Railway Digest March 19 E-Copy

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RD March 2019 Blurb



Almost over or overdue for an overhaul?

After suffering another near-death experience, the Overland will continue at least until the end of 2019, ensuring 93 years of service under that name and 132 years of direct service between Melbourne and Adelaide. Ken Date and Dominik Giemza pose the question; Is the Overland Australia’s most threatened, enjoyable, under-appreciated, misplaced, anachronistic, oldest and/or misunderstood train?


Light Rail comes to Newcastle

Born in controversy, built in hope, the 2.7km, six-stop, Newcastle Light Rail commenced regular operation on Monday 18 February, following a successful Grand Opening Day the day before, with free rides for the public. Bruce Belbin was there for the opening day, though the queue was so long, he never did get a ride!


Weemelah line replacement rail goes to Junee-Griffith line

John Hoyle reports that, in an unusual move, pre-used rail that had been deposited along the John Holland Country Regional Network (CRN) Camurra to Weemelah line, in north west NSW, has been moved to the Junee – Griffith line, which is being upgraded under the NSW Government’s Fixing Country Rail program. The used welded rail, mainly of 53 kg/metre (107 lb/yd) size, had been placed along the 83-kilometre Weemelah (formerly Mungindi) line over a number of years with a view to future upgrading of the track.


The NSW TrainLink Challenge

Inspired by Jonathan Green’s Challenge of the V/Line network in Victoria (see RD January 2018 Page 30), David McCafferty decided to create his own version based on the NSW TrainLink network. He had to reach the Opal limits of Dungog, Scone, Bathurst, Goulburn and Bomaderry. Following a couple of days’ intensive planning, David and his best mate, Jeremiah, set off to face the challenge.



Vlocity 3.00: The short/medium distance version

The Bombardier VLocity railcar, introduced in 2006 and built at the company’s Dandenong plant, now numbers over 200 cars comprising, by a long margin, the largest fleet of DMU vehicles ever used in Australia. Such is the reliability of these vehicles that they are still being delivered 13 years later. As Tim Sutherland explains, continued patronage growth on the V/Line network has prompted further orders, with the latest units representing the third major change in the design of VLocity.