This blog provides information, stories, links and events relating to and promoting the history of the Wimmera district.
Any additional information, via Comments, is welcomed.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Brimming with memories

It's great when an item - a photo, a reunion, a chance comment, a blog post, a throw-away line - starts a conversation. The earlier 'Railways - Patchewollock line' post back in January has unearthed some great photos.

The Patchewollock line branched from Murtoa, efforts to extend the line were due in a large part to the lobbying of pastoralist Edward H. Lascelles. He started construction of the private line, but it was completed by Victorian Railways. The line was changed from broad to standard gauge at the same time as the main line to South Australia. The line beyond Hopetoun was closed in December 1986 and the tracks removed.

The photos concern the railway station at Brim. The photograph above was taken from on top of one of the Brim silos in the 1960s by Merwyn Wardle. He and his family lived up on the hill behind the station.
Brim today - the Goods shed in front of the silos
The row of grain silos

The line opened to Brim in January 1893 (the township wasn't surveyed until 1890). The station handled grain and stock and had a passenger service, now only the grain traffic remains. 
The Railways Department constructed a grain shed in 1894 for storing shareholders wheat (apparently the railways own the floor & the farmers the 'shed'). By storing the wheat farmers could take advantage of increased prices during the winter off-season. 
Over the years the shed stored wheat, barley, oats and super-phosphate.The Farmers Grain Shed was also used for community functions - weddings, dances, flower shows... 
Stockyards were built to allow farmers to send stock to the Newmarket sales and elsewhere. Stock loaded on a Sunday were dispatched on Monday morning via the train returning from Patchewollock, and would reach the Melbourne early Tuesday in time for the markets. With the advent of more livestock transportation by road, the stockyards were dismantled.
The concrete silos were constructed in 1938. 
The passenger rail service was replaced by a bus service, with the Vline bus stop next to the entrance to the rail yard.

The Pig Pen shed - when the Australian Wheat Board introduced wheat bulk-heads in 1946, they were known as "pig pens".
The platform & its buildings, the pig pen, farmers grain shed, fuel depot, and the gangers quarters have all been removed or dismantled from the rail yard.
The Gangers quarters with its extra 2 room extension was jacked up and shifted to Wardle's 'Klondyke' farm on the back of Keith Hunter's truck in the early 1970s.
The Gangman's quarters
The silos and the Goods shed are the only surviving historic buildings remaining at Brim.
The Goods shed with the platform mound behind


  1. My father was John (Jack) Barry,he was the railway ganger at Brim in 1969.
    We lived in the house opposite the silos,Frank Kupke was the station master and lived at the other end of the station.Does anyone have any photos of the station or the house in question?...Alan

    1. Hi
      Train Hobby Publications - Victorian Railways Railmoters .
      Has a photo of Brim Station with a Railmoter DERM 57 at the station with staff and passengers taken on 30- 07 - 1971 .
      Hope this helps Steve Henderson

  2. Thanks for the tip, will access a copy of it and post the photo.