The following photos are from a trip to Goulburn NSW where I attended a one week camp. The camp is near the train line and it was absolutley delightful being able to hear the many trains each day - XPT's, explorers and freight trains. Hearing trains in the middle of the night was a pleasure. I was surprised at the sound of XPTs, quite different to the trains I'm used to hearing.
We traveled through Tailem Bend where I started tooking photos. In Tailem Bend I saw a tractor shunting some cars. This looked like a fairly standard farm tractor, although I think it had something on its front to protect it. This seems to be common in some remote SA yards - the tractor bumpes a freight car which rolls along the yard. I imagine stopping it in the right spot is pretty much trial and error. It was a fairly level yard, but I hope there are operational catch points.
This is a switch in Tailem Bend. I'm not tresspassing, I'm on a level crossing (more likely to be hit by a car than a train). Note the main line on the right, the switch (mechanism not covered like suburban ones) and the line that goes nowhere. I dunno why they don't remove the switch, unless there are plans to extend the line. Also note a number of safeworking signs and signals. This photo is facing Melbourne, with majority of yard behind me.
Further up the lines split. As we'd only been travelling for about an hour and had a few hundered K's to go, I couldn't spend long. It was a little confusing as two lines branch off at Tailem Bend, one to Loxton and one to Pinaroo, the one we would follow.
This photo was taken looking towards Adelaide. On the right is a branch curving away from the line we are closest to. This is the branch to Loxton. Note the difference between lines. South Australia uses mostly concrete sleepers on the interstate main lines. On this line they change to wooden sleepers at the Victorian border, which is announced on The Overland as the ride is not as smooth on wooden sleepers.
Facing the other way - toward Melbourne.
Here we see the Loxton line as it curves off the main line. It seems to be used for seasonal grain trains.
A close-up. It's obviously not mainline track.That gravel looks a little high. I'm at another level crossing.
Having taken these photos we drove off as I pondered which lines were which. A bit further down the road we turned onto the Pinaroo road, where we ran alongside the railway line for a long time. It was definatley not mainline condition, there are very few cuttings resulting in an undulating line, although few curves. At some stage this line would have been converted to standard guage, but I'm not sure when.
I read a book about the history of the area and how the Pinaroo line was the only transport for a few years. The train ran at 40 Km/h if I recall correctly. So when it was new it wasn't designed to be a fast line.
A town along the way, somewhere between Tailem Bend and Ouyen. It seems to be mostly a grain line, seasonal at that. I reckon the towns could benifit if an efficient, cheap, frequent, reliable, mixed goods service operated. Click on the photo for a larger photo from a different spot. (I didn't put the sign there). Note the switch indicator post, and the rather short siding.