(Photospam) Finding Finsbury

You must be logged in to reply

  Search thread   Image gallery
1 of 2 2 »
409 Minister for Railways

South Australia was once reknown for a number of suburban industrial branchlines that once dotted the urban landscape. Today, the sole survivor is the Tonsley line and we all know that it is hanging by a thread. One of the earliest lines to be closed was the Finsbury loop line running from Woodville almost due north to the junction of the Dry Creek - Port Adelaide line at Gillman Junction.

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 Wink

ENJOY!

 
Alco_Haulic Chief Commissioner

Location: Eating out...

Well, let's hurry the next page along!

 
simont141 Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide

What makes you think the Tonsley line is "hanging by a thread"?

 
David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: With Dee Dee McCall

It has been for some time just like the Grange line! In all the reports and surveys done over the years these two lines are always mentioned to be cancelled! 8)

 
nscaler69 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Adelaide the Bonsai capital of Oz.

Thankyou 409 I have been going to walk that former line for a couple of years now to see what does remain of it.

 
Alco_Haulic Chief Commissioner

Location: Eating out...

Come on. Next page

 
dylan Train Controller

Location: South Australia

Thanks heaps for that, i've wanted photos for awhile but I've never been able to get down there.

I might have a look tomorrow, but I have a question; is it possible to walk the whole way direct, or is there a bit of doubling back and finding alternate routes?

Regards,

Dylan

 
409 Minister for Railways

Between Woodville station and Torrens Road, I had to walk down Actil Avenue since the rail alignment has been built over. Same with the section from the Grand Junction Road level crossing to Yarrawonga Road level crossing by going down Eastern Parade.

 
NR77 Chief Commissioner

Great work 409 mate

 
NR77 Chief Commissioner

Oh yeah I forgot to say.....

post!!!!!

 
Pressman The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me

Another walk well done Will  Clap

I do have a few vague recolections of the days when the trackwork was still entact  Wink

 
Alco251_244 Chief Commissioner

Location: Somewhere

Having lived in Woodville Park most of my life I can remember quite a few sections of track in the roads that will has walked along. A large section of track (which was buried under the bitumen was only removed in around 2000/2001 from the lot where the car auction yard is now. If only I took some photos. The right of way from just the other side of Grand Jct Road to Gillman Jct is clearly visible.

Cheers,

 
409 Minister for Railways

As I have already said Justin, I walked the entire line so you will see the rest of the line. Hang tight until we get to the next page.

 
Pressman The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me

I can't wait  Shocked

 
crisfitz Chief Commissioner

Location: Enroute somewhere

Very interesting 409

Bring on the next lot Very Happy

 
simont141 Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide

It has been for some time just like the Grange line! In all the reports and surveys done over the years these two lines are always mentioned to be cancelled! 8)

- David Peters

But the Tonsley train is the only one that services intermediate stations between Goodwood and Brighton during peak hour. I catch this train and they are almost always standing room only. Why get rid of that?

And also, if it really was that bad, don't you think it would have been cut as soon as it became apparent?

I'd be interested in seeing these "reports and surveys" you allude to. Which ones are they?

 
409 Minister for Railways

After the level crossing, I continued up Glenroy Street and eventually came across this former Goods Platform half way up the road.

Because the land has been built over, there is nothing left of the railway at all until the former Grand Junction Road level crossing. You would never have thought a railway ran there at all. Even though there was nothing really there, I got a couple of photos at Grand Junction Road anyway.

Possible former railway fence.

At this point, I had to deviate away from the former railway alignment and walked up Eastern Parade until Yarrawonga Road. Yarrawonga Road was the first level crossing north of Grand Junction Road. After here, the entire alingment to Gillman Junction is still intact.

Former railway fencing.

Looking north from Yarrawonga Road.

Former Rosewater Road level crossing.


Looking South from Trinity Road and at the former level crossing, more fencing.


Edward Street level crossing and more of the same.

Gillman Junction looking south and then north.

Former pole line still inplace at Gillman Junction.

Signal work at Gillman for the new line to Outer Harbor.

 
wongm GEEWONG

Location: Geelong, Victoria

There is a map of the route of the line over here, as well as a few more titbits of info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finsbury_railway_line%2C_Adelaide

Smile

 
David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: With Dee Dee McCall

It may carry that many passengers in that section of the trip but how many does it actually carry on the actual Tonsley line itself, that is the problem. It would most probably become another train on the mainline if it was possible to do it. TA do not look at statistics for further down a line they only use the ridership on the actual line to cancel it, and with Mitsibishi's gone there would not be too much patronage offering now!

That is one of TA's problems they do not think about the train usage further down the track, in other words they can only see to the end of their nose's and no further, unfortunately! 8)

 
2001 - Moderator The Snow Lord

Location: The road jump at Charlotte Pass. Paxman Valenta on two planks.

Also note that where the Finsbury Line crossed Torrens Road was also one of the few places in Adelaide where there was a level crossing of train and tram tracks.

I believe it's in the book 'Rails Through Swamp and Sand' where I've seen a photo of a F Class tram waiting at Torrens Road whilst an Rx loco crosses on the Finsbury Line.

 
David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: With Dee Dee McCall

Yes you are partially right 2001 it is on page 108 of this book and shows a F class drop centre tram and a F class steam loco in the one picture. One tram track crossing two railway lines, imagine the clatter.

There is also a similar photo taken from a different angle, presumably on the same day in the book "Adelaide on the move 1878-1978" that was put out by the Tramway Museum!

As both photo's are credited to the STA they could be publicity photos specially taken as there is no train with the F class steam loco to be seen. It could well have been shunting at Woodville North though, but the pictures look to be set up! 8)

 
Alco_Haulic Chief Commissioner

Location: Eating out...

Great shots there 409.

Makes me wonder how hard it'd be to follow the old North Arm Road all the way along...

 
409 Minister for Railways

It may carry that many passengers in that section of the trip but how many does it actually carry on the actual Tonsley line itself, that is the problem.

- David Peters

From my limited experiences on the Tonsley line (I have only ever been down the line three times in my life), the passenger loadings have been fairly even throughout the entire trip although obviously the number of passengers does rise slightly after the junction heading back to the city.

IF the line was extended only 75-100m or so further south to Sturt Road, then patronage would be healthier if a small(ish) bus/rail interchange was established. The following buses pass through on Sturt Road:

199, 214, 215, N215, 216, 600, 601, 618 and a few others.

 
2001 - Moderator The Snow Lord

Location: The road jump at Charlotte Pass. Paxman Valenta on two planks.

Yes you are partially right 2001 it is on page 108 of this book and shows a F class drop centre tram and a F class steam loco in the one picture. One tram track crossing two railway lines, imagine the clatter.

- David Peters

Yeah, I revisted the book last night. It is an F and an F !

 
David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: With Dee Dee McCall

By the way 409 that chain mesh fence is nothing to do with the railway that was put up after the railway line was closed as the old fence etc, that used to be there was very delapidated and of no use to the owners of the brick works that was there, so they put up a new one, the gate in the stores area at Pennington on Grand Junction Road is where the track came out and ran straight across Grand Junction Road to the other side approx!

You cannot see much on the other side as development over the years at the brick joint has destroyed nearly all evidence! 8)

 

You must be logged in to reply

  Search thread   Image gallery
1 of 2 2 »
 
Display from: