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(AUS)Riding the grain train

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From the age:



Riding the grain train Darren Gray Rural affairs reporter for The Age

It weighs 3030 tonnes, is more than 600 metres long, and can take five kilometres to stop. It's the mega-train taking our grain to the docks.

It has a kettle in a hole in the dashboard so the crew can boil a hot brew safely, a ''whistle'' that sounds quite a lot like a horn, a ''dead man's switch'' that must be pushed every 90 seconds and an elevated view of the countryside as it rushes past.

Diesel locomotive G524 — which pulls a giant train taking Victoria's grain to the docks — also has a fridge, red and green flags in case of an incident and a chunky black ''bat-phone'' to ensure the train driver can stay in contact with train control at all times.

And beside the track as it passes — and sometimes on the platform — the diesel has a loyal fan base who will admire it regardless of the time of day. At 2.27am when it slows to a halt at Bendigo railway station for a crew change, two young gunzels (rail fanatics) are waiting with cameras on the platform alongside the crew.

After the drought it's been a bumper few years. Plenty of grain trains,





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