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SteamRanger steam locomotive 621 shunting and departing Victor Harbor with a Cockle Train. 3-6-2012

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Published on Jun 6, 2012

SteamRanger steam locomotive 621 is seen at Victor Harbor shunting and detaching two steel passenger carriages on the holding track then turning on the turntable before setting back onto the Cockle Train consist and departing for Goolwa with the 1:30pm ex Victor Harbor Cockle Train.

On Sunday the 3rd of June 2012, SteamRanger steam locomotive 621 hauled the first Southern Encounter service from Mount Barker to Victor Harbor and return for the year. The consist from Mount Barker to Goolwa included a '70' series wooden passenger carriage and 4 steel passenger carriages, a total of 5 carriages for 207 tons. The '70' series wooden passenger carriage was included in the consist as it was to be used for the days Cockle Trains and then left at Goolwa depot after completion of the days Cockle Trains. Arrival at Goolwa saw the Southern Encounter cross Brill railcar No.60 which had hauled the 11:00am Cockle Train ex Victor Harbor.

Steam locomotive 621 then shunted an extra '80' series wooden baggage carriages onto the Southern Encounter consist to form a 6 carriage approximately 234 ton combined Cockle Train/Southern Encounter from Goolwa to Victor Harbor.
At Victor Harbor two Southern Encounter carriages (two steel passenger carriages) were detached and stabled in the holding road then after 621 turned on the turntable departed Victor Harbor with the 1:30pm Cockle Train for Goolwa hauling two steel passenger carriages, one '70' series wooden passenger carriage and one '80' series wooden baggage carriage, a total of 4 for approximately 144 ton. At Goolwa depot 621 was serviced, watered and turned on the triangle ready for the 2:45pm Cockle Train from Goolwa to Victor Harbor.

At 3:15pm, 621 arrived back at Victor Harbor and after turning on the turntable, pushed the two steel passenger carriages that were on the holding road back onto the other four carriages to make up the combined Cockle Train/Southern Encounter for the return journey back to Goolwa and Mount Barker.
After departure from Victor Harbor, 621 stopped en route at Port Elliot then departed for Goolwa and then on arrival at Goolwa depot the '70' series wooden passenger carriage and the '80' series wooden baggage carriage used for the Cockle Train were detached from the train. Late running saw the Southern Encounter arrive into Strathalbyn.

After departure from Strathalbyn and a stop having to be made at the level crossing at High Street in Strathalbyn due to the level crossing not activating, 621 and her train started the climb up the 1:45 grade towards Bugle Ranges and Philcox Hill. Due to the heavy load and the wet and slippery conditions thanks to some heavy rain, 621's crew was put to the test and on many occasions slipped but after a stern effort put in by the locomotive crew and some crisp loud stack talk from 621, she made it to the top of the climb at Philcox Hill and coasted down the grade into Mount Barker capping of a great start to the Southern Encounter steam season.

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