by Andrew Coble
Disc 1 - A final wander to Wycheproof
On 7 October 2017 Steamrail Victoria ran a very special train to Wycheproof which was the final broad gauge train down the famous Broadway Street. AC videos was there to capture this historic moment.
We start in the heritage precinct of Ballarat, amongst the semaphores and signal boxes. We see the historic crossing gates open to let through the Ararat and Maryborough Vlocity services. We then get to see N472 and T356 depart with the Steamrail service and we follow them to the equally historic station precinct of Maryborough where we watch the train shunt and A2 986 and two additional carriages join the train.
We chase the diesel led consist (with A2 986 in light steam) all the way to Wycheproof including it arriving on the famous Broadway Street, one of the rare street running railways in Australia. We then follow it down for another shot as it stops in front of the local café. We then get to see A2 986 being coaled and leading the train for a departure down Broadway street, with the crowd watching. At the end of the steam-led run down the street we get a shot of its departure back onto the railway reservation from two different angles as a fond farewell to this unique section of track, and we then chase the steam-led consist back down to Maryborough. After a spirited departure from Maryborough we follow the train to Ballarat and into the evening.
Disc 2 - Colours in transition: Victorian Rail Action
In this journey to Victoria in January 2002 we see the transition of colours from Met green and gold to M-train, and V-line Orange to V-line passenger and Freight Australia. We start in North Melbourne where the constant stream of sparks produces Comeng sets in all flavours and we also get to see the steel terminal in the distance and the typical action at this location.
We then move to Bendigo to see a typical V-line passenger service led by N462 achieve a quick turnaround. From there we move to Laverton then North Geelong where we see a parade of regular freight and passenger workings amongst the heritage semaphore signalling and yard infrastructure. It is here we catch the amazing lash up of G514/X50/S301/S306/S310/X54 pick up its empty grain train and we proceed to chase it to Maryborough through a number of locations and after some shunting footage we follow the train to Dunolly.
We get to have a look at the heritage railway precinct at Kyneton and spend an evening inside the signal box catching the vintage equipment in action including operation of the manual crossing gates as freight and passenger trains cross.
We then return to the V-line action as we see the parade of transitional colours at the Bull Farm curves in Bacchus Marsh. Here we see in glorious sunshine the departed P class at work including a single P11 hauling its train as well as the more common push-pull rakes. We also see A70 roar through and the combination of N473/P16 following with another passenger run. We also see a number of Sprinter services and finish with A62 returning back to Melbourne with another V-line passenger service.
We then proceed to Melton Weir, Dog Trap Gully, Gordon, Wallace, Ballan, Harcourt, Elphinstone and Ballarat amongst other locations for more V-line action. As a final treat we return to the VR relics of Geelong A box to watch R711/GM36/T378 shunt and depart with an ARHS special which includes the heritage carriage “Yarra” at the end of the consist.
Duration 153 minutes over 2 discs. Filmed in Hi-Fi Digital. PAL
$45.00 each [ incl postage and handling ]