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Sunday, 31 May 2015

South Gippsland Railway Line - Bridge at 34.69 Km

The bridge at 34.69 Km from Cranbourne is a substantial modern bridge with cast concrete piers, steel spans and wooden transverse deck. It has three openings and is 24 Metres long with a height above water of 3.4 Metres. It bridges a small water or creek with no name. The bridge appears to be in excellent condition.

View across the deck, looking in the Up direction. Just on the far side there was a four foot long Brown Snake taking advantage of the last rays of Autumn sun.

View of the span and deck structure.

View from the opposite side.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Wonthaggi Branch Bridge Number 2 - Bass River

Wonthaggi Branch Bridge Number 2 - Bass River, is a quite large bridge, probably only second in size to the famed Kilcunda Trestle and is entirely modern in construction. It is of virtually identical construction to the nearby bridges on the South Gippsland line over the same river and also over Allsop's Creek. It consists of four tall cast concrete piers with a long centre span and steel beams. The deck is transverse wooden construction. The bridge is located 4.32 Km from Nyora and is 56 Metres long and approximately 14 Metres above the water. Part of the transverse wooden deck has collapsed, but otherwise it is in good condition. It is certain this is not the original bridge, as the approach is dog-legged as if the straight approach was for a previous bridge, and it is documented that the original line had temporary bridges in order to construct the branch quickly.

Shows the approach to the Bass River Bridge in the distance. You can just make out the slight curve to the left, closer to the brown bull, rather than the straight alignment. And yes, he was a bull. We had an agreement, I was not interested in his cows, and he was not interested in me.

Across the deck. The rotten section is near the dead shrub, which is over one of the massive centre piers. Quite un-nerving to look through the hole for someone with acrophobia.  The gate in the foreground has been muscled by the cattle, and wombats have been doing their best to undermine the piers.

Western side of Up abutment, looking towards the Down end. The two piers on this side are clearly seen, the other side is a mirror of this.

As clear a view as I could obtain of the central piers and span. Future trips might involve carrying a chainsaw.

A wider view taken from down closer to the river, showing the piers and span on the far side.

Wonthaggi Branch - Bridge Number 1

Wonthaggi Branch Bridge Number 1 crosses a small creek of no name. It is constructed with four cast concrete piers and a wooden deck with longitudinal wooden beams, some of which have been replaced by rail sections. It would originally have served as a cattle crossing. It is located 3.90 Km from Nyora, is 14.7 Metres long with a height of 2.6 Metres.

Looking across the bridge in the Down direction.

Western side on Up side of watercourse.

Eastern side on Up side of watercourse.

Wonthaggi Branch - Nyora Bank

Wonthaggi Branch Nyora Bank was a section of line that was regraded after construction to make it easier on Up trains with coal loads. A disadvantage of making the Wonthaggi Branch diverge at Nyora is the necessity to climb up a hill then down again, when a better route might have been taken to the west from Lang Lang. As a result, shortly after the line was built it was regraded. Berrys Road was redirected to cross over the line near the foot of the bank, and these photos are taken at the crossing.

The crossing is 3.28 Km from Nyora, this shot looks back up the bank in the Up direction. In the distance, the line curves around to the left and enters a deep cutting before running parallel to the South Gippsland line for the run into Nyora.

Looking in the opposite direction, down the bank towards the Bass River in the distance.

Monday, 25 May 2015

South Gippsland Railway Line - Lang Lang Station

Lang Lang Station exists as a platform, a passing road and a few small relics. The township of Lang Lang seems to look after the area as if it may one day be resurrected, and maybe it will. There is some logic in running an electrified service as far as Lang Lang to serve the expanding metropolitan area.

Looking in the Down direction towards the station, with the crossing at Westernport Road in the foreground. Some of the  now redundant electrical cabinets are still there, the points to the second road are visible across the roadway, with the platform in the distance. The box cover over the signal ladder is clearly visible.

An often repeated view of the station platform, decaying but still there and surfaced in bitumen. The small Cocker Spaniel is Georgia, who accompanies me on these trips. She can sniff out a rail relic at a hundred paces, works cheap and runs on Fish N Chips, just like me.

The well photographed remains of the lever frame on the platform.

South Gippsland Railway Line - Lang Lang Down Home Signal

The Lang Lang Down Home Signal is still in place, a classic lattice mast, but the lamp and other fittings have long gone. The Nanny brigade have now fastened a steel box across the ladder to make it harder to climb

View of the signal looking in the Down direction towards Lang Lang Station.

South Gippsland Railway Line - Lang Lang River Bridge

The Lang Lang River Bridge is a lovely example of an all timber trestle bridge. It stands high over the Lang Lang River and appears to be in quite good condition, although the refuge half way across has fallen away. It is quite safe to cross by foot, so I was able to measure its length at 83 Metres, with 16 openings. It is an easy hike back along the ROW from the crossing in Westernport Road in the shopping centre of Lang Lang, only 800 Metres, and worth a visit if you like old wooden bridges.

View along the deck.

View from South Eastern corner, looking along the approach spans in Up direction.

Arty-farty view through the middle of the trestles. I should have grabbed manual focus.

The central trestles over the river. The remnants of the refuge supports can be seen up at deck level.

Looking back at the approach from down end.

Marking on the bridge pile at the Down end, north pile.

Marking on the bridge pile at the Down end, south pile.

South Gippsland Railway Line - Caldermeade Station Site

The Caldermeade Station Site is bare, nothing left to see of the station. However there is a small ruined building there, and the leaseholder of the land says it was still standing when he took on the lease the land. His story is that it was the milking shed used by the Station Master for milking his small herd of cows. The owner said the SM, when made redundant by the closure of the station, went off and began a dairy in Melbourne that later became Pura Dairies. A quick check of the Pura history reveals there is probably no basis to this story however.

He said that on taking on the lease of the land, he was told he would have to take out insurance for the building with a clause to cover glass. It never had any glass in the windows.

It might have been a milking shed, but how would you tell these days?

South Gippsland Railway Line - Bridge At 27.21 Km

The Bridge At 27.21 Km, last in the group of 3 culvert bridges near Caldermeade.

This one is a little easier to see. The openings are just high enough for the cattle to cross under the line.

Closer view, 18 sections.

South Gippsland Railway Line - Bridge At 26.76 Km

The Bridge At 26.76 Km, again another concrete culvert type, and like those on either side, it has 18 openings. Located 26.76 Km from Cranbourne.

Stand back folks!, nothing to see. Well, a good grass fire would fix it... I am going to need a quadcopter for getting photos if I encounter more of this long grass.

South Gippsland Railway Line - Bridge At 26.28 Km

The Bridge At 26.28 Km is yet another boring bridge, having been replaced by concrete culverts. I met the farmer who now owns the land either side of the ROW. He had stored a pile of old tyres at the Up end to use for hold-down weights on his silage piles. He had been amazed that the railways replaced all the bridges with culverts so close in time to the closure of the line. Located 26.28 Km from Cranbourne.

Hard to see the bridge due to long grass. The tyres are weights to hold down the cover over stored silage feed, they are not dumped there.

South Gippsland Railway Line - Yallock River Bridge

The Yallock River Bridge is almost adjacent to the Yallock Creek, but is a more substantial bridge, concrete piers, steel spans and concrete deck. I could not get access to the far end, as the land is privately owned by the Monomeith Stud, and they are very protective of their property, which is quite understandable when you consider they agist race horses.

Also the blackberries were too thick to cross. I will go back again at a later time, better equipped to get to the far side. I have no idea of the length or number of spans. It is located 24.56 kms from Cranbourne station.

View from South East corner.

View from North East corner.

View across the bridge from Down end, looking in the Up direction.

South Gippsland Railway Line - Yallock Creek Bridge

The Yallock Creek Bridge is yet another bridge that has been replaced by concrete culvert sections. It is in a very difficult to reach spot, I had to walk through the recycled water plant, climb barbed wire fences and beat down blackberries to get to it. There are 13 openings in the bridge, and one of them had been occupied when I got there, see photo. Located 23.90 kms from Cranbourne.

Another concrete culvert replacement of an original wooden bridge.

Shot of deck taken from down end looking up.

Interesting camp site, you would have to wonder why someone would bother to get into such a hard to access place. I suddenly realised that the person camping here may be trying very hard not to be found, so I beat a hasty retreat.

Monday, 18 May 2015

South Gippsland Railway Line - Bridge at 11.22 Km

The bridge at 11.22 Km is right on the intersection of the rail line, Manks Road and the quaintly named Muddy Gates Lane. It is situated 11.22 Km from Cranbourne station. Manks Road originally had a deviation at this point to allow a straight crossing of the line, but the track has now been removed and the road straightened. The old road bridge can be seen immediately south of the rail bridge.

The bridge is of all-wooden construction, 6 short spans. It appears to be in good condition.

Looking back towards Clyde over the bridge.

Looking towards Tooradin Station, about 1.8 Km away, with the now expected barrier across the line.

South Gippsland Railway Line - Bridge at 9.65 Km

Bridge at 9.65 Km is at the foot of the Clyde Bank, over a small drain. It is of all-wooden construction, but a heavy infestation of blackberries prevented getting a good photograph of it. The blackberries have been sprayed and are dead, but that makes it no easier. This is the first bridge on the South Gippsland Line after Cranbourne. It is in very poor condition.

The bridge foundations appear to be in good condition, the line has sunken either side, but the deck is rotten. It is not protected by signs as it is inaccessible and remote.

Looking back towards Clyde, up the bank. A huge woof in the line at this point, not sure as to whether it is heat related (the line has long welded lengths) or a washaway.

Looking back towards Clyde from the foot of the bank. The vegetation prevents us from getting a long view of the bank.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Koo Wee Rup to Strzelecki Branch - Bayles Station

Bayles Station is not the building shown here, in fact all that remains of the former station are a few small platform timbers, this building is simply a shed placed on the site of the station. The site is now inside the Bayles Fauna Park.

Shows the simulated station building. There appears to be little left of the original infrastructure.

View of the ROW as it heads towards the (missing) bridges over the Number Four Drain.

South Gippsland Railway Line - Bridge At 23.10 Km.

Bridge At 23.10 Km. is a long span culvert bridge across a low section of ground that is flood prone.

A low concrete deck, cast concrete culvert style bridge at the 23.10 Km mark from Cranbourne. It is approximately 120 Metres long, over a low section of the swamp  that is prone to flooding. Interesting that a  housing development nearby is not protected from flood waters in any way. The old line to Strzelecki curves away to the left of this shot.

View down the bridge. On the way there, on the sanitized, concrete paved path, I stumbled across a huge dog poo that did not have warning cones or Danger - Slippery Surface signs to warn me of the danger. But all the bridges now have solid steel gates with signs say No Unauthorised Access. I wonder who can authorise access? One gate can be seen at the far end of the bridge. I guess they do effectively prevent use of private trolleys.

South Gippsland Railway Line - Koo Wee Rup Station

Koo Wee Rup Station platform is now a very sad sight. The nanny state has decided it is too dangerous to be left accessible to the public and has fenced it off.

I wonder if they will restore it or destroy it? Seems pointless to keep it, as there is no station building or any other structure other than the platform itself.

South Gippsland Railway Line - Six Pack Of Bridges

Six Pack Of Bridges across a drainage channel that aggregates four creeks into a single channel. The four, Cardinia, Gum Scrub, Toomuc and Deep Creek, are crossed by six bridges, at the 17.68 Km point from Cranbourne. The amount of scrub and blackberries make it quite difficult to get to vantage points for good photos. The creeks are also tidal at this point, being less than 3 Km from Westernport Bay and some channels are lined with mangroves.

A simple 4 opening bridge with timber trestles and cast concrete deck. This is the nearest bridge to Cranbourne.

Of 9 openings, also timber trestles with cast concrete deck. Note the mangroves at water level.

A small 3 opening all-timber trestle.

The longest bridge in the group. I was not able to determine the actual number of openings due to the inaccessible  nature of  the centre section.

View across bridge number 4. It remains one single bridge even though it crosses two waterways.

This bridge has 9 openings, timber trestles with a mixture of wooden deck and cast concrete deck components.

4 openings, timber trestle with cast concrete decks.