THE MONDAY NIGHT MAIL TRAIN
For Monday February 8
on the Kanunda and Emu Flat Railway
Thank you to those who came to Mondays operating session.
We have a new wagon on the K&EFR. Since introducing the rule that tankers of fuel and explosives vans shall not be placed next to locomotives and brake vans another wagon was needed for the tank train. To get this wagon I sprayed one of my american gondolas with grey primer and put an ANR decal on it. Result a near enough ANR idler car for the tank train. The plan is to do the same with some more appropriate american tank cars. I have the necessary decals.
Mustard pot Alco 604 rounds Big Bend with the tank train. The idler car is the repainted NYC gondola.
For this session we had four regular operators, a visitor and myself. we took the following positions. Road crew one Peter S, road crew two Rod and Visitor Paul W, a retired NSW and BHP train driver, Kanunda yard master David, Hostler Sol, and myself as controller.
The session got away to a timely start with the first two trains, the down Mt Gambier goods and the up Overland getting away on time. The layout and trains ran well and there were no major derailments.
This was David’s second time as Kanunda yard master and first doing it solo. He did get some what bogged down. Thanks for taking the yard master job on David. A good tip is get the road crews to do their own set downs. Just direct them where to place their cut of cars so that they can be spotted later. The same applies to pick ups.
A free flowing Kanunda yard is key to good time keeping for all trains. With Kanunda yard clogged all the time tabled trains ran late and resulted in some interesting moves. Usually the train (323) heading out to get the loaded cattle wagons follows the roadside goods to Emu Flat. During this session train 323 was able to pass the roadside goods at Wooldowie to reach Emu Flat ahead of the roadside goods pick up the cattle wagons then return to Wooldowie to meet the roadside goods just after they had finished shunting at Wooldowie.
Red 930 class 961 shunting the cattle train at Wooldowie.
Trains running late meant that the hostler had spare time on his hands so he was able to run the Melbourne Jet to help make up some time. He also ran 314 the up Mt Gambier goods, which is normally the last train in the session, to try to get the session finished at a reasonable time. When the session runs really well train control will often issue a run early order to 314 so that the crew is not standing round at the session’s end waiting for 1329 to come round so that 314 can depart Foster. So, unusually, this session the last train to be run was the up roadside goods. All cars were spotted correctly except for the two left in the Kanunda that yard because the YM ran out of time.
Due to all the late running trains we finally finished for coffee and cake at 10.15pm about half an hour later than usual.
At the end of the session the MPC was home to a fleet of all Victorian engines. Train-O-Rama S301, Austrains C507,X54,X49 and non powered Lima S310.
Having the insight of a long time train driver, Paul, during an operating session is very interesting to some one like myself with no railway background. For a long time I have not been completely happy in calling a train consisting of an engine and a brake van a light engine. Paul said that in NSW such a train was called an EV. For example an EV could be sent out on a branch line to pick up wagons and return which is exactly what our EVs do. So from now on they shall be known as EVs Another from Paul was that the
nick name for tank wagons was oil pots.
Train 321 an EV at Wooldowie level crossing heading to Maranalgo to pick up some grain hoppers. Engine 858 is a Tran-o-rama 830 class.
THE REAL THING
A Melbourne bound train at Mt Lofty in 1984, the era of the Kanunda & Emu Flat Rwy. The leading engine is C501 followed by another C class an X and a green a red and a green 930s. It looks like K&EFR’s C501 needs some weathering.
Thanks to all for an enjoyable session.
All comments and criticisms welcome.