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Dimboola to Yaapeet
Railway Line

Below is a schematic representation of the Dimboola to Yaapeet railway line - which has been re-opened from Dimboola to Rainbow after the line was 'temporarily closed’ in late 2010.

Some sidings have been disconnected from the main line. Any sections of track no longer in use are represented in grey.

End of Line
No Trains beyond Rainbow

No Trains beyond Rainbow

Current Terminus of Line

Siding Disconnected

Siding Disconnected

Former Junction of Yanac Line

Siding Disconnected

Siding used for storage

Siding Disconnected

Junction of Line

Rainbow (Yaapeet) Line

First Train to Load at Bow Hill

The first train to load at the new Bow Hill grain loading facility did so on the afternoon of Mon.28.9.2015 with locomotives G540 on the north end and BL33 on the south end of a rake of 19 hoppers.

The site, which is located four kilometres north of Rainbow adjacent to the railway line to Yaapeet, is operated by GrainCorp and will replace their aging silo complex within the township. There is no run around loop at Bow Hill, so upon arrival at Rainbow a train's locomotives are remarshalled to have one on each end of the train before it continues out to be loaded.

Grain will be stored in bunkers on the site and road trucks will be used to convey it to the rail loading facility which consists of a conveyor which feeds into a large hopper situated over the railway line that is used to load the grain into the rail hoppers.

The first train to load at Bow Hill - G540 on the north end with BL33 on the south end of a rake of hoppers - Mon.28.9.2015

Rainbow Line

G540 ran light engine to Jeparit on the morning of Thurs.13.8.2015 to collect the rake of grain hoppers that had been stored there for a number of months. The train immediately returned to Dimboola where upon arrival the locomotive ran around the train and departed westward on the main line. The train only travelled as far as the Dimboola GrainFlow Centre siding where it was propelled into the down end and stabled.

A train was reported to be loading grain at Rainbow on Mon.17.8.2015 hauled by BL26 and BL27.

Would this be the first occasion of double BLs on a train on this line?

G540 arrivning in Dimboola with a rake of grain hoppers that had been in storage at Jeprait - Thurs.13.8.2015


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


The second full week in January saw some intense action with multiple grain trains loading at Jeparit for the first time in over twelve months, but by the start of February the 38 hoppers had returned to storage in number two and three roads in the Jeparit yard and the grain loading action moved to another part of the system.

On Sun.15.2 the stored hoppers were again removed from both Jeparit and Rainbow and a train loaded at Rainbow on each of the following two days.

February is proving to be a busy month on the branch north of Dimboola, with another train load of grain destined for export leaving Rainbow on the afternoon of Mon.23.2.2015. - Tues.24.2.2015


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.

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

After a break of around two months, trains returned to the Rainbow branch in the second week of April when two trains were reported loeading at the terminus.

On the second occasion on Fri.12.4.2013 a G-81 combination was observed hauling the train. - Fri 12 Apr 2013

Pacific National locomotives 8153 and 8121 assist with the loading of 20 grain hoppers at Rainbow on the morning ofThurs.17.1.2013. - Mon 21 Jan 2013

8153 and 8121 on a grain train at Rainbow on Thurs.17.1.2013

With harvest drawing to a close for most grain producers in the northern Wimmera, the first train observed since early November operated on this branch on Tues.18.12 hauled by XR559 and G528.

Another train operated to Rainbow, the current terminus of the branch, two days later with the same motive power. - Fri 21st Dec 2012

Operations - Now that this line is back in use, it has seen semi-regular grain services to both Rainbow and Jeparit. Motive power has been either XR555-XR559 or G539-XR558, and the trains head north from Dimboola in the early morning around 07 00 and return later in the day depending upon the loading schedule, with arrival back in Dimboola anytime from late afternoon to afterdark. - Thurs 15 Mar 2012

Update - No trains have run on the line for two months, with the last train having run in mid-March. - Mon 28th May 2012

Yaapeet Railway Line

Yarriambiack shire calls for Rainbow-Yaapeet rail upgrade
The Wimmera Mail-Times

YARRIAMBIACK Shire Council has called on the State Government to upgrade 16 kilometres of rail line between Rainbow and Yaapeet. - Read More...

Dimboola - Rainbow line reopens
Dimboola Courier

The reopening of the Dimboola to Rainbow line with the first grain train now means that up to 100,000 extra tonnes of Victorian grain would move annually by rail - Read More...

ABC Western Victoria's Facebook Photo Gallery - 'Rainbow to Dimboola train line'
ABC Western Victoria on Facebook

The first train on the Rainbow to Dimboola line was launched today. Both GrainCorp and the Victorian Government contributed to the cost of the project. - Read More...

Line Reopens to Rainbow

After its future being cast in doubt when the line was ‘temporarily closed’ and had baulks placed across it in December 2010 followed by severe flood damage in January 2011, the Yaapeet branch line has seen its first train in 15 months.

Significant rehabilitation works in the last few months of 2011 has seen the flood damage repaired, sleepers replaced and level crossings upgraded which allowed G539 and XR558 to venture north from Dimboola before dawn on the morning of Sunday 19th of February with twenty VHGF type hoppers to be the first train on the line since late November 2010.

The train was loaded by GrainCorp staff at their receival and storage facility at the current terminus of the line at Rainbow. The loaded train departed for the return journey at 12 45. - Sun 19 Feb 2012

XR558 and G539 leading the first up loaded train on the branch north of Dimboola for 15 months, seen here soon after passing the silos at Pullut between Rainbow and Jeparit on the afternoon of Sunday the 19th of February 2012.

Works Continue on Yaapeet Line Repairs

  • It appears that the works on the Yaapeet line have finished, and we are just waiting for there to be a need for a train to run.

  • Redundant Infrastructure Removal

    As part of the upgrading works on this line, the sidings as Arkona, Tarranyurk, Ellam and Pullut have been disconnected from the main line. This leaves Jeparit and Rainbow as the only sidings on the line servicing an active GrainCorp stoage facility and the Antwerp siding that is currently being used to store a rake of VHBF grain hoppers.

  • Works Continue on Yaapeet Line Repairs

    Work on the Yaapeet Line Repairs is well underway. Sidings at both Arkona and Tarranyurk have been disconnected and straight railed. The photo to the right shows repairs to the washaway south of Arkona.

    Work Commences on Yaapeet Line Repairs

    Work on repairing the flood damaged Yaapeet Line has commenced. Track machines have been seen at Jeparit and Arkona. The photo to the right shows a track machine working on the damage south of Arkona.

    Allan backs Wimmera terminal, as Mulder reopens grain rail line

    Meanwhile, the government will soon reopen the 66km Dimboola to Rainbow section of the Yaapeet rail line, allowing a further 120,000 tonnes of Victorian grain to be transported by rail from early next year....

    Article referenced from Supply Chain Review.

    Yaapeet Railway Line to be Re-Opened

    The Yaapeet Railway Line - which stretches between Dimboola and Yaapeet in Western Victoria, was damaged to an un-useable state, by floods in January 2011. Terry Mulder, the Victorian Government's Minister for Public Transport, announced the government's $5.3 million contribution to the re-development project, which along with Graincorp's $1 million, will be used to repair the 66km stretch of line from Dimboola to Rainbow.

    More information about this announcement and the project are available at several online news sites.

    - Weekly Times Now
    - Dimboola Courier
    - ABC News Online
    - Wimmera Mail-Times

    The Yaapeet Line near Ellam, after the January 2011 Floods.

    January 2011 Floods

    Heavy rain overnight on Tues.11.1 in the Jeparit area has resulted in a large quantity of water breaching the railway embankment and causing a significant washaway near the 407km post, between Jeparit and Ellam, on the Yaapeet line.

    There are also less spectacular wash aways near Arkona, north of Dimboola.

    The line was already booked out of service as of the 12th of December last year and with this damage it would appear that it will not be reopened to traffic in the near future.

    Flood Damage    Flood Damage    Flood Damage

    • Flood forces rail rethink from Dimboola to Yaapeet

      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....

      Article from the Wimmera Mail-Times - 2 May 2011

    • Push to revive grain line

      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....

      Article from the Weekly Times - 20 Jan 2011

    • Rural railway lines ignored

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

      Article from the Wimmera Mail-Times - 10 Jan 2011

    • 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.

      It is hoped that this is only a temporary suspension of services and not something more permenant. - (Fri.17.12)

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

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