Shepparton railway line
|Type||V/Line passenger service|
|System||V/Line and Pacific National|
Limited stops between Melbourne and Seymour, stopping all stations beyond
|Rolling stock||Locomotive hauled N type carriages|
184.84 km to Shepparton|
251.4 km to Tocumwal
|Number of tracks||Double track to Seymour, single track with passing loops beyond|
|Track gauge||1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)|
The Shepparton line is a 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) gauge railway line in Victoria, Australia. It branches off the Albury-Wodonga-Sydney railway line at Seymour and has four passenger stations to Shepparton.
Tocumwal railway line
The Shepparton line is served by daily V/Line services from Southern Cross station in Melbourne. V/Line Seymour line services also operate along the inner section of the line, and is a branch line from the North East railway.
In 2019, V-Line V/Locity railcars will begin to travel to the Shepparton line.
The Melbourne and Essendon Railway Company opened the first section of the Shepparton railway line from North Melbourne to Essendon in 1860. Following its take over by the Victorian Government in 1867, the line was extended to Tallarook and Mangalore in 1872. This line was completed to Albury in 1883 (see Albury-Wodonga line).
A line was built from Mangalore to Toolamba and Shepparton in 1880 and extended to Numurkah in 1881, Strathmerton in 1905 and connecting with the New South Wales Government Railways at Tocumwal at a break-of-gauge in 1908.
Passenger services to Tocumwal ended on 8 November 1975 with the last train operated by T class diesel locomotive T324 and passenger carriages 3AS - 31BE - 2AE - 22CE. Before this time the Strathmerton - Cobram section of the line was operated as the 'branch line' with a 102hp Walker railmotor connecting with the main line train. A bus service was then introduced for the Tocumwal branch, connecting with the Cobram service. By 1977/78 the service between Cobram and Tocumwal was being operated by a VicRail owned station wagon driven by the Cobram station master.
The last passenger service from Toolamba station to Echuca ran on 2 March 1981 with Y class diesel locomotive Y161, an ABE carriage and a C van. This consist had only been introduced a few months prior, with a DERM usually being rostered. Toolamba finally closed as a station on 20 December 1987.
The passenger service from Numurkah north to Cobram was withdrawn on 24 April 1981 but was restored on 14 August 1983. The service from Melbourne to Shepparton then to Cobram was again withdrawn on 21 August 1993, with Hoys Roadlines taking control of the train as far as Shepparton from 22 August, hiring locomotives, carriages and train crews from V/Line. This arrangement remained until 2004.
There have been calls for the line to be standardised as part of the proposed Melbourne to Brisbane 'Inland Railway'. In April 2008 it was announced that the Shepparton – Tocumwal section of the line would also be upgraded, as part of the Victorian core grain network in a A$23.7 million package with 6 other lines.
A branch line was subsequently built from Murchison East to Rushworth and Colbinabbin, with another branch from Rushworth to Stanhope and Girgarre. A cross-country line between Toolamba and Echuca was completed in 1887.
A short branch line was opened from Shepparton to Dookie in 1888. A tramway, built and operated by the Shire of Tungamah, was opened between Dookie and Katamatite in 1890. It was taken over by the Victorian Railways in 1896. Another short branch line was opened from Strathmerton to Cobram in 1888.
- Chris Banger (March 1997). "Rail Passenger Service Withdrawals Since 1960". Newsrail. Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division). pp. 77–82.
- Bob Whitehead (2008). Tocumwal Railway Centenary.
- "Track Record: 19 April to June 2004" (PDF). www.doi.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2008-07-13.
- "$43m to upgrade rail freight lines". The Age. Archived from the original on 6 December 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2008.
- Toolamba-Echuca railway line
- "Katamatite". www.arts.monash.edu.au/ncas/multimedia/gazetteer. Australian Places. Archived from the original on 2006-08-21. Retrieved 2006-06-07.