Cultana to Radium Hill Branch

 
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
It was recently reported Locomotive 500 was delivered to work this branch line in 1964.  What traffic was seen on this branch please and when did it close?

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  duttonbay Minister for Railways

The Radium Hill branch opened in 1954 (as narrow gauge) to carry uranium, during a seven year contract to supply to the US. The crushed and processed ore was railed to Port Pirie for treatment at the Port Pirie Uranium Treatment Complex. In 1961 the contract finished and the mine was closed. The railway was subsequently used for ballast when the Broken Hill-Port Pirie line was converted to standard gauge. I doni't know (without spending more time researching) whether any of the early ballast trains ran on NG, or whether its use for ballast was only ever SG.
  hosk1956 Deputy Commissioner

Location: no where near gunzels
It was recently reported Locomotive 500 was delivered to work this branch line in 1964.  What traffic was seen on this branch please and when did it close?
bevans

I googled Radium Hill Railway out of curiousity, some photos came up and this neat video -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYDcqsJJ71k ,  I didn't realise the town was as complete as that, it was a bustling site for a few years.

Wayne


I have edited the above comment to reflect my mistake in believing the line wasn't standardised, refer to my later comment.

Wayne with the humblest of apologies.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

The Radium Hill branch was definitely converted to SG during the construction of the standard gauge main line. ARHS "Australian Railway Routes" says the branch was SG from 16 Dec 1964, the lifting of the line being completed on 9 Aug 66. A note says "Route was re-opened to obtain ballast for the new SG line then being built".

The comrails web site http://www.comrails.com/sar_locos/r_500.html says, regarding loco 500:

1.6.1964 Entered service as broad gauge 500 class diesel locomotive No.500
20.11.1964 Transferred to standard gauge and worked construction trains on Radium Hill line.
29.6.1966 Transferred back to broad gauge.
  hosk1956 Deputy Commissioner

Location: no where near gunzels
The Radium Hill branch was definitely converted to SG during the construction of the standard gauge main line. ARHS "Australian Railway Routes" says the branch was SG from 16 Dec 1964, the lifting of the line being completed on 9 Aug 66. A note says "Route was re-opened to obtain ballast for the new SG line then being built".

The comrails web site http://www.comrails.com/sar_locos/r_500.html says, regarding loco 500:

1.6.1964 Entered service as broad gauge 500 class diesel locomotive No.500
20.11.1964 Transferred to standard gauge and worked construction trains on Radium Hill line.
29.6.1966 Transferred back to broad gauge.
duttonbay
I shall reset my knowledge bank (brain) and enter that info.
I just looked on the comrails page and saw that entry as well, so I have been googling to see if I could find a definitive answer, unfortunately I am at work and no where near the mag collection.

Wayne
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Maybe the ARHS Bulletin News Supplements might have some information. I have the magazines, but not necessarily the supplements. I will check if I get a chance, tomorrow.
  barryc Chief Train Controller

Location: Waiting for a train to Canungra
Cultana is on the Eyre Peninsula and is mostly used by the Army as a training area.

Cutana is on the Barrier Highway and the railway line to Broken Hill and was the junction for the Radium Hill branch. It is pronounced Cute Na. Who knows why.
  hosk1956 Deputy Commissioner

Location: no where near gunzels
Found the photo I was alluding to earlier, it was in Jack Babbages "Northern Narrow Gauge" book, and shows the last narrow gauge train on the Radium Hill branch, it ran on 28th 0f July, 1964.
So I officially stand corrected, and I am a person who is passionate about correct information being in written word, because a researcher (me) will read those words and take it as gospel.

Wayne

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