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Old S.A.R. Shunter's Memories
      



Page last updated:  15 April 2010



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AND
What was once called in its busy days till total line closure in 12th April 1995
The Mount Gambier broad gauge "New Marshalling yard"
( These pictures were taken 6th April 2003 )

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Limestone Coast Railway Redhens


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L.C.R "400" class Railcar.

Click to hear Redhen horns
sounding for road crossing.
  

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400 and 300 class Redhen.

In 1954 the Islington Workshops of the South Australian Railways constructed diesel railcars for use on the Adelaide suburban service. Two designs were used for the 5' 3" broad gauge:
The 300 class, with a driving console at one end.
The 400 class, which had a driving console at each end. 
The body of each car had a fabricated steel framework to which a steel skin was welded. 
Original livery had a satin maroon body, silver roof and black bogies, this was later changed to standard suburban red.

A total of 74 units of the 300 class cars, 37 of the 400 class cars and 24 x 860 class steel bodied trailers were constructed between 1955 and 1971. Nicknamed "Red Hens", this type of railcar exclusively ran the Adelaide suburban service until the late 1970s when new railcars came online. 

300 / 400 class facts
Built by: South Australian Railways, Islington, S.A.
Engines: GM / Detroit 6/71 series. 2 motors per railcar.
Cylinders: 6 in line laid at 20 degrees from horizontal.
Seating capacity: 80 passengers
Power: 219 horsepower @ 2100rpm (163 kW)
Length (over coupling points): 65 foot 8 inches (20.015 metres)
Width: 10 feet (3.045 metres)
Height: 14 feet (4.27 metres)
Total Weight: 41 tons 17 cwt (42.5 tonne)
Maximum Speed: 55 mph (88 km/h)
Fuel Capacity: 250 gallons (1137 litres)

Traction power was provided by two six-cylinder diesel engines of the lay-over type. 
A hydraulic torque converter and gearbox connected the drive shaft to each bogie.

Transmission:
Twin Disc hydraulic torque converters with revering gearboxes. The transmissions automatically change from hydraulic to direct drive at about 52 to 55 kilometers per hour. A cardan shaft (Spicer/Sonnerdale Spicer) connects the reversing gearbox to the final drive (Spicer/Sonnerdale Spicer) on the inner axle of each bogie.

Performance:
Permitted Maximum Speed: 55 Miles per hour (88 kilometres per hour.
Maximum Acceleration Rate: 0 to 60 kilometers per hour in 44 seconds or standing quarter mile in 38 seconds.
Braking: Maximum service from 60 kilometres per hour to stop in about 13 seconds or 200 metres and 88 kilometres per hour to stop in about 20 seconds or 457 metres.

Withdrawal of cars commenced in the mid 1980s with the last units remaining in service until late 1996.


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Mount Gambier Limestone Coast Railway 

Privately run
(volunteer) Tourist Railway:

Railcar Fleet is as follows.

Number Entered Service Converted Purchased by L.C.R.
334 04/06/1958 - 9/1998
405 12/11/1959 - 8/1997
424 16/09/1968 - 9/1998
*874 (811) 24/07/1945 17/08/1957 (874) 9/1999

*Trailer 811was built in 1945 then loco hauled before conversion for use with the Red Hen railcars in 1957 and renumbered as 874.

The LCR is closed to passenger traffic as from 1st July 2006.
If anyone wishes to speak to Bill Tower personally, his mobile is: 0417-837-656.


SOME  SAD  NEWS
18th October 2007

A letter dated 11/10/2007 to members and volunteers says that LCR will cease to exist as an operating entity as from 31/10/07 and surrender its lease over the lines it operates over. It will retain its lease over the Mt Gambier roundhouse, at least while it disposes of its assets to other interested societies. 

Lack of local support, falling volunteer numbers and a mountain of regulatory requirements are the main reasons for the decision. 



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LCR's quads near Bertha Street



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Click for a bigger yard diagram
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Drawing of "New marshalling yard"
Loco area and Junction in 1980.


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Old loco area, now home of the Limestone Coast Railway.

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Old shower, toilets, and crib room at the Loco area


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Old Loco Forman's office and booking on room.
Looking from turntable.

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Old Loco, foreground repair road

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Mt Gambier Loco sheds.


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Old loco sheds, now house the L.C.R.  Red Hens

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Mt Gambier turntable


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Loco sheds at Mount Gambier with Limestone Coast Railway rollingstock.  Turntable was electric, now is a manual operation using a crank handle.


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Preparing the Red Hen railcars.

"400" class on turntable getting ready to attach to "300" class railcar.

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Controls of "400" class railcar, just
attached to single ended "300" class.

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Canteen set-up inside "400" class railcar.


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Model of "400" class in glass case. 
(
now since  been sold 2005)

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"400" & "300" class coming over turntable ready
to go to station

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Stopped short to unlock switches to travel to station.



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Heading to the Mt Gambier station

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Here heading down to station. Picture was taken through the windscreen. Track on the left is the main line to Mt Gambier Junction. (not used anymore) These switches use to be interlocked with signal cabin till AN disconnected the cabins.

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"Red Hen" at Mount Gambier station, preparing for trip to Penola. 

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"Red Hen" from station

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"Red Hen" from roadway alongside station

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Here the ETM marker is yet to be put on other end.
ETM or End of Train Marker, or otherwise known as "the one eyed guard".


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New marshalling yard.

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Bertha Street crossing was entrance to the "New Marshalling yard".  To left was the train crew barracks. Loco sheds in background. Looking down No 1 road towards where weigh bridge use to be Main line to right not in picture.


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Main line this shows a welded rail, also an insulated joint and wooden sleepers. The wiring for the start of circuit for the Bertha street road crossing. The shadow is the round box where the batteries are to power the circuit for crossing gongs..

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The cement works. All cement use to come by train. Track closest to camera is Main Line, then rest are part of Marshalling yard. 
The other side of that hill crest, is actually the Valley Lake crater rim and to left of the Valley Lake is the famous Blue Lake.

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Mid half of the marshalling yard.
At far right is the Main line between Mt Gambier station and Mt Gambier Junction. 
Next track was No1 road. 
Then No 2 road and here we are looking down No 3 road with switches set for transfer road obscured by weeds. 
Further over can be seen what was called super siding road, which was extended when all super went by road.


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Quick look at Mt Gambier's two main crater lakes
These lakes pictures both taken early April 2003.

The Blue Lake
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The Valley Lake
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People come from all over the world to view this phenomenon. Mount Gambier's famous BLUE LAKE starts to turn summer  BLUE in Nov, stays blue till May, then goes back to its winter grey. 
The next crater further over you can see on the other side of Blue Lake, is the Valley Lake, that does not turn blue. The City of Mount Gambier is to the right of picture, and our home is on the side of the Blue lake.

The crater you see behind Valley lake is the Blue lake.
City of Mount Gambier is to left of picture.


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LCR Redhens at Station Platform ready to depart for trip to Kalangadoo. 1999.

(Wayne Morris)
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LCR Redhen 334-405 at station platform 1999.

(Wayne Morris)
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LCR Redhen 405-334 ready to depart 1999.


(Wayne Morris)
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LCR Redhens 405-334 heading to Kalangadoo.

(Wayne Morris)
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LCR Redhens 405-334 heading to Kalangadoo.


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Red Hens travelling through new marshalling yard to Penola.

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"Red Hens" just left station and heading for to Penola through No 1 road. Train does not use main line, as is easier to use track through New Yard.
Saves manually changing a lot of switches.

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On way to Penola, note the ETM on rear, sadly no old marker lamps these days. It's like something missing for those who rode these Red Hens in older times.

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Going

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Gone, but hopefully not forever.


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Junction end of New Marshalling yard.

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Old Ballast bin near Mt Gambier Junction end of new yard.  This was used to load ballast when they were re-conditioning the main line. Tracks heavily overgrown now.

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This is points from No1 and No 2 heading out New Marshalling yard onto the main line towards Junction of Millicent and Penola (towards Wolseley)
Ballast bin is to left just out of the picture.

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Standing on top of where Ballast bin is getting an overview of "New Marshalling Yard" now over ridden with weeds. Can hardly see where all the track work is. This was once a hive of activity. Now silent apart from the sound of a couple of nesting Plovers.  Quite sad to see this of a time that once was.

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Looking towards White Avenue railway crossing and entering past the Mt Gambier Junction cabin.


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Zoomed shot of one last look at old "New Marshalling Yard" now a ghost yard since April 1995, old crew barracks in distance. Loco sheds on the distant right.

To right where post with boxes are, this was where work trains would be shunted and coupled to 240 volt powered boxes.

Hard to believe now, that this was a thriving very busy Marshalling yard, nearly always full of trains being broken up, or being made up ready to leave, both South Australian and Victorian jet trains..

Was an end of a busy rail era. Hopefully active again one day.
Sadly the state borders are still a huge hurdle to having a standard gauge railway here. 
PLUS sadly, still the old rail age mentality of railways from the South East powers to be.
No one with long term vision anymore.


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