Bairnsdale Reopening
SEC Railway
New South Wales
Disused Railways
Fake photos

The RTL (Road Transferable Locomotive) was originally purchased by V/Line Freight with the intention of performing short-haul tasks on Victoria's grain lines. After many trials, it's major revenue earning work appears to have been a period of approximately 3 months during the summer of 1999/2000 when the by then Freight Victoria decided to use it to enable log trains to be run on the otherwise disused Sale - Bairnsdale line. Due to a washaway west of Bairnsdale and the poor condition of the Avon River bridge at Stratford, the RTL was used to haul 5 - 7 wagons of logs between Hillside and Sale. It performed this task several times per day, with the loads being consolidated into longer trains hauled by 2-3 regular locomotives (usually A, T and P class locos) from Sale to Geelong. The photos here show the two occasions that the RTL was seen on the Gippsland line.

The first appearance of RTL 1 in Gippsland was its use purely for the media cameras when a drought turned flood relief train was brought to Sale to assist East Gippsland farmers with much needed grain for stock feed. An X class loco had hauled the train as far as Wurruk, on the other side of the Thomson River to Sale. Although the X was capable of bringing the train into Sale and into the sidings, the powers that be decided to use the RTL to haul the train those final 2kms. Here is the RTL having just been placed on the rails at Wurruk's level crossing.
RTL 1 arrives at Sale with grain wagons in tow. (I shall rescan these photos at higher resolution soon).
RTL 1 on its first revenue working between Sale and Hillside, pictured at Stratford.
RTL 1 on its first run to Hillside, pictured at Stratford waiting for a flagman to drive from the previous level crossing to this one at Hobson St. It would then to the same for the Princes Hwy crossing. When the trains began running on this line, none of the level crossing signals had been reactivated, the line having been out of use for several years.
Crossing Maffra Road, Stratford.
RTL 1 with 15 empty wagons approaching Stratford.
RTL 1 with 5 empty wagons climbs a grade east of Stratford and heads for Hillside.
RTL 1 at Sale.
Although all Hillside trains initially used open wagons, it wasn't long before larger log wagons began to appear.
RTL 1 crossing the Princes Hwy bridge at Stratford.
RTL 1 heading toward Sale from Stratford.

More RTL photos to follow. Plus a pictorial history of Bairnsdale log trains following the RTL operations from 2000.