March 2017 operating session … part 3

SA shunt 1

“Loading the Stonie” is possibly one of the most enjoyable operating jobs on the Border District. Early in the afternoon sees SAR Train Number 583 arrives at Southern Aggregates, just outside Border Junction. The empty consist has made its way from Adelaide in the east – a much longer run than that made by the more well known “Stonie” from Penrice. In the image captured above, English Electric 907 has already shunted the 8300 Goods Brake off before positioning hoppers for loading under the overhead loader. A closer look at the picture reveals that one hopper is already loaded …

SA shunt 2

Shunting Southern Aggregates is fun, but also a little challenging. Hoppers can only be loaded in groups of three at a time, due to the constraint of a short track under the loader. Above, 907 has already positioned the first three loaded hoppers back in the siding with the Goods Brake, and has returned to commence loading the second set of three hoppers. As a result of these constraints, most Stone trains on the Border District are made up of only nine hoppers. This also assists with keeping the loaded train tonnage down, given the working is usually handled by a single locomotive.

730 passes SA

Above, 907 is already into loading the second set of three hoppers when a surprise visitor – SAR Webb power 730 – travels past in the foreground at the head of SAR TN 147 goods. See the other two blog posts on this session for more information about the Big Mikado pictured here. Once 730 and her train are through Border Junction and down the branch, 907 will shuffle around the sets of empty and loaded hoppers to load the third and final set of three HS wagons …

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