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North Melbourne Locomotive Depot 1963

From the time I was given The Big Book of British Trains as a child, I had a love for railways. In the early Sixties, you could still go to the North Melbourne Locomotive Depot and see steam engines operating. Several times a year my best friend - an even bigger train nut than me - and I, and anyone else we could drag along, would go on excursions to the Depot and to Newport Workshops where I would snap photos with my tiny Kodak Starlet camera. Not great pix, but not bad for a little plastic camera with a fixed lens. We were just in time to get some photos as the great age of steam was coming to an end.

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Loco depot Loco depot interior
From the aptly named Railway Place in North Melbourne you looked down over the huge locomotive shed which contained three turntables inside with radiating lines. Note the large iron water tank on its tower. Inside the Locomotive Depot R class 743, 4-8-4 locomotive is turned. The powerful R classes were among the last locomotives to be acquired by VR, commencing service in 1951, just before the advent of dieselisation.
R705 Y108
R705 shunting outside the locomotive depot. Y108, a former general goods engine for local lines shunting. Note the running boards across the wheels. The shunters would ride on these to lock and unlock couplings. Y108 is now in the Railway Museum at Newport.
D3639 d3639 front on
D3 639, formerly "The Commissioner's Engine" was used to pull the "Commissioner's Train."  Here it is in mint condition at North Melbourne. A view of D3 639 head on. The number plates on the front are solid brass. It is also now in the Railway Museum in Williamstown Road.
R760 N464
R760 outside the depot N464 - a 2-8-2 goods locomotive, also shunting
Steam crane Z class
One of the oddest locos at North Melbourne. Number 4 steam crane. Number 3 steam crane which was formerly a suburban loco "Z class"

Next page - Newport Workshops

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