Lines which should never have closed (but let's just be a little realistic)

 
  Turbo Thomas Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Which railway lines have been closed for whatever reason and then it's been realised that it was a mistake closing it. Not necessarily straight away, but as the years grew on it's been realised it should never have been closed in the first place. But let's be realistic and not nostalgic about it. It's bad to see any rail line close but most of the time it's justified because it's not worth the maintenance to keep it open.

An obvious example is the Gold Coast Railway, it was such a big mistake that they ended up having to rebuild it. The rebuilt line might be a bit straighter and therefore quicker, but I reckon the Southport connection still would have been good. You would have been able to walk straight off the train and onto the beach.

Melbourne's Webb Dock line had the potential. Unfortunately the line was never given a proper chance to prove it's worth.

I reckon Melbourne's outer circle line would have been handy if it was still around, it would have given Metro ways to route around failures and accidents.

In future years I believe they will regret closing the Murwillumbah line. It would have been quite easy to extend it towards somewhere like Kingscliff where the Gold Coast population is slowly moving more and more south (just keep it going alongside Tweed Valley Way). If they extended the Gold Coast tram to connect with it you would then have a perfect transport system.

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  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
An obvious example is the Gold Coast Railway, it was such a big mistake that they ended up having to rebuild it. The rebuilt line might be a bit straighter and therefore quicker, but I reckon the Southport connection still would have been good. You would have been able to walk straight off the train and onto the beach.

...

In future years I believe they will regret closing the Murwillumbah line. It would have been quite easy to extend it towards somewhere like Kingscliff where the Gold Coast population is slowly moving more and more south (just keep it going alongside Tweed Valley Way). If they extended the Gold Coast tram to connect with it you would then have a perfect transport system.
Turbo Thomas

Consider however the money saved during the years that these lines were closed. No maintenance bills, no wages bills, no running costly trains with little to no benefit...

There is a push in the UK to reopen lines closed during the Beeching years. Perhaps in years to come a similar thing will take place in this country. I don't expect to see much in my lifetime.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
In Victoria, the Daylesford, Healesville, Wonthaggi, Mornington and Whittlesea lines are obvious standouts as tourism and Melbourne growing ever outward.

Mike.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
In Victoria, the Daylesford, Healesville, Wonthaggi, Mornington and Whittlesea lines are obvious standouts as tourism and Melbourne growing ever outward.

Mike.
The Vinelander

Agree with you Mike.  I would also add the line from Warnambool west to Port Fairy a booming seaside town.  I would also add Dookie.

I have often thought about the lines west of the grampians too where a lot of wheat comes from
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
An obvious example is the Gold Coast Railway, it was such a big mistake that they ended up having to rebuild it. The rebuilt line might be a bit straighter and therefore quicker, but I reckon the Southport connection still would have been good. You would have been able to walk straight off the train and onto the beach.
Turbo Thomas
Your assertion that you could walk straight off the steam era train and onto the beach, just gives you the normally still waters of the Southport Broadwater. The much desired surf and main popular tourist venues was quite a distance away over the long Jubilee Bridge and you can calculate the distance from Southport railway station in Nind Street to Main Beach or Surfers Paradise yourself, but a hint, there was a very good reason for the coordinated bus service that met the trains at Southport.

The new electric train 140 kph capable line to the Gold Coast is not the same curvy route as the steam era route with the steam era shown on the following 1960s topographical as black dotted line termed dismantled railway. Top speed 50mph if steam crew silly enough and only is a very few spots due to all the curves etc. Compare that to the modern much straighter route easily found on the internet via your own computer.

1960s steam era route to Southport on topographical map https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByB-ppGeDyvwQ0tOZmZJakxZbzA/view

1960 Southport street map with rail as black line https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BLQyT6b-uhPI00Alzpd9lgTA0u63BCav/view

EDIT; the thread title includes the words 'But let's just be a little realistic'. If the original poster was realistic, and done some checking on what the actual steam era route was, then the twisty curvey tedious South Coast Line to Southport would not have been included!!!!  No comment on the other lines in that original post as maybe someone has not realized the customers in those areas preferred road transport and purchased cars, which was their free choice.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
In Victoria, the Daylesford.......

Mike.
The Vinelander
Which one? Or both? Laughing
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Yanac, coz it goes through Netherby
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
In Victoria, the Daylesford.......

Mike.
Which one? Or both? Laughing
BrentonGolding

Obviously from Woodend. Smile

I guess I didn't even think of the line from Creswick North because I'm old enough to remember the Daylesford 280 Walker as the sweeper for the 08:45 Great Northern Ltd. which used to run express from Spencer St to Woodend.

John Hearsch of Rail Futures was the VR guy tasked with closing the Daylesford line, which in retrospect he knows was an unwise decision. But in those days before the pink dollar arrived, Daylesford was a very sleepy town with a terribly rough riding branch line.

Mike.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Lines may open and close but the alignment should never be disposed of. Short term leased maybe but NEVER lost to the community long term.
The Webb Dock line was a classic - extend the dock and close the railway serving it - only in Victoria. Sorry, I forgot that the powers that be needed a football ground.
  NSWGR8022 Chief Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
Lines may open and close but the alignment should never be disposed of. Short term leased maybe but NEVER lost to the community long term.
The Webb Dock line was a classic - extend the dock and close the railway serving it - only in Victoria. Sorry, I forgot that the powers that be needed a football ground.
YM-Mundrabilla

This a really stupid decision without a doubt.

The siding was only commissioned in 1985 and was vital for the operation of the docks and rail freight.  But this siding was not the only one pulled up.  IIRC West Swanston was torn up and also east swanston.  It must have been the only major port in the world with inadequate rail access.  Only a Victorian could dream up such a mess.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
My 2 cents or Spicy Hot Take on this very Gunzely topic

The St Kilda and port Melbourne group of lines. Yeah, I know they have an LR replacement on most of its alinement it but its Arguably an inferior quality of service that's slower then the prior rail service. As for the reason for closing it, development of South Bank? Getting trams off the roads? Its as I understand it, dubious the reason for those 2 getting the LR conversion, but thankfully the Sandringham and Upfield lines did not get that treatment as was planned.

The other Is the Mornington line, probably closed due to is crappy track condition, winding route and pressure from developers due to the prime realestate the station was sitting on. At least the Save the train movement morphed into the tourist railway that's running on the remaining track today.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Lines may open and close but the alignment should never be disposed of. Short term leased maybe but NEVER lost to the community long term.
YM-Mundrabilla

No one has mentioned the South Gippsland Line
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
'.... an inferior quality of service that's slower than the prior rail service ...'

Of course DD707, this was one instance where the BG was far superior than the SG that replaced it.  Smile
Money in Victoria will buy you anything.
Setting up a fund me page to buy Parliament House when I will sack EVERY occupant and demolish the place. Rolling Eyes
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
If you want the actual routes of closed lines, compared to present day lines, then Bevans has organised Railpage to store a download facility for special software that shows the lines through Australia (past, present and proposed) on Google earth. There even is a full Railpage thread on this!!! Covers commercial / industrial tramways as well as government lines, past and present.

It is all Australian Tracks courtesy of Railpage user 'Hairyleg', yes, it is the famous and much sought after Hairyleg KMZ plug in file for Google Earth!!!!

If you know of lines in Australia not shown, then post in that Hairyleg Railpage thread itself, so all the suggestions over the years are kept together

The software itself from Railpage (4.3MB file size) https://www.railpage.com.au/downloads?mode=download.view&id=1095

The Railpage thread https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11349045.htm

An installation guide my wife and I prepared for an earlier version but the basis still apply to the latest version                            

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByB-ppGeDyvwd3pVQk44YUVMWkU/view

Cheers
Peter Cokley (Petan user name)
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
'.... an inferior quality of service that's slower than the prior rail service ...'

Of course DD707, this was one instance where the BG was far superior than the SG that replaced it.  Smile
Money in Victoria will buy you anything.
Setting up a fund me page to buy Parliament House when I will sack EVERY occupant and demolish the place. Rolling Eyes
YM-Mundrabilla
Money can get you anything (mostly).

And that's for reminding me YM, yet another example of the SUPERIORITY of Broad Gauge over Standard gauge in this country.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
It still doesn't download. I'm no tech person, that's also why I've never loaded an image into these pages.

Interesting to see how many have departed these pages over the years.

Mike.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
It still doesn't download. I'm no tech person, that's also why I've never loaded an image into these pages. Interesting to see how many have departed these pages over the years. Mike.
The Vinelander
Mike, you did not say what doesn't download. If you mean Hairyleg's Tracks 2018-03-23, I just now test downloaded that off the Railpage URL that I posted above.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Swanson.

Had the BG track south of St Kilda been SG, it would probably still be open; at least as far as Elwood.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
My 2 cents or Spicy Hot Take on this very Gunzely topic

The St Kilda and port Melbourne group of lines. Yeah, I know they have an LR replacement on most of its alinement it but its Arguably an inferior quality of service that's slower then the prior rail service. As for the reason for closing it, development of South Bank? Getting trams off the roads? Its as I understand it, dubious the reason for those 2 getting the LR conversion, but thankfully the Sandringham and Upfield lines did not get that treatment as was planned.

The other Is the Mornington line, probably closed due to is crappy track condition, winding route and pressure from developers due to the prime realestate the station was sitting on. At least the Save the train movement morphed into the tourist railway that's running on the remaining track today.
Dangersdan707
I am of the opinion that the Trams on the St Kilda and Pt Melbourne were a compramise due to the level of traffic on the line at the time rather than just outright removing it all, as lot of that area was industrialised compared to what it is today.

Did Mornington ever have trains or was it Railmotors with crap platforms/stopping points? Very easy to get rid of it in what is usually a very well off area, so car adoption in the 1970's would have been widespread in the era compared to the railways patronage.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
Lines may open and close but the alignment should never be disposed of. Short term leased maybe but NEVER lost to the community long term.
The Webb Dock line was a classic - extend the dock and close the railway serving it - only in Victoria. Sorry, I forgot that the powers that be needed a football ground.

This a really stupid decision without a doubt.

The siding was only commissioned in 1985 and was vital for the operation of the docks and rail freight.  But this siding was not the only one pulled up.  IIRC West Swanston was torn up and also east swanston.  It must have been the only major port in the world with inadequate rail access.  Only a Victorian could dream up such a mess.
NSWGR8022
Plenty of ports without decent rail acess, you just arent looking.

As far as I am aware, the Webb Dock line was only used for a few years being put out of service. And for West Swanson, you're kinda of splitting hairs there. The rail sidings there didnt go more than a few hundred meters south of where the current siding is, and DP world are going to put more in once they finish up most of the construction of the Western Distributer in that area
  Big J Deputy Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
If you want the actual routes of closed lines, compared to present day lines, then Bevans has organised Railpage to store a download facility for special software that shows the lines through Australia (past, present and proposed) on Google earth. There even is a full Railpage thread on this!!! Covers commercial / industrial tramways as well as government lines, past and present.

It is all Australian Tracks courtesy of Railpage user 'Hairyleg', yes, it is the famous and much sought after Hairyleg KMZ plug in file for Google Earth!!!!

If you know of lines in Australia not shown, then post in that Hairyleg Railpage thread itself, so all the suggestions over the years are kept together

The software itself from Railpage (4.3MB file size) https://www.railpage.com.au/downloads?mode=download.view&id=1095

The Railpage thread https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11349045.htm

An installation guide my wife and I prepared for an earlier version but the basis still apply to the latest version                            

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByB-ppGeDyvwd3pVQk44YUVMWkU/view

Cheers
Peter Cokley (Petan user name)
petan
I have to thank Hairylegs for this, as I have been using his KMZ tool for years. It is fantastic to see where lines were. He has made a brilliant contribution to rail archaeology!
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
In Victoria, the Daylesford, Healesville, Wonthaggi, Mornington and Whittlesea lines are obvious standouts as tourism and Melbourne growing ever outward.

Mike.

Agree with you Mike.  I would also add the line from Warnambool west to Port Fairy a booming seaside town.  I would also add Dookie.

I have often thought about the lines west of the grampians too where a lot of wheat comes from
bevans
Let's not forget Cobram, a bustling tourist town right on the Murray.

It's interesting to note that some of those closed lines have been partially restored, or there is talk of doing so - Epping to South Morang to Mernda;  Dandenong to Cranbourne and possibly further;  Fawkner to Upfield to Somerton, for example.

As for tourism, there was once a line from Stawell to the Grampians - imagine that.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
I think there is merit in re-opening from Shepparton to Cobram, with maybe 2 Shepparton Pass' per day being extended providing both a return service from Melbourne for the tourism market and a proper rail service to Cobram and perhaps also towns like Numurkah, Strathmerton and maybe even Congupna or Tallygaroopna.

Another one perhaps a bit left of centre, is the former line from Springhurst to Wahgunyah. No, I'm not suggesting a fully fledged V/Line service from Melbourne to Wahgunyah but perhaps a single sprinter, or even an old restored railmotor running a shuttle service between Wangaratta and Wahgunyah, meeting with trains to and from Melbourne could capture a bit of the tourism market, with Rutherglen proving a popular spot for weekenders visiting the local wineries and other attractions, and Wangaratta being the local service center and with its centrally located station, you may even entice some of the locals from Rutherglen and Wahgunyah to try a local public transport option instead of their own cars for a day out.

Of course, this is all a bit on the foamy side, and realistically I'm not hopeful, but if either of the above lines had been retained, then perhaps some enterprising individuals could have come up with something, similar to what has been seen at Byron Bay with the restored solar powered railmotor.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Shepparton should have been standardised in the mid 1980s and the Tocumwal line kept open.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

From VicSig:

https://vicsig.net/photo/24717

Wednesday, 13th January 2021
Photo: Adam Rudnicki

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