Railways & Carriages
The Northern Station
This Northern Line was first completed around 1915 and this particular station was opened in that same year. In 1924 a branch line from this station was opened, though a washout on the line in 1972 would ultimately seal its fate. The line was never re-opened and the stations that dotted along the branch line on its climb up the steep mountain track were all officially closed in September 1975. This station is a reminder of history in motion. Heralded when it opened as progress, and quietly forgotten as it is left to perish.
Nowadays it’s known as the GMR, it was established in 1989 as a heritage tourist railway. The GMR acquired the 35-kilometre section of rail in 1999 from the then State Rail Authority, and was to restore this section of line as well as rolling stock, to enable the heritage tourist railway to operate. GMR’s current rolling stock includes steam locomotive Z19 class 1919, 4-wheel watergin L568, TAM sleeping car, 2 heritage end-platform cars, S type carriages, ex-Sydney interurban cars (“U-Carriage”) and numerous trikes and track maintenance vehicles. As of December 2005, GMR has completed track work to safe working standards for train operation from their West Depot 3.5 km west to Tallawudjah Creek. Steam train operations were scheduled one weekend a month subject to fire bans. In February 2008 operations ceased while GMR worked to fulfil its obligations under the Rail Safety Act. To the right is a still standing example of a New South Wales Railways 20,000 gal water tank from the steam era.
The H class are a class of diesel locomotives built by Clyde Engineering, Granville for the Victorian Railways in 1968-1969, built as T class locomotives with modifications for use at the Melbourne Hump Yard. They were fitted with additional equipment for their duties, including extra weight for traction, “manual power control” to allow low speed operation, and an accurate low speed speedometer.
The H class were delivered as T413 to T417, but were reclassified before entering service. The class rarely left Melbourne due to their excessive weight, until being approved to operate on the same lines as the N class in January 1987.
L class 1162 / 1169
During the early 1950s, Victoria Rail embarked on a program dubbed Operation Phoenix to rebuild a network badly run down. This included a substantial upgrade of the Gippsland line servicing Victoria’s substantial brown coal fields in the Latrobe Valley to allow for greatly increased traffic in briquettes for industrial use. A suitably powerful electric locomotive was sought for both express passenger and heavy freight use on the upgraded, electrified line. The L class was a electric locomotive built by English Electric and operated by the Victorian Railways and later V/Line. They were the only class of main line electric locomotives operated in Victoria.
Hitachi Passenger Tains
The Hitachi (also known as Martin & King or Stainless Steel was an electric multiple unit that operated on the Melbourne suburban railway network between 1972 and 2014. Electrical equipment was supplied by Commonwealth Engineering to designs by Hitachi of Japan, leading to their official name today, though no actual Hitachi-supplied components were used in their construction. They were the last suburban trains in Melbourne with no air conditioning, and with windows that could be opened. A total of 355 carriages were built between 1972 and 1981, including a replacement carriage for one written off while the fleet was still being delivered.