adelaide between late on Fri.25.12.2015 and early on the Tues.29.12.2015.

A return light engine movement of Pacific National's locomotive 8124 operated between Callington in South Australia and Berrybank on Sun.27.12.2015, reportedly to test the signalling equipment along the line. Ballast trains for the Berrybank works will operate from Gheringhap and from Callington for he Ambleside tunnel works. - Sun.27.12.2015

As a consequence of the derailment of SCT's PM9 derailed between Rawlinna and Nareetha in Western Australia, the Trans-Australian railway line has been closed since last Friday afternoon (4.12.2015) and is not anticipated to reopen before Thursday evening.

A flow on effect of this closure is the reduction in standard gauge rail traffic through western Victoria with only Adelaide-bound and intra state traffic still running. One exception to this was the irregular light-engine movement of Qube's GML10 which departed Melbourne on the evening of Sun.6.12 as train number DMY1. This locomotive is reportedly destined for Whyalla in South Australia to collect and return with a rake of surplus ore hoppers that are to be used on the train servicing the Hansen Quarry near Kilmore north of Melbourne.

With a poor grain harvest winding up and no grain ships due in Portland in the next month, grain trains have also become rare in recent times. This leaves the Hopetoun to Hamilton mineral sands trains and the SCT Dooen-Appleton Dock services as the only regular intra state trains on this part of the system.

This is a picture of GML10 from the 9th of March 2012 when Qube used this locomotive (and occasionally a couple of 80 class units) to operate a train servicing Horsham.

Steamrail Passenger Stock Transferred to Melbourne for the C's on the North East Tour

Empty car movement 9L89 hauled by TL152 nearing the end of its journey as it passes through Wail minutes before arriving at its destination at Dimboola on the afternoon of Sun.22.11.

The long awaited C's on the North East Tour operated on Sat.21.11.2015 utilizing Seymour Railway Heritage Centre's C501 on its first passenger train since restoration and GreenTrains' C510 along with Steamrail's standard gauge passenger rollingstock. The tour ran from Melbourne to Albury and return and necessitated two empty car movements to position the passenger coaches as they are presently based at Steamrail's Dimboola depot.

These transfers were hauled by K & AB Rail's locomotive TL152, with the up train operating on Thurs.19.11 and the return trip undertaken on Sun.22.11.

Overland to Operate for at least another Six Months

The Overland passenger rail service between Melbourne and Adelaide has received a reprieve for at least another six months, with Great Sothern Rail announcing today that The Victorian Government has committed to a six-month extension of its existing agreement with Great Southern Rail, supporting the continued operation of The Overland from 31 December 2015 to 30 June 2016. - Great Southern Rail

Crossing Loops to be Lengthened

The Australian Rail Track Corporation has commenced a project to lengthen five crossing loops between Melbourne and Adelaide to allow for the efficient operation of 1800m long trains on this along this line.

Loops at Pyrenees, Murtoa. Pimpinio and Diapur in Victorian and Mile End in South Australia will all receive the necessary earthworks followed by track and signal construction with the improvements coming on line progressively between the end of this year and the middle of 2016.

The down end of Pimpinio Loop, between Horsham and Dimboola.

Uncertain future for The Overland

The twice-weekly Overland service is in question as of the end of this year.

Great Southern Rail released updated fares and timetables for The Ghan, The Indian Pacific and The Overland earlier this week, with the Overland service only scheduled until the end of 2015. Chief Executive Chris Tallent explained that the service is dependent on government support, and that 'at this stage, 2016 departures for The Overland have not been opened for sale.'

Discussions are currently underway between the operator and the respective state governments to consider the future of the service.

Mr Tallent said that 'we anticipate an outcome in the coming weeks, at which time we can provide a further update.'

This comes within months of a social-media push by Horsham residents for a more regular rail service to return to the Wimmera. The Overland was reduced from thrice-weekly to twice-weekly in August 2013 following a decline in patronage.

Public transport in the Wimmera
Public Transport Victoria's Adelaide Daylink service currently offers Wimmera residents a once-daily trip between Melbourne and Adelaide via Bendigo using a coach, while numerous other coaches service other Wimmera towns including Nhill, Dimboola, Horsham and Murtoa numerous times a day. These services connect with others to transport Wimmera residents to Melbourne.

Push for Renewed Rail Transport in the Wimmera

A recent social media push for increased public transport in the Wimmera by means of a train between Ararat and Horsham has been met with strong popular support, and the support of local councillors.

While there is strong support for the return of rail services to the Wimmera, a number of people commented online about the logistics of such a service, including the change in gauge of the line at Ararat.

The current VLocity service is seen here at its terminus, Ararat.

This comes within two years of The Overland services being decreased to twice-weekly in each direction between Melbourne and Adelaide following a decrease in patronage.

July 1998 saw the service reduced from daily in each direction to five services per week, with the Wednesday and Saturday night services cancelled.

August 2008 saw the allocation of 12 seats per train for VLine customers, allowing the use of VLine purchased tickets to connect between Melbourne and Adelaide by rail. Then Victorian Member for Public Transport Lynne Kosky said that "Under this agreement, passengers travelling between these western centres and Melbourne will be able to purchase a ticket through the V/Line reservation system, with fares equivalent to other sections of the V/Line network."

The number of seats for VLine customers was increased to 64 in late 2010 when the train began stopping at Stawell.

The thrice-weekly service was reduced to two services in each direction in August 2013.

NR121 is seen earlier this year departing Dimboola at 1.20pm for the Saturday Melbourne to Adelaide Overland service.

Drought Affects Rail Jobs in Western Victoria

A downturn in grain exports is being blamed for the loss of over thirty train driving jobs across western Victoria. Pacific National have notified staff that 14 drivers at Maryborough, 12 drivers at Dimboola, four drivers at Ouyen and two in Geelong have two weeks to consider redundancy options.

A Pacific National spokesperson told the Weekly Times that "Regrettably, following this a decision has been made to reduce the number of train crew positions at our Victorian depots.

"Pacific National has now commenced the consultation process as part of this change, and is working with affected employees to discuss applications for transfer to available vacant positions in other parts of our business, along with applications for voluntary redundancy."

Freight Train Damaged at Stawell

A freight train consisting of 34 wagons was damaged at Stawell on the evening of Monday 1.6.2015.

The Age reports that the train hit two steel bars on the tracks, "which police believe were deliberately placed," which caused extensive damage.

5,000 litres of diesel fuel was lost as a result, and the train was shunted back to the Stawell railyards for repairs.

UPDATE - Thurs. 4.6.2015
The Stawell Times-News reports that two men have been charged following the incident in Stawell on Monday night.

Ararat Crime Investigation Unit Detective Marcia Parry said that the estimated damage and repair bill is around $70,000. Detective Murray told the Times-News that "The act in itself is extremely dangerous and could have caused grief to a lot of people, not just the train and the tracks."

Steamrail Rollingstock Transfer

After the demise of El Zorro early last year, the Seymour Rail Heritage Centre purchased their three TL class locomotives that were at that time at Portland. These locomotives along with GM36 and a number of items of rolling stock were transferred for further storage at Dimboola on Fri.16.5.2014. One of the TLs was on sold to K & AB Rail, and all four locomotives remained stored at Dimboola until April 2015.

On Friday 24th and Saturday 25th GM36 and TL152 were started up and used to shunt some of the stored rollingstock from around the Dimboola turntable to eventually make up a train consisting of TL152-GM36 and a number the coaches.

The train departed on the morning of Sun.26.4 and paused briefly at Glenorchy to attach the empty container flats that were stored there.

The train spent the night in the SCT sidings at Laverton before continuing to Seymour the next day.

The return journey commenced later that day with TL152 hauling five of Steamrail's standard gauge coaches destined for their depot at Dimboola. The train once again spent the night in Melbourne and after collecting locomotive 845 departed west the next morning. A delay was caused by problems with the TL at Barwon Loop, west of Geelong, but after that was remedied the train continued and arrived at its destination after dark.

Locomotives TL152 and GM36 were being prepared to run a rollingstock transfer to Seymour the next day when photographed near the Dimboola turntable on Sat.25.4.2015.

MRL005 - First Visit to Western Victoria

Usually captive of Mineral Resources Limited services in Western Australia, locomotive MRL005 made a brief visit to Pacific National's Spotswood maintenance centre in Melbourne during April.

This locomotive travelled east behind NR13 and NR34 on XM2 which arrived in Melbourne in the evening of Tues.21.4.2015, and returned as NR34-MRL005-NR13 on 5MP2 which passed through western Victoria on the afternoon of Thurs.23.4.2015.

It is unclear if this was a once off visit, or if the remaining four members of the class will make this trip. - Fri.24.4.2015

Locomotive MRL005 as part of the motive power for 5MP2 pausing at Dimboola for a crew change on the evening of Thurs.23.4.2015.


After nearly nine years of storage in the siding at Antwerp (north of Dimboola on the Rainbow branch), the rake of twenty one VHBF grain hoppers are being removed. They were placed at this location late in June 2006 and have remained there ever since, only leaving the siding briefly on at least two occasions when they were hauled out onto the main line only to be immediately pushed back into the siding which was to prevent the bearings seizing up.

On the morning of Tues.24.2.2015 a large fork lift was being used to lift the hoppers off their bogies and place them on the ground and the bogies were also being taken off the rails.

This work had been completed by early afternoon, with all hoppers lined up at on the ground at the down end of the yard and the bogies in a number of clusters around the yard. Later in the day the task of hauling away the hoppers had begun with a number of them being loaded onto road trucks.

An unconfirmed report suggests that the dismantled hoppers are being trucked to Murtoa for scrapping. - Wed.25.2.2015

A VHBF hopper being lifted off its bogies at Antwerp - Tues.24.2.2015

February 2015 - Up-dated Tues.24.2.2015


Qube's first foray to western Victoria for February occurred on Wed.18.2.2015 when locomotives RL306 and RL310 combined to haul a rake of 40 hoppers to Nhill for loading.

The Appleton Dock bound loaded train is seen here sweeping around the curve east of Kiata, at the location of the SCT train derailment in January 2002.

A second Qube grain train was reported loading at Murtoa on the Wed.25.2.2015 with RL305 and RL301 providing the motive power. - Wed.25.2.2015

A Nhill to Appleton Dock loaded grain train operated by Qube rounding the curves east of Kiata on the afternoon of Wed.18.2.2015


The mineral sands train from Hopetoun to Hamilton resumed running for the first time this year on Mon.2.2. The train was hauled by BL31 with a reduced loading of 12 hoppers and departed Hopetoun at 9:15am.

Iluka announced last year that operations at their mine near Ouyen are scheduled to cease during February 2015, but the development a new mine near Balranald in New South Wales will continue to provide mineral sands that will continue to be transported by road to the rail loading facility at Hopetoun and from there railed to the mineral separation plant at Hamilton.

BL31 continued to haul this train until around Wed.11.2 when it was reported as part of an up three loco combination heading towards Melbourne that morning, and G540 was sighted on the mineral sands train.

A short loaded mineral sands train negotiating the 's' curves on the down side of Batchica siding, north of Warracknabeal, on Thurs.5.2.2015

On Tues.17.2 the train was still being hauled by a solo G540 but the consist had been increased to 20 hoppers - Tues.17.2.2015

January 2015

Despite a disappointing 2014 harvest in the northern Wimmera, the New Year has seen some grain begin to move on the rail system.


As of the 20th of January the Hopetoun to Hamilton mineral sands train has not resumed running since the Christmas/New Year break, although the Kalari trucks have commenced transporting product from the mine to the Hopetoun rail loading facility. The train last ran on Wednesday 24 Dec 2014.

A number of grain trains have also run on this line during December and January, and as expected, the motive power has come from the G and 81 classes.

The following are the locomotive combinations reported on grain trains at Hopetoun.- others have operated only as far as Warrackside and Beulah but their details have not been reported.

Thurs.4.12 8101-8136
Wed.10.12 G537-G538-G540
Wed.7.1 8136-G540
Fri.9.1 8116-8101
Mon.19.1 8116-G538
Wed.21.1 8116-G538

Thanks to our Hopetoun correspondent for this information.


Qube Logistics hired C501 to replace a defective GL class locomotive for a run to Nhill on Thurs.15.1 to load, forming a double header with GL109.


Pacific National's 8101 and 8116 leading a loaded grain train approaching Antwerp on the Rainbow branch on the afternoon of Mon.12.1.2015

Locomotives 8116 and G538 assisting the loading of a rake of hoppers at Jeparit on the Dimboola to Rainbow branch on the morning of Sat.17.1.2015

The Rainbow branch has also seen a burst of activity, with a number of grain trains operated by Pacific National hauled by their G and 81 class locomotives.

For most of last year the only grain receival site on the branch serviced by rail has been the current terminus at Rainbow, as two rakes of hoppers were placed in storage in the yard at Jeparit (the only other active site on the line) in March preventing trains from loading there. These wagons were removed early in the second week of January and at least three trains operated on the line in the following six days.

The first one sighted was on the afternoon of Mon.12.1 when 8101 and 8116 were reported hauling 20 hoppers in the up direction through Antwerp at 15:15. The loading location for this train has not been confirmed, but it is likely that it was Jeparit.

Three days later on Thurs.15.1 a lone 8116 was assisting the loading of a rake of hoppers at Jeparit at 8.30 in the morning.

Another visit occurred on Sat.17.1 with 8116 and G538 arriving at Jeparit at around 7.20 in the morning and departing at around midday after their rake of hoppers was loaded.

This year should also see further development of GrainCorp's Bow Hill storage site, just north of Rainbow, to bring to fruition their plans to use the adjacent 'booked out' Rainbow to Yaapeet section of the line to load trains from planned over-rail loading bins. These improvements will allow trains to be loaded quicker which in turn will lead to better utilization of the line.


December 2014 Summary

QUBE Logistics loaded a train at the Dimboola GrainFlow Centre on Thursday the 18th of December, with hired CFCLA locomotives CF4004 and CF4402 providing the motive power. This was the third train operated by QUBE to load at this location during December, with GL107 and GL109 leading a train on Wed.10.12 and the same two CF class locomotives hauling at train on Fri.12.12.

Pacific National also loaded at Dimboola during the third week in December using G520 and 8101 to haul their train.

V/Line's IEV100 paid a visit to the Wimmera over the weekend of the 6th and 7th of December where it was used to evaluate both the Murtoa to Hopetoun and Dimboola to Rainbow lines. The unit was stabled overnight at the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal.

The Iluka mineral sands train that operates between Hopetoun and Hamilton continues to operate although recent time have seen its length reduced and it is regularly hauled by a single BL, G or 81 class member.

CF4404 and CF4402 on the front of a QUBE grain train in the siding at the Dimboola GrainFlow Centre - Thurs.18.12.2014

The Iluka mineral sands train passing through Stawell early in December 2014
Photo - Stuart Cray

Action on the Rainbow Branch

The last week of October saw the first trains operate on the Rainbow branch since June, when Pacific National's 8101 made two trips north from Dimboola.

On the morning of Wed.29.10 this locomotive hauled six VHGF type grain hoppers to Rainbow before returning light engine to Dimboola later in the morning. The following day the same locomotive ran as a light engine to Rainbow and return. The six hoppers were stabled in the siding at Rainbow on the afternoon of Fri.31.10. - Fri 31 Oct 2014

Fifteen Years of the Western Victorian Railfan Guide

September 2014 marks fifteen years since the Western Victorian Railfan Guide was launched with the aim of providing a place to record the railway happenings in the west of Victoria. The main focus is on the main standard gauge link between Melbourne and Adelaide and the associated branches to Portland, Dunolly, Hopetoun and Yaapeet (Rainbow), along with the occasional mentions of the north western broad gauge network and across the border in South Australia.

Over this decade and a half the railway scene has evolved which a quick look through our News Archive and Photo Gallery pages will highlight.

We wish to acknowledge and thank our team of contributors and photographers who have provided the information and pictures that have made this a dynamic record of the changes in this small part of this important industry. We also encourage these contributions to continue as the more information that we receive, the more informative this resource will be.

We consider this picture one of the best contributed to this site, and is of the up Saturday Patricks' service (7AM3/9756) climbing the Diapur bank at 16.16 on the 23rd of October 1999.

Upon receiving word that this train would feature an interesting motive power lash-up, the opportunity was taken to try a new photographic location - the cuttings to the west of Diapur, between Nhill and Kaniva. Some time was spent finding a good location but after a very long wait with no action and with rain clouds brewing, the gear was reluctantly packed up at before 16.00 and the trip home commenced.

Only a matter of minutes later a message on the scanner confirmed that the train had just crossed the border, which sparked a frantic dash back to the chosen location and a quick set up in some light rain to capture the picture that you see here.

The train was hauled by the colourful combination of CLP8, CLF7, GM27, T373 and T381 in Australian Southern Railroad, Australia National and Great Northern colours.

Work Begins on the Upgrade of the Hopetoun Line

Work has commenced on the upgrade of the Murtoa to Hopetoun branch line that was announced in the state budget earlier this year. A V/Line maintenance gang commenced work at Hopetoun on Tuesday August 26 replacing expired sleepers starting at the Iluka siding. Various track machines have been reported on this line over the past few weeks undertaking preparations for this work.

Sleepers have been stockpiled at Hopetoun and a number of level crossing further south and marking on the line indicate that approximately one in three sleepers will be replaced.

(We acknowledge our Hopetoun correspondent for supplying updates on this work.) - Wed 27 Aug 2014

Aurizon G534 in Western Victoria

An unusual movement occurred on Monday the 18th of August when Aurizon's G534 was reported heading east from Dimboola after 8:00 in the morning as a light engine movement.

It was heading to Murtoa where It collected the repaired wagon that had caused the mishap the previous week near Lubeck.

The locomotive along with a single container wagons with two containers had returned to Dimboola by 13:00. After a brief delay this small train continued out to Dimboola Loop where it was shunted back into the down end of the AWB GrainFlow Centre's siding and shut down, presumably to await collection by the west-bound Aurizion service MP1 later that evening.

It is unusual for this locomotive to spend time in western Victoria other than as part of the motive power on Aurizon's through services between Melbourne and Adelaide. - Mon 18 Aug 2014

Tenth Anniversary of the Return of V/Line Passenger Trains to Ararat

The 11th of July 2014 marks the tenth anniversary of the return of V/Line passenger services to Ararat after a break of ten years.

The Ararat service was the last of a list of long distance intra state passenger services that were suspended between July 1993 and May 1994. Most of the affected services were discontinued in August 1993 but passengers from Ararat gained a reprieve due to an upgrade program then currently underway on the Western Highway between that city and the intended new terminus for these trains at Ballarat. It was feared that due to these roadworks the new road coach services would be slower than the trains that they replaced.

The last locomotive-hauled V/Line passenger train departed Ararat on the 27th of May 1994 from which time no passenger trains ventured beyond Ballarat on the broad gauge.

After ten years, passenger trains to Ararat resumed in July 2004 and were initially operated with Sprinter railcars before the newer V/Locity railcars that now run the service took over.

During the ten years without an intra-state service, the Overland that operates between Melbourne and Adelaide continued to run on the standard gauge but this has been reduced from a nightly in both directions service on the broad gauge prior to 1995 to the twice weekly in each direction train that operates today.

GrainCorp's Project Regeneration

GrainCorp's recently announced Project Regeneration appears to have a mixed implications for the western Victorian rail network. The negative of many of their smaller outdated grain receival sites either closing or remaining closed is contrasted with a renewed commitment to the use of rail for clearing many sites.

Some locations, such as Rainbow's Bow Hill facility, will benefit from new or upgraded rail loading facilities allowing trains to be loaded quicker although others will remain as road out loading only. From the details on the GrainCorp website the sites to remain active on the western standard gauge rail network include Berrybank, Westmere, Murtoa, Nhill and Lillimur on the main line, along with Jeparit and Rainbow on the branch north of Dimboola and Warracknabeal, Beulah and Hopetoun on the Hopetoun branch and Willaura and Hamilton on the Portland line. Active non rail-served sites include Yaapeet, Carpolac, Natimuk, Naracoorte and Goroke.

Other non GrainCorp receival sites in this area that are significant to rail include the AWB GrainFlow Centre at Dimboola and the proposed Viterra loading facility at the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal at Dooen. - Thurs 12 June 2014

More details can be found at GrainCorp's Project Regeneration website

GrainCorp to Expand Bow Hill Site

GrainCorp are proposing to expand their Bow Hill grain storage facility north of Rainbow in the Southern Mallee of Victoria.

Whilst specific details on the project are scarce, the aim would be to downgrade or close their silos within the Rainbow township and move all activity to the Bow Hill site which is about a kilometre north of the town.

The currently 'booked out' section of the Yaapeet railway north of Rainbow passes along the eastern boundary of the current Bow Hill site and the proposal is to use this line to access a new rapid loading rail facility. This could increase the amount of grain transported out of the area by rail and make better use of the recently up graded branch line north of Dimboola.

- Tues 27 May 2014

2014 Victorian Budget - Up-grades to Two Western Lines

There has been much written and said since the details of the state budget have become known, with the most relevant announcement for rail in western Victoria being the allocation of funds to upgrade the Maryborough to Mildura and Murtoa to Hopetoun railway lines.

The first $41 million has been allocated to upgrading these lines to 21 tonne axle loads for an immediate increase the amount of freight carried on each train.

The remainder of the funding is for a business study that will determine the best way to go about standardising the Mildura line if it is found to be feasible.

The possible alternatives include standardising the current broad gauge route all the way from Geelong to Mildura through Ballarat and Maryborough, utilise the current link between Ararat and Dunolly and standardise north to Mildura or to create a new link between the existing western standard gauge system and the Mildura line either between Minyip and Litchfield or Hopetoun and Lascelles.

Hopetoun to Murtoa rail line to be part of $220m upgrade
Wimmera Mail-Times Online - Wednesday 5th March 2014


THE rail line from Hopetoun to Murtoa will be upgraded as part of a $220-million rail upgrade.

Read the full article from the Wimmera Mail-Times here

CM Class Visit Western Victoria

CFCLA's CM class made their first appearance in western Victoria on Sunday the 27th of April when three of the class, along with an EL, hauled a rolling stock transfer train to Dimboola. The train had originated in New South Wales the previous day and had stabled overnight in Melbourne.

The train arrived at Dimboola at 14 05 where over the next couple of hours the four passenger coaches and three CP vans were shunted and positioned around the turntable by locomotive CM3310.

After their overnight layover, the four locomotives departed for Adelaide just after 7 am the next morning as a light engine movement.

The locomotives were CM3310, CM3309, EL62 and CM3308 and the rolling stock included CP35 'Dartmouth', CP, CP, 603 'Clarence', 604 'Wilsons', 605 'Brunswick' and 713 PCK.

Other rail action observed at Dimboola during the afternoon included NR21 - NR84 heading towards Adelaide at 14.50 on BA6 and NR85 - NR45 on PM5 through on the up at 15.52. Pacific National's 8110 and 8145 also arrived at Dimboola off the branch with a string of grain hoppers that had been loaded with wheat at Rainbow just after 16.00, and G538 and G537 were stabled in the yard on the down end of a rake of empty grain hoppers - Tues 29 Apr 2014

For the first time since Pacific National took over the hook and pull of the Iluka Hopetoun - Hamilton mineral sands trains from El Zorro in May last year (2013), this train has been hauled by a different class of motive power. For the last eleven months the train has been hauled exclusively by double G class combinations, but on Thurs.17.4.2014 BL26 and BL30 made their first run on this service.

This was the first appearance of the BL class on the Hopetoun branch, although a member of the class did venture down the Portland line in the mid 1980's when one was trialled on grain services when on hire from Australian National.

Although this is technically a different class of locomotive, visually they do look very similar to the G class they have replaced. This picture shows one of the last G class lash ups with G537 and G538 having just departed Henty Block Point north of Warracknabeal at 12 45 on the afternoon of Mon.7.4.2014. - Fri 18 Apr 2014

The first train on the Rainbow branch for 2014 arrived at Jeparit at around midday on Saturday the 8th of March and consisted of G543 hauling a rake of empty grain hoppers.

Upon arrival the crew split the rake and stowed half in each of number two and three roads before the locomotive departed as a light engine in the up direction at 13.16.

Here G543 is preparing to depart for the return journey after stowing the hoppers in the sidings. - Sat 8 Mar 2014

Horsham passenger rail push continues: Council seeks study funding
Wimmera Mail-Times Online - Wednesday 5th March 2014


HORSHAM Rural City Council will seek funding for a feasibility study as it continues its push for the reinstatement of passenger rail to the region.

Read the full article from the Wimmera Mail-Times here

Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal up and running
Wimmera Mail-Times Online - Friday 10th January 2014


MORE than 700 containers are moving through the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal each week.

Wimmera Container Line general manager Allister Boyce said the containers were transported on nine weekly intermodal trains between Melbourne and Dooen.

Read the full article from the Wimmera Mail-Times here

January 2014

After the usual Christmas/New Year lull, rail activity has begun to pick up again in western Victoria as we move into January.

An intensive track rehabilitation program in the Stawell area has been undertaken during this quiet period which will hopefully speed up trains through the section between that location and Pyrenees Loop.

SCT's own motive power has returned to the SCT/Wimmera Container Line service to the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal (WIFT) at Dooen although there still appears to be some issues with the CSR class as they originally returned in tandem with the hired GL class and some recent trains have featured the SCT class.

Qube's container services from the WIFT are still being hauled by a single GL class whilst there are reports that this operator will also load grain at Marmalake this month.

The Pacific National mineral sands train between Hopetoun and Hamilton retuned for the New Year on Mon.6.1.2014 with the expected double G class motive power and whilst 28 hoppers was the standard consist in 2013, up to 40 hoppers have been reported on at least one occasion.

An above average harvest in western Victoria should bode well for increased rail traffic with at least one grain train having already operated on the Dimboola to Rainbow branch and with six grain ships due into Portland this month and more at Geelong and Appleton Dock, more trains are expected. - Fri 10th Jan 2014



GrainCorp has chosen not to renew their lease over six more sidings on the western Victorian standard gauge network, which include Berrybank, Lubeck, Horsham, Dimboola, Gerang Gerung and Serviceton.

The sidings will remain available for stabling track machines but will no longer facilitate the loading of grain trains.

Three of these locations (Berrybank, Horsham and Dimboola) are no longer listed as active grain receival sites by GrainCorp but it is anticipated that the other three will remain as part of the company's grain handling network but will be emptied solely by road transport in the future.

This leaves the sidings at Westmere, Marmalake, Dooen, Nhill, Lillimur and Kaniva on the main line, and Jeparit and Rainbow on the branch north of Dimboola, Warracknabeal/Warrackside, Lah, Brim, Beulah and Hopetoun on the branch from Murtoa and Willaura on the Portland line as the only rail served locations in the GrainCorp network in western Victoria.

The AWB GrainFlow centre at Dimboola and the Viterra facility at Dooen through the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal are the other up-country rail served grain storages in wesern Victoria. - Fri 10th Jan 2014


QUBE Begins Operations from the Wimmera Intermodal Terminal at Dooen

Qube Logistics have joined SCT as rail operators serving the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal at Dooen east of Horsham after coming to an arrangement with terminal operator Wimmera Container Lines.

After operating for a period from the rail yards at Horsham station and them moving all of their container movements from the Wimmera to road from a base at the Viterra complex at Dooen they have now become the third rail operator from the WIFT after GWA operated at least one bulk grain train from the facility earlier this year.

Both operators are currently hauling their trains with single leased GL class locomotives from CFCLA as SCT's CSR class are yet to return after being withdrawn from service a month or so ago to remediate some issues. - Fri 20th Dec 2013

Western Highway freight movements to drop next year
Wimmera Mail-Times Online - Friday 6th December 2013

More Rail Freight From Dooen
Radio 3WM Online - Wednesday 11th December 2013


A DEAL between a Rupanyup grain company and Wimmera Container Line will see 3000 fewer freight movements on the Western Highway each year.

Wimmera Grain Company has joined Wimmera Container Line and SCT Logistics to export more grain from the Wimmera by rail.

Read the full article from the Wimmera Mail-Times here

A recent visitor to the Dimboola to Rainbow (Yaapeet) branch was Metro's IEV100 which traversed the line on the morning of Wed.4.12.2013. - Mon 9 Dec 2013

Horsham passenger rail push: Wimmera service wanted
Wimmera Mail-Times Online - Wednesday 9th October 2013

HORSHAM Rural City Council has teamed up with the Southern Grampians and Glenelg shire councils to push for passenger rail services.

The city council wants a passenger rail service through the Wimmera to Ararat, where it would connect with Melbourne-bound trains.

Trains from the Southern Grampians and Glenelg shires, including from Hamilton, would also head to Ararat.

Read the full article here

ARTC Ballast Program

ARTC undertook a ballast program on the western line during the first couple of weeks of September operating from the siding at Glenorchy between Stawell and Murtoa with Qube providing the motive power in the form of their locomotives 8030 and GML10.

8030 was reported travelling back to Melbourne as a light engine on the following morning. - Tues 17 Sep 2013

EL60 and L277 on a down El Zorro grain train departing Horsham.

Horsham Melbourne-Adelaide rail corridor relocation could cost $99m
Wimmera Mail-Times Online - Monday 16th September 2013

RELOCATION of the Melbourne-Adelaide rail corridor in Horsham could cost up to $99 million.

The study included a new passenger railway station and estimated clean-up work on the contaminated rail corridor would cost up to $19 million.

But Horsham Rural City Council chief executive Peter Brown said moving the railway could take up to 30 years.

Read the full article here

20 Year Anniversary of the Cancellation of the Dimboola Passenger service

August the 21st 2013 is the 20th anniversary of V/Line's last Dimboola to Melbourne pasenger service which was known as the Wimmera Limited.

To mark this occasion we are publishing a series of photographs illustrating this train service in its last months of operation on our Facebook page.

Visit our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/WesternVicRailfan to view these pictures.

You do not have to be member or logged on to Facebook to view these.

The start of August saw GWA operate four grain trains between locations in the Wimmera and Port Adelaide. One of these became the first train to be loaded with bulk grain at the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal.

Whilst Viterra have the contract to build and operate a grain loading facility on the site, this has not yet been constructed so the loading was undertaken using a portable loading elevator and a small fleet of trucks transferring the grain the 1500 metres from the adjacent Viterra grain receival site.

The remaining three trains were loaded at the Dimboola GrainFlow Centre. - Tues 13 Aug 2013

Date Motive Power Loading Location
Thurs.1.8 GM42-2210-CLP17 Dimboola
Sat.3.8 GWU002-701-GWU004 Dimboola
Tues.6.8 GWU005-2216-GWU001 WIFT - Dooen
Thurs.8.8 GWU005-2216-GWU001 Dimboola

We have moved!

Welcome to our new web address! After being at our previous address for 14 years we have made the move to a new address - railfanguide.wancon.com.au

Please be sure to update your browser bookmarks to allow you to easily find our website in the future. (You can press CTRL - D to add a new bookmark)

Great Southern Rail's Overland Service

Great Southern Rail have announced that effective from the week commencing August 5th 2013 that their Overland passenger service between Adelaide and Melbourne will be reduced to two return trips per week, with the removal of the Wednesday morning departure from Adelaide and the return service which departs Melbourne on Thursday morning. - Fri 17 May 2013

Read the full announcement on the Great Souther Rail website here.

El Zorro

El Zorro continue to haul grain on the western standard gauge line on behalf of Cargill/AWB, loading at the Dimboola GrainFlow Centre and the GrainCorp terminal at Marmalake (Murtoa) and unloading at the ports or Portland, Geelong and Appleton Dock.

Australian LocoLease's L277 has appeared on all services reported this year in combination with either C501, S312 or currently EL60. - Thurs 7 Mar 2013

EL60 and L277 on a down El Zorro grain train departing Horsham.

El Zorro quells financial rumours
- Tuesday 29th January 2013

RAIL freight operator El Zorro Transport has sought to reassure its customers and backers the business is financially secure. . . .

  • On the western standard gauge network, El Zorro currently operate the Hopetoun - Hamilton mineral sands trains and grain services between the Wimmera and the ports of Portland and Appleton Dock in Melbourne on behalf of AWB/Cargill. They also run grain services on the broad gauge for the same company.


First Time Visitors to Dimboola

Both of the following locomotives spent some time at Dimboola during October for Crew training purposes.

Pacific National locomotive 9305 arrived at Dimboola on the Mon.15.10 and was collected two weeks later by PM6 on Sun.28.10 - Wed 31 Oct 2012

Pacific National locomotive 9305 arrived at Dimboola on the Mon.15.10 and was collected two weeks later by PM6 on Sun.28.10.

QRNational's 2821 arrived at Dimboola on Sat.6.10 on their MP1 service. It had gone a week later. - Wed 31 Oct 2012

Another foreign locomotive to visit Dimboola for crew training - QRNational's 2821 spent Sat 6th October stabled near the turntable after arriving overnight on their MP1 service.

  • Horsham Rail Bypass
Horsham rail bypass study funded
Wimmera Mail-Times Online - Wednesday 5th September 2012

A $50,000 study into moving a rail line in Horsham to bypass the city will be completed by the end of this year...

Read the full article here

  • Trains on the Yaapeet Branch

Trains returned to the Yaapeet branch for the first time in a couple of months when XR558 and XR555 teaming up to haul return trains to Rainbow on Mon.18.6, Tues 19.6 and Thurs.21.6.

XR555 and XR558 are seen here on the front of a loaded grain train from Rainbow to Dimboola rounding a curve between Tarranyurk and Antwerp on the damp afternoon of Thursday the 21st of June. - Thurs 21st June 2012

2012 - XR555 and XR558 on the front of a loaded grain train from Rainbow to Dimboola caught rounding a curve between Tarranyurk and Antwerp on a damp afternoon - Thurs 21st June

  • L277 on El Zorro Grain
  • L277, on it's first trip to the west of the state, is pictured here at the Dimboola Grain Centre on an El Zorro grain service waiting to be loaded. It is also accompanied by TL152 and C501. - Sun 17th June 2012

    L277, on it's first trip to the west of the state, is pictured here at the Dimboola Grain Centre on an El Zorro grain service waiting to be loaded. - Sun 17 June 2012

  • Horsham Container Services

    SCT Takeover the Horsham Goods - The last weekend of April saw QUBE operate their last Horsham goods hauled by locomotives 8030-8037-S311. SCT are now the main operator with El Zorro still running the occasional service when there is excess loading.

    Double headed combinations of either CSR-SCT or CSR-CSR locomotves have hauled all services observed. - Sun 27th May 2012

    A recent motive power combination from the SCT hauled Horsham goods - SCR006 and SCT012 stabled at that location on Fri.4.5.2012


  • Mildura Line Grain Derailment

    On the afternoon of Friday 23rd December, a grain train derailed near Donald on the Mildura rail line. The train was travelling towards Melbourne when a wagon lost a bogie, ripped up 300 metres of track and blocked the Sunraysia Highway level crossing.

    Some photos by Railpage user 'Donald' can be seen at ImageShack.

    Goods train derailed on Sunraysia Hwy - Herald Sun.

  • Flood forces rail rethink from Dimboola to Yaapeet - The Wimmera Mail Times - Mon.2.5.2011

    THE Department of Transport could reopen the Dimboola to Yaapeet rail line to shift almost 150,000 tonnes of grain from storage before this year's harvest.

    The future of the line was in doubt after V-Line closed it late last year but the State Government has revealed funding to repair and reinstate the line could be available within months.

    Flood damage to the Dimboola - Yaapeet railway line between Jeparit and Ellam.
  • THE Overland train will start stopping in Stawell this week - Weekly Times NOW - Mon.11.4.2011

    "The return of trains to Stawell will mean residents have improved public transport connections to other towns in western Victoria including Nhill, Horsham, Dimboola and Ararat, as well as improved connection to Melbourne," Mr Mulder said

  • Push to revive grain line - Weekly Times NOW - Thurs.20.1.2011

    FARMERS and GrainCorp want the Victorian Government to restore and upgrade the Jeparit-Yaapeet rail line to allow 160,000 tonnes of grain to move efficiently to port...

  • Rural railway lines ignored - The Wimmera Mail Times - Mon.10.1.2011

    HINDMARSH Shire councillor Michael Gawith has challenged the State Government to fund rural railway lines in the Wimmera...

  • Baulks on Dimboola - Yaapeet Line

    It was noted today (Fri.17.12.10) that baulks have been placed over the Dimboola to Yaapeet line just to the down side of the Cemetary Road level crossing. - Fri.17.12.2010

    Baulks over the Dimboola to Yaapeet line near the Cemetary Road level crossing.


    • Rail to carry mineral sands - The Warrnambool Standard - Sat.6.11.2010

      Work on a major rail upgrade is to start within six weeks after the state government granted long-awaited planning permits for the project...

    • WA trains touted for Victoria - Weekly Times NOW - Thurs.4.11.2010

      WEST Australian grain trains may be diverted to Victoria to help transport the huge crop to port next year...

    • Late October and early November saw increased grain train activity in western Victoria in response an rise in the amount of grain being exported and in preparation of the upcoming harvest. Pacific National operated a number of trains on the Yaapeet line hauled by XR558 and XR559 with upto 50 VHGF grain hoppers. The Hopetoun line also had a couple of El Zorro services operate as far north as Warrackside just on the down side of Warracknabeal. - Wed.3.11

    • XR555 and XR559 ventured to Rainbow again on Wed.26.5 with about twenty grain wagons after leaving a further 27 at Jeparit on their way north. Unusually the train returned to Dimboola after dark being reported through Arkona at 20 37 that evening. - Wed.26.5

    • On Tues.27.4 the Yaapeet branch saw its third train in less than a week - more train movements than for the entire last twelve months - when XR558 and XR555 hauled 20 VHGF grain hoppers for loading at Rainbow. A further 14 hoppers were left at Jeparit on the down journey. All three trains featured the same motive power. - Tues.27.4

      Thurs.22.4 Yaapeet
      Sat.24.4 Rainbow
      Tues.27.4 Rainbow
      Thurs.29.4 Rainbow
    • On Tues.20.4 an El Zorro grain train hauled by G532 and G533 loaded at Warracknabeal (the second such train to do so this year) and on Thurs.22.4 Pacific National opeated a grain train to load at Yaapeet which consisted of XR558 and XR555 and 16 VHGF hoppers. This was the first train on this line for around a year, although in a good sign for more traffic on the line, the following day a crew was installing new sleepers in the yard at Jeparit. - Sat.24.4

    • The movement of mineral sands on rail from Hopetoun to Hamilton has moved a step closer with the announcement by the Victorian government of $3.92 million to construct the required infrastructure at each location. - Fri.12.3

      $3.97 million Brumby Labor Government grant will help build vital rail infrastructure to transport heavy mineral concentrate extracted from the Iluka mine site at Ouyen, saving more than 20,000 heavy vehicle trips a year between Hopetoun and Hamilton....
      A majorrail upgrade will see fewer heavy trucks on south-west roads and is set to underpin a spike in mineral exports...
      The Victorian government will put almost $4 million into new rail infrastructure at Hopetoun in a bid to move the transportation of mineral sands products off local roads and onto rail...
    • Pacific National are also on the move with their first revenue grain service for the season. XR558 and XR555 travelled with a rake of VHGF grain hoppers from where they had been stabled at Dimboola to load at Hopetoun on Wed.3.2. - Wed.3.2

    • El Zorro began their grain haulage task for the current season on the western standard gauge with their first visit to Warracknabeal on the Hopetoun branch. The motive power is SCT coloured G532 and G533 and the wagons are hired CFCLA hoppers. - Wed.27.1

      Recent loading locations
      Sat.23.1 Warracknabeal
      Wed.27.1 Dimboola
      Sat.6.2 Marmalake (Murtoa)
    • The ballast trains have resumed after Christmas and are loading at Glenorchy and at this time are operating to locations between Dimboola and Serviceton and are scheduled to do so until the end of the month. The motive power is S302 and GM36 - Wed.20.1


    • The ballast loading location has now moved to Maroona. - Fri.18.12

    • Western line ballast train motive power. - Wed.25.11

      Motive Power - Ballast Trains
      Dates Motive Power Departed Melbourne as... Returned to Melbourne as...
      Wed.13.5 - Wed.27.5 C501-T386 Light engine Assisted the Portland mineral sands train
      Wed.27.5 - Wed.8.7 4836-C501 Light engine Light engine
      Sun.19.7 - Tues.28.7 C501-T386 Mallala-bound grain. C501 swapped for S off grain service
      Tues.28.7 - Fri.7.8 S311-T386 S311 swapped for C off a grain service. Assisted the Portland mineral sands train
      Fri.14.8 * - Thurs.20.8 GM36-S300 Headed west on the mineral sands train S300 swapped for S302 which arrived light with T386
      * - GM36 and S300 headed west with the mineral sands train on Fri.14.8 before assisting a grain service to Mallala and they were shunted off at Diapur overnight on Sun.16.8 to take up the ballast duties.
      Thurs.20.8 - Thurs.21.10 S302-GM36 S302 swapped for S300 after arriving light engine with T386 S302 returned light engine with T386
      Thurs.21.10 - Fri.13.11 C501-GM36 C501 swapped for S302 after arriving light engine with T386 C501 returned light to Maroona with T342
      then hauled rake of empty conflats to Melbourne
      Fri.13.11 - S302-GM36 S302 swapped for C501 after arriving light engine with T342  
      Both GM36 and S302 assisted the Portland mineral Sands train, 9768, into Melbourne on the morning of Fri.20.11, but they both returned west later that day on the return mineral sands service, 9767, to remain available for the ballast workings.
    • The ballast loading site moved briefly from Wail to Murtoa from Fri.6.11 but has now moved on to Glenorchy since around Mon.16.11. The motive power for this train has reverted back to S302 and GM36 since Fri.13.11 when the S replaced C501 on the down end of the train. - Wed.18.11

    • Last week (Thurs.22.10), Pacific National transferred one trainset of 50 VHGF hoppers and two XR class locomotives (XR555 and XR559) from New South Wales to Dimboola in preparation for the upcoming harvest, with their main contract with bulk handler GrainCorp. This complements the contracts El Zorro have with AWB Ltd and GWA have with Viterra (formally ABB Ltd) for the movement of export grain to the ports of Melbourne and Geelong, and significantly grain is also scheduled to be exported from Portland in the new year giving rise to the hope of grain trains returning to the Maroon to Portland line for the first time in three or four years. - Tues.27.10

    • The trains delivering the new concrete sleepers for the western line resleepering project operate in push pull mode whilst unloading the sleepers, with two 81 class locomotives being the usual combination.

      Currently the most common arrangement is for these trains to run from New South Wales with one locomotive and the second unit is added at Maroona before the train continues to the worksite. On the return trip, the extra unit is shunted off at Maroona to assist the next loaded train. Occasionally a double or triple header is reported through Gheringhap when the extra units need to return for servicing purposes.

      The sleepers are currently being unloaded in the Deep Lead area.

      The exceptions the single or double 81 class combinations are listed below. - Tues.27.10

      Thurs.23.7 8177-8153-8166 Up Empty (9758)
      Sat.8.8 T409-8121 Down Loaded (9759)
      Sat.8.8 8177-8173-T409-8121 Up Empty (9758)
      Sat.5.9 8171-8173-8153 Up Empty (9758)
      Thurs.10.9 8173-X46 Down Loaded (9759)
      Sun.20.9 8177-X46 Up Empty (9758)
      Locomotive combinations as reported through Gheringhap Loop
    • The ballast train has spent the last week operating out of the Wail siding and ballasting towards Horsham. The delivery of the new sleepers has progressed beyond Horsham to the east. and the installation of the new sleepers has reached Horsham. - Fri.2.10

    • New concrete sleepers were being unloading at Horsham on Thurs.17.9.. - Fri.18.9

    • The worksite for the installation of concrete sleepers on the western line had progressed through Dimboola by Mon.7.9, and the loading of ballast had moved to the siding at Gerang Gerung. - Mon.7.9

    • The delivery of new concrete sleepers to locations west of Dimboola continues, with the unloading site having advanced to east of Salisbury Loop by Sat.8.8. The motivepower on this day also included the first appearance of a T class on these services - T409 accompanied 8121 in lieu of the usual second 81 class.

    • On Tues.21.7 after the sleeper train had unloaded west of Dimboola, one of the locomotives in the form of 8166 was taken off the train and stabled in the yard at Dimboola before the empty train departed for New South Wales via Melbourne to reload. The plan is that 8166 will be added to the next loaded train upon its arrival at Dimboola the following morning and the train will proceede to the work site in push - pull mode to unload. On its way back the extra locomotive will be stabled at Dimboola in preparation for the cylce to be repeated the next day.

      Due to late running of the train on Tues.21.7, 8153 and its empty wagons were stabled at Inverleigh and combined with Wednesday's up empty service which formed the combination of 8177-8153-8166 when it passed through Gheringhap at 04 24 on the morning of Thurs.23.7. - Fri.7.8

    • The first week in August saw the motive power off the ballast trains, S311 and T386, return to Melbourne, and the rake of ballast wagons stabeld in the silo siding off Diapur Loop. - Thurs.13.8

    • The ballast train is now being hauled by S311 and T386 and is being loaded at the siding at Miram as at Tues.28.7, although this is anticipated to move to Diapur once the stockpile has been exhausted. - Wed.29.7

    • It is antcipated that the ballast trains in conjunction with the new concrete sleeper installation in the Miram to Diapur to Salisbury sections west of Dimboola will recommence around the middle of the week starting on the 20th of July, with the ballast loading point moving from Callington in South Australia to Miram or Diapur.

      Observations on Sat.18.7 revealed ballast stockpiled beside the siding at Miram.

      The motive power for this next series of shuttles, C501 and T386, was taken off an up loaded El Zorro grain service at Dimboola on the morning of Tues.21.7, although it is still unclear where the ballast wagons are stabled as they were not sighted at Nhill, Diapur, Miram or Kaniva on the weekend. These locos were not present at Dimboola later that evening, so it is assumed that they had already headed west to collect their wagons. - Tues.21.7

    • Locomotives C501 and 4836 off the El Zorro ballast trains to Western Victoria returned to Melbourne as a light engine movement on Wed.8.7. The location of the rake of ballast hoppers is unknown. - Wed.15.7

    • By late June, the El Zorro ballast train was being hauled by 4836 and C501 and was working as far east as the Miram to Diapur section. - Fri.3.7

    • In conjuction with the delivery of new concrete sleepers outlined below to far western Victoria, this week sees the start of their installation and a the commencement of a series of ballast trains operating out of Callington west of Murray Bridge in South Australia. El Zorro has the contract to operate these trains and initially C501 and T386 were the motive power.

      The fourth week in May saw C501 and T386 return to Melbourne, via Portland to assist the mineral sands train, before C501 and 4836 in Austrac colours returned west to resume ballast duties.

      These ballast trains are now operating to the east of Kaniva in western Victoria from their loading base at Callington. - Sat.20.6

    • Pacific National Sleeper Train

      Pacific National are operating a series of six sleeper trains for ARTC from New South Wales to the west of the state via Albury and Melbourne.

      The schedule anticipates twelve such trains with one per week from the end of March.

      Each train is to unload the new concrete sleepers west of Dimboola in two trips, scheduled for Thursday and Friday mornings with a layover at Dimboola in between.

      Sleepers have been unloaded as far east as Diapur Loop by the 20th of June. - Sat.20.6

      Motive Power - Sleeper Trains - 9756 / 9759
      Thurs.26.3 8177-X45-8169-8153
      Thurs.2.4 8177-X45-8121
      Thurs.9.4 8177-8121
      Thurs.16.4 8171-8169-8177
      Thurs.23.4 8171-8169-8177
      Thurs.30.4 8177-X45-8171
      Thurs.7.5 8177-X45-8171
      Thurs.14.5 X45-8169-8171
      Thurs.21.5 X45-8169-8171
      Thurs.28.5 8171-X45-8169
      Thurs.4.6 XR559-8177
      Sleeper train stabled in Dimboola yard on Thurs.26.3.

      This picture is of the first train when stabled in the yard at Dimboola in fading light on the evening of Thurs.26.3.

    • The first revenue train since October last year ventured out onto the Yaapeet branch on Thurs.19.3 when G528 hauled 14 empty grain wagons for loading at Rainbow. - Thurs.19.3

    • The management of the Maroona to Portland corridor was transferred from V/Line to ARTC on the afternoon of Sun.22.3. - Wed.18.3

    • A couple of incidents held up an Adelaide bound train at Dooen, east of Horsham, just after midnight on Tuesday night. - Tues.6.1

      • Fire fighters stop chemical explosion on Horsham freight train - [Herald-Sun Online] - [Read Article]
      • Tractor fall damages Melb-Adel rail line - [ABC Online] - [Read Article]
      • Train driver averts rail line 'explosion' - [theage.com.au] - [Read Article]
      • Crews derail blast threat - [Wimmera Mail-Times] - [Read Article]


    • Major grain carrying rail lines will be upgraded as part of $38.7 million announced by the Victorian Government today. - Mon.20.10

    • Australian premier agribusiness, ABB Grain, and rail-freight transportation operator, Genesee & Wyoming Australia, are close to signing a five-year broad gauge agreement to annually move up to 300,000 tonnes of Victorian grain.... - Wed.17.9

    • The first down empty Iluka mineral sands train to Portland was reported through Gheringhap on Sat.13.9 consisting of T386 hauling 21 container flats with three containers on each, although G532 was dropped at Maroona from an up grain train and it is anticipated that this loco will be collected for the sand train. The first loaded up service is rumoured to depart Portland on Monday (15th) evening. - Sat.13.9

    • Under a deal announced today between miner Iluka Resources and freight operator El Zorro, mineral sands in containers will be railed from Portland to Melbourne, returning regular rail traffic to the Maroona to Portland line. - Wed.3.9

      • Rail freight back on Portland-Maroona line - [ABC Radio - Wed.3.9] - [Read Article]
    • New Pilot Locomotive for Horsham

      An article in the Wimmera Mail-Times on Fri.22.8 indicates that Wimmera Container Lines has purchased locomotive 7334, and their staff will be trained to operating it. - Fri.22.8

      • Engine to drive rail freight future - [Wimmmera Mail-Times - Fri.22.8] - [Read Article]

      As part of the new contract to rail containers between Horsham and Melbourne, CRT blue locomotive 7334 has been transferred to Horsham to take up pilot duties.

      The locomotive arrived by road overnight on Sun.12.8 - Mon.11.8 and was unloaded by crane onto number 5 road on the Monday morning. - Fri.15.8

      QRNational's pilot locomotive 7334 now based at Horsham - Fri.15.8.
    • The rumour of one last Pacific National Horsham goods service on Fri.1.8 proved to be incorrect, which left G529-G530 hauling 9791 on Wed.30.7 as the last down service, and the final up return train, 9792, ran the following day with the same locos. - Fri.1.8

    • It has been announced that QRNational / Interail have signed a twelve month contract with Wimmera Container Lines to transport containers from Horsham to Melbourne, replacing Pacific National as the provider of this service. - Mon.28.7

      • Wimmera councils say a new deal for rail freight services in the region gives them hope for the sector's future - [ABC Radio - Mon.28.7] - [Read Article]
      • Rail to roll on - [Wimmera Mail-Times - Wed.30.7] - [Read Article]
    • First train on the Yaapeet Line for Over a year.....

      Despite the news item listed below indicating that Pacific National and GrainCorp plan the cease rail operations of the Yaapeet branch, a train of 18 empty grain hoppers hauled by XR555 and XR559 operated to the terminus of the line on Tues.22.7.

      This was the first train on the line since a return light engine movment to Antwerp in June last year, and the last revenue train since March last year when a coule of train loaded at Rainbow.

      The train is pictured here whilst loading at Yaapeet. - Tues.22.7

      XR555 and XR559 loading at Yaapeet on the morning of Tues.22.7.
      • Train is back after one year - [Wimmera Mail-Times - Fri.25.7] - [Read Article]
    • It would appear that QRNational may soon take over the contract to operate the Horsham container service (currently run as trains 9791 and 9792 by Pacific National who are contracted to the job until the end of July), and if so they would be transferring a locomotive to Horsham for shunting duties - QRNational have yet to confirm this. - Thurs.17.7

    • Upgrade Announced for the Maroona to Portland Line - Thurs.17.7

      • Rail track upgrade announced for Portland - [ABC Radio - Wed.16.5] - [Read Article]
      • Future of Portland to Maroona Rail Line Secured - [Govt. Press Release] - [Read Article]
      • New Deal Will Improve Rail Performance Maroona to Portland - [ARTC Press Release] - [Read Article]
    • PACIFIC National and grain handler GrainCorp will cease rail freight operations on the Yaapeet to Dimboola rail line....

      • Council slams rail line plans - [Wimmera Mail-Times - Fri.20.6] - [Read Article]

    • SCT liveried G514 on hire to El zorro led a short (20 hopper) grain train to Dimboola on the morning of Sat.17.5, where it stabled at the up end of the AWB siding for the weekend. - Sun.18.5

    • The Horsham container train services, 9791 and 9792, have won another reprieve until at least July, despite this service regularly exceeding 50 loaded wagon hauled by double G's. - Fri.4.4

    • The line reopened this morning, with the expected steady parade of trains in each direction thorughout the day. - Fri.4.4

    • At around 19 30 on the evening of Sun.30.3 the west-bound QRN / P&O service, MA6, hauled by EL58-RL302-EL51 derailed around 24 wagons in the vIcinity of the Emu Creek bridge at Pura Pura damaging 800 metres of track.

      1MP9 (SCT) was run around at Gheringhap and retuned to Laverton before eventually heading off in the other direction to run via New South Wales in order to get to Perth. Many other services were cancelled, delayed or held at various crossing loops along the line

      The official word on the ARTC website is that the line should reopen late on Wednesday night, but considering the adverse weather conditions this would appear a optimistic with an opening on Thursday or even Friday looking more likely. - Wed..2.4

    • Reports today suggest that the Horsham goods, 9791 / 9792, has gained a reprieve until the end of April, after which it will cease to operate if an appropriate arrangement is not negotiated. - Thurs.27.3

    • The return of the first El Zorro grain service to Adelaide paused briefly at Dimboola on the evening of Good Firday to collect locomotive 44204 and one grain wagon, fomrnig the quintette of VL356-EL54-EL52-GM36-44204 upon its eastward departure at around 18 55. - Sat.23.2

    • El Zorro's first grain service from New South Wales to South Australia, via Victoria, thundered through western Victoria in the early hours of Thurs.20.3 fronted by VL356-EL54-EL52-GM36.

      Rumours suggest that this task is somewhere between 300,000 and 600,000 tonnes of sorghum, but either way it will involved a significant number of return train trips. This was also the first appearance of the EL class on this operators services on this route. - Thurs.20.3

    • 44204 remains stabled in the Turn Table road at Dimboola after having a pinion replaced two weeks ago. - Thurs.20.3

    • Boom gates were installed at the Queen Street level crossing at Nhill on Sat.23.2 - the crossing was previously protected by flashing lights. - Sat.23.2

    • The latest motive power combination to haul El Zorro's standard gauge grain train is 44204, GM36 and VL236 with a consist of 12 CQGY, 17 CQFY and 14 AHGX hoppers. This train was reported stabled in the AWB siding at Dimboola on the evening of Sat.23.2 after having unloaded at Appleton Dock the previous day. - Sat.23.2

    • Portland railyards given the shunt - Portland Observer - 13 February 2008

    • The first of EL Zorro's grain services hauled by the combination of CFCLA's VL356 and SRHC's GM36 operated to the Geelong Grain Loop on the morning of Sat.9.2 - through Gheringhap on the up at 09 00 and after unloading, retruning west at 12 13.

      The second service, hauled by the same locomotives, operated out of Dimboola on the morning of Tues.12.2, and after unloading at Geelong, the locos ran around the train at Gheringhap before it departed east again bound for Melbourne. - Wed.13.2

    • Seventeen of CFCLA's CQFY grain container hoppers were shunted off a west-bound GWA empty grain service along with GM36 on the afternoon of Sun.3.2, heralding another series of El Zorro grain services in the next week. - Sun.3.2

    • El Zorro's broad gauge trainset has been kept busy with trains loading at the AWB GrainFlow Centres at both Sea Lake and Birchip and unloading at Geelong and Melbourne over the last few weeks. - Fri.1.2

    • El Zorro loaded their first broad gauge grain service on Fri.18.1 at AWB GrainFlow's Sea Lake terminal, which was made up of a rake of 38 AHGX grain hoppers hauled by locomotives S302-S211-T376-T413-T357. - Fri.18.1

    • Amongst the articles in the local press recently discussing the potential implications of Pacific National's impending withdrawal of Victorian intrastate services, an article appeared in the Wimmera Mail-Times (Horsham) on Fri.4.1 outlining rail's part in moving the record 1968-69 grain harvest, particularly on the Carpolac line. The article also includes a picture of a T hauling six grain wagons on the last train on this line in 1986. - Sat.5.1

      When grain went by train - By Keith Lockwood - Wimmera Mail-Times - Fri.4.1


    • Asciano, the parent company of Pacific National, announced on Wed.12.12 that they would be closing their Victorian rail freight business for commercial reasons.

      This will have significant implications for the transport of grain from the west of the state in both bulk and containers to the ports of Melbourne, Geelong and Melbourne. Other current rail traffic to be affected includes logs from Gippsland and the North East and container traffic from Mildura, the Goulburn Valley and Warrnambool. - Sat.15.12

    • The 'Portland T's', T379 and T392, appeared in Dimboola on Tues.11.12 and have been stabled there since, apart from a trip west to an unknown location for an unknown reason on Fri.14.12. They remained stabled in the yard as of the afternoon of Fri.21.12. - Fri.21.12

    • El Zorro ran their first standard gauge grain train on Tues.11.12 when GM36 and T386 with a rake of 31 grain hoppers unloaded at the Geelong grain loop.- Sat.15.12

    • XR559 has become the second of its class to be converted to standard gauge, and has since become a regular on the Horsham/Dimboola goods (9791/9792). - Sat.15.12

    • Over the first couple of days of November the rake of grain wagons (SE1) were tranferred from Dimboola to Portland courtesy of the Portland T's, T379 and T392. These locos arrived at Dimboola light engine on the evening of Wed.31.10 and departed early the next morning with around 26 wagons destined for Maroona, before returning light engine that evening. The next day, Fri.2.11, the T's took the remaining wagons to Maroona where they combined both lots for the trip down to Portland. - Sat.3.11

    • After being closed to the public for around twelve months, the repaired footbridge at the Dimboola station was re-opened on Fri.26.10. - Sat.27.10

    • A ballast program operated from Glenorchy from late September to mid October before it moved to the North East line. Motive power was GM's 36 and 45 and T386 until GM45 failed and was replaced by CLP8. - Sat.27.10

    • AWB GrainFlow has entered into a rail freight agreement with El Zorro, a specialist rail freight operator based in Williamstown, Victoria.............

      For the full AWB GrainFlow media release click here. - Mon.27.8

    • The remaining XGAY grain hoppers departed Dimboola on the morning of Fri.24.8 behind G522, destined for Cootamundra in New South Wales where they will presumably remain in storage. - Sat.25.8

    • On the evening of Sun.8.7, vandals placed sleepers on the railway line at Horsham, delaying a train that had to be inspected after striking them. Unfortunately, more sleepers were placed over the line after this train departed, delaying another train later that night. Neither train was derailed or badly damaged, but the potential of this senseless vandal attack is obvious. - Mon.9.7

    • On Thurs.21.6, G519 ran light engine to Antwerp (on the Yaapeet branch) to collect the stored VHBF hoppers, but despite shunting the wagons in the siding, the locomotive departed light engine to return to Dimboola. - Thurs.21.6

    • The Merredin (Western Australia) to Appleton Dock grain train departed Dimboola (bound for Appleton Dock) late in the evening of Sun.29.4 after having been stabled there since the early hours of Sat.28.4. After unloading it is scheduled to head north to Cootamundra - Mon.30.4

    • The first grain train reported on the Yaapeet branch for 2007 appeared on the morning of Tues.13.3 in the form of G522 hauling 24 empty grain hoppers to Rainbow for loading. - Tues.13.3

    • CFCLA's EL63, new locomotive VL351and a single flat wagon formed train number 9759 Melbourne to Adelaide goods on the morning of Sun.18.2. This was the first member of the new VL class to run through western Victoria, on its way to Darwin for ore train duties. - Sun.18.2

    • Heavy rain throughout the North of South Australia on Fri.19.1 and Sat.20.1 has led to a number of washaways and derailments resulting in more disruption and possibly more diversions for rail traffic between the east and the west of the country. - Sat.20.1

    • Train number 6JA2, Junee to Adelaide via Melbourne empty grain, passed through the Wimmera on the morning of Sat.20.1, hauled by the all orange conbination of GM42-GM44-2212-CLP8. - Sat.20.1

    • GL108, along with 8177, were reported on the down Dimboola goods, 9791, this morning - the first appearance of a GL on this service? - Wed.17.1

    • Due to a number of disruptions over the last few days, including a number of derailments and a grain silo fire at Cootamundra, considerable traffic between Adelaide and Sydney is currently being diverted via Melbourne - including the Indian-Pacific passenger train, an empty GWA grain train from Junee to Adelaide and a number of regular steel and intermodal services. - Tues.16.1

    • Extra Grain Trains - PacNat currently have a train heading for AWB Crystal Brook for loading and assumed return to Victoria, while GWA have a train in Melbourne to unload at Appleton Dock that originated north of Adelaide. PacNat also have underway a cycle of trains from AWB Dimboola to Portland. - Tues.16.1

    • The third in this series of GWA grain trains to operate from Bowmans in South Australia to Appleton Dock in Melburne is due to grace the rails of western Victoria overnight on Mon.15.1-Tues.16.1. - Thurs.11.1

    • The first unusual grain movement for the new year is a grain train operated by GWA from Bowmans SA to Appleton Dock in Melbourne. The return movement is due through western Victoria late in the afternoon of Fri.5.1. The train consists of CLP17, CLF5 and CLP14, a crew van and a rake of CFCLA grain hoppers. - Fri.5.1


    • The Pacific National trains conveying grain from South Australia to Victoria and New South Wales are continuing - a Bowmans to Appleton Dock service is due through western Victoria overnight on Tuesday/Wednesday and a Murtoa-Port Adelaide-Bowmans-Murtoa trip will depart Murtoa on the evening of Tues.19.12 and return on Thurs.21.12. - Tues.19.12

    • The first of a number of trains conveying barley from Bowmans in South Australia to Marmalake (near Murtoa) operated between Sat.9.12 and Tues.12.12. The trains are loading at Marmalake with grain destined for Port Adelaide and after unloading there are continuing on to Bowmans to re-lead with a different grain before returning and refuelling at Dimboola on the way back. Motive power was G522-8169-9-8171.

      A second train is scheduled to depart Murtoa on the eveining of Wed.13.12 and return to Victoria on the morning of Fri.15.12. - Tues.12.12

    • After a month in Victoria, spent mostly in the west of the state but also in the Melbourne and the north east, the ballast train hauled by T385-44s1-B76 is scheduled to return to South Australia on the morning of Wed.22.11. - Wed.22.11

    • As of this week, the ballast train appears to have re-located to the North East line for some work up there. - Mon.6.11

    • Ballast trains are expected out of Dimboola early in the mornings of both Sun.29.10 and Mon.30.10 to locations further west. - Sat.28.10

    • The current pattern of operations is for the loaded ballast train to stable overnight at Dimboola, venture west early the next morning to discharge ballast, before returning to Glenorchy to re-lead and making its way back to Dimboola for the night.

      Trains operated west of Dimboola each day between Mon.22.10 and Thurs.27.10, to locations between Salisbury and Diapur.

      The motive power remains the same as last week - B7, 644s1 and T385. - Sat.28.10

    • The 'AK Cars' test train is due through western Victoria on Thurs.26.10. - Wed.25.10

    • The Dimboola goods (9791/9792) boasted some unusual motive power on Wed.25.10, with V544-8160 hauling the down train, and XR555-8160 in charge of the return trip that evening - this has recently been a G or 81 roster. - Wed.25.10

    • A ballast train with T385-44s1-B76 providing the motive power was dropping ballast between Wolseley and Lillimur on the morning of Tues.17.10, and after a cross with the westbound Overland, continued to spread ballast on the up side of Kaniva Loop, before travelling to Glenorchy to be re-loaded. - Tues.17.10

    • Light engines B76 and T385 passed through western Victoria on the morning of Fri.13.10 heading west. They are rumoured to be collecting a rake of ballast wagons to operate works trains out of the Glenorchy siding over the next few weeks. - Fri.13.10

    • Four Dimboola to Port Adelaide grain services were operated by PacNat during the first half of October. The first one departed Dimboola late in the evening of Tues.3.10 behind 8166-8160-8165. The following trips operated ex-Dimboola on Thurs.5.10, Sun.8.10 and Tues.10.10. - Fri.13.10.

    • A ballast program is anticipated during October following the stockpiling at Glenorchy and a notice in the Wimmera Mail-Times on Mon.25.9 placed by Works Infrastructure informing local residents of the intention to store ballast and load trains at the Glenorchy siding between the hours of 7.00 am and 6.00 pm for approximately one month beginning Tuesday 26th of September.- Mon.9.10.

    • The main Melbourne to Adelaide line was blocked for much of the day on Thurs.31.8, after a wagon failed on a Melbourne bound service just east of Kaniva at around 01 00. A number of trains were held in crossing loops either side of the incident resulting in a flurry of activity once the line reopened at around 16 00. - Thurs.31.8

      Dimboola - Port Adelaide Barley Trains

    • The train set departed Dimboola in an easterly direction just after 10 00 after the locomotives (G542 and 8166) had been refuelled. - Thurs.31.8

    • The fourth empty train from Port Adeladie should arrive back in Dimboola in the early hours of Thursday Morning. After the locomotives are refuelled, the train will depart for Melburne where it will immediately head north to resume duties in New South Wales. It is unknown when the remainder of the barley will be railed to South Australia. - Wed.30.8

    • The fourth train load of barley was loaded this afternoon, and the train has stabled in 3 and 4 roads opposite the station in Dimboola, awaiting an anticipated departure just after mid-night tonight. Motive power remains G542 and 8166. - Tues.29.8

    • The same locomtives fronted the second trip to Port Adelaide, although after the third run departed west, 8149 and a lone wagon were noted in the yard at Dimboola, suggesting that the train departed with only G542 and 8166. - Mon.28.8

    • The motive power on the empty PN grain train, upon arrival at Dimboola this morning, was G542-8149-8166 and the wagons were a mix of NGPF and NGKF hoppers. - Wed.23.8

    • Pacific National will be operating a cycle of four trains conveying barley from the Dimboola GrainFlow Centre to Port Adelaide, with the first one to load on Wed.23.8 and depart in the early hours of the following morning.

      The following three west-bound departures are anticipated to be late Friday night and early Monday and Wednesday mornings.

      A total of around 40,000 tonnes is to be moved, so it is anticipated that a further ten or so trips will be required to fulfil the contract. - Up-dated - Wed.23.8

    • The second of the PN Barley trains to Port Adelaide is scheduled to load at the Dimboola Grain Centre on Wednesday afternoon (Wed.5.7) before heading west late in the evening of the same day. - Tues.4.7

    • PacificNational are operating at least one and possibly two grain trains conveying barley from the Dimboola Grain Centre to Port Adelaide this week. The first train loaded on Monday afternoon for a late night westerly departure. Motive power is 8171-8177. - Mon.3.7

    • During June a number of grain services conveyed wheat from Rainbow, on the Yaapeet branch, to GrainCorp's Marmalake terminal near Murtoa. A single G or 81 class locomotive has constituted the motive power on the branch, with up to 20 grain hoppers. Departure after loading has been at around 16 00 for the trip South. - Fri.23.6

    • The ATN Access train ventured west again on Sat.3.6 with 8166-8177-T379-T409 providing the motive power, in PacNat, Freightcorp, PacNat and Freight Australia colours respectively. - Sat.3.6

    • Following the line closure due to the collision at Lismore last week, the line reopened to through traffic overnight on Tues.30.5/Wed.31.5. - Wed.31.5

    • On the morning of Thurs..25.5 a truck collided with the side of a train, AM3, near Lismore in western Victoria, derailing two locomotives and around 40 container wagons and burying the truck. It is anticipated that the line could be closed for four or more days, with some services between Melbourne and Adelaide diverted via New South Wales.

      Here are some links to theage.com.au web site which contains informative cverage of the incident.... - Fri.26.5

      • Rail crossing crash 'preventable' - The Age.com.au - Thurs.25.5
      • Freeing crash victim could take days - The Age.com.au - Fri.26.5
        - (Includes an aerial photograph of the accident site.)
    • XRB562 arrived at Dimboola on Thurs.18.5 for crew training purposes, and another rare visitor in DL46 was also sighted stabled in the yard onthe same day. - Thurs.18.5

    • The Ballarat to Ararat broad gauge line remained closed for one week following the fatal collision between a V'locity train and a road truck east of Trawalla on the afternoon of Fri.28.4. - Sun.7.5

    • The first appearance of a cabless XRB unit west of Melbourne occurred on Wed.3.5 when XRB560 was sandwiched between NR74 (Ghan colours) and DL49 on MP5. This would have also been the first revenue service by a member of this new class. - Wed.3.5

    • The first of May heralded the beginning of another run of ATN Access grain trains between Dimboola and Melbourne, and the welcome appearance of C501 for the first time on these trains west of Melbourne (although it has previously appeared as a banker on interstate services.)

      The second journey saw G543 replace 8166 from the first trip, but before departure from Dimboola, the G was swapped onto an SCT train for defective units G539-G528, making it a T-T-C-G-G combination upon departure. At Glenorchy, 8177 was added to the front forming a six unit lash-up. - Wed.3.5

      Date Locomotives  
      T379-T371-C501-G539-G528 on an ATN grain train preparing to depart the Dimboola Grain Centre on Wed.3.5
      Mon.1.5 C501-T371-T379-8166
      down journey G543-C501-T371-T379
      up from Dimboola T379-T371-C501-G539-G528
      up from Glenorchy 8177-T379-T371-C501-G539-G528

    • The ATN grain train returned to the Dimboola GrainFlow Centre in April.

      Fri.21.4 saw the unusual, but most welcome, sight of a T class leading the down ATN grain service to Dimboola. T371-T379-8166 (both T's long end leading) hauled the empty train, with 8177 joining them for the return trip, after coming west on 9791 that morning.

      Date Locomotives  
      8177-T371-T379-8166 on an ATN grain train apporaching the Dimboola Grain Centre
      Sat.8.4 8166-8177
      Mon.10.4 8166-8177
      Tues.11.4 8166-8177-T371-T379
      Sat.15.4 8177-T371-T379-8166
      Mon.17.4 8177-T371-T379-8166

      8177-T371-T379-8166 on a down ATN Access grain train on the morning of Thurs.13.4.

      Wed.19.4 8177-T371-T379-8166
      Fri.21.4 T371-T379-8166

      8166 and both of the T's are in PacificNational colours whilst 8177 remains in the old FreightCorp colours. - Fri.21.4

    • GrainCorp, the owner and operator of the former GEB / Vicgrains network of grain receival sites, has announced that it will be closing 100 of its less profitable sites in Victoria, NSW and Qld. The sites affected on the western standard gauge railway network include...
      • Antwerp on the Yaapeet branch
      • Batchica, Lah and Minyip on the Hopetoun line
      • Dimboola, Gerang Gerung, Glenorchy and Miram on the main line.
      Affected sites on closed branch lines in this area include...
      • Nertherby and Yanac on the old Yanac branch
      • Noradjuha on the old Balmoral line
      - Fri.21.4

    • Over the Easter weekend, the platform road/main line at Dimboola was ripped up and re-laid with new condrete sleepers and ballast. During the works, all traffic was routed via number two road. This should see the removal of the temporary speed limit through the yard- Wed.19.4

    • GM36 made its first visit to western Victoria when it combined with G519 to haul the down Horsham goods, 9791, on Tuesday the 11th of April.

      GM36 is on hire to PacNat from the Seymour Rail Heritage centre and is resplendent in the old Commonwealth Railway's maroon and silver colours. - Tues.11.4

    • 81 class locomotives 8171 and 8173 have become regulars on the Dimboola/Horsham goods, 9791 & 9792, over that last couple of weeks, after their recent stint on the Portland grain services. - Sun.2.4

    • Light engine 8173 was sighted west of Horsham on the morning of Wed.29.3 conducting tests of the new flashing lights on the Geodetic Road level crossing for ARTC. - Wed.29.3

    • The two 81's working the Portland grian services were both sighted returning to Melbourne on the morning of Tues.21.3 in charge of 9792. They were reported later that day on trains on the north east line. - Tues.21.3

    • 8171 and 8173 have become regulars on grain traffic in western Victoria over the last two months, with single 81 being regularly reportd on both branches, and double 81's quite common on Portland bound trains. - Sat.18.3

    • The first 81 class locomotive recorded on the Yaapeet branch was on Fri.3.3 when 8173 hauled a train all the way to the terminus. - Fri.3.3

    • ARG operated two grain trains between the Dimboola GrainFlow Centre and Appleton Dock in Melbourne early in March. Locomotives CLF4-GM42-CLF2 hauled both trains consisting of CFCLA CGAY hoppers and one crew car. Loading occurred on Wed.1.3 and Thurs.2.3.

      The train returned to South Australia, from whence it came, presumably empty on Fri.3.3. - Fri.3.3

    • Dimboola's rail tractor, most recently RT28, was withdrawn some time between late January and the end of February, leaving this location without a resident pilot.

      With the increased tonnages of grain loaded at the AWB GrainFlow Center west of the town there has been reduced need for a rail tractor to shunt grain wagons at Dimboola itselt.

      RT28 was sighted at Newcastle in New South Wales in late February.- Wed.1.3

    • 8173 became the first member of its class on the Hopetoun branch during February when it was a regular on grain services between the Wimmera and Portland. - Thurs.23.2

    • The intra-state goods services on this line are currently running five days per week - Sun, Tue-Fri (9791) and Mon-Fri (9792) - up from once per week for much of last year.

      Motive power has become quite interesting, with XR555 being a regular, but others have included the first 81 class locomotive on the service (8173 leading both the down and up trips on one occasion early in February), and a selection of G and T units. - Thurs.23.2

      9791 / 9792 Locomotive Combinations
      Thurs.23.2 9791 XR555-8171
      Sun.5.2 9791 8173-XR555
      Fri.3.2 9791 & 9792 8173
      Sun.29.1 9791 XR555-T392-T408
      Fri.27.1 9792 G536-T408-T392
      Tues.13.12 9791 V544
      Wed.14.12 9792 G-V544
      Sun.18.12 9791 G519-XR555-T392
      Tues.20.12 9791 G-G-T
      Wed.21.12 9791 XR555-T390-T392

    • A cycle of ATN Access grain trains operated between the AWB GrainFlow Centre at Dimboola and Appleton Dock in Melbourne utilizing a number of former New South Wales locomotives during early February.

      On the morning of Fri.10.2 the down ATN train was hauled by 8177-8171, and after loading it departed Dimboola as 8171-8177 at 10 45. It paused at Glenorchy at around midday to collect a stricken 8173, and it then took around eleven hours to get from there to Gheringhap where G538 was noted on the point. It is unclear what caused the long delay but the G was sighted light engine on the down through Gheringhap at 20 20. - Fri.10.2

      ATN Access Grain Train Locomotive Combinations
      Fri.10.2 - up G538-8171-8177-8173
      Fri.10.2 - down 8177-8171
      Wed.8.2 L270-8171
      Mon.6.2 L270-48156-8177
      Thurs.2.2 8171-48156-8177

      Even Newer OVERLAND Timetable
    • GSR have corrected the new timetables for the rescheduled Overland passenger service between Melbourne and Adelaide, showing a thrice weekly daylight service in each direction. - Wed.8.5

    • The first report of a PacificNational coloured locomotive on the branch north of Dimboola was made on Fri.27.1 when G540 was sighted at Antwerp at around 18 45 hauling an unusually late 9782 up loaded grain service - unfortunately our correspondent did not have a camera handy!. - Mon.30.1

    • The ballast train returned to Melborne on the evening of Wed.25.1. - Wed.25.1

    • A ballast program is currently underway from Glenorchy, with T383-KL82-4483 leadig a ballast train consisting of one NDPF van, 20 loaded NDFF hoppers and one NZBF plough operating west of Dimboola on Mon.23.1. - Mon.23.1


    • A number of trains were delayed in the Glenorchy area on the morning of Christmas Eve (Sat.24.12) due to storm damage. - Tues.27.12

    • On Mon.19.12 CFCLA's GL108 (in corporate colours) and 44s1 (still in the faded AN Explorer colours) hauled a train load of concrete sleepers from Adelaide to Inverleigh (can anyone confirm that is was the destination?) where the sleepers were unloaded. A rake of ballast hoppers were added before the empty train returned west the next day. - Tues.27.12

    • Track inspection vehicle EM100 made a tour of the Wimmera in mid December, covering the Hopetoun line on sat.10.12, Murtoa to Wolseley on Sat.10.12 and Sun.11.12 and the Yaapeet line on Mon.12.12. - Mon.12.12

    • The Horsham/Dimboola goods service, 9791 / 9792, appears to have begun operating on more that one day per week, with an XR-X combination reported through Gheringhap on both Tuesday and Thursday this week on these trains. There has been suggestions that this service will be increased to five days per week to cater for the additional harvest traffic. - Thurs.1.12

    • The ninth train in this cycle of ATN Access trains to AWB's Dimboola GrainFlow Centre departed Melbourne on the morning of Sat.5.11. Of note on this occasion was that the train not only featured the usual L class, but also three G's, although one G was shunted off at Murtoa leaving a L-G-G combination upon arrival at Dimboola. - Sun.6.11

      ATN Access Locomotive Combinations
      Date Down Up
      Fri.21.10 L254-833-G519 G519-833-L254
      Sun.23.10 L254-G519 XR555-G519-L254
      Tues.25.10 L254-G519-XR555 XR555-G535-L254
      Wed.26.10 L270-833-L254 L254-833-L270
      Fri.28.10 L270-833-L254 L254-833-L270
      Sun.30.10 G535-833-L254 L254-833-G535
      Mon.31.10 L254-833 G520-833-L254
      Wed.2.11 L254-833-G520 G520-833-L254
      Sat.5.11 L254-G535-G543-G520 G543-G535-L254

      Thank-you to the Gheringhap Loop web site for confirmation of the above locomotive combinations.

    • As of Fri.4.11 the ballast train is still opreating out of Glenorchy, utilising locomotives 4471 in CFCLA corporate colours and T383 in RTS colours. It operated to locations between Gheringhap and Newport on Sat.29.10, Horsham and Dimboola on Sun.3.10, Cressy area on Mon.31.10, the Leeor and Nhill areas on Tues.1.11 and the up side of Horsham on Wed.2.11. - Fri.4.11

    • ARTC's test train (the AK Cars) passed through Western Victoria on Wed.26.10 and Thurs.27.10 with as overnight stop at Ararat. On this occasion the train was hauled by ARG's GM42 - Thurs.27.10

    • Due to a derailment on the Broken Hill line, the Sydney-bound Indian Pacific was re-routed via Melbourne on Tues.18.10, and the return train travelled through Western Victoria on Thurs.20.10 - Thurs.20.10

    • CFCLA operated another light engine movement on Tues.18.10 to Murtoa to collect the remaining ballast hoppers that had been stored at that location for a number of months. Solo locomotive 4471, freshly painted in CFCLA's corporate colours, arrived at around 13 15, and departed half an hour later with nine ballast hoppers in tow, B end leading. - Tues.18.10

    • During the middle of September South Spur Rail's K205-D49-K206 operated a number of works trains out of the ballast siding at Callington, between Adelaide and Murray Bridge in South Australia. On Fri.23.9, they almost made it into Victoria when they unloaded ballast between Wolseley and Serviceton. - Fri.23.9

    • ATN Access made a total of nine visits to Dimboola in their latest cycle, up from the usual four, and the G class also made their first appearance on these services. L270-G519-L254 headed for Dimboola on Sun.4.9, L270-G535-L254 were sighted on Tues.6.9 and again on Thurs.8.9, whilst the last six runs (on Fri.9.9, Sun.11.9, Mon.12.9, Wed.14.9, Thurs.15.9 and Fri.16.9), were hauled by L270-833-G535. - Fri.23.9

    • Another noteworthy locomotive combination - NR20(?)-C501-XR555 on 5MA5 on Thurs.8.9 - Thurs.8.9

    • Locomotive 4483 in SSR yellow and black colours made a light engine run to Murtoa from Melbourne on the morning of Sat.3.9 to collect a rake of ballast hoppers and returned with them for use on the north-east line.- Sat.3.9

    • Locomotive GL105 was shunted off *SP2 on the evening of Mon.22.8 and stabled at the turntable at Dimboola - it is assumed that it was there for crew training - it was collected by train MA3 on Fri.2.8 and taken on to Adelaide. - Sat.3.9.

    • There was a fatal level crossing accident at the Edith Street crossing in Horsham today involving a car and light engine G535 travelling in the down direction. This level crossing is just past the up end of the crossing loop, and the derailed G came to rest blocking both the main and the loop. - Thurs.11.8

      Front Page Artcile in Wimmera Mail Times on Friday 12th August.

    • XR555 returned to 9791 and 9792 on Wed.3.8 after a break of a couple of months.- Thurs.4.8

    • C501, in original VR colours, has become a semi-regular banker on PacNat trains between Melbourne and Adelaide.- Thurs.4.8

    • Due to locomotive problems on Wed.13.7, the up P & O train and then following day's return service ran very late. MA6 through Dimboola at 11 05, around 12 hours late.- Thurs.14.7

    • The second ATN grain train for the week to Dimboola had L270-8164-L254 up front, and loaded at the Dimboola Grain Centre on Thurs.19.5. The first train was hauled by L270-8164-GL107 - Fri.20.5.5

    • A rare visit by a Y class locomotive occurred on Wed.18.5 when Y115 arrived on 9791 (along with XR555 and G537) and was turned at Dimboola before heading down to Portland to take up pilot duties. - Thurs.19.5

    • Cs2 departed Dimboola on the morning of Wed.11.5, bound for New South Wales via Melbourne - Wed.11.05.

    • ARG loaded a grain train at the Dimboola Grain Centre on the morning of Tues.10.5. - the train departed at around 11 40 bound for Adelaide - Tues.10.05.

    • Silverton locomotive Cs1 was sighted stabled near the turntable at Dimboola on the morning of Fri.8.4 - it is spectulated that it was there for either crew training of as a banker for trains between that location and Adelaide - Fri.8.4

    • The unusual combination of XR555 and T409 made up the motive power for the up and down Dimboola goods today - Fri.4.3

    • Silverton unit Cs2 passed through Western Victoria on Fri.25.2 on *PW4, sandwiched between NR40 and NR56 - Fri.25.2

    • XR555 (now with elephant ears....) has returned to the Dimboola goods - Fri.25.2

© 2013 Western Victorian Railfan Guide