After the intensity that is shunting the “Paper” train on the Border District, things went a bit quiet, didn’t they? Truth be told, the start of the new school year and a decent dose of “February flu” meant modelling/progress/blogging all went “on hold” for a bit. Fear not though, dear reader … the trains are still running!
After the epic effort that is breaking up train number 185 and making up train number 186, we find the up “Paper” having to wait at Jameston. The reason? A very late running SAR train number 281 – the daily Adelaide to Jameston passenger service (with connections to Mount Gambier). Below, a gleaming Alco 955 can be seen bringing the day’s consist for #281 around the curve and into Jameston, well behind the clock.
With Alco 956 patiently waiting at the head of #186 “Paper” in Road 2, 955 brings #281 towards the end of its the journey at jameston. Train number 281 was in actuality the down Mount Gambier Bluebird railcars, so a little modeller’s license has been employed. Perhaps the #281 seen below connected with the Bluebirds at Naracoorte? Who knows … the destination card is certainly all wrong on 955 …
Journey completed for train number 281. The consist owes much to Stuart Gamble – he is responsible for both the Centenary brake and CGP at either end of the train, and added new bogies to Kev Loughead’s scratchbuilt 700 and 750 SAR steel passenger cars that complete the consist. Thank you Mr Gamble. I really like the fact some former “Moping Branch Railway” stock sees use on my Border District. The 8300 van at the end of #186 is also of MBR vintage.
Heading back towards Tatiara Downs, we find a VR Y class diesel in charge of shunting duties here. With nine industries/sidings here, work for the little EMD can be almost be overwhelming at times … though clearly not at the present moment. Tatiara Downs is the interchange point between the VR and SAR, but the facilities are all SAR. The Y is pinch hitting for an SAR 500 class diesel shunter (yet to be obtained …).
Moving even further east, we reach Nankiva and VR territory. The “Edenhope Valley Vegetable Growers” siding (far left and back) sees a good amount of traffic. The SAR DWf van will be loaded with vegetables and forwarded west to Tatiara Downs on VR train number 313 goods. From here, SAR train number 312 goods will take the van to Mile End and the Adelaide markets. Once loaded, the three Victorian vans (a UB and two short T vans) will head to Melbourne and the markets on VR train number 880 goods – the return working of VR #313. The empty HY open wagon in the fertiliser siding will head back east on VR train number 122 goods.
Breaking the quiet at Nankiva, twin third series VR X class diesels, each only a little over a year old, haul a late running VR train number 277 Jet goods upgrade towards Nankiva. Both units are standard issue Austrains units, with modifications underway but not quite complete. While I’m happy with the staff exchanger, independent markers and headlight and coupler lift bar, I still need to swap bogie sideframes for Trainorama ones, add air hoses to the pilots, etch number plates to the cab sides, as well as correct cab doors and a little weathering.
X45 and X48 continue at speed through Nankiva. Train number 277 will change locos at Tatiara Downs (most likely swapping the Xs for a pair of Goodwin Alco 930s), also becoming SAR train number 276, before continuing west to Adelaide. Looks like the photographer has had a tough day, with a bit of “lean” to the final image!