N class ventures west
|As part of a tour operated by Cruise Express, a chartered train operated by Seymour Railway Heritage Centre visited western Victoria on Monday, hauled by V/Line’s locomotive N460 City of Castlemaine.
After an early morning departure from Seymour, the train travelled through Melbourne and onto the western line destined for Deep Lead Loop, between Stawell and Glenorchy. Upon arrival, the locomotive ran around the consist and waited for its scheduled departure time of 11.00.
Above - The Cruise Express charter departing Stawell after collecting the tour passengers
The tour passengers joined the train at Stawell before continuing to Great Western Loop to await a cross with the down Overland. It then had a clear run to Broadmeadows in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, where the passengers alighted, and the train returned to Seymour.
The tour passengers had arrived in Stawell the previous day on the Overland and spent the night at Hall Gap.
The train consisted of SRHC’s standard gauge Spirit of Progress six carriage set made up of guard’s van 1CS, 3AS, 4AS, 11BS, 1BS, and Parlour Car.
Members of the N class had been regular visitors to this part of the network from their introduction in 1985 up until the line was standardised in 1995, hauling the Overland and Wimmera Limited passenger services, but this was the first visit by a standard gauge N to the west of the state.
Below - N454 on the front of the Wimmera Limited back in the broad gauge days in Dimboola in May 1993