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    WORKHORSE WAGON: Murtoa Stick Shed committee’s David Grigg with one of the historic rail wagons now on display at Murtoa. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Wagons arrive at historic Murtoa Stick Shed

Historic rail wagons representing the type used to transport grain in the past are now on display at Murtoa Stick Shed.

The three GY wagons are on display on a section of specially built rail line in a car park area at the front of the shed.

Seymour Railway Heritage Centre has provided the wagons for the stick shed at no charge.

More than 6300 GY and HY rail wagons came off production lines from 1939 to 1957. About 1000 were from Birmingham in England, 3250 from Newport, Bendigo and Ballarat Railway workshop and a further 1020 built by NSW heavy engineering firm A. E. Goodwin Ltd.

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The GY wagons were originally painted a usual Victorian Railways red and from 1948 a diagonal yellow stripe differentiated them from identical-looking but non-grain-proofed HYs. From 1970, GYs were progressively painted ‘Hansa yellow’.

The GY was probably the most recognisable wagon class on the Victorian Railways network because of sheer numbers. When not hauling wheat they carried a variety of loads including containers, farm equipment and superphosphate.

One of the most common sights in the Wimmera was long rakes of GYs, sometimes including up to 73 wagons, hauling a wheat harvest across the region.

The grain industry used the wagons to haul grain from distant concrete silos from areas such as Kaniva, Yaapeet and Patchewollock to Murtoa Stick Shed for storage. It then used the wagons to transport the grain to ports at Geelong and Portland for export.

Murtoa Stick Shed management committee secretary David Grigg said the group was excited by the arrival of the wagons.

“They have played a very significant role in the history of the grains industry in Victoria,” he said.

“We thank Seymour Railway Heritage Centre for making the wagons available and former Murtoa resident and railway enthusiast Richard Parker for his assistance in gaining them for us.”

The entire August 5, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!