Grain Loop

Introduction


The Grain Silos at Geelong were provided early on, possibly in 1915. They were served by a number of sidings that branched from the Eastern side of the Geelong - Melbourne main line facing in a down direction, midway between North Geelong A and North Geelong B signal boxes. At the silo a four track train shed was provided, allowing the unloading of multiple rakes of wagons at the same time.

In 1959 the connection was altered, with a new underpass being provided for two tracks under the main line. These new tracks ran to a point near Separation Street, as well as a second connection that went onto a southerly curve and into North Geelong Yard. This new connection allowed easier access for grain trains from Western Victoria, as well as avoiding a number of conflicting moves across the main line. A number of sidings were provided between Separation Street and Thompson Road to handle arriving and departing grain trains.

The next round of changes occurred in August 1981, when the twin roads to the silos were rearranged with additional trackage to form a loop. This allowed the operation of an entire block grain train to unload it's cargo without the need for shunting. Trains run in an anticlockwise direction, running from near Separation Street, under the main line, and re-emerging at the unloading shed. From there they turn 180 degrees on a new curve, beside Corio Quay, then again under the main line to return to North Geelong C.

Since the opening of the loop the original dead end unloaders are unused. In 2002 Standard Gauge access was provided to the Grain Loop. Current capacity at the silos is approximately 40 bogie wagons. Three wagons may be discharged at once. It takes about an hour for a train to empty it's load.

In 2007-2008 the loop was altered as part of the Geelong Rail Access Improvement Project / Corio Independent Goods Line works. The meeting point of the loop was moved from North Geelong C to the eastern side of the Geelong main line railway, with the CIGL branching off from the line to the west of this point. Full signalling was also provided of the area.

Top

Safeworking


Since 1981 the Grain loop has operated under Train Staff and Ticket Working. The endpoints are NORTH GEELONG C BOX and GEELONG GRAIN DISCHARGE POINT (Via Grain Loop). Train Staff Tickets are not issued. Before this time the sidings were considered part of North Geelong Yard.

Top

2008 diagram


Around the Grain Loop

Key:

  1. Grain Loop
  2. North Geelong C
  3. Corio Quay North (disconnected from main line at the grain loop)
  4. Corio Quay South (disconnected from main line at the grain loop)
  5. Former sidings for the Freezing Works (mostly all lifted)
  6. Sidings that are disconnected from the main line, but still evident.

Top

Former layout


Grain Loop

The blue lines are the grain loop. The red lines are the main line. Black lines are roads.

Number 1: Grain Loop

Number 2: North Geelong C

Number 3: Corio Quay North

Number 4: Corio Quay South

Number 5: Former sidings for the Freezing Works

Number 6: Sidings that are disconnected from the main line, but still evident

Trains arrive at the left hand side at North Geelong C and take the southern (bottom) track. After passing under the main line they arrive at the silos, passing through the unloader, then around the bend and back under the main line to the yard.

Top

Events


Line Opened
November 1, 1856 Line opened Lara to Geelong
June 25, 1857 Line officially opened between Geelong and at temporary terminus at Greenwich. A ferry was used the complete the journey to Melbourne
October 3, 1857 Temporary Greenwich terminal and stub line closed. Geelong line now connected to the partially completed Williamstown line. A ferry complete the journey from Williamstown to Melbourne
January 17, 1859 Williamstown line finally completed to Melbourne. Geelong trains can now operate direct to Spencer Street Station
Track Amplified
February 8, 1959 Line duplicated Corio to North Geelong A

Top

Photos


Nine of 23 images found displayed. Click them to enlarge.

Grain elevator and the old loading bays from the east

Grain elevator and the old loading bays from the east

The grain loop makes a 180 degree turn to return to the yard

The grain loop makes a 180 degree turn to return to the yard

The grain pier used to load ships for exports

The grain pier used to load ships for exports

Overview of the site from the east

Overview of the site from the east

Train shed for unloading hoppers

Train shed for unloading hoppers

Train shed for unloading hoppers

Train shed for unloading hoppers

Train shed for unloading hoppers, grain storage is to the right

Train shed for unloading hoppers, grain storage is to the right

Overview of the silos from the north

Overview of the silos from the north

Looking towards the old unloading facilities from the west

Looking towards the old unloading facilities from the west

Top