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Queensland Trains

Bajool

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Bajool Yard is located at the 605 kilometre post on the double track Gladstone to Rocklands section of Q.R's North Coast Line. The elaborate track layout is a legacy of the sites former status as a junction point for the Port Alma Branch that is  now closed as well as being used to rest cattle on long journeys. The port branch was closed in 1986 and was a political white elephant constructed to prevent Gladstone from becoming the dominant port in the region. A portion of the line still remains and is used to store wagons and has been used by contractors to cut up and remove wagons and even some locos for scrap. Road haulage has taken over the small amount of traffic still handled at the port and control was handed to the Gladstone Port Authority, which has changed its name to Central Queensland Ports Authority. A move that surely has the Rockhampton protectionists rolling in their graves.
The cattle yards (now dormant) are served by an electrified loop and can be accessed by trains from either the Up or Down lines via crossovers at either end of the yard limits. This also provides controllers with a lot of options to keep the heavy traffic on this line moving.
It is rare for any train to travel the whole length of the double track on the same line and some may change over three or four times during their trip north or south.
Once a busy little town the modernization of the railway and the removal of the track gangs has seen the town struggle to keep up with the growth of the rest of the region.
You will see almost every type of train on this section of line that Q.R operates as fast freight and passenger trains weave in and out of slower coal trains and when both Tilt Trains are running they cross each other early in the morning on this section of the NCL.
I will endeavour to give you a description of the line at this location from its southern limit to the north, the line here is bi-directional CTC or as Q.R calls it Remote Controlled Signalling or RCS. Trains travelling north are Down trains and trains heading south are Up trains and like road traffic the normal practice is left hand running. Trains travelling in the opposite direction to their running line are often said to be travelling Wrong Road. Now that's clear as mud I will start the tour near the northern end of Marmor Bank, passing the blue and
white striped triangles used as approach beacons that warn drivers that an approach signal is not far away. Sure enough the Down approach signals for each track are not far behind and have two aspects yellow or green.
As we approach the bottom of the bank we turn to the right and the Down Home signals come into view just across the two Eight Mile Creek bridges the cutting leading to the now removed original bridge is off to the left. Once over the bridge the line straightens out and we pass the crossovers that the signals protect and continue past the Up Starter signals and under the overpass that leads to Port Alma and the eastern side of the town.
On the northern side of the overpass a line to the third road diverges from the Up line and about half a kilometre or so a steel pedestrian bridge stands above the line.
Just past the pedestrian bridge on the right a set of points on the third road diverge leading to the loop that is used to load and unload cattle and a bit further on to the left is the station building. Across from the station are the points on the third road allowing trains from the Up direction into the cattle
loop, you can see in the photos below that these points are quite sharp.
The loop disappears into a cutting and curves around to the left hiding a set of points leading off to the remains of the Port Alma Branch. A bit further on the loop rejoins the third road in the Up direction with the unloading point about one hundred meters from the mainline. The mainline continue across a depression prone to flooding by a nearby creek on two concrete bridges.
A few hundred meters down the track are the crossovers protected by the Down Starter and Up Home signals.
Just past the signals the line curves to the left and a few hundred meters along the line we will pass the Up approach signals as we continue along the straight run to Archer.
I hope this will act as a guide for the photos below and if I have got anything wrong let me know and yes I just decided to call the loop the third road because it sounds better.
Traffic on the line is quite heavy and you may notice most of
the photos were taken on a certain Tuesday when I recorded thirty two trains in ten hours and I even missed a few when I went out to Port Alma. I hope you enjoy the page, I know it is big but I wanted people to see what a busy line the NCL is between Gladstone and Rockhampton and Bajool is the best place to show it. If you think I have got any terms wrong then you are quite welcome to edit the offending text and send it to me.


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3547 leads its Up loaded coal train at the 601km post on the Down line south to Gladstone passing the Down approach beacon. Just  before the level crossing are the Down Approach signals. The train is just starting the short but hard climb up Marmor Bank.  3/28/2006 10:02:33 AM

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The midtrain locos and remote control wagon from the above train passing the Up Approach signals for Marmor. 3525 is wearing its new livery for Q.R National.

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A loaded coalie starts to slow as it begins its climb of the north end of Marmor Bank. You may be asking why so many phots from this spot and the simple answer is that when all the grass and bushes grow back from the burn off it may not be possible to get these shots again. 3/4/2006 3:56:21 PM

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A Pacific National Queensland train under dynamic brakes slows as it decends Marmor Bank to cross over to the Up line. The signal aspect for this was yellow with five white lights on the route indication ladder.
3/11/2006 3:16:38 PM

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A northbound empty coal train gliding down the hill.
3/4/2006 4:04:20 PM

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2213D in new paint pulling empty coal wagons on a transfer run to Mackay.  3/11/2006 3:07:06 PM

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Empty 4000 class coal train decends the bank.
3/4/2006 5:29:51 PM

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Looking north from the position the previous photos were taken you can see the dual bridges over Eight Mile Creek and the Down home signals for Bajool. The one on the left is the Down signal and the route indication ladders extending from the right side of the head indicate what route the points have been set to. The top one indicates the points are set to crossover to the Up line and the lower tells the drivers the points are set so the train can cross over to the Up line and then the third road a bit further on. The right signal is the Up home signal and has a ladder on either side of the head. The left indicates the points are set to cross the train to the Down line and the right shows the points are set to the third road.
The signal indications pictured are for the trains in the next two pictures below.
3/4/2006 4:16:28 PM

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2800 class loco hauling 2492H, 4012 and 4009 as vehicles and a short train of cement.
3/4/2006 4:18:47 PM

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2357 leading 1771D, 2602, 2100 and 3922 with another short train. 3/4/2006 4:27:35 PM

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2821 with 2251 pulling a short container freight.
3/11/2006 3:40:09 PM

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A empty coal train crossing Eight Mile Creek.3/4/2006 4:05:14 PM

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Three 39 class electrics and 2159D pass over Eight-Mile creek just south of Bajool on the North Coast Line with a load of cement and explosives. 06/09/99 16.13

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On the northern side of the creek looking south 4047 heads north with another empty coal train.
3/28/2006 12:28:50 PM

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PN007 crossing over to the Down line to overtake some slower trains a bit further south.
3/28/2006 12:08:39 PM

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2814 powers up after crossing over to the Up line for a clear run to Rockhampton. The over pass in the background leads to Port Alma.
3/28/2006 7:07:01 AM

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Looking north from the pedestrian bridge you can see the green light for the train in the previous picture.

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2815 and 2260 in new paint lead a container freight north on the Up line. 3/28/2006 7:15:21 AM

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The long closed Bajool station.   3/28/2006 7:47:32 AM

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2389 and 2130F with a empty molasses train passing through Bajool. 3/28/2006 8:04:29 AM

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A electric coal train heading south with another load just out of shot to the left is the station building. This train features again near the bottom of the page on the same day returning empty to the mines. To the right you can see the points from the third road leading to the cattle yard loop.
3/28/2006 8:08:03 AM

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The midtrain locos and "Pie Cart" or remote control wagon from the train pictured above. It is rare nowdays to see matching paint schemes and all the same wagons on a coal train.

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2192F with the eight car Tilt Train replacement service.   3/28/2006 7:55:38 AM

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Looking south over the fence a coal train heading north for another load headed by 3544. The photo below was taken from the same spot looking east.
 4/2/2006 9:42:42 AM

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2116D with eight cattle wagons unloading at Bajool Resting Yards it arrived from the north and returned to Rocky when empty at 15.30. 08/09/00 14.27

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No I am not standing to close to the line this photo has been croped and just looks like it. PN001 crossing a anarbranch of Six Mile Creek at the northern end of Bajool Yard.
3/28/2006 8:56:36 AM

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2357 and a 2100 class loco power south with a container freight.
3/28/2006 8:19:27 AM

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2805 running south on the Down line with a container freight to overtake some slower coal traffic. You may notice the measures put in place to strengthen the bridge due to higher axel loads and increased traffic.   
4/2/2006 8:54:11 AM

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One of the trains 2805 passed north of Bajool headed by two 4000 class locos and one midtrain unit.
4/2/2006 9:21:31 AM

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A loaded Up coal train on the Down line has its speed pinched back to cross over to the Down line at the northern end of Bajool Yard. In the forground the Up home signals stand silent witness to this regular event. 1.32pm 28/03/06

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The train pictured in the previous photo crossing to the Up line while an empty coal train headed by 4027 waits at the Down Home signal.

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Soon after the 4000 class coalie continues north.

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Sighted for the second time today but this time empty after unloading at Gladstone an electric coalie passing the level crossing at the same location as the two previous photos. 2.50pm 28/03/06

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This photo taken from the road to Port Alma shows some of the wagons stored on the remains of the Port Alma Branch about a kilometer east of Bajool. 28/03/06

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The old track bed for the port branch looking west back towards Bajool. There are several companies producing salt on the tidal flats around Port Alma. 28/03/06

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The only track I could find at Port Alma is this section that leads into a disused fuel storage facility. The stockpile on the left is salt. 28/03/06

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