Johnny's Pages
Old S.A.R. Shunter's Memories
      


Song "RUSTY  RAILS"  by group "Round The Bend" of Mount Gambier. Sth Australia. Copyright 2000.



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MOUNT  GAMBIER  OLD  MARSHALLING  YARD
as at 12 May 2003.

Also below:  December 2009   and   July 2012   and   Feb  2014   and   April 2014 

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(Pic Morris Broad)
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Mount Gambier Station Yard 1980's.


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THIS  RAILWAY  SONG  SAYS  IT  ALL  ABOUT  MOUNT  GAMBIER  THESE  DAYS
"Rusty Rails"
By Mount Gambier group, 'Round The Bend'


"Rusty Rails" by group "Round The Bend" copyright 2000


The sound file is 3.5 megs.
Only rails into/through Mount Gambier nowadays are only rusty rails, hence this song.


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View from station cabin steps 2003


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 View from station cabin steps 1980's


Standing on steps of Signal cabin, as you can see it commands a good view of the yard. 
Could not now get shot out the other way obviously. Can see where old Goods shed and offices once were.
Also looks so strange with two rail tracks missing this side of goods platform where it is now green weeds.


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Mount Gambier 2003
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Station Signal cabin, all boarded up against vandals now, the signal levers are still in cabin. 
The track you see this side of platform was called the "Millicent Dead End", all trains to and from Millicent used this line.
A bit further right where I'm standing is another "Dead End" track where spare passenger cars etc were stored there. 


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Cabin levers in better days

Here the steps leading up to cabin, to think I use to bound up those steps 3 at a time. These days I'm lucky to step up one at a time now at 71. (BTW I was born 1941)  These days platforms have yellow painted lines near platform edges. We did not see these yellow lines till around 1992, as folk back then had far more common sense to stand well clear when trains arrived or departed.


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2003
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1980's

Looking West in above picture at cabin and on the left of tracks in picture near the crossing was railway housing maintenance sheds for Carpenter & Plumbers. Also a govt spud inspection shed. 
That little shed at end of platform was a foot warmer shed. It had a big vat of heated water that when the overnight passenger trains came in from Adelaide each passenger compartment usually had a 3 feet long stainless steel container with a special fluid which held heat for a long time inside a canvas bag. When overnight passenger train arrived at about 8am, first job of station porter (in Winter) was light the fire to heat the water and to put these steel containers into the heated vat all day and at 7pm of an evening get them out of the hot water and put them into the canvas bag. They were then placed into each passenger carriage compartment for passengers to keep their feet warm during overnight trip to Adelaide. They worked well for many years. About 1985 these was stopped and the fireplace and vat removed and the shed then became the Train Examiners Humpy. That overnight mixed passenger/freight train had 2 passenger cars and 2 sleeping cars at rear of train and could only travel at 80kph, it was a slow trip by passenger standards. It would get into Adelaide about 7:30am. a 11˝hr trip. Normal passenger railcar trip was 8 hours. This train was handy as you could leave work at 5pm in Mt Gambier, catch the overnight train (sit up or sleeper) at 8:30pm, get into Adelaide around 7:30am, have breakfast at Adelaide railway station cafeteria, do your day's business, even take in a movie, then back down to Adelaide station. The Blue Lake train left at 8:30pm for Mount Gambier, arrive back in the Mount at 7:30am, just in time to grab a bite to eat and go off to work, only one day away. It was very popular till they took the sleeper cars off and patronage then fell away quick. I know why, as A.N. was wanting to get rid of passengers and LCL freight to have only all through freight, less staff needed then. The end of the whole show then soon came quick.

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This shot recently taken 13th July 2004
NOTE:  The Carpenter's and Plumber sheds are now since been removed, all bare now.


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Shot of the weather cover and station. This end of station was the toilet areas. Where yellow car that was the staff crib room, then the station offices. The part in front of car was originally in early days the old signal cabin, till the big one was built and it then became the Station Masters office, so he could command a good view of  everything going on in the station yard. The windows are now boarded up, account vandals. 


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Same shot but from end of goods platform



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Taken a little further over, showing other side 
of Good's Platform. This piece of trackage was a
later addition for storing empty container wagons.


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This just to show you a spring lever, these switches can be run through without being set against a rail movement. They will flick over as wheels go through. Only thing if you do not go right through with a shunt movement it could well mean a derailment, so pays to always checked them to make sure the spring lever have gone over completely just in case they were half cocked and when push back, obviously a derailment with slit points. Never stand close to these switches during a rail movement as one might then end up with a broken thigh bone. Nasty.


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2003 
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1980's

Here we are on Good Shed Platform looking at where the Mt Gambier Goods shed once stood on that darkened bit of ground. There was some 30 fellows in and around this shed loading and unloading goods in its heyday, very busy place it was, till the mid 1980's when A.N. Railways started turning customers away to stop the use of LCL traffic (Less than Car Loads) to show a profit to flog AN off as small loading was more costly to service. Where the light coloured concrete other end was the Goods shed offices, which had 6 office staff once. The small stone building past other end was the toilet block. Once LCL traffic was gone, 37 staff were transferred, retired, or took voluntary redundancy.


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2003  Where the freight office once stood.
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Late 1980's  Inside the freight office.

Here we look back down the office to where the freight shed boss would have sat at his desk, (where clock on wall is) and there were some 6 desks all along here once, then a counter for customers where this picture was taken. Does give me strange ghostly feeling looking at it now remembering it all in its heydays. 


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Note:  This picture was shot later in July 2004

Here is shot of station across from where Goods office once was.
You can see steps leading up to a little room where the staff use to book on duty. Under the booking-on office is more steps that lead down to a cellar under the Station Master's office where the station equipment was kept. 
Those 4 slots at front bottom are windows for that cellar, above that was SM's office. The side door facing this side is where parcels were loaded onto barrows to be send away. There use to be two barrows ready to load parcels onto. The door at the far right front was for parcels, tickets and information.


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The area here had a big crane and forklift and all the heavy goods were loaded around here for stations all along the line. This is a dead end ramp where if you had car on flat top wagon you could drive it on or off, and was used a fair bit. As a shunter I hated it as we had to pull huge long strings out to put flat top wagon into dead end. In those days there was never enough hours it was so busy.  Hard to believe now looking at it like this.  So empty now, a time gone by.  


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Here we just went back in time for a moment here to see what it was like in those hey days. Obviously this picture was taken atop of Absolute signal just short of Bay road. Look to far right on other side of roadway among some trees where cars are parked is the Superintendent's offices (otherwise known as The White House), now all demolished and is now a car park for Kmart complex.

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Photo taken 1980

Mount Gambier Station Yard looking west toward Wehl Street in 1980, Twin "T" class Victorian Locos ready for departure to Portland over the border in Victoria. This train is seen made up on "C" road out onto the main line, just short of the Bay road signal and road crossing. The engineman is checking the air and brakes on each wagon, as the Victoria crews do their own air brake tests, where as in S.A. in main depots our Train Examiners do air and brake testing. Only outside main depots does the S.A. engineman do air tests. To the left is the local goods loading yard for timber etc and K&S slide-on, slide-off wagons.

The far left in this picture, (the red colour absolute signal) where above picture was taken of the Victorian train.
Here looking out towards Bay Road and onto the Victorian border

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1980  K&S slide on and off wagons.


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Looking out of station yard across Bay Road towards Victorian Border.
Start of Victorian train working. One thing about this does look nice setting, a railway with no fences. Nice.


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Now looking back at into Station yard over Bay Road.

The crossing is Bay Road. This is where Victorian Train working finished and started. 
From here to the Victorian border the track was maintained by South Australia, but all train working over that bit of line was according to Victorian train working rules. Here we are looking west into the Mount Gambier Station Yard as driver would see coming from Victoria. The Victorian trains once the signal cabin was disconnected, and rodding and signals pulled out, all trains had to stop here and wait for a shunter or qualified AN employee to come and pilot them into or through the yard. The crossing gongs and lights were operated manually from that white box other side of crossing.


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I moved a little closer to crossing and slightly zoomed.

 Look right near telephone pole you can see a large white box. On the side of white box is a small box attached, this was where the crossing gongs and lights switch is located. Look on left track just over crossing there is a derail, which is at present spiked so the derail cannot be put on the rail line. Not necessary these days as only those old ghost trains use it now, as Limestone Coast Railway only uses (did once) the main line out past station platform to go out to Glenburnie for local races.  LCR now gone too.


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Derail spiked in off position

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Rail joint with fish plate, dog spikes and timber sleepers in good condition still. All welded rails these days and mostly concrete sleepers
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High switchstand

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Low switchstand


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Station looking towards Wehl Street crossing


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Railway car park looking at steps to station office. You can see its Autumn by the leaves lying around. Where cream picket fence is now, that is new addition as this area was for vans and road trucks to unload and load parcels that came and went on the Passenger trains. Up to 1985 was big parcel traffic back then, but now well serviced by road. The S.A.R use to have a Road motors in Adelaide and they would deliver parcels in and around Adelaide and was a great service, now gone. In this shot you can see far left the Caltex Oil depot. All their fuel came by rail right up to the track closed, they now have their own petrol semi trailer.

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NOTE: The first 2 windows in early days were where you purchased tickets for train. When I came in June 1970, tickets were sold over the counter inside the office. First 2 windows were the offices. The 3rd window was once a waiting area, it was all later converted to a staff crib (dinner) room in about 1985 as passenger traffic dropped off and 4th one was Ladies waiting room and toilets.  The little windows on end are the men's toilets. The station office is now used by a local FM radio group now.





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Now for special RARE treat for those who have read this far down the webpage
T
he Mount Gambier Railway station January 1986 taken from Helen Street.
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This is an absolute rare shot looking South with old hospital in background. 
Behind station in background is the old hospital (right) and nurses quarters (left).

Up to around January 1986, one could never see this whole northern side of the railway station because of the old quiet stately homes that hid all this from view. All these homes and few small businesses on this complete block were ripped down and the site completely cleared away and was replaced with not so good view of sign of the times a Kmart complex. 
Mount Gambier a once lovely large pleasant quiet country town when we came here in 1970, and in the 1980's the Mount quickly embraced the bigger city life and this is when this picture was taken between total destruction of homes and the rebuilding of the complex, ushering in a new age in more ways than one. 


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A shot for old time's sake stepping back in time to December 1989
REMEMBERING,  THERE  WERE  ONCE  PASSENGER  TRAINS  SERVICING  THIS  REGIONAL  AREA.

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Here the 2 powered Bluebird railcars having just arrived from Adelaide on the Blue Lake run. 
To think they were replaced by road passenger buses. YUK!  Fun of travelling now gone.

Grand old rail memories all now history. I wonder in time will people say, "we miss road buses and reminisce"
I certainly do not think so.

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And this is a look today 5th December 2009.

(Pics Wayne Morris)

Dec 2009
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Station yard all light poles now removed
Actually now looks like a nice open area.
Dec 2009
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Looking north up main
Naracoorte line.
Dec 2009
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Looking south over Commercial Street West
toward the Mt Gambier Junction.



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 31st July 2012.
This is a final look before all track removed from Old Yard.

(Pics Wayne Morris)

31st July 2012
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Looking north over Bay Road into old yard.

31st July 2012
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Mt Gambier Railway Station.


31st July 2012
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Old signal cabin and station.

31st July 2012
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Looking over Wehl St to over Bertha Street.


19th  August 2013
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Last look of the Goods Shed/office Platform.


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21st February 2014.

All rail trackage in old yard now totally removed.
Polluted topsoil, ballast etc now being buried
 
Pics by Wayne Morris

21st February 2014
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Huge holes were dug near Passenger platform.
21st February 2014
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The long grab stretch down.
21st February 2014
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Huge holes were dug near Passenger platform.


21st February 2014
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Huge holes were dug near Passenger platform.
21st February 2014
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Last Mixed Passenger out of the Mount.
21st February 2014
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Comparison shot where track was same place.


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1st April 2014.

All polluted topsoil etc now buried and covered over.
  

1st April 2012
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Looking toward Wehl Street.

1st April 2012
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No goods shed office and platform anymore.


1st April 2012
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Looking towards Bay Road.

1st April 2012
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Looking back towards Wehl Street.


23rd April 2014
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A pond under contruction.  About here was the
rail yard loading entrance from off Wehl Street.

23rd April 2014
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Lawn planted looking towards Bay road.


29th June 2014
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Lawn and Trees planted.

29th June 2014
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Looking from Wehl Street.



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