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Timing Loops

"What is a Timing Loop" I hear you ask. If you didn't ask that question, then "What are those T signs beside the track for" would have to be the other most popular question. The really short answer is that they are an important part of the train protection system on the Regional Fast Rail lines in Victoria...

Spencer Street Yard

Rail yards have existed at Batman Hill / Spencer Street / Southern Cross since the first railways were opened. Bank Sidings. Centre Yard. Railmotor Depot. Through Suburbans. Layby Sidings. Sound like gibberish to you? Then this diagram will lay it all out for you.

The 'Geelong Flier'

The 'Geelong Flier' was the first officially named train to operate on the Victorian Railways. The first run of the train from Melbourne to Geelong operated on May 3 1926.

1995 Werribee derailment

On 2 September 1995 a West Coast Railways train bound for Warrnambool derailed at the Werribee Street level crossing in Werribee. The derailment was caused by a handbrake left on, resulting in damage to carriages ACZ260, BS 203, damaged electrical overheads, and the death of a woman in a car waiting at the level crossing.

Newport Workshops

Newport Workshops is divided into a number of separate areas, with the ARHS Railway Museum, various heritage rail operators, Siemens Rail Services, Alstom, and EDI Rail utilising different zones.

VicRail Altona - Somerton pipeline

In the late 1970s / early 1980s VicRail moved into the petroleum business, entering into a joint venture with a number of local oil companies to build operate an oil pipeline between the Altona, to a tank farm beside the North East Railway at Somerton, the pipeline continuing to Tullamarine Airport. The railways became involved with grand plans to revitalise oil distribution across South Eastern Australia, but it came to naught - the pipeline was sold to private interests and only carries jet fuel to the airport, and since 2008 no fuel has been carried by rail in Victoria.

Regional Rail Link - the missing plans...

Regional Rail Link is the new set of tracks from Southern Cross Station, running through Sunshine, Tarneit and meeting the Geelong Line at West Werribee. The first plans were released June 2009 for the Deer Park - Werribee section, in July 2010 the Southern Cross - Deer Park alignment was released. As of late 2010 the first set of maps have disappeared from the Department of Transport website. My question is why? An accidental omission, or does someone have something to hide?

Track distance changes on the Victorian rail network

Distances on the Victorian rail network are all measured from a track datum point in Melbourne. Some locations can be reached from Melbourne via multiple routes, which results in a change in track distance markers where the routes converge.

Proposed Geelong line track amplification projects

Since opening as a single track railway in 1857, various track amplification projects have been proposed for the Geelong line.

Proposed Derrimut saleyards railway

During the 1950s a freight-only “cross country” railway line was proposed through the western suburbs of Melbourne, running from the existing lines south of Sunshine station, through the empty paddocks around Brooklyn, to a new saleyard complex at Derrimut then joining the Geelong line near Laverton station.

Future upgrades on Regional Rail Link

As part of the Regional Rail Link project provision was made for the future addition of another track pair along the rail corridor. Here is the full details of this provision.

1959 Armytage derailment

In 1959 a goods train derailed at Armytage, between Winchelsea and Birregurra, demolishing the Princes Highway bridge in the process.

Lineside signs for speed restrictions

Beside the tracks you might have seen signs reading 'W', 'C', 'NS' or 'N'. They are used to indicate to train drivers of upcoming speed restrictions.

Proposed railway to Anakie

In 1915 a railway was proposed between the Geelong and Ballarat line, passing via the Staughton Vale Closer Settlement Area, Balliang and Anakie.

Proposed railway to Barwon Heads

In the 1890s a railway between Geelong and Barwon Heads was proposed, but rejected by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways.

Proposed railway to Portarlington

In the Railway Construction Bill 1890 a railway between Drysdale and Portarlington was proposed, but rejected by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways in 1892.

Trailable facing points at crossing loops

Crossing loops on lesser used railway lines are often provided with trailable facing points, which removes the need for staff on the ground or remote controlled signalling to allow trains to pass each other.

1976 Laverton derailment

On July 10th 1976 a Melbourne bound train from Port Fairy derailed at Laverton, resulting in one fatality and a number of injured passengers. The cause of the derailment was later found to be excessive speed through a crossover at the up side of the station. The incident also resulted in a lower speed limit being applied to wooden bodied carriage stock.

1952 Moriac crash

On 13 April 1952 one passenger was killed and seven were seriously injured when two passenger trains collided head on at Moriac.