Colac Station

Colac Station
Station
Line: Melbourne - Geelong - Warrnambool
Distance from Melbourne: 153.395 km
Track Diagram: View
Google Maps: Satellite /  Map
Opened: July 27, 1877

Colac was once the junction of the narrow gauge line headed south to Beech Forest and Crowes, as well as the short lived broad gauge line to Alvie. The yard has seen progressive rationalisation, down to the main line, platform, crossing loop siding, and a goods loop. The turntable remains at Colac behind the station building, but fenced off and in a decrepit condition. A pedestrian footbridge is located the down end of the station crossing the yard.

Station building


The weatherboard station building at Colac was constructed in 1877, at the same time as the railway was opened. Later additions included ladies toilets at the up end, and an extended parcels office at the down end. The station masters residence was altered into an office and booking lobby.

The original lamp room and toilet block were demolished by the 1980s, remaining outbuildings included a van goods shed at the up end, and the mens toilet at the down end.

A railway refreshment room existed at the station at the up end, with a purveyors residence located on the street side. The original bar and servery counter remained until closed on April 29, 1983 as part of the 'New Deal' reforms of country passenger services from 1981.

Steam locomotive J536 was placed outside the station facing Gelibrand Street in the 1960s for static preservation, in the 1990s it was removed for restoration.

Goods facilities included a brick goods shed, and a steel 'carport' and demountable office building both provided with the freight gate during the 1970s.

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Narrow gauge


The narrow gauge line to Beech Forrest was opened on March 1, 1902 with the up home signal provided in October the same year.

The narrow gauge line had a separate yard located to the south of the board gauge yard. No passenger or goods platforms were provided, passengers having to board from the yard. A small engine shed was provided. There was also no mixed gauge trackage, or any crossing of the two gauges.

Two dead end sidings on the broad gauge were provided for transhipping of freight, one running directly into a narrow gauge track, the other running parallel to one. One home signal was provided for trains arriving at the station worked from a quadrant level. There was one industrial siding located at Colac on the narrow gauge, serving the adjacent milk factory.

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Broad gauge


For most of Colac's life it has had a main platform road, number 2 road for the crossing of trains, and four through sidings. The goods shed and platform was located between 1-4 and 5-6 roads. Head shunts were provided at both ends of the yard, and an additional dead end siding faced the goods platform at the up end. This was also where the transhipping sidings were located. Behind the main platform facing Melbourne was a short dock platform, the turntable road, and the cattle siding.

Electric Staff replaced Train Staff and Ticket in 1899, Large Electric Staff was replaced by the Miniature version in September 1928. Plunger locking of the main line points provided by 1909, the same year the points to the carriage dock were secured with a staff lock.

In 1915 a three lever frame was provided on the platform, to work the up and down home signals, and the disc signal from the dock, cattle and turntable road. A dead end extension was also provided to number 2 road at this time. The original 50 foot turntable at Colac was replaced by a 70 foot turntable in May 1928.

When opened in 1923 the Alvie line tracks left the main line at Colac, with an auxiliary frame at the down end of the station controlling the junction. The tracks ran parallel for some distance until it finally headed off north. In 1943 this was altered, with the parallel Alvie track lifted, and Alvie Junction opened at the actual junction of the lines. The 5 lever auxiliary frame was abolished, and two of the levers on the platform frame placed out of use.

In November 1942 flashing lights were provided at the Princes Highway level crossing at 93 miles and 54 chains. In April 1950 the up end of the yard was simplified, and in March 1954 the interlocking at the section was abolished. The crane road at the up end of the goods shed was abolished the next year.

In 1988 the signal from the turntable, dock and cattle sidings was removed, and location boards were added after the introduction of train order working. The signal for up trains arriving into the station was altered to LED lighting in 2003, with a repeating colour light signal also added to the post.

In 2008 the four semaphore signals were removed, and concrete sleepers were placed in number three road , even though it no longer saw any use. It was also around this time that the points clipped in the normal position. Later that year the points were removed straight railing the station, both sets of points on the main line being clipped to lay in the normal position.

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Nearby sidings


The Country Roads Board had their own siding at the up end of the town, at 93 1/2 miles (150.4 km). Opened for traffic by 1927, it was a loop siding with the points at each end secured by a staff lock.

Shell also had their own oil siding, located at 93 miles 59 chains 32 links (150.9 km). In 1968 the up end points were removed, leaving the siding as a spur. By December 1975 the siding was dismantled.

By 1978/79 the station had five rail served fuel depots, but none saw regular rail traffic. Caltex had a terminal on railway land, Esso, Shell and Mobil had a siding on railway land but having tanks on private land, and BP had everything on their own land. The last of these oil sidings was removed in 1989, located on the up side of the Queen Street level crossing on the north side of the main line.

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Events


July 27, 1877 Opened
Line Opened
July 27, 1877 Line opened Birregurra to Colac
July 2, 1883 Line opened Colac to Camperdown
Safeworking
September 20, 1928 Miniature Electric Staff provided Colac - Pirron Yallock
June 15, 1967 Pomborneit closed. Miniature Electric Staff section now Colac - Camperdown
November 21, 1985 Pirron Yallock closed. Miniature Electric Staff section now Colac - Camperdown
December 2, 1987 Staff and Ticket provided Colac - Camperdown
(November 13, 1988) Train Order Working provided Winchelsea - Colac - Camperdown

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Diagrams


NOTE: Diagrams are not to scale.

 Colac 1969

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Photos


Nine of 64 images found displayed. Click them to enlarge.

Up end of the station, looking back

Up end of the station, looking back

WSA lever and plunger lock at the down end of number 2 road

WSA lever and plunger lock at the down end of number 2 road

Now disused signal levers on platform

Now disused signal levers on platform

Level crossing at Cants Road

Level crossing at Cants Road

Street side of station building

Street side of station building

New V/Line style level crossing ID signs

New V/Line style level crossing ID signs

Station building from across the yard

Station building from across the yard

Church Street level crossing

Church Street level crossing

Goods shed viewed from the platform

Goods shed viewed from the platform

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Sources