The Willunga Railway Line

 
  DrJames Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, SA
Is this the Yeto station ? I thought this was the MV station....

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/7909713

If so where was the Morphett Vale station ?
r377

That's Morphett Vale, not Yetto.  I should know, we walk our beagles past there almost every day!

Those remnants of the platfom are slightly north of the Working Men's Club (which according to the info on the walking trail, was the station master's house), just along the walking trail.

Would love to see a photo of MV station in its heyday contrasted to a photo from today.  

Yetto is (was) south of there, right next to Doctors Rd.  AFAIK there are no rail remains to be seen, there is just an info sign and seat roughly where (I assume) the station used to be.  I can't imagine it ever saw much traffic since it's only a few hundred metres south of Morphett Vale.

It's a shame the line was never retained for passenger use, even if only as far as Morphett Vale or Hackham.  Even with the nasty curves and gradients between Reynella and Hallett Cove, in time it could've been re-aligned I'm sure.

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  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Was the Moana Station here ?

35°11'28.48"S 138°29'1.50"E
r377
Yes - but only roughly speaking as the Coast To Vines Bikeway was realigned during the Seaford Rail Extension project.

There was certainly an information plaque alongside the Bikeway there before the Seaford Rail Extension project, I can't remember noticing either way if it was relocated when the Bikeway was realigned.
That's Morphett Vale, not Yetto.  I should know, we walk our beagles past there almost every day!

Those remnants of the platfom are slightly north of the Working Men's Club (which according to the info on the walking trail, was the station master's house), just along the walking trail.

Yetto is (was) south of there, right next to Doctors Rd.  AFAIK there are no rail remains to be seen, there is just an info sign and seat roughly where (I assume) the station used to be.  I can't imagine it ever saw much traffic since it's only a few hundred metres south of Morphett Vale.
DrJames
From memory, around there somewhere is one of the spots along the Bikeway where the railways couldn't be arsed pulling the track out from the level crossing (common across the whole state) which allows the rails to become exposed every time a heatwave allows the bitumen to soften and subside.

The junction of the Coast To Vines Bikeway and Pedlar Road (east of the Main South Road underpass, the location of the Pedlar Creek station is just to the east) is another of those spots which is exacerbated by being on a slope. You can tell it's been a mild summer if the City of Onkaparinga only has to resurface that junction once or twice during the season. The rails are a major hazard at that junction and they should really get around to either pulling them out or doing the next resurfacing with something more solid like concrete.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

It's a shame the line was never retained for passenger use, even if only as far as Morphett Vale or Hackham.  Even with the nasty curves and gradients between Reynella and Hallett Cove, in time it could've been re-aligned I'm sure.
DrJames
Would anyone have still been using it by the mid-1980s though? Modern high-powered buses are just too good and more useful for where people actually want to go, but at least the corridor has more recently been put to good use as a bikeway which is now fully surfaced as far as McLaren Vale.

Any future rail service to that area would more plausibly come from the Tonsley line being duplicated and extended past Flinders Medical Centre to Aberfoyle Park, Happy Valley and south-west towards Woodcroft and Morphett Vale.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
@r377 it might be worth having a look at the related rail trail.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

@r377 it might be worth having a look at the related rail trail.
railblogger
For sure, I would thoroughly recommend the Coast To Vines Bikeway as a good way to get out and see it for anyone interested in the route's history.

From a cycling point of view, it's a pretty easy ride for almost all the way as you'd expect from a rail corridor that was built for use by weak little pre-Webb steam engines. The only remotely difficult bits are five short (less than 200 metres in length) steeper climbs where the original grades are not intact - near Quailo Ave (Hallett Cove), Patpa Drive (Sheidow Park), around the Southern Expressway bridge at Reynella Interchange, near the Reynella Oval and at the Hackham end of the crossing of the Onkaparinga flood plain.

If you don't have a bike of your own and the city is a good starting point for a trip, BikeSA offer free bike hire (you just need to leave some photo ID with them) from multiple locations in the city which you could take on the train to Seaford, then ride back to Hallett Cove via the bikeway. Riding Seaford-HC gives you the better run on the five steeper hills than the opposite direction. Unless you are really unfit and overweight, the 20km one-way trip can easily be done well inside two hours, plus time stopping to look at stuff.

It's another 15km one way from Seaford Railway Station to central Willunga (8.5km to McLaren Vale) with no more steep bits on that section - but often punishing crosswinds between McLaren Vale and Willunga which can be as bad as a headwind both ways!
  DrJames Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, SA
Would anyone have still been using it by the mid-1980s though? Modern high-powered buses are just too good and more useful for where people actually want to go, but at least the corridor has more recently been put to good use as a bikeway which is now fully surfaced as far as McLaren Vale.

Any future rail service to that area would more plausibly come from the Tonsley line being duplicated and extended past Flinders Medical Centre to Aberfoyle Park, Happy Valley and south-west towards Woodcroft and Morphett Vale.
justapassenger
Probably not, though the optimist in me likes to think that at some point between 1972 and now, that Reynella  HC could've been replaced by an extension connecting Reynella to Tonsley - potentially even when the original sExy was built.  As you point out though, an extension from Tonsley to Woodcroft via Aberfoyle is probably a much more plausible option, in which case it's good that it was closed!
  r377 Beginner

Thanks for the replies.  I am researching the Onkaparinga area in particular Morphett Vale and Pt Noarlunga, aswell as the train line.  I have no grand plans for a book or anything of the sorts - I just like history on where I grew up, to see photos of where things used to be before all the houses.

I went to Morphett Vale East Primary & Wirreanda High School in the late 80's / early 90's and used to use the train line to get there.  The old train line was like our "Southern Expressway" as kids.  I had friends in Hackham and Reynella ( I lived in MV right near the Randall Rd and Christies Creek bridge/overpass ) so riding our bikes along the track was the fastest and safest way to get around.

I do have a bike so I will be riding the old line once again - thanks for the heads up about the wind.  I will prob do it in two or three stages.

I plan on going to the train museum, do they have much info on this line there ?

I didn't see any books at the library, are there any books dedicated to this line ?  I read a thread a few years back, there was a magazine with a great article on this line, has anyone got it or can post images up of it ?

I would like to find out where all the stations were ? I know most of them, am missing some of the smaller ones....

thanks,

Neil
  ARG706 Chief Commissioner

Location: SA
This should give you the approximate locations of the stops on this line.

https://www.railpage.com.au/downloads?mode=download.view&id=10
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
I would like to find out where all the stations were ? I know most of them, am missing some of the smaller ones....

thanks,

Neil
r377
G'day Neil,

I had the privilege of growing up in the 60's and 70's and having parents/grand parents that owned a "Beach Shack" at Aldinga Beach.
So there were countless trips up and down South Road. I always remember the "dog leg" in South Road at Hackham.
South road turned south west along what is now Honeypot Road for a few hundred metres then did a 90 degree left turn, crossed the railway, and returned to the current south road alignment near Penneys Hill Road. The Railway crossing was at the Willunga end of the Hackham station platform. (Not sure if there was a siding there at all)
There used to be a service station/general store just south of there (corner of Gates Rd) that served the best ice cream cones in the state!! (A compulsory stop to calm the car load of 5 kids!!)
The other spot that stood out was the level crossing at Pedlar Creek and the slow winding road around the deep gully (That was long before the big bridge was built)
  MaskedRailfan Train Controller


So there were countless trips up and down South Road. I always remember the "dog leg" in South Road at Hackham.
Pressman
Was there a level crossing inserted in the re-aligned South Road at Hackham? (Which would be next to where the cutting starts next to South Road?) I have a really early memory of my Dad pointing out the rails across the road as we went across it, but they must have been removed altogether not long after.

Would anyone know when the upgrade was made to South Road that saw the bridge built over the line at Reynella and other re-aligning works were done?
Was certainly some forward thinking in that work, at least it gave good capacity on South Road for many years (but perhaps sealed the railways fate??)

Must have been late in the history of the railway?
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Was there a level crossing inserted in the re-aligned South Road at Hackham? (Which would be next to where the cutting starts next to South Road?) I have a really early memory of my Dad pointing out the rails across the road as we went across it, but they must have been removed altogether not long after.

Would anyone know when the upgrade was made to South Road that saw the bridge built over the line at Reynella and other re-aligning works were done?
Was certainly some forward thinking in that work, at least it gave good capacity on South Road for many years (but perhaps sealed the railways fate??)

Must have been late in the history of the railway?
MaskedRailfan
I do believe when South Rd was duplicated through that area a Level Crossing was installed (But that may have not been long before the line was closed) The South road duplication took a long time to reach Old Noarlunga.

The South Rd bridge over the line was part of the Reynella Bypass works. Must have been done in the early 60's, as I've seen photos of a steam hauled train on the embankment just north of the over bridge (may have been a special though!)
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
There are two bridges at Reynella - a now unused bridge that had for years carried South Road over the railway, and the much newer bridge that carried the Reynella Bypass over the railway.

I seem to recall that the latter bridge was constructed after the closure of the line in the understanding that the railway could be resurrected at some time in the future.

This latter aim was defeated when the Panatilinga Road/ South Road intersection was rebuilt and the Old South Road diverted to the north of the original bridge and the cutting filled in.

The expressway off ramp at Reynella follows the old railway embankment.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Junk food corner platform  35° 6'16.64"S 138°31'44.76"E

We have discussed this before, the wall post dates the railway.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

There were road over bridges at Lemon Road and where the Lonsdale highway intersects Patpa Drive
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Also note that there were stopping places for trains on this line not a full station as such just a signpost and possibly a shelter shed of some sort alongside a local level crossing. They would have names for these places but that is about it for a station at these places! They were the same all over the SAR really plenty of stations are nothing more than a name board seemingly in the middle of no where!
  Halo Chief Train Controller

Overhead foundations? This wasn't an electric service... Was it?
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
No, foundations for the poles that held the rigging up for the quarry's flying fox.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Those remnants of the platfom are slightly north of the Working Men's Club (which according to the info on the walking trail, was the station master's house), just along the walking trail.
DrJames
Part of the original building still is a part of the Working Man's Club.
  SAR526 Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia.
I remember a dreadful level crossing accident when I was a boy, when a train burst out of a cutting immediately adjacent and to the left of the South Road as a family car was crossing the line. There was absolutely no way that either the car or train driver could see more than a few metres of the line or road respectively before the collision, and the train whistle would have been muffled by the walls of the cutting. To the right the line curved down to the Onkaparinga bridge.

The tragedy made such an impression on me (and very many other people) that I always looked out for the crossing place even after the line had been closed and torn up.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

I recall an LX accident in later years when a group of teens was killed. The distraught father claiming the Tuesday train always ran on Thursdays.

David is right regarding many of the stops, they were just that, not much more than a bus shop. A black and white striped post with a 2ft square sign with the place name, I recall the one at Pedlar Creek LX though not the name. These were introduced when the Brill RMCs  were introduced and loco hauled trains generally did not stop there. A few places like Moana had a step down platform, a simple shelter at ground level and a name board.

The Hackham platform was south of the South Road, Honeypot Road LX and included a shelter with office same as Hove and Seacliff.
  xdford Chief Train Controller

I recall an LX accident in later years when a group of teens was killed. The distraught father claiming the Tuesday train always ran on Thursdays.

David is right regarding many of the stops, they were just that, not much more than a bus shop. A black and white striped post with a 2ft square sign with the place name, I recall the one at Pedlar Creek LX though not the name. These were introduced when the Brill RMCs  were introduced and loco hauled trains generally did not stop there. A few places like Moana had a step down platform, a simple shelter at ground level and a name board.

The Hackham platform was south of the South Road, Honeypot Road LX and included a shelter with office same as Hove and Seacliff.
steam4ian
I also recall that accident and I seem to remember as a result that was when all trains started running with headlights on.

circa 1965 as I recall!

Regards

Trevor
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
I also recall that accident and I seem to remember as a result that was when all trains started running with headlights on.

circa 1965 as I recall!

Regards

Trevor
xdford
I can remember that crossing and I don't think having the headlight on the train on in that cutting would have made one ounce of a difference to the outcome. As has been stated you did not really know anything till either of them were actually on the crossing! But I suppose the SAR had to be seen as trying to do something to solve the problem there!
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

David.

As I recall the accident was on Doctors Road or similar.

The Old south Road LX at Hackham had flashing lights. By 1965 the Hackham LX had been straightened out.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I just checked with my parents, they're pretty sure the accident was at Doctors Road. If it was then there's not much of a cutting to remember...
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

I can remember that crossing and I don't think having the headlight on the train on in that cutting would have made one ounce of a difference to the outcome. As has been stated you did not really know anything till either of them were actually on the crossing! But I suppose the SAR had to be seen as trying to do something to solve the problem there!
David Peters
These days we would be horrified at the prospect of a train running without headlights at any time, and that decision had to have been made at some point as it didn't evolve naturally.

Obviously that incident was regarded as particularly horrific and therefore got addressed with a wide-ranging review which turned up the seemingly tangential recommendation to use headlights all the time. That's why you conduct big reviews even if you think you know the answer already.

If that incident was investigated according to the current aviation-led model of the ATSB conducting very narrow scope investigations purely aimed at assigning fault, that recommendation wouldn't have been made then and it would have waited until there was an incident where the non-use of the headlight was directly involved, maybe one where the train got derailed and passengers killed. The decision to use headlights at all times would inevitably have come at some later point, but only at the expense of lives lost in a later incident which were thankfully saved by that decision coming earlier.

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