Ballarat to Buninyong Line

  PalmerEldritch Say goodnight to the bad guy

Location: Princes Park, Carlton
Just came back from a school excursion to Ballarat and Daylesford today.

Yesterday I came across a very interesting find in the town of Buninyong, south of Ballarat, whilst doing a natural vegetation audit (boring!) of the town as part of my coursework.

On the north side of Forest Street in Buninyong next to the tennis courts were the remains of the towns railway station and platform. Also on display was a replica of a section of broad gauge track with a set of train wheels on it.

I was unfortunately unable to take any photos of the station as my digital camera had decided earlier in the day (whilst I was taking photos in Kensington Banks and Caroline Springs) to cark it.

However I was able to write down the information was contained on a sign board which read as follows:

The Buninyong Railway
This station platform and a few cuttings are the last visible remains of the railway system which once connected Buninyong with Ballarat and the main line system.

The line was formally opened on the 12th of September 1889. In addition to passenger traffic, the "Bunny" also brought the goods trucks to the many local Buninyong industries of that time. The main ones were the butter factory, tannery, brewery, box factory and market gardens.

In 1930 during the depression years the passenger service was withdrawn. Goods trains continued to run when required until they too finally ceased in 1947.

The placing of this sign commemorates the centenary opening of the line.

A Buninyong Shire community project. September 1989.

Unfortunately I also later learned that a fair few sections of the former rail reservation have been built over for other uses including residential blocks in Mt Helen and also part of the University of Ballarat, which means there is little prospect of some sort of bike path/ rail trail to further commemorate the former line.

Any further information on this line would be appreciated.

Palmer Eldritch

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  John of Melbourne The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Melbourne suburbs
There are other remains of the Buninyong line visible, although nothing substantial that I'm aware of, except for the very northern end of the line which remained open until the 1970s (at least, perhaps well into the 1980s) as the siding to Eureka.  On this section there are substantial earthworks, a road-over bridge for the main road into Ballarat, and rails in a crossing, that I am aware of.
  Rodo Chief Commissioner

Location: Southern Riverina
From what I have observed, no part of the Bunninyong railway reservation has actually been built upon. Roadworks around Mt Helen have obliterated the trackbed there but I think no houses are built right on it. Around the university the line crossed the area now used for playing fields, the trackbed being evident to some extent. Closer to Ballarat some of the trackbed is used as a walkway, north of Bunninyong would also be suitable for this if a missing bridge were replaced.

In my wildest pro-rail fantasies I like to think that the line could be reinstated as a tramway linking Bunninyong to Ballarat, either linking into a proposed inner Ballarat street tramline near Sovreign Hill or continuing to the station via Eureka.

There is more than one place with rails still in a road crossing and the trackbed can be followed for most of its length.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Rodo, over what distance?
  Rodo Chief Commissioner

Location: Southern Riverina

Rodo, over what distance?

I presume that you mean what distance can be walked, freightgate ?

The entire distance can be walked if one skirts around the interruptions of the missing bridge just north of Bunninyong. (there may be a fence or 2 around there) Then there are some house block fences on top of Mt Helen and perhaps a paddock fence or 2 near Mt Clear, so the length of a line walk would be more than length of the line because of the obstacles.
  PalmerEldritch Say goodnight to the bad guy

Location: Princes Park, Carlton
Its interesting hearing Rodo mention the idea of a tramway connecting Buninyong to Ballarat, since the best the Planning Department in the city of Ballarat can come up with, with regards to excessive morning and evening peak traffic between Ballarat and Buninyong is to build another north-south arterial road. If as Rodo indicates, the reservation has not been built over then a some sort of light rail option might be good to link the two towns with the university.

Thanks for the information guys, much appreciated