A brief history lesson, the line was opened in two sections with the first section from the junction of the Outer Harbor/Grange lines at Woodville to Finsbury station being opened on the 16th of September 1940 running for a distance of 1 mile and 48 chains with only one intermediate station at serving the Actil plant. The rest of the line running from Fisnbury station to Gillman Junction being completed the 21st of April 1941 with no other stations. To supply the war effort, the area in which the line ran through saw large scale industrial developments established which were used to supply and maintain road vehicles for the war effort. A number of sidings ran off the line to serve the various complexes. After years of declining use, the line was closed in it's entirety in 1982.
Line clearances were ludicrously tight with the railway running either along Audley Street or through the various carparks for the facilities which have long been coverted for non military purposes. As I walked along, I couldn't help but get the feeling that a Redhen would've gone much faster then I was walking in some places.
Woodville station. The former Finsbury line platform is still intact although the newish info/refreshment kiosk at the station is now standing on the former track bed.
The junction of the Outer Harbor and Grange lines. The former Finsbury line would have run through the immediate forground of the picture.
Looking towards Woodville station from the former Torrens Road level crossing. Actil station would have been situated beyond the dirt pile in the background. It is impossible to follow the old railway alignment since there was a lot of construction work going on as well as the track itself having been built over.
To the northern side of Torrens Road level crossing, a mosque has been built on the former track bed. However, you can tell a railway once ran there because of the raised height of two stobie poles which would've given a great clearance above the track. A water tower (either built by the SAR or the E&WS) is also to be found here.
The carpark at the back of the mosque has been built over the site of Finsbury station. Like Actil, Finsbury station was only ever graced with a stepdown platform.
After Finsbury station, the line ran parallel to Audley Street. It was only when I reached the former Sheffield Street level crossing did I find any physical evidence of a railway having ever been there with a long strip of road surface having been patched over in an identical fashion to that on the former Northfield line at both Churchill and Port Wakfield Road level crossings.
In addition, I found a former siding which remarkably was still complete although partly buried over at the same location.
After Sheffield Road level crossing, the line began it's slow crawl through the various car parks and down Audley Street looking more like an idustrial siding rather then a proper suburban railway. The railway would've run through the right hand side of the first two photographs.
Since the railway was closed, the former Ninthh Avenue level crossing has been rebuilt with Audley Street no longer entering at a right angle but even so, there is still some relics of the former railway in situ left.
If you think the clearances weren't tight enough, things got even tighter north of the Ninth Avenue level crossing. In this photo look back towards Woodville, it is hard to imagine a single 400 class Redhen trundling though here with horns blazing. I'd imagine that the road would've been widened since the line was closed but I don't know that for sure.
Just after I took the previous photo, I cam across another siding although most of it had been covered with concrete rather then ashphalt and was a private carpark instead of a public road.
Just before I hit Glenroy Street continuing my trip due north, I came across another former level crossing near the former site of the Pennington Migrant Hostel which is now a car auction yard and warehouse. Like the Torrens Road level crossing, extra height stobie poles were again to be found.
These aren't all the photos I took since I did make it all the way to Gillman Junction but they are going to have to wait until the next page