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THESE  PHOTOS
By Bob Wilson.

What's below on this page

Goto:  S.A.R  NARROW  GAUGE

Goto:  S.A.R.  GLADSTONE  to  WILMINGTON

Goto:  S.A.R.  PETERBOROUGH  to  QUORN

Goto:  S.A.R.  BAYER  GARRATTS

Goto:  S.A.R.  RAIL  MAP  MID  NORTH

Goto:  C.R.  NARROW  GAUGE

Goto:  S.A.R.  BROAD  GAUGE



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S.A.R.  NARROW  GAUGE


GLADSTONE
19th May 1966

PART - 1

My journey started some days earlier with some steaming on the short north of New South Wales. On 19 May 1996, I boarded an evening 10 car mail train at Sydney Central station and commenced heading west behind electric loco 4601. 3810 took over from Lithgow to Orange (3626 banked from Bathurst to Wimbledon). Light lines diesel locos 4843 and 4918 replaced the big steam loco for the final leg of the mail train's run to Parkes. Arrival was at 7.40am and after a quick breakfast in the refreshment room, I boarded the Silver City Comet for the long run to Broken Hill. Departure was at 8.20am and Broken Hill was reached at 4.45pm in the afternoon. DP 101 was the power unit on the 5 car comet.

That evening I boarded the overnight narrow gauge train bound for Peterborough in South Australia. The first part of this trip was over the private Silverton Tramway to Cockburn on the New South Wales, South Australian border. Silverton diesel loco No 27 was motive power and it was replaced at Cockburn by an almost identical loco 866. The 5 vehicle 127 ton train was no effort for the loco. How I wish I could have afforded to travel in the delightful sleeping car "Alberga" that was part of the consist. 

Peterborough was reached at 4.07am on the morning of 21st May and I left the train there to change over to a goods train of ore ex Broken Hill bound for Port Pirie. Another member of the 830 class diesel electric locos, 862, was on this 891 tonne train of open bogie wagons. Departure was at 7.30am and Gladstone was reached at 9.50am. We paused here for nearly two hours and some of the attached photos were taken then.


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Gladstone Station building.  21-05-1966

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867 and 862 crossing at Gladstone. 21-05-1966


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T240 shunting at Gladstone.  Sat 21-05-1966

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Again T240 shunting Gladstone.  Sat 21-05-1966


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Brill railcar 100 at Gladstone.  Monday 23-05-1966

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T239 at Gladstone on Wilmington goods.  Monday 23-05-1966


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T class shunting Gladstone.  Monday 23-05-1966


Cliff Olds sent me a delightful email with a lot more interesting detail. I have to share it with you, so with his blessing, here it is.

"The photo of 10.25 am Gds 309 was taken on a Monday if going to Wilmington (returning on Tuesday), or a Wednesday if it was Gds. 309 to Booleroo Centre, returning on the same day. I would guess a Monday from the consist.

Either day ties in with the Rx broad gauge shunter which seems to be backing down the yard having just entered traffic from loco. In the "T class shunting" photo, goods 309 is being made up on No. 5 road and the Rx can be seen in the distance having just gone down No. 3 road to take up shunting. The Rx entered traffic at 9.00 am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays when no B.G. goods trains arrived and at 7.00 am on Tuesdays Thursdays and Saturdays when B.G. goods 113 arrived from Snowtown. 

The Rx faced north and shunted from the south end of the yard whereas the T faced south and shunted from the north end of the yard. Consequently, B.G. rollingstock tended to be at the south end of the sidings and N.G. at the north end. Two buffer trucks, one B.G. having a blank plate in lieu of a coupling on its northern end and one N.G. having a blank plate on its southern end separated the rollingstock on two holding roads. They were both nicknamed "Billy".

Exceptions to that segregation occurred in places like the two transfer sheds, the livestock sidings and the silo sidings. In the transfer sheds the B.G. used the eastern side of the platforms and the N.G. the western side. One shed was for the transfer of general goods usually from B.G. to N.G., the other for "rough" loading, e.g. bagged salt and superphosphate. A little was transferred in the reverse, usually being empty returns (beer kegs and the like) for Mile End. Livestock was also transferred, usually from N.G. to B.G. and a rail mounted portable race was used for sheep as S.A.R. sheep vans had end doors so that sheep could be run through. After 1969 bulk grain was also transferred from N.G. to S.G.

Back to the photos, 867 & 862 crossing at Gladstone, Pt. Pirie and Peterborough crews worked cross jobs i.e. change crew where the cross occurred, usually at Gladstone, Caltowie or Jamestown, each crew usually trying not to go too far. It was extremely rare for a crew to work right through. The rough transfer shed is in the background, goodness knows what the sheep trucks are doing in there. On the left can be seen the lower quadrant "Home" signals for trains from Georgetown and Huddleston, both operated from ground frames near their bases.

R.C. 100. By 1966, both of the short tom trailers were hauled each night. One was dropped off at Laura, the other travelled right through to Wilmington and return, picking up the Laura van en route.

Gladstone station. The left side of the building is the refreshment rooms, separated from the station side of things by a breezeway. The refreshment rooms had living quarters on the top floor, the manageress' quarters being the left side, the right was boarding accommodation for railway workers. I lived there for about a year, my bedroom was the fourth big window from the left. Note the abundance of 10 gal. cream cans on the platform barrows. R.J. Finlayson's butter factory was situated just to the east of the level crossing on Bondowie Street and was responsible for the RBP cool car that was hauled behind the Bluebird railcar, to Balaklava in the early 60's, later to Gawler".


GLADSTONE  PART 2

Previously I wrote of a train trip I made to Gladstone, South Australia in 1966. Some of the photos of Gladstone showed tracks of two gauges and for those of you not familiar with the location, you were probably wondering what that was about. Tracks of three gauges (5' 3" broad, 4' 8" standard & 3' 6" narrow) could be found on the Federal & State Government Railways of South Australia. 

The Commonwealth Railways track from Port Pirie west to Kalgoorlie in Western Australia was standard gauge as was a later track from Port Augusta north to Marree. There was also the old narrow gauge route from Port Augusta north to Alice Springs (on a different alignment most of the way to Marree). Part of that from Marree to Alice Springs lasted until 1980. Afterwards, a new standard gauge track ran from Tarcoola to Alice Springs west of the original railway. It now runs all the way to Darwin.

The South Australian Railways had a mix of broad and narrow gauges throughout the State. At Port Pirie, Gladstone and Terowie, the two gauges met and some yard trackage was therefore dual gauge. In 1970, a new standard gauge line was opened between Broken Hill and Port Pirie but isolated narrow gauge branch lines remained from Gladstone to Wilmington and from Peterborough to Quorn. This meant that Peterborough and Gladstone became locations with some triple gauge trackwork. (The short section of track from Terowie into Peterborough was altered from narrow gauge to broad gauge hence for the first time broad gauge was introduced to Peterborough).

Gradually times changed and sadly lines started to close. The broad gauge track from Gladstone south to Balaklava closed as did the broad gauge line from Peterborough south to Burra. The narrow gauge line from Gladstone to Wilmington closed although there was a reasonably strong case for that line to have been converted to standard gauge due to good volumes of grain traffic. Finally, regular traffic ceased on the narrow gauge line ex Peterborough from Carrieton to Quorn and then from Peterborough to Carrieton. Most of that last section remained until relatively recently for limited heritage train operations. 

It is all terribly confusing to those unfamiliar with the territory and I hope I have given you an accurate and not too complex idea of how the railways were built. These days, only the main interstate routes remain, north from Adelaide to Port Augusta and beyond and from Crystal Brook near Port Pirie to Broken Hill and Sydney. All the branch lines have disappeared. One small ray of sunshine remains of course and that is the wonderful narrow gauge Pichi Richi Railway from Port Augusta to Quorn. See www.prr.org.au 

My photos here are of the triple gauge trackwork at Gladstone as construction was well underway. It is an engineering marvel and a huge tribute to the designers of the trackwork. Sadly, these days, virtually all track has disappeared at Gladstone except for the main line, a loop I think and some trackage to grain silos at the south end of the yard. I understand that one triple gauge turnout may have been relocated to the National Rail Museum at Port Adelaide. I have also included view of a South Australian Railway map to show where Gladstone is and the extent of the one time SAR rail network north of Adelaide.

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I will briefly return to the story of my 1996 trip. Last week I mentioned that I had reached Gladstone aboard an ore train that had originated in Broken Hill. I continued on that train to Port Pirie during the early part of Saturday afternoon. I couldn't have ended up in a much worse location during a weekend for a 19 year old railfan. Rail activity was almost zero and so was most other activity, particularly on the Sunday morning. I was bored witless! I took a ride on the Port Pirie to Adelaide train late Sunday afternoon and travelled south to Bumbunga to meet its counterpart from Adelaide. That filled in 3 hours. At 2.20am on Monday morning I caught an empty ore train returning to Broken Hill and rode it as far as Gladstone, arriving two hours later. Things were to improve greatly in a few hours time as I rode the steam hauled narrow gauge goods train to Wilmington, staying overnight in the barracks with the crew (Jock, John & Butch) and returning next morning.


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Gladstone Triple tracks

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Gladstone Triple tracks


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Gladstone Triple tracks





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S.A.R.  GLADSTONE  TO  WILMINGTON

23 May 1966

I mentioned previously a trip I made in the early hours of the morning from Port Pirie to Gladstone. Arrival was at 4.25am on Monday morning 23 May 1966 and I presume I found somewhere quiet for a brief sleep before catching the goods train from there to Wilmington. This was to be a two day trip with me staying in the rest house overnight at Wilmington with the crew.

Departure was at the civilised hour of 10.55am in the morning. T239 was the steam loco and the load was 28 vehicles for 330 tonnes. Wagons were shunted off at Laura, Stone Hut, Wirrabara, Yandiah, Booleroo Centre and Melrose. There were only 3 wagons and the guards van left by the time we reached Wilmington at 4.50pm in the afternoon. It was a leisurely day on this 87 kilometre branch line, as far as travel time was concerned anyway.


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Narrow Gauge quad. Gladstone. 23-05-1966
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Wilmington Map
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T239 at Laura. 23-05-1966


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T239 at W
irrabara. 23-05-1966

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T239 at Melrose. 23-05-1966


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T239 at Melrose. 23-05-1966

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T239 at Wilmington. 23-05-1966


There were grain silos at many locations along the line. Scenery was pleasant and varied. Towns varied in size with Booleroo Centre being the biggest I think. The smaller town of Melrose rests in the shadow of Mt Remarkable. The wonderful architecture of older South Australian buildings was seen in various forms. 

The crew made me very welcome that night at the rest hut and from memory shared their food with me. I think we may have played cards after dinner.

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Rest house at Wilmington. 24-05-1966

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T239 at Wilmington
24-05-1966


Next morning I was up early to be with the fireman raising steam on the T class loco. Departure was again at the very civilised time of 10.05am and we departed with 7 vehicles for 75 tonnes. I enjoyed a cab ride for part of this trip. We picked up wagons at most stations, 17 of which were added at Booleroo Centre. By the time we left the last station on the line, Laura, we had 39 vehicles for 373 tonnes. Travel time was similar to the day before and we reached Gladstone at 4.30pm. 

Late that afternoon, I caught a goods train from Gladstone at 5.05pm to Mile End Yard in Adelaide. Diesel loco 846 was the motive power and the light 7 vehicles for 150 tonnes became 53 for 800 tonnes when leaving Gawler. Arrival at Mile End was at 1.55am the next morning. I have no recollection where I spent the rest of the night. Perhaps in the van. It was a lovely way to spend two relaxing and interesting days back in 1966.





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S.A.R.  PETERBOROUGH  TO  QUORN

18th December 1967

The Peterborough to Quorn line was one of my favourite pieces of railway in Australia and I was lucky enough to travel over it on goods trains as well as some wonderful special trips. My last trip on a regular train was behind two NSUs on a stock special to Carrieton. 

The trip covered by these photos I had travelled out from Peterborough to Quorn on the goods with T199 was the first time I had used an aluminium billy I had purchased for such ventures. It was christened in the firebox of T199. I still have that billy and there are still signs of that first immersion into the oily box of the T. 

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Orroroo.
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T199 at Eurelia.

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Carrieton.

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Loco crew at Hammond.
L to R:  Colin Harris, Ken Stokes.


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T199 at Bruce.




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S.A.R.  4-8-2 + 2-8-4  BAYER  GARRATTS

10th October 1969

I returned to the former wonderful narrow gauge world of the Peterborough Division in South Australia. It is October 1969 and the new standard gauge line from Broken Hill to Port Pirie is close to completion. The diesel locomotives that normally ran between the South Australian/New South Wales border and Port Pirie have gone to have their bogies converted from narrow gauge to standard gauge. (The section of line from the border to Broken Hill was not part of the South Australian Railways but was owned and operated by the Silverton Tramway). To keep the narrow gauge ore trains running from Broken Hill to the smelter at Port Pirie, plus trains for general freight and passengers, six of the awesome 400 class Garratts and some smaller 'T' class locomotives were returned to service for a brief swansong.

The ten 400 class Beyer Peacock Garratts were built in 1953 by its European associate, Societe Franco-Belge De Materiel De Chemins De Fer at Raismes, France. The locomotives were very successful on the Peterborough Division, but lost their place 10 years later when the 830 class Goodwin-Alco diesel electric locomotives came into service.

Some of us were lucky enough to be able to return to the Peterborough Division to again see these wonderful Garratts in action again. My visit in October 1969 came about due to the running of one of the all time greatest special train weekends organised by the South Australian Division of the Australian Railway Historical Society. The Farewell Narrow Gauge Tour attracted people from far and wide to either ride on the train, or chased it. I was with a some friends who drove over ahead of the tour and we spent a good part of a day chasing the action of regular trains. These photos are from that memorable day. We had left Melbourne on the evening of Thursday 9 October 1969 and driven overnight to Terowie, arriving at 8.30am the next morning. (Terowie, near Peterborough, was the changeover location from broad gauge to narrow gauge) By 9.50am, we had caught up to our first garratt at Paratoo. We chased trains until 2.30pm then had to drive to Adelaide to pick up the special broad gauge train from there, back to Terowie. 

Over the following three days we covered most of the Peterborough narrow gauge division and the Silverton Tramway into Broken Hill. The narrow gauge train used virtually every piece of rolling stock that could legitimately carry people. 23 vehicles in total for 495 tons. We had sitting cars, sleeping cars and workmen's sleeping cars. We returned to Adelaide on the afternoon of Monday 13 October 1969 and drove back to Melbourne overnight from memory to return to work in Melbourne on the Tuesday morning.

I was working two cameras and a portable reel to reel tape recorder that weekend. I still have the tapes and of course the photos. Those of us who knew the Garratts at work will no doubt be able to visualise the sound of 402 climbing out of Oodla Wirra as seen on one of my photos, with some 800 tons of train I think from memory.


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402 ore train at Nackara.

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402 coming into Oodla Wirra.
Note: At right was the old NG Baby Health Car.


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402 blasting upgrade from Oodla Wirra.

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402 heading for Ucolta.


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402 ore train heading through new Dowd's Hill cutting.

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402 near Peterborough.


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404 passing Crystal Brook station.




Map of S.A.R and Commonwealth Railways
Rail Map of Commonwealth and S.A.R. 

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C.R.  NARROW  GAUGE

A trip I (Bob) did between Quorn and Hawker on a goods train 18th December 1967.

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T199 at Hawker

It's time to head to the narrow gauge world of South Australia and have a look at a part of the former Commonwealth Railways' line to Alice Springs. Quorn is well know to most of us these days as the home of the Pichi Richi Railway. Thanks to the wonderful work of PRR volunteers over many, many years, we can travel over another part of this railway through to Port Augusta.

However, the photos here show the section of railway that ran north from Quorn to Hawker. At the time of my visit, it was operated by the Commonwealth Railways, but used a T class locomotive of the South Australian Railways. The SAR operated another narrow gauge line from Peterborough to Quorn so the CR had negotiated the use of the T class loco whilst it laid over at Quorn. An unusual arrangement in Australia but it saved the need for CR to maintain a loco of its own which would normally only get used once each week.

The reason for this section of the line continuing to be used was to rail the mineral barytes to a crushing plant at Quorn. Other traffic was handled, but in much smaller volume.

I recall that my trip was made on a very hot day with a strong wind. The town of Hawker was almost obsured by dust when we arrived. The old brakevan that was used on this train was coded NYAB15 and I made several trips in this vehicle along the Hawker line. I am very pleased that the Pichi Richi Railway is concluding a very detailed restoration of this vehicle. It is hardly equal to some of the wonderful carriages that the PRR uses but it is special to me.

As you will see from the photos, the normally dry countryside was in the grip of a drought and looked very bleak indeed. 

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T199 between Quorn & Gordon.
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Between Quorn & Gordon looking back.


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Shunting goods van off at Gordon.
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Ready to leave at Gordon.

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T199  arrives at Hawker


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T199 Hawker.

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T199 near Wilson.


 Also I found two documents by accident and I thought I would share them as well. One my ticket for that trip, plus a copy of the indemnity note I was given with the ticket. Even back then, the fare would hardly have broken my bank account.

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Excess Fare Ticket

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Commonweath Railways Indemity note.
The S.A.Railways issued these when travelling on freights,
they were called a "Risk Note"




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S.A.R.  BROAD  GAUGE

18th May 1970

The first series of pictures feature one of the twelve South Australian Railways' steamlined 520 class locomotives introduced between 1943 and 1947. I did not ride behind any of these locos on regular services but enjoyed several trips on 520 class hauled rail enthusiast tours. On the occasion that I took these photos in 1970 I was chasing by car. Loco 526 is shown on the now closed railway that ran from north of Adelaide to Terowie and for a few years beyond there to Peterborough. Once the standard gauge line was completed from Snowtown, near Port Pirie, south to Adelaide, this once busy line was used only for limited freight traffic to and from stations en route. Most of that traffic was grain and like so much else, it is now carried by road transport. 

I loved the 520 class locos. They could get up a good turn of speed, especially on the former broad gauge run from Adelaide to Port Pirie on passenger trains linking up with the Commonwealth Railways' services. They had deep riverboat style whistles as found on so many US locos and their streamlining bore a striking resemblance to the T1 locos of the Pennsylvania Railroad. 

The class leader, 520 has been preserved and is now with the SteamRanger Heritage Railway that operates between Victor Harbor and Mount Barker, south of Adelaide. 
Another member of the class 523 is preserved at the National Rail Museum at Port Adelaide. 


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526 between Peterborough Terowie 18-05-1970

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526 between Terowie Burra 18-05-1970


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526 between Terowie Burra 18-05-1970



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