Last summer I spent some afternoons on the Geelong line, videoing services in the area around Manor Junction, Little River and Lara. Since the opening of the Regional Rail Link this line has enjoyed a 20 minute off-peak frequency on weekdays and even more frequent services during the peak periods. The afternoon peak is especially busy and the long afternoons during the daylight saving months provide opportunities for capturing much of the late afternoon action in good light.
Monday 1 February was one afternoon that I found myself down in that area. Mondays have the advantage of the Up Overland running on the standard gauge line, which is generally closely followed by SCT’s ‘Wimmera Intermodal’ service. Later, Pacific National’s nightly Melbourne – Adelaide service runs through the area (on Monday this train is 2MA5). The broad gauge services include the usual numerous V/Locity rail cars but also feature loco hauled passenger trains (hauled by N class locos) and a five car Sprinter service. With trains running on the Down (i.e. away from Melbourne) every 10-15 minutes as well as the normal 20 minute service on the Up, in addition to the random standard gauge offerings, a busy few hours can be had between about 4 and 8 pm.
The last train in this video is the last one I captured that day – 2MA5 at the level crossing about 5 km north of Lara. The sun was about 10 minutes away from setting and I had almost given up hope that the train would appear while daylight was still around but I saw the gates on the next level crossing up the line go down and figured it was on the way. Sure enough, two NRs duly appeared with their train in tow, racing along the somewhat bouncy standard gauge track. A nice end to a very enjoyable afternoon!