Last weekend Steamrail Victoria operated a steam train tour to Warragul and Traralgon. Locomotive, A2-986 has spent the last 30 odd years being restored to operational condition. The train was treated to a “welcome back” ceremony at Warragul, before continuing on to Traralgon, where there is still an operational turntable, to turn around and head back to Melbourne.
Driving north along the Henty Highway it was the Beulah Railway Station that first caught my eye in the small Mallee town. I wasn’t going to stop, but the old station was looking photogenic in the early afternoon sun. After turning around and finding my way to the tracks, I realised something was wrong. Completely surrounding the building was a yellow warning ribbon with the repeated message “CAUTION ASBESTOS”.
Beulah Station is overgrown with long grass, and there are weeds growing from the platform beside a deserted shopping cart. The type of trolley often used by the elderly to take their groceries home, the shopping cart is just sitting in the middle of the platform, waiting for a train that will never come.
Deserted shopping cart on the platform of the closed Beulah Railway Station
CLOSED: Beulah Railway Station
Take a seat, breathe in the country air (and Asbestos)
Heading into town, it’s sad to see the closed shops of Beulah, but the old Town Hall and Post Office have been well maintained and look grerat!
Beulah Memorial Hall and Library
The old Beulah Post Office
Browse more photos from Beulah in the galleries at gallery.vic.pics/Regional/Beulah.
Traffic management is a little unusual in Wycheproof, in central-west Victoria. The railway line runs along the middle of the main street, known as Broadway to the locals, but it’s also the Calder Highway, the main route between Melbourne and Mildura.
The railway crosses half the highway at the southern end of Wycheproof. It passes through many cross-over roads through the town. At the northern end of town it crosses the other half of the highway. Despite all of these crossings, there are no boom-gates, no warning lights or bells.
You might say those tracks must be old and that there is no way so many unprotected railway crossings in the middle of a large town would be allowed in 2017. However, locals tell me there are still regular trains passing through the town, especially during the wheat harvest season (December-January). It’s actually very safe, as the trains are highly visible, very loud, and are restricted to very slow speed as they pass though Wycheproof. Apparently, there has not been a single train related accident in Wycheproof for over 100 years.
Browse my Wycheproof galleries here – gallery.vic.pics/Regional/Wycheproof
Maryborough Railway Station seems out of place in this little country town. It’s a grand old station built in 1890, possibly by mistake! A local resident told us the plans and materials were sent to Maryborough in error, but erected anyway. Another story I’ve heard that was that this design was rejected for a city railway station in Melbourne, so the construction was redirected to regional Maryborough. It’s reported that the American author Mark Twain visited Maryborough in 1895 and described it as “A railway station with a town attached”.
Unlike many old regional railway stations, Maryborough still services freight and passenger trains. The station was closed in 1993, but reopened in 2010 following a major restoration. These days the station is also home to a restaurant which offers outdoor dining on the platform. At night the station is bathed in light (like many other public buildings in the town) for an awesome appearance.
Check out our gallery of photos from Maryborough Railway Station at this link – gallery.vic.pics/Regional/Maryborough/Railway-Station
In the previous blog post I told you about my photographic walk around Yarra Glen, including a couple of pictures and a link to the photo gallery.
While in Yarra Glen, I also took a walk along the old train line and checked out the local Railway Station that is currently undergoing renovation. The line hasn’t seen a train for over 25 years, but is currently undergoing redevelopment to link it back to Healesville and the tourist railway that operates on a small section of track there. (More info at yvr.com.au)
As part of the railway redevelopment, a new level crossing has been built through the main round-about on the Melba Highway as you come into Yarra Glen from Coldstream. This does seem a little strange, having a new crossing for what is still a disused railway, but it will be a really scenic trip once the trains are running between Yarra Glen and Healesville again.
Check out the Vic Pics Gallery of the Yarra Glen railway here – gallery.vic.pics/Regional/Yarra-Glen/Railway
The is one of the bottlenecks in the Gippsland Railway line, where there is a single line handling trains traveling in both directions. Looking east from Longwarry Station, the line disappears to the vanishing point in the middle of the photograph. Obviously when there is railway traffic heading both east and west, somebody has to wait, adding delays and travel times.