ROLL 59.Yea, 19th October 1968. Ballarat, Ararat & Murtoa, 26th Ė 27th October 1968.

 

All photos © Les Brown. Not to be used for Publication.

 

59-1. D3 639. Yea. Carey Grammar School organised this trip to Alexandra. I tagged along.

 

59-2. D3 639. Yea. Some rail-fans seemed to be dedicated tender attendants, ever willing to refill a tender, any time Ė any where, with coal and water.

 

59-3. Ballarat.

 

59-4. B77. Ballarat.

 

59-5. B77. Ballarat.

 

59-6. B77. Ballarat.

 

59-7. R761. Ararat. Just like nearly all the R-class locos, this one spent more time with the Victorian Railways in storage than in actual service. This engine was stored at Ararat after entering service in May 1952 until overhauled for the 1963-1964 wheat harvest.It was then in storage again, until 1970 when it was returned to service for use on the ARHS 25th Anniversary rail fan tour . It has been, more or less, in regular rail enthusiast special service since then.

 

59-8. R730. Ararat. One of the few steam locos stored with a cow-catcher in 1968. It was the last R-class to be scrapped Ė 13th October 1969.

 

59-9. K151. Ararat.

 

59-10. J540. Ararat.

 

59-11. J539. Ararat.

 

59-12. K169. Ararat.

 

59-13. J539. Ararat.

 

59-14. T405. Ararat.

 

59-15. T405. Ararat.

 

59-16. S301 & S300. Ararat. ďYes, this train stops at MurtoaĒ. Thatís what I was told by the Guard. A mate, Tony Smith, and I wanted to connect with the ARHS excursion to Patchewollock and Bolangum (ROLL 60). Since Tony and me had already been to Patchewollock on a previously forgettable trip (ROLL 47), we were only interested in going to Bolangum, at the end of the branch line from Lubeck.

 

This was the only train going west that we could catch that would get us to Murtoa in time to catch the excursion. Well, this train didnít stop at Murtoa, did it? Ė but it did stop at Dimboola, didnít it? Thatís another 50Kmís further down the track. At Dimboola we could either wait for the Overland to Melbourne which would stop at Murtoa but arrive after our excursion had departed to Bolangum - assuming it ran to time - or we could hitch a ride via horseless carriage on the nearby highway. Against all conventional wisdom (who ever heard of a steam hauled special ever running to time?), we thumbed it.

 

After thumbing for about 15Kmís and growing somewhat weary of the local hoons trying to see how close they could speed past without actually hitting us, and a sore and suffering Tony beginning to consider me as a human sacrifice to the great car-god - I, in a sheer act of; what-the-hell-have-I-got-to-lose? bravado, stepped in front of the next car and waved my hands furiously for the driver to stop. Fortunately for me, and future generations of the Brown family, the driver wasnít a hoon. I mumbled something like how we needed to get to the next town as a matter of life and death because my granny was a demented rail fan who would not know where she was if we didnít meet her at the station and would likely jump in front of the next train in a suicide pact she had with a steam engine (actually, I think the real excuse I gave was much more pathetic than that), so would he drive us to the nearest town where we could catch a taxi. Fortunately for me (and granny), he agreed so we piled in.

 

We arrived at Horsham and called a taxi and we drove to Murtoa ($4.90). The excursion train was late (as per usual) and I had the deep and meaningful experience of seeing the Overland arrive and depart before the excursion arrived from Patchewollock. We didnít get to Bolangum anyway - the train terminated at Marnoo, and I never did get to the end of the line.

 

59-17. S301 & S300. Ararat. Araratís lesser known ďBĒ Signal Box, decommissioned on 10/11/84 and demolished shortly after .

 

59-18. Y151. Murtoa. Itís funny how I seem to photograph Y-class locos when Iím bored. I was waiting for the excursion to arrive.

 

59-20. R749. Murtoa. Waiting for the excursion.

 

59-20. K184. Murtoa. The excursion commeth!! Continued on ROLL 60.