Harbour Trust Sidings

Line: Geelong and Warrnambool
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Opened: March 8, 1909

A rail connection was first provided to Corio Quay in 1909. Pentarch once used the sidings on the south to deliver logs, mostly from East Gippsland. The shipping berths at Corio Quay are used for various dry-bulk cargoes including logs and woodchips, as well as roll-on / roll-off cargoes and various break-bulk cargoes. The facilities have expanded over time to cover a number of sidings over both quays. The sidings are connected to the main line at North Geelong Junction, with the points facing North Geelong Yard.

Early layout

When originally opened in 1909 the sidings were lead off the main line with a staff locked set of points. By 1911 the points were connected to the interlocking frame, and a new siding was available for traffic until the Geelong end of the loading platform, 610 feet from the facing points. A 25 chains long low level siding was provided in November 1914. By this point access could be gained from the sidings to the Ballarat line loop, the main line towards Geelong, or various sidings in North Geelong Yard.

In 1937 the main line connection was slightly rearranged, and in February 1948 an additional siding was provided for the Cresco Fertilisers works, which was between on the south side of the quay and the grain silos.


Upgrades and grain loop

In 1956 work started on the rebuilding of the junction with the Ballarat line at North Geelong A, to provide better access to the Grain Loop via the current underpass, this being completed by 1959. The siding was extended southwards parallel to the main line into the east side of the yard as track 'L' and 'P', with track 'K' also provided, from the siding to the low level grain lines bound for North Geelong C.

The new connection to Corio Quay North was opened to traffic from ships in February 1959, including three sidings embedded in the wharf, with a number of crossovers linking the tracks. The tracks then merge into two tracks and curve southwards, crossing Cowies Creek and then merging into a single track, joining the main line.

The sidings to Corio Quay South were opened to traffic by August 1967, with three tracks embedded in the concrete along the wharf, with a number of crossovers linking them. These merge into two tracks at the western end of the wharf, then curve southwards to join with the tracks from the North wharf. In June 1967 flashing lights were provided where the track to Corio Quay South crossed an internal access road at 42 miles 51 chains.

At some time the Freezing Works sidings were also provided. Branching from the Harbour Trust Sidings, they had two dead end sidings located in the middle of today's grain loop. By 1984 an additional siding was opened on the south side, serving the warehouse of Volcay, no longer rail connected but still in business.

In 1981 the Grain Loop was provided and the Harbour Trust sidings were altered. One of the tracks under Corio Quay Road was used for the outbound section of the loop, which runs parallel to the quay sidings. The freezing works sidings crossed the grain loop with a diamond crossing, just east of the level crossing with the access track. A home signal was provided for trains on the grain loop, worked from a 3 lever ground frame secured by an Annett lock, the key held at North Geelong A. At the same time the connection from the Harbour Trust sidings to North Geelong C was removed, being taken over by the return section of the grain loop.


Rationalisation then rebuilding

In 1987 the connection from the Harbour Trust sidings to the East line was removed, this means that trains from the wharf could only access the sidings on the east side of North Geelong Yard, with no access to the west side of the main running lines towards Geelong.

By the 1990s the freezing works sidings were disconnected, by 2003 the grade crossing with the Cresco Siding has also removed. Today some tracks remain, a short section next to the grain loop at the quay, and two parallel tracks beside the Volcay building.

The quay sidings also fell into disuse, with the sidings along Corio Quay North disconnected. In 2007-2008 the connection to the both Corio Quay North and South was severed as part of the Geelong Rail Access Improvement Project / Corio Independent Goods Line works, with the broad gauge link from North Geelong Yard being re-aligned to connect to the new CIGL.

The connection was restored in February 2009, requiring the set of points from North Geelong Yard to be relocated in the down direction, the addition of a new set of dual gauge points, and relocation of signal CGL 42 (for down trains towards the junction). The connection to Corio Quay itself has not completed until July 2009. A dual gauge catch point was provided leading out of the siding, as well as a dwarf signal featuring a Christmas tree of gauge and route indicators located underneath.



Corio Quay

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



March 8, 1909 Harbour Trust Siding provided. Points are in Siding E and cross main line
October 18, 1911 Harbour Trust Siding connected to frame at North Geelong 'A'
December 16, 1937 New connection to Harbour Trust Sidings provided further up the line
January 1, 1959 Connection between Harbour Trust and Grain Silo sidings provided (this year)
December 12, 1987 Connection between main lines and Harbour Trust Sidings abolished, access only via the east side of North Geelong Yard
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