ENHB Hopper / ESF Shunt Fender

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This vehicle was built as a broad gauge ballast hopper for the Victorian Railways, and entered service as NN 86 on 20 Sep 1950. It was reclassified VHWA 86 around 1979 when universal four-letter codings were introduced.

It arrived in Port Lincoln in 2007, and was mounted on narrow gauge bogies, repainted, and reclassified as ENHB 86. This coding is a little confusing, as there was another ENHB 86 on Eyre Peninsula from 1992 to 2001 (see here for details).

If successful, this vehicle (and others of the same class) would have been used to increase the length of the gypsum train. The experiment was however deemed a failure, so ENHB 86 remained as an orphan at Port Lincoln until 2015.

ENHB 86 at Port Lincoln in September 2007. Photo: Peter Knife

In early 2015 the hopper body and support framing was removed from ENHB 86, and a new body fabricated at Port Lincoln to adapt the underframe for use as a shunt fender (or float). As rebuilt, it has been re-coded and renumbered as ESF 1. It entered service in May 2015, and is permanently stationed on the Bunker siding at Cummins. It is used as a riding platform for the second crewman during the long propelling shunt into the Cummins Bunker overhead loading bins.

ESF 1 at Cummins in August 2015. Photo: Peter Knife