Railfan Information

This information is presented as a guide to current operations on the ex-South Australian Railways lines on Eyre Peninsula. As circumstances can and often do change, no responsibility can be accepted for the accuracy or timeliness of the details, however the information may be of assistance to visitors to Eyre Peninsula.

Please remember, 'safety first', keep well clear of moving trains and do not trespass.

Train Operations

The only regular year-round operations on Eyre Peninsula are the gypsum trains between Thevenard and Kevin. This is an impressive 'conveyor belt' working, with one set of locomotives and wagons making three round trips per day, usually five or six days a week. The trains are typically hauled by three locomotives and consist of a solid set of ENH and ENHA wagons. Train lengths vary, but are usually around 50 wagons. A balloon loop at Thevenard and a triangle at Kevin mean that the same locomotive leads all day. Routine maintenance is carried out at Thevenard, and locomotives are exchanged periodically between Port Lincoln and Thevenard. Four locomotives are based at Thevenard for these workings, usually the four Eyre Peninsula NJs or three NJs and one 830.

The grain workings are focussed on the Port Lincoln end of the network. They are seasonal workings, but in good seasons the trains may keep running year round. The season begins with the start of harvesting in October/November and continues until at least the middle of the following year.

Up to the end of April 2014 grain trains commonly consisted of 54 wagons (mixed consists of all available hopper classes: HAN,HBN and HCN). The most common locomotive rostering was an A-830-DA or A-830-830 combination, with quad 830s/DAs when an A was unavailable. NJs in Port Lincoln for servicing usually appear on grain trains until returned to Thevenard.

From 1 May 2014 only one grain train consist of 64 hoppers was used (HAN and HCN hoppers only). Trains for Cummins Bunker are limited to 60 wagons due to shunting restrictions there. Unlike the previous two-train working, there is no predictable pattern to running times. More recently, 31 AHGX class grain hoppers have been transferred from standard gauge to narrow gauge and sent to Port Lincoln. Once all were available for traffic, all HCN class hoppers were withdrawn and scrapped. The grain consist is now normally 62 hoppers, with a block of AHGX and another of HAN. Power is typically the two A (1200) class and two 830/900 class.

From the 2005-2006 season, grain trains only run as far as Wudinna and Kimba. The Yeelanna - Kapinnie line saw its last train in October 2002, and the last working to Buckleboo was in early 2005. The only movements between Wudinna and Penong Junction (Ceduna) now are light engine transfers between Thevenard and the workshops at Port Lincoln. Transfers occur approximately monthly.

Updates on current operations can generally be found on Railpage Australia in the Port Lincoln Notes topic of the South Australia forum, or on Facebook in the Eyre Peninsula Rail Enthusiasts group.

Radio Frequencies

Radio is used for Train Control over much of the network, and for shunting at Port Lincoln and Thevenard.

Port Lincoln and Ceduna:

Wanilla (between Port Lincoln and Cummins):

Tooligie:

Eyre Peninsula Train Control radio traffic can also be heard elsewhere in the state on ARG's Train Control frequencies (418.675 in the Adelaide area).

Train Numbers

Train numbers on Eyre Peninsula conform to ARG's standard numbering plan for South Australian lines. Numbers are in the form "DRLN", where:

The day of the week ranges from 1 (Sunday) to 7 (Saturday).

The route code indicates the line segment, A for Port Lincoln - Cummins, B for Ungarra - Buckleboo, C for Yeelanna - Penong Junction (including the Kapinnie branch) and D for Thevenard - Kevin.

The location code specifies the destination siding (forward journeys) or originating siding (return journeys). The codes are duplicated within route segments, so the combinations of route code and location code used are:

The service number is odd for movements away from a major centre (Port Lincoln or Thevenard) and even for movements towards such a centre. Numbers start at 1 each day for each combination of route code and location code.

Some examples:

The first train from Port Lincoln to Cummins on a Thursday would be 5AE1. It would return as 5AE2.

The second gypsum train on a Friday from Thevenard to Kevin would be 6DD3, returning as 6DD4.

The first train from Cummins Bunker to Lock on a Tuesday would be 3CD1, returning as 3CD2. In the event of a second train running to Lock, from Port Lincoln on the same day, it would then be numbered 3CD3/3CD4 (although it is the first train to Lock from Port Lincoln that day, it is the second to use Lock's 'CD' code that day).