Orange Station and East Fork

 
  ANR Chief Commissioner

Can someone tell me why East Fork exists when it is only a few hundred metres from Orange Station? Why not allow Parkes bound trains to head through Orange station and loop around over the top of Orange rejoining the so-called branch line? The topography looks flat out Amaroo way. I know the western line came first, but why call a line that is longer than the western line, a branch line? That line goes all the way out to the rest of Australia ... the longest line you can ever be on.... While it is easy for an XPL to backtrack to East Fork, the IP is another story and shouldn't such a train be able to stop at Orange station, if needed? When the new CAF trains hit the rails, they too will need to backtrack if going out to Broken Hill.

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  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
So how many Parkes bound trains reverse direction in Orange now?

You want a few Billion spent just to avoid that?

There was no doubt a reason, probably terrain and/or political considerations, that the line to Parkes branched off at East Fork.
  Travelling Hooker Locomotive Driver

Location: Follows the weather up and down the coast
I remember when I was a kid living out that way the I.P and The Alice used to stop at more stations than now. Their Orange stop was at the East Fork. I don’t know the logic of building the main station off the interstate line. Maybe because it is close to the CBD, maybe because when it was built more traffic used the Dubbo line
  NSWRcars Assistant Commissioner

When I have travelled on the Broken Hill Xplorer in recent years, twice the late-running return has bypassed Orange station. In one instance the only passenger alighting at Orange was met by a complimentary taxi at East Fork; the other time there were no passengers for Orange and the stop was bypassed altogether. I daresay the Indian Pacific rarely makes the stop at Orange East Fork these days.
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
Why is it called East Fork? It's south of the main station and on the western side of the main line. I suppose trains going east turn right there (cue Muppet Movie "Fork in the Road" joke...)
  ANR Chief Commissioner

If I had to answer my own question, I guess the reason why the interstate line falls short of Orange station could be because of the traffic stoppages that freight trains would cause at the Mitchell Highway level crossing - despite the Orange bypass.

To have the main station at East Fork would be  taking pax too far out of the town centre to board a train.

I guess anyone coming back from Broken Hill would be grateful to be disembarking at East Fork if this was their only option.

Maybe something for the SFF to look at next federal election... Maybe a wooden platform boardwalk bridging East Fork with Orange station could be considered?
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
I remember when I was a kid living out that way the I.P and The Alice used to stop at more stations than now. Their Orange stop was at the East Fork. I don’t know the logic of building the main station off the interstate line. Maybe because it is close to the CBD, maybe because when it was built more traffic used the Dubbo line
Travelling Hooker
The Main Western Line from Sydney reached Orange in 1877, then Wellington in 1880, and eventually Bourke in 1885.

Orange Station was built close to the middle of town as was usually the case.

The then "Branch" from what is now known as East Fork Junction towards Broken Hill reached Molong from Orange in 1885, Parkes in 1893, and Broken Hill in 1927.


There are plenty of more sensible ways to spend a Billion or so on the Railways.
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
A simpler solution might be to slew all tracks away from the platform(s).
NSWRcars
The locals would object and you'd end up with another abortion like Millthorpe.
  fzr560 Chief Train Controller

Prior to the arrival of the railways, the significant towns in western NSW were river towns such as Bourke and Dubbo, hence the line b