Stations on the Trans Australian Railway

 
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Tarcoola station was all locked up when I visited in 2013, I didn't get a look inside. Pretty much all the railway buildings in Tarcoola are abandoned (and almost every other building in the town), however the old loco barracks is still used by ARTC length runners, and there's another barracks used by track workers when they have to stay in town.
Regarding the Central Line, I think that style of housing was used at a couple of locations Between Stirling North and Marree, possibly Neuroodla and Brachina.
dylan
On the new SG section would make sense.

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  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

I meant to say military rather than just army in my original post A multipurpose facility e.g. airfield to defend southern gap e.g. anti sub or anti surface, etc.Yes, woomera is nearby. Emergency landing for commercial jets, flying doctors forward base etc
ANR
Maritime patrol aircraft based at RAAF Edinburgh (or staging out of RAAF Pearce) and subs out of Fleet Base West have more than enough range to patrol the ocean south of the Great Australian Bight. Add in A330 MRRT refuelling support and a P-8A can go all the way to Antarctica if needed. There is no gap.

As for the airlines and RFDS, I'm sure they will be happy to know there's no need to employ expensive aviation experts when any old foamer can tell them how to run their organisation for free.

The point I have been trying to make is that we have one of the longest continuous rail tracks that could be used in the event of war and in time of peace. If the infrastructure had remained, there could have been some continued use of the facilities. It would take a lot of money, foresight, and political will to use it again.
ANR
The TAR would be a liability for military use in time of war, not an asset. A single cruise missile launched from well outside territorial waters would take just minutes to convert it into a pair of useless branch lines terminating at a hole in the ground.

In peacetime, the ADF and its contractors already make use of the TAR in the same way that private companies do - getting rail operators to drag stuff to/from WA for them. If the military needed any extra 'facilities' along the way not applicable to civilian rail traffic, they would already have built them!
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

Interesting videos but plain bloody madness the way some people venture out into the desert. Fuel, spare wheels, water, breakdowns, snakebite (whatever). The fewer people out there the better. Too much to go wrong.

Don't know if Chinese/Japanese (?) tourists on put-put motor bikes still attempt the access track from Kalgoorlie to Port Augusta. They were frequent out there a few years ago.
YM-Mundrabilla
YM, it is definitely a harsh environment. The Youtube comments posted on the second video link in my earlier post had some people who worked in the gangs look back with nostalgia, while talking about other colleagues (and their spouses especially) who found the going very difficult...

The rocky section of track on the Nullarbor is sufficient deterrent to avoid the area, even in a 4WD. You would need a trailer full of spare tyres/tubes, etc.

So justapassenger, I can see then that our main threat to our south really is from pesky penguins and seals.

I think there is some merit in multiple air strips to the south e.g. using the Eyre Highway. Having multiple landing spots couldnt do much harm...



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sg2-LDnzq_s
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

I think there is some merit in multiple air strips to the south e.g. using the Eyre Highway. Having multiple landing spots couldnt do much harm...
ANR
I drove across the Nullabor a couple of years ago, and from memory there are multiple places on the Eyre Hwy which are marked as airstrips, for RFDS planes.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

I think there is some merit in multiple air strips to the south e.g. using the Eyre Highway. Having multiple landing spots couldnt do much harm...
ANR
Multiple airstrips like Ravensthorpe, Esperance, Eucla, Yalata and Ceduna perhaps?

All of them can land an A320/B737 size plane in a dire emergency and are suitable for RAAF and Army as training locations for bare base operations.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I think there is some merit in multiple air strips to the south e.g. using the Eyre Highway. Having multiple landing spots couldnt do much harm...
Multiple airstrips like Ravensthorpe, Esperance, Eucla, Yalata and Ceduna perhaps?

All of them can land an A320/B737 size plane in a dire emergency and are suitable for RAAF and Army as training locations for bare base operations.
justapassenger
Would you then have to dismantle the plane and take the bits out by road?
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Here's the strip near Eucla, with our little Euro in which we travelled more than 26,000 km on our five month trip around the country.

https://flic.kr/p/2aV5E24
  dylan Train Controller

Location: South Australia
Regarding the original topic, would places such as Wirrappa even had a stationmaster or resident staff?
I'd assume everyone based at these places would've been involved in track maintenance.
I don't have a trans line timetable, but even in 1940s there were only three attended stations between Marree and Alice Springs (Edward's Creek, Oodnadatta and Abminga, if anyone's interested), I can't imagine the situation being much different on the Trans line.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

In the 1966 WTT Kingoonya, Tarcoola, Cook and Rawlinna were the only attended stations between Port Augusta and Parkeston. It was train orders by then, so no need to stop at every loop to exchange staffs in the automatic apparatus.

Edit: In 1966 on the Central Australia line the attended stations beyond Marree were at Oodnadatta, Finke and Alice Springs.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
As well as the strips for the Flying Doctor, there is a perfectly serviceable airport at Forrest. Both runways (18/36 and 09/27) are just under 5,000 feet in length which is a bit restrictive, and there is Avgas and Jet A-1 available there.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
As well as the strips for the Flying Doctor, there is a perfectly serviceable airport at Forrest. Both runways (18/36 and 09/27) are just under 5,000 feet in length which is a bit restrictive, and there is Avgas and Jet A-1 available there.
Valvegear
A DC 9 has been to Forrest years ago.
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

http://www.australiaforeveryone.com.au/ghost-towns-nullarbor.html

According to the above link, Forrest can handle a 747 in an emergency. Apparently, it has one of Australia's oldest hangars.

I have searched high and low online to find layouts of railway buildings and even surrounding homes, but came up with nothing.

Note the use of Nurina in ww2.
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
A single cruise missile launched from well outside territorial waters would take just minutes to convert it into a pair of useless branch lines terminating at a hole in the ground.
justapassenger
One targeting Port Augusta/Spencer Junction and one targeting the road bridge over the railway at Katherine would effectively cut Australia in half.

The Tindall Airbase at Katherine would be a good target, too.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
http://www.australiaforeveryone.com.au/ghost-towns-nullarbor.html

According to the above link, Forrest can handle a 747 in an emergency. Apparently, it has one of Australia's oldest hangars.

I have searched high and low online to find layouts of railway buildings and even surrounding homes, but came up with nothing.

Note the use of Nurina in ww2.
ANR
I would worry about a 747 at Forrest.
Maybe you could get down lengthwise assuming that the wheels didn't go straight through the runway but would you ever get up again?
I doubt that the runway strength would carry the weight of anything like a 747.
When the DC 9 went into Forrest in the late 1960s early 1970s it had to be one with low pressure tyres which, apparently, were special for outback WA airports? It was an Ansett bird IIRC.
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

How was the late Ziggy of Barton (fame) able to build or extend his house? Did he own it? Who resupplied him when the Tea and Sugar ceased operations? How was he given permission to remain? Can anyone buy a block of land along this line? Can you pitch a tent to camp? Numerous Youtube videos suggest that you could at least camp, but who would give that permission?

It sounds like a great place to set up and live an off-grid existence. But you would need to become self sufficient, maybe even to prepper extremes.

There are other YouTube videos showing Cook and Tarcoola's heyday railway populations. They were an example of how interdependence can be successful in small remote communities. However, there probably has to be some production focus: transport, communications, power generation, mining etc

Forrest: Google Maps Satellite photo shows this airfield has been significantly upgraded (blacktop)  - they were able to land a 747 in Albion Park remember? If you follow the railway line in either direction, you will see other former rail stops with what appear to be basic dirt runways e.g Hughes to the east, Cook, Ooldea, possibly Barton (it is hard to tell).
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
How was the late Ziggy of Barton (fame) able to build or extend his house? Did he own it? Who resupplied him when the Tea and Sugar ceased operations? How was he given permission to remain? Can anyone buy a block of land along this line? Can you pitch a tent to camp? Numerous Youtube videos suggest that you could at least camp, but who would give that permission?

It sounds like a great place to set up and live an off-grid existence. But you would need to become self sufficient, maybe even to prepper extremes.

There are other YouTube videos showing Cook and Tarcoola's heyday railway populations. They were an example of how interdependence can be successful in small remote communities. However, there probably has to be some production focus: transport, communications, power generation, mining etc

Forrest: Google Maps Satellite photo shows this airfield has been significantly upgraded (blacktop)  - they were able to land a 747 in Albion Park remember? If you follow the railway line in either direction, you will see other former rail stops with what appear to be basic dirt runways e.g Hughes to the east, Cook, Ooldea, possibly Barton (it is hard to tell).
ANR
The 747 at Albion Park was empty. Loaded with passengers/freight/fuel might be another matter??
Forrest has had sealed runway(s) for donkeys years as East Coast - Perth flights used to stop there for fuel fairly regularly I believe. I assume that these would have been DC 3s, DC 4s and perhaps others on occasions.
Assuming that you got a 747 down safely at Forrest could you get it off again? I am not a pilot and my only experience was the DC 9 at Forrest mentioned earlier.
I had the offer to fly out of Forrest in 1997/8 (?) but refused, preferring to return to Port Augusta by train. Perhaps that was a missed opportunity.
There are/were numerous airstrips at line locations along the TAR and Gangs were provided with flares to light the strip in darkness in an emergency.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
I'm surprised no-one has joined this thread and demanded the return of passenger services to Woocalla Razz
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I'm surprised no-one has joined this thread and demanded the return of passenger services to Woocalla Razz
bingley hall
No need - the ballast quarry closed long ago. Smile
Somewhere to stay at Mundrabilla would be different.Very Happy
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I'm surprised no-one has joined this thread and demanded the return of passenger services to Woocalla
"bingley hall"

It's an outrage! (not original, but you can quote me:lol:)
  dylan Train Controller

Location: South Australia
Why stop at Woocalla?
You could extend passenger services a few sidings further, open a bakery there and call it 'Birthday Cakes'
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

A single cruise missile launched from well outside territorial waters would take just minutes to convert it into a pair of useless branch lines terminating at a hole in the ground.
One targeting Port Augusta/Spencer Junction and one targeting the road bridge over the railway at Katherine would effectively cut Australia in half.

The Tindall Airbase at Katherine would be a good target, too.
kipioneer
Hence the reason that the military has other transport options in mind these days. Railways are too delicate to be relied upon when the going gets tough.

To all the 'rail is the best for everything' crew: your sacred cow went down well with a good serving of roast vegetables.
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

It wouldn't take long to rebuild a single track. After every mishap on the transcontinental line e.g. derailment, wash away, etc, the damaged section of line has usually been reinstated quickly.

Our big land mass is the enemy's headache. We could send gangers across the entire TAR line in wartime. Ballast, concrete sleepers, spare rails etc can be dumped across a few dot points as preparation. It would have been nice to have living quarters in place, but canvas tents would do.

Even though Tindal would be a prime target, Alice would be wiped off the map first, thanks to Pine Gap. If Spencer Junction remained in operation, freight would probably not venture north of Kulgera. We would have to round up our camel population and put some teams together .... again, but this time, in post-apocalyptic Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome fashion...

I just had a thought... does Australia have a strategic oil reserve? What would power our NR Locos in wartime...

.... Back to the camel train....
  SA_trains Deputy Commissioner

Location: ACT


Forrest: Google Maps Satellite photo shows this airfield has been significantly upgraded (blacktop)  - they were able to land a 747 in Albion Park remember? If you follow the railway line in either direction, you will see other former rail stops with what appear to be basic dirt runways e.g Hughes to the east, Cook, Ooldea, possibly Barton (it is hard to tell).
ANR

So... the Jumbo at Albion Park was on a specific one-way journey with special permission to fly without adherence to a lot of air-safety regulations. Its flight from Kingsford-Smith was with carefully calculated fuel loads, minimum weight, everything unnecessary removed and lots of practising in a simulator.

That said, the airstrip at Forrest is maintained as a landing site in dire emergencies. In a dire emergency, you will put down where you can. The only other similar airstrips are RAAF Woomera and the Roxby Downs airstrip. Perhaps Ceduna too? Whether it can take off again, would depend on a lot of things. Assuming undamaged, or lightly damaged, any flight out would be with the minimum everything to get to the nearest proper airport. B747? Who knows.  Seriously damaged, then probably a write-off and it would be cut up and scrapped on-site.

Heaven forbid Forrest is ever needed for an emergency landing. Hopefully, it remains as a stopping off point for light aircraft movements.
  SA_trains Deputy Commissioner

Location: ACT


I just had a thought... does Australia have a strategic oil reserve? What would power our NR Locos in wartime...

ANR

No. And the NR fleet are not considered in those implications! In addition, it doesn't have to be hostilities either...
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

Here is a video in relation to Forrest.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkyiVHhOoEM

Although the railway appears to have nothing to do with the town it helped to build, ... the airfield is a different story.

It would be interesting to know if the 6 houses remain.

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