This is it, the previously promised photospam of the Northfield line is here. In one sweep, I snapped something like 130 or so photos of the line as well as the former ARHS depot and yard. In the end, I make it to the former terminus of Northfield even though I had to do some back tracking between Dry Creek and Port Wakefield Road because of a worker's rest area that was built and fenced off on the former line.
Because of the sheer numbers of photos I took (even after a lot of picking around to get the best ones of the lot), I have an odd request to make. Could we possibly pad out the thread so I can post at most 25 photos per page? I know it sounds odd but I won't to put too much of a loading strain per page. However, I think it will be worth it.
Anyway, on with the photos.
The start of the former ARHS sidings at the southern end of Dry Creek station. Oddly, this section of the sidings has been sleepered with steel sleepers which appear to be of a different design to the main style used on the TA system.
The yard itself. Notice 1873 and 1872 on the Balco in the background of the second photo.
Former crane base or loading ramp.
Amazingly, a good number of the timber sleepers in the yard are in better condition then on the TA system (not exactly hard to achieve). Just to prove the point. Meanwhile, I'm scratching my head how it is even possible.
The 1982 built Dry Creek South signal box repainted but still boarded up.
Although rather overgrown, the points towards the back of the photo are the main points leading into the former ARHS depot. The set in the foreground can still be swung without much in the way of effort.
The ARHS depot and an M van which appears to be used for storage. I should point out that this was as close as I ever got to the TA running lines and I made sure I was well clear at all times.
Catchpoint on the triangle with a constantly lit low speed indicator as well as a junction signal.
A close up of the only surviving semaphore signals in the Adelaide metropolitan area.
From here to Port Wakefield Road, the track is double track with one dual gauge line and one is BG only. This is where the BG only line splits from triangle.
Where dual gauge enters the arena.
One of the better sections of track looking remarkably good considering the last train was here in 1994. While there is a tree over the broad gauge line, it is in even better condition then the dual gauge line at this point.
One of the most interesting signs I have ever seen near the first level crossing on the line after the junction.
The only searchlight signal on the line at present.....
.....and the view from the top.
Looking westwards on the way to Port Wakefield Road crossing.
The end of the broad gauge line with a pile of sleepers and other junk.
Many more photos will be coming soon.
Interesting to see not even the old railway is immune from Artichoke Thistle!
Can't wait for more photos.
What is the old Steamranger depot used for now?
Is there still rails laid at the old ARHS depot. I couldn't tell if they have just covered them with roadbase or have pulled them up.
I've been meaning to check this out too, but haven't got around to it, so cheers again for the pics. Does anybody have a current track diagram for Dry Creek and the Northfield line?
A bit of both. While most of the yard roads have been removed from the depot area except for road 2 which is still connected to the main ARHS yard via a set of switchstand operated points (which are still locked with a padlock). I imagine that the track within the depot would still be in place.
Because the laptop I am using doesn't seem to want to load up the pdf file but here is the link to the main page you want for suburban signal diagrams.
Nice pics mate, how far does the line still go towards Northfield?
The route has been closed and dismantled in several stages as you will all see in due time. From the junction of Dry Creek to between Churchill Road and Port Wakefield Road, the track is intact although in some placed very heavily overgrown or even built over (between the half way point between the two level crossings and Port Wakefield Road, a 'workers area' has been built on top of the track although it is merely sand/soil dumped over the track).
Between Port Wakefield and Main North Roads, the track has been dismantled but there are a large number of track components as well as a ballast trail along the former alignment in addition to what is left of Cavan, Meatworks and Pooraka platforms. Unlike the final section from Main North Road to the terminus at Northfield next to Briens Road, atleast you can still see hard evidence of track having ever exisited there in the first place.
The final section from Main North Road to the terminus at Briens Road/Northfield station may be the easiest to walk down but the hardest to find any existance of a railway. Other then some dumped concrete blocks from the platform edging and some cinder blocks from the station building, there is virtually nothing from the railway to follow other then the right of way.
You will see what I mean when I eventually post more photos.
Great pictures 409. I look forward to more
What is the old Steamranger depot used for now?
It's owned by Golding Transport and is used to load up cement trucks. The line still runs through the shed.
Hurry up, we need to start another page
Also, what was the reasoning for dual gauge? Cattle trains?
what motive power did thay run on the cattle trains in the latter years
From what I understand, there was cattle traffic to both Alice Springs and Mt Gambier from Pooraka. The Mt Gambier traffic stream would have finished around the 1980s while the Alice Springs traffic ceased when the last section of the line was closed in the 1990s.
Because the line up towards the abbitoirs had a combination of 94lb and 100lb rails, the line could take reasonably sized motive power but I would imagine the mainstay of the line (during the latter years anyway) would be 830 classes.
Makes sense - BG to Gambier, SG to Alice. Only a couple more posts til the next page now
Some very interesting photos there 409, even for someone who doesn't know anything about the area.
Well done, thanks for sharing them .
As promised, second page and a second round of photos. The photos here will cover the line from the very end of the existing track to Main North Road. While this section isn't the longest on the line, it was without of doubt the most difficult because of some heavy overgrowth, hidden platforms and debris everywhere in addition to having to cross a construction site access road.
However, your efforts walking along this section will be rewarded because of the gems you will find (even though to get there, I had to back track all the way to Churchill Road, follow it 300m or so to Port Wakefield Road before then walking another 300m to the level crossing on Port Wakefield Road because of a small rest area on the line!) Because of the number of photos on this section, Pooraka station and the section after to Northfield will be presented in the next photo post.
End of the line. Within the last 10m of track, the line ceases to be dual gauge and is SG only.
Quite by surprise, I found this small siding at the same location.
Port Wakefield Road level crossing. Until c.2001/2002, the track and boom gates were still intact at this point but where subsequently removed and the track covered over.
The former CTC relay, now used as a billboard since it is right next to the level crossing. Until around last year, there were a couple of DWf van bodies on the other side of the former track bed from the relay. These have now been removed since there is new construction work happening right on the edge of the alignment.
Cavan station, now very heavily overgrown and covered in debris. Some of the fencing and ashphalt surface does remain however. In addition, a sloping concrete retaining wall (identical in design to the one on the DOWN platform at Parafield) is still in place.
While the track itself has long since gone, numerous track components such as sleepers, spikes and rails are still on site at not only Cavan station but at numerous other points on the line.
Another unexpected find that caught me off guard was this former Commonwealth Railways 20' LCL container just to the east of the former platform.
When I said that this section was hard going in places, I mean it. This is what I was faced with soon after I left Cavan station although the alignment did clear up a bit after here. The ballast trail that I was following is the bottom right hand corner of the picture.
Telephone poles and other debris.
Meatworks platform. Other then the concrete fronting, this platform has been almost entirely removed and has also got a lot of soil dumped on the former track bed (so much so that I nearly missed this platform all together).
Track bed between the Meatworks platform and Pooraka station.
Stock race and stock race extension next to Pooraka station.
Enjoy. If we can knock over to page 3, I can get the last part of this journey posted.
does anyone know who actually owned the railway/land before it closed? Was it TA?
The South Australian Railways who built the line in 1857 until 1975 when the State Transport Authority took over. I am not sure what arrangements AN had over part of the line (either outright ownership of the DG section or just access rights).
409, after you have finished with your photos, I will post a few I took last year, some of which show the DWF vans still in situ.
Cheers for that, I look forward to seeing them.
Did you check the dates on the rail used for the telegraph line?
No I didn't because I would have had to have climbed over a large pile of debris. Because I was only wearing sneakers which already had a gash in one of the soles as well as knee length shorts, I don't think I was exactly well prepared to climb over that sort of thing. Besides, it was on the other side of a wire fence from the track bed.
this is merely a post to get us closer to the next page
(nice pix BTW)
(nice pix BTW)
This has got to be the most valid reason to postwhore
Cheers for the great pics Will, looking forward to the next page
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