QR - Jericho to Yaraka

  drwaddles In need of a breath mint

Location: Newcastle
This line boasted one of the last mixed trains in Australia until its cancellation in 2001.

Unusually, the closure was instigated by a collaboration of the five shires the line passes through, who requested that the money spent maintaining the weekly goods service be redirected into providing a 280km sealed road. Loads were reportedly down to less than what would fill a ute.

The line was officially closed on 14 October 2005. It is currently being dismantled.

An excellent recollection of a ride on the Yaraka mixed service is available here.

Does anyone have any memories and/or photos of this line? Is anyone planning a trip in the near future to photograph what remains before demolition is complete?

Some further reading for those interested:

Page 6 of this document
QR Annual Report 2006, page 17
Page 46 of this document
ABC news report, 8 September 2005
Courier Mail, 13 September 2005
Media Release re: the subsequent road upgrades, December 2007

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  penov Chief Commissioner

Location: By the shore of Bass Strait.
Quite a bit of info and pics about this line in Robin Bromby's books.
  drwaddles In need of a breath mint

Location: Newcastle
I only know of the Ghost Railways of Australia book, what are the others?
  Johnmc Moderator

Location: Cloncurry, Queensland
I've been on the line 3 times, and managed to mislay *all* my photos from that period.  When i get a decent work break, I shall have to see if i can find them and scan them...
  penov Chief Commissioner

Location: By the shore of Bass Strait.
The name of the other book is The Railway Age in Australia, although checking that one out there is nothing of use re Yaraka. However Ghost Railways has four pages on that line.
  sthyer Deputy Commissioner

Managed to do the line in the middle of 1999.

We prepared for the journey by buying a cheap disposable esky, loaded it up with food, beer and ice for the 30 hour round trip from Emerald. It was a midnight(ish) departure from Emerald with our drovers van tucked in directly behind the loco. After throwing out our sleeping bags on the long benches, we went to sleep listening to the 1720. After waking up, hearing the 1720 in nothc 8, going back to sleep, waking up, hearing the 1720 still in notch 8 etc etc, we started to get a bit sick of being up the front.

The rest of the trip was a fascinating trip, the Queensland plains being fairly unfamiliar country to us. Cab rode the last section to Yaraka, the line was in superb condition and we scooted along at about 40 km.h on 40lb line!! Arrival at Yaraka was mid afternoon

Quick beer at the pub and back to the train. There was precious little loading to Yaraka. The trip back rolled away quickly although the midnight shunt at the Blackall cattle sidings was a bit of a drag. Two wagons forward, clunk clunk, two wagons forward....

We arrived back into Alpha around sunrise. My friend managed a cabride up the Drummond range, I got a run down the other side. Very hospitable crew on this leg, we ended up all having a drink at the QRI after we arrived at Emerald. As much as the crews offer of us coming over to their place later for a meeting of the Emerald Home Brewers was tempting, we had to catch the regular pass back to Brisbane.

Hadn't thought about that trip in a while but looking back, damn it was fun. Very Happy
  drwaddles In need of a breath mint

Location: Newcastle
Hi Expedition Pass - I have no local knowledge of the area or the situation - I was going off what I could piece together from the information in the links provided in my opening post.

Thanks for providing some more insight and I tend to agree with you that QR may have taken approach as a politically safe way of closing down the pork-barrel and unsustainable branch lines that perhaps should never have been built in the first place or that have outlived their usefulness.

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