The Corowa Branchline

 
  2001 Moderator The Snow Lord

Location: The road jump at Charlotte Pass. Paxman Valenta on two planks.
I'm doing some light research into the Culcairn to Corowa branch. Having visited nswrail.net I have some good info, which leads me to the following questions ...

The last train ran on the Corowa branch on 24/1/88. Does anyone have details of that movement ? A 'farewell' run perhaps ?

Stations along the line are listed as having been closed in May '75, therefore should I assume passenger services on this branch ceased in this year ?

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  Eungai79 Locomotive Driver

Location: Sydney, NSW
I think the last regular passenger train (actually "goods with passenger accommodation") was in 1974. The last train to Corowa was, believe it or not, an XPT set.  Exclamation  It ran on Sunday 24/1/1988, using the Riverina XPT set stabled in Albury. I missed travelling on it as I found out about it too late, and it was sold out. I'm sure it was the most people ever to alight from a single train arriving in Corowa! It was preceded along the branch by a little red fettlers trike to make sure the line was ok and clear of obstruction.

The line remained open until the early 90's as far as Brockelsby (wheat silo), which is about half way along the branch and I think the last train on any section would have been a train to a gravel quarry located about 15km out of Culcairn, which I think was in late 1991.

Other snippets of info I can think of:
- commodities carried at various times include wine, wool, wheat and general freight
- a 1964 timetable I have sees two "goods with passenger accomm" services each week each way connecting to/from the Mail at Culcairn. Prior to this a CHP service also ran, but I'm not sure when this was cut back
- staff section stations were Walla Walla, Burrumbuttock, Brockelsby and Balldale
  Indefatigable Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I think this was one of the destinations the Tulloch cars were intended to break off (from Culcairn) and head to.

Does anyone have photos of the XPT at Corowa?
  2001 Moderator The Snow Lord

Location: The road jump at Charlotte Pass. Paxman Valenta on two planks.
Thank you so very much Eungai79 for your help  Smile  Appreciated !

I was in Culcairn only a week back, and this is the only part of the Corowa branch I've seen. It gave me a laugh to see the old rail bridge across the creek with a tree growing through it ! I found it interesting to see the gate across the track beside the former level crossing on Olympic Higway ... does this indicate that the local farmers have 'taken possesion' of parts of the rail corridor ?

I'd maybe consider doing a stroll along sections of this branchline, but if there are gates about the place I raise the issue of trespass.

I wouldn't want to annoy Farmer Brown !
  Trollman Locomotive Fireman

is anyone going to restore this railway line so companies like 3801 limited can use it?
  dasher Chief Commissioner

Location: Within the NSWGR
The Corowa Branch is a great explore as most of the locations retain much of their infrastructure, such as platforms (minus buildings unfortunately). Also, being a relatively short branch, it can be easily tackled if you are tracing the line from Culcairn.

I too would love to see the pics of the XPT on this line!
  Trollman Locomotive Fireman

would anyone be interested in starting a new cllub to get the line running again?
  Eungai79 Locomotive Driver

Location: Sydney, NSW
The double track bridge was provided over the Billabong Creek so that trains heading to the branch from Culcairn yard did not interfere with the main line. I think the bridge has had a peppercorn tree growing up through it for some years. Being a steel bridge on concrete piers one would presume it could also be incorporated into future duplication or crossing loop extensions to the south.

Gates and/or fences are quite common along disused branch lines down south. No lines in that area are “closed” as such by Act of Parliament (except maybe the Westby branch, not sure), only mothballed / non-operational / out-of-use etc, so officially, I guess you would only be trespassing on RailCorp land. Fences or gates near crossings are probably in place to keep animals from straying down the rail corridor when droving along roads.

All that aside, the branch passes through rather flat and unspectacular wheat farming land – your walk may not be that interesting, except in and around yards / silos! Look out for the brown snakes.  Wink

I also would love to see some XPT pics... I saw it with my eyes, just not my camera lense  Sad
  nazarail Chief Commissioner

Location: Between BN 80 UL and BN 87 UL
the yard at Corowa looks like its in good nick.
there is some really intersting infrastructure along the line, a steam modelers delight.  Laughing
  Chris Brownbill Chief Commissioner


Does anyone have photos of the XPT at Corowa?
"Indefatigable"


Yeah I was on it and I have some slides.  I'll see if I can dig them out and get them online somehow.

IIRC it was a round trip that was co-ordinated with a Victorian train from Wahgunyah back to Albury.  Two now closed branches on the one day.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Any idea how the long the branch is?

Farmers often put temporary fences or even permanent ones across lines so the cattle/sheep can access the feed growing in the corridore and reduce a fire hazard (something I'm sure the track owner is unoffically happy about). I once read of a train in Tassie using the NW line for the last time to recover some wagons and some time after the last commerical service where the driver made a comment about the number of fences and electric fences the loco barged through.

Regards
Shane
  dasher Chief Commissioner

Location: Within the NSWGR
The line is approx. 80kms long.
  2001 Moderator The Snow Lord

Location: The road jump at Charlotte Pass. Paxman Valenta on two planks.
I'm thinking that the XPT outing to Corowa was an initiative of the SRA. Yes ? ... my point being it wasn't arranged by the ARHS.

I didn't have enough time up my sleeves to find the junction (at Culcairn) of  the Holbrook branch. The next time I visit, should I be looking on the southern side of the rail viaduct ?

I tell you something else - if I were a local in that region I wouldn't mind knocking up a crude rail trolley in the backyard garage. I mean to say, out in those paddocks, away from the eyes of the constabulary, who's gonna' mind if you enjoy your 'personal' train trip along the old branch ?!?

No worries about other traffic around ... just watch out for those trees   8)
  Eungai79 Locomotive Driver

Location: Sydney, NSW


I didn't have enough time up my sleeves to find the junction (at Culcairn) of  the Holbrook branch. The next time I visit, should I be looking on the southern side of the rail viaduct ?

"2001"


No, the Holbrook line junction is just south of the level crossing and before the bridge. It swings out to the left and crosses the creek on it's own high trestle bridge probably about 150 metres upstream from the main bridge.

The junction is disconnected from the main line and the formation is quite overgrown.

Chirs Brownbill - if you could somewhow get those pics on here that would be great!  Very Happy
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE


I didn't have enough time up my sleeves to find the junction (at Culcairn) of  the Holbrook branch. The next time I visit, should I be looking on the southern side of the rail viaduct ?

"2001"


No, the Holbrook line junction is just south of the level crossing and before the bridge. It swings out to the left and crosses the creek on it's own high trestle bridge probably about 150 metres upstream from the main bridge.

The junction is disconnected from the main line and the formation is quite overgrown.

Chirs Brownbill - if you could somewhow get those pics on here that would be great!  Very Happy
"Eungai79"


Hows the Bridge holding up?

Regards
Shane
  Chris Brownbill Chief Commissioner



Chirs Brownbill - if you could somewhow get those pics on here that would be great!  Very Happy
"Eungai79"


OK - here they are - sorry about the quality.

You sure couldn't lean out the open door of a moving XPT these days to take a photo!!!!








  nazarail Chief Commissioner

Location: Between BN 80 UL and BN 87 UL
awesome pics thanks heaps for them!

love that pic!  Laughing
  dasher Chief Commissioner

Location: Within the NSWGR
AWESOME pics!!!  Surprised
  2001 Moderator The Snow Lord

Location: The road jump at Charlotte Pass. Paxman Valenta on two planks.
I'm trying to figure out the headboard on the XP loco.

Three words:   ****  Federation   Flyer.
  Indefatigable Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Cheers for the pics! Who would've imagined seeing something so typically mainline at a far-off branchline terminus of NSW, hey?
  Eungai79 Locomotive Driver

Location: Sydney, NSW
Thanks Chris - they are great pics! I'd always hoped to see some photos of that day.

In agreement with Indefatigable, the train looks big and almost clumsy sitting in feeble old Corowa yard. "How did I get here?"  Confused

I'd say Corowa takes the cake as being the most obscure XPT destination, but if you stand at the museum now at Tenterfield station, it's hard to imagine the XPT regularly arriving there in days gone by. And also, according to the Railpage XPT Page, the XPT visited Binnaway, Dunedoo, Gulgong, Mudgee and Griffith (amongst other places on regular XPT routes) on it's promotional tour back in 1981... pictures from these trips would be quite special also.
  ptallen Beginner

I Have some old photos of the XPT at Corowa, if any ones still interested,
  nazarail Chief Commissioner

Location: Between BN 80 UL and BN 87 UL
ofcouse post them up
  Scott_AUS Junior Train Controller

We lived in Corowa in about 1979/80.  My family ran the Globe Hotel (bottom of the main street).  I can remember many an hour exploring the yard at Corowa.  It's a lot better preserved now and has been made into a nice park.   The turntable is still there and when I look at Roelf's site - it has a diagram of the yard and you can still trace where "stuff" was today if you are in the yard.

I haven't been back for a few years, but I drop in when in the area and have a look about the place.  

So the yard at Corowa would be in much better nick than the line itself.  Most damage would be the road resurfacing in 15-17 years where they just go over the top of the lines.  I can remember that two main roads north of the station were "roaded" over.  

The significance of the XPT was unusual, but Corowa has a place in Australian history - it's where the federation of Australia and all the documentation was agreed and signed off on by the states in 1901 - so it's a little unique in that regards and may have "earned" the XPT from that aspect.  

I can remember going through the guest books of our pub and it was booked solid for the conference.  Only wish I had copies of it all.  Was too young to appreciate it then - history always sucked at school, now it's an avid interest.
  neety Chief Commissioner

I'm doing some light research into the Culcairn to Corowa branch. Having visited nswrail.net I have some good info, which leads me to the following questions ...

The last train ran on the Corowa branch on 24/1/88. Does anyone have details of that movement ? A 'farewell' run perhaps ?

Stations along the line are listed as having been closed in May '75, therefore should I assume passenger services on this branch ceased in this year ?
"2001"


Look in the south/riverina section
http://www.railpage.org.au/neety/trains/NSWbranchlines.html

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