VR - V/Line - VLP/ FA Locomotives

Victoria was the first state in Australia to open a steam railway, and also the first to use electric traction. Most of the early railways were privately owned, with all being taken over by the government by the end of the 1870's. Now, the wheel has turned full circle, as the government put V/Line Freight and Passenger up for sale, as well as the rest of the Victorian public transport system (doing this so that by having separate parts, they can make the most money when they flog it all off - and of course this is gross incompetency). At least Freight Australia were going well following privatisation; the same cannot be said now for the public transport operators in Melbourne.
V/Line was broken up into V/Line Passenger and V/Line Freight prior to sale; the allocation of locomotives was originally as follows:
V/Line Passenger:
A60,62,66,70; all N class; P11-18; Y129, 156, 161, 163. S302 (ex-West Coast) was later added.
Freight Australia (former V/Line Freight then Freight Victoria):
Remainder of A, P, Y classes; all G, H, S, T, X classes, and V544.
Because of a motive power shortage, Freight Australia has leased over time locos from CFCLA, Northern Rivers Railroad in NSW, as well as others from preservation groups (these include B80; S313; T320, 356, 364, 378, 413 as well as ex-AN GM36).
Finally, FA also have 3 RTLs (Road-Transferable-Locomotives); these are basically prime-movers with rail wheels, allowing them to be driven along train tracks; suitable for lines with a light axle loading.

Freight Australia (FA) consists of Rail America, Macquarie Bank, Fluor Daniel, and Goninan. However, FA has now been sold to PacNat. Their livery is yellow and dark green (AKA "wheelie bin"). FA have repainted nearly all of their fleet; so far, the locos repainted are:
A71, 73, 77-79, 81; G511-515, 519-533, 536-543; H1-5; P19-23; S301, 303; T371, 374, 379, 388, 390, 396, 399-400, 402, 408, 409; X31, X33-49, 51-52; Y115, 118-119, 122, 142, 147, 151-152, 157, 165, 169, 171, 174. Also in this livery is V544.
With the PacNat takeover, G519, 527, 532-533, 535, 540; H1; S306-307; T371, 379, 392, 399-400; X39, 41, 43, 50, XR551, 555, 557-559, & XRB560-562 are in PacNat livery.
V/Line Passenger was "given away" to UK company National Express (along with half of Melbourne's train and tram services). With NX's financial problems, the State Government is now in charge. All of their locos have now been painted in the "blood-and-bone" livery, and some have been reptainted in a newer VLP livery.

One unique feature about Victorian locomotives is that, apart from the F class shunters, Clyde Engineering has a monopoly on the diesel-electric locos.
Pacific National operate around 70 locos while V/Line Passenger operate about 40. The current drought has some effect on the number of PN locos in service. When under FA control, locos were also used on SCT trains (all the way to Perth). They also operate into NSW, for log, grain, and fuel traffic, and most recently, for coal.

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© Copyright John Cleverdon