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International Railroad Discussion > One Month Ago: To Ararat and Ballarat


Date: 01/11/24 10:36
One Month Ago: To Ararat and Ballarat
Author: NMlurker

My primary goal in spending time in Melbourne was to ride all of the regional V/Line broad gauge trains in Victoria operating out of Melbourne's Southern Cross station. They number five, west to Warrnambool, northwest to Ararat, north to Swan Hill, northeast to Shepparton, and east to Bairnsdale. When I booked my tickets, three of the five trains were locomotive hauled with coaches. By the time I got to Australia, two of the trains were still locomotive hauled. And due to an engine defect and subsequent train replacement, only one of the five trains that I rode was locomotive hauled. The majority of the V/Line trains are now VLocity diesel multiple units (DMU), typically either three-car sets or two three-car sets together. There are also a few older Sprinter DMUs in operation which I saw operating to Seymour.

I chose to ride the route to Ararat on Monday so that I would be in Ararat for the westbound passage of the Overland. I would see no other train on the standard gauge line through Ararat while I was trackside. The V/Line train was two three-car Vlocity DMUs that split at Ballarat, one set going to Ararat and the other to Maryborough.

1. The Overland was 22 minutes late into Ararat with Pacific National NR98 and six cars. The track to the right is the broad gauge line from Ballarat. Try to imagine the signal bridges in the background covered with semaphore signals. Note the photographer at left, center. There was also an enthusiast next to me.

2. The Overland at the platform at Ararat.

3. The Overland getting close to departure and showing a bit of the Ararat station.








Date: 01/11/24 10:40
Re: One Month Ago: To Ararat and Ballarat
Author: NMlurker

4. A V/Line Vlocity DMU with the preserved Ararat signal box (tower). That is a lot of levers.

5. Another view showing the entire Vlocity DMU and signal box at Ararat.






Date: 01/11/24 10:59
Re: One Month Ago: To Ararat and Ballarat
Author: NMlurker

On the way back to Melbourne I did a break of journey at Ballarat which has one of the most famous stations in all of Australia with its covered platforms and now-retired semaphore signal bridges. The grade (level) crossing also featured swinging fence-like gates at one time. I was basically making a pilgrimage.

6. The classic view of the Ballarat station.

7. The view from the other side of the station.

8. Another view showing the modern signals, semaphore signals, and preserved tower.








Date: 01/11/24 11:07
Re: One Month Ago: To Ararat and Ballarat
Author: NMlurker

9. A three-car Vlocity train departs Ballarat towards Ararat.

10. A three-car Vlocity train arrives at Ballarat and would combine with another three-car set for the trip back to Melbourne.

11. My train back to Melbourne arrives at Ballarat.








Date: 01/11/24 15:03
Re: One Month Ago: To Ararat and Ballarat
Author: pedrop

Great series. I loved the signal bridge over the tracks. My brother lived in Australia from 1971 to 1985, buy he didn't took photos of the trains there. 

Pedro Rezende
Vespasiano MG,
https://youtube.com/c/minasgeraisrailways1



Date: 01/11/24 15:59
Re: One Month Ago: To Ararat and Ballarat
Author: usmc1401

Question of gauges. The broad gauge that is talked about standard gauge 4'8-1/2" or 5 foot and greater.



Date: 01/11/24 20:43
Re: One Month Ago: To Ararat and Ballarat
Author: NMlurker

usmc1401 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Question of gauges. The broad gauge that is talked
> about standard gauge 4'8-1/2" or 5 foot and
> greater.

The broad gauge is 1600 mm or 5' 3".



Date: 01/12/24 06:16
Re: One Month Ago: To Ararat and Ballarat
Author: texchief1

Very nice!  Thanks.

texchief1



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