Ruins at Panorama

 
  touring Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide
Hi all

I saw these ruins along the side of the lines at Sleeps Hill Drive Panorama, and was wondering if anyone knew what they are?

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  2001 The Snow Lord

Location: The road jump at Charlotte Pass. Paxman Valenta on two planks.
I believe it's remains from the days when there was quarrying done on the hill.

Somebody will have detailed information ...
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
Ah the stamping ground of my childhood!

This is the old SAR Sleeps Hill Stone Crusher.     The railways had quarries up the valley behind it and brought the rock down to the crusher on a NG tramway (before my time but the remains could be seen in the 1950s).

There was a yard in the hollow between the Sleeps Hill loop and the ruins.

This yard was connected to the main line at around the start of the cutting on the Lynton end of the site (below the present Council tip).    A signal box on the western side of the line controlled the junction.

Further sidings ran north to quarries behind the council depot, and south under a bridge, long since demolished, to a quarry in the next valley.   The bridge was an extension of the present Hogarth Road, and the abutments that side can still be made out.

There were a couple of quarries up the hill at this site connected by a tramway - again before my time but clearly visible in the 1950's.

The council has taken over the railways quarries and back filled the dump the railways had established there.  

Google Earth shows the other quarry floors are still visible but I haven't been up that way for 40 years or so to confirm that!
  touring Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide
Thanks very much kipioneer, lots of good info there.

I wrote an article about the quarries and reserve with lots of photos, including the former station area and remnants of the stone crushing plant which is ~200m south.
But these ruins are some distance away - are you saying that there was another stone crusher here?

It looks a lot more like part of an old bridge, but is much higher (~5m) than the existing railway line.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

I don't think it looks too much like an old bridge, more like part of a retaining wall for that raised bit of the terrain adjacent to the former yard there.

Mitcham Council has a map available showing the trails in Lynton Reserve (the suburb of Panorama is to the west of the rail line) on their website. You might want to add this to your site as a link.

For people wanting to go walking in the area, please do it safely and heed the following tips...

  • Don't take your dog with you. Even when they are on a leash as required between sunrise and sunset, dogs do unpredictable things when they come across cyclists and a cyclist thrown off their bike is likely to be more concerned with their own injuries than the wellbeing of the dog which ran under their wheel. There are plenty of other parks around the area which are much more suitable for dog walking.
  • Don't try walking on the trails with black markers, these are mountain bike XC and DH tracks and walkers are banned. The trails with red markers are the opposite, for walking only.
  • When walking on the sealed Lynton-Belair Urban Link (or cycling up the 20% section at walking speed), keep to the left hand side of the path, walk in single file if with others so you're not hogging the path, and hold your line. Cyclists are happy to take responsibility for giving way and making a positive overtaking move so long as walkers take responsibility for keeping as far to the left as practical and not making unpredictable moves that could cause a collision or require a cyclist to take dangerous avoiding action.
  • Make sure you have adequate water with you. The terrain is quite tough and you wouldn't want to get caught out there getting dehydrated.
  • Check the weather before you go. Lynton Reserve is closed on total fire ban days, and when it rains there it gets quite heavy.
  • If you go walking there at night, stick to the sealed Lynton-Belair Urban Link as the other trails in Lynton Reserve can be disorientating without light and visibility is low. Wear bright-coloured clothing, and take a mobile phone and a bright torch with you.
  • If you're walking with international tourists, don't forget to warn them about drop bears Razz
  nscaler69 Deputy Commissioner

Location: There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots.
Hi all

I saw these ruins along the side of the lines at Sleeps Hill Drive Panorama, and was wondering if anyone knew what they are?

touring
Have a look at the photo on the bottom of the first page. http://www.mitchamcouncil.sa.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/Sleeps_Hill_Reserve.pdf
  touring Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide
Thanks for the responses.

@justapassenger, I deliberately didn't say much about Lynton trails as the reserve is only peripheral to them - at least two entrances to Sleeps Hill Reserve prohibit bikes. I plant to do something about the bike trails separately.

@nscaler69 Thanks a lot! That wasn't linked to on the Council's page about Sleeps Hill. It adds a lot of great info, and I will include it in the article.
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
I don't think it looks too much like an old bridge, more like part of a retaining wall for that raised bit of the terrain adjacent to the former yard there.
justapassenger
Its not an old bridge - the old bridge crossed the railway from the end of Hogarth Road at the southern end of the cutting  south of the railways quarries - very hard to make out where it was these days but there is a suggestion of the abutments near the railway.

There was another loading plant in this gully and the object in the photo may well be that rather than the old railways stone crusher which is immediately adjacent to the Sleeps Hill loop.

The iron superstructure of that lasted into the 1960s and was demolished with the sidings.   The signal box disappeared about the same time.    The old semaphore signals gave some clue as to where it was, but, alas, things have changed so much any remains have long since disappeared.

I see from the Google aerial image the council has covered the old railways dump in the gully behind the stone crusher and planted trees and what have you on it.

I spent hours over many years of my childhood exploring Stone Crusher Gully as it was known in the family with my grandfather and cousins.     You could get right up to Windy Point by a path now definitely out of bounds  I imagine - it crossed a very narrow ridge, only a few feet wide, between 2 quarries.
  CL1 Station Master

Location: nuri
Have a look at the photo on the bottom of the first page. http://www.mitchamcouncil.sa.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/Sleeps_Hill_Reserve.pdf
nscaler69
thanks for that,interesting.
  touring Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide
Amazing recollections kipioneer!

The link that nscaler69 posted shows an actual photo of the rock crushing plant that sat where the photo was taken - have a look at that link, it's brilliant!
I am a bit confused because there is an interpretive sign near some other ruins about 100m east of the Sleeps Hill station site and the line, saying that the crushing plant was there.
Perhaps there were two?
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
Amazing recollections kipioneer!

The link that nscaler69 posted shows an actual photo of the rock crushing plant that sat where the photo was taken - have a look at that link, it's brilliant!
I am a bit confused because there is an interpretive sign near some other ruins about 100m east of the Sleeps Hill station site and the line, saying that the crushing plant was there.
Perhaps there were two?
touring
One - the SAR one - for sure and one I can just recall in the gully to the south and there may have been one in the gully behind the council depot since there was a siding into there.

Loading bins if nothing else.

I can't actually recall bins in the southern quarries but I can remember very dimly remains of loading bins towards the head of the gully.

I only ever followed the track bed of the siding to the north once and a very long time ago now, so my recollection is very hazy.

Evidence of the sidings can be seen in the width of the cuttings between Lynton and the old Sleeps Hill station site - enough room for a single siding.

The council depot has obliterated any trace of the siding in the northern quarry.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
For more info of this and the other amazing things that have happened on the South Line including the short mile read either The "Overland Railway" by W,H Callaghan or "Line Clear" by Reece Jennings both have old track plans, photos and information in them about these old Quarries and crushers. You might need to go to a library as these books have been out of print a long time now but both are worth having to help you understand about the South Line.
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
The railways quarries were on the northern side of the gully behind the stone crusher.

A track, presumably the old NG railway, ran from a little cutting behind the stone crusher up the northern side of the creek in the valley.    Where the creek and track were at a similar level below Windy Point the path turned around and ran up the side of the southern side of the valley.    

We would have our family picnics around here.

The path on the southern side is part of the Bike Trail and formed, still does, a fire track.

There was a very large boulder jutting out above this track and one day it fell and rolled across the path.

The most easterly quarry had 2 benches, one at "ground" level, and one several metres above it.    The path up to Windy Point entailed climbing into the upper bench, quite easy since it was up the hillside rather than the rockface, crossing that bench and climbing over the very narrow ridge between it and the quarry just to the west of it.   Once past this it was straight east to Windy Point.

I assume this trail is all fenced off now!

The creek was used by the SAR as a dump and many "useful" items were salvaged by my cousin and I - including a couple of 2ft guage wheel sets, and a number of signs.  

When the quarries fell under the control of the Mitcham Council, the dump was back-filled making the area almost unrecognisable now.

My cousin and I would have been in our early teens, and reminished about it last evening in the Royal Oak at Clarendon.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
The railways quarries were on the northern side of the gully behind the stone crusher.

A track, presumably the old NG railway, ran from a little cutting behind the stone crusher up the northern side of the creek in the valley.    Where the creek and track were at a similar level below Windy Point the path turned around and ran up the side of the southern side of the valley.    

We would have our family picnics around here.

The path on the southern side is part of the Bike Trail and formed, still does, a fire track.

There was a very large boulder jutting out above this track and one day it fell and rolled across the path.

The most easterly quarry had 2 benches, one at "ground" level, and one several metres above it.    The path up to Windy Point entailed climbing into the upper bench, quite easy since it was up the hillside rather than the rockface, crossing that bench and climbing over the very narrow ridge between it and the quarry just to the west of it.   Once past this it was straight east to Windy Point.

I assume this trail is all fenced off now!

The creek was used by the SAR as a dump and many "useful" items were salvaged by my cousin and I - including a couple of 2ft guage wheel sets, and a number of signs.  

When the quarries fell under the control of the Mitcham Council, the dump was back-filled making the area almost unrecognisable now.

My cousin and I would have been in our early teens, and reminished about it last evening in the Royal Oak at Clarendon.
kipioneer
Some members of the old MERM got a hopper underframe out of one of these Quarries up that way years ago I was one that was helped out on it. It was in really bad shape though rust had really taken it's toll on it. We also got the remains of a hopper top as well but it was all that badly rusted and missing that it could never be restored and displayed. It was found by one of the younger members brothers who said he saw a railway wheel sticking out of  the ground, so his brother investigated and he and a couple of guys from the MERM got  permission and got to work over a period of time and dug it out, they had to get the SES on a training session to get it up out of the hole and up onto level ground as well. I was lucky enough to end up going up there to load the remains onto a members trailer to remove it. It fell apart completely some years later and had to be disposed of, all that hard work for nothing really but oh well.
  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL
Looking at that picture in the linked Mitcham brochure it looks like broad gauge tracks receiving from the crusher? Did the narrow gauge deliver to the top of the crusher or is there lift out of the picture or in plain sight and I'm not recognizing it?
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
Looking at that picture in the linked Mitcham brochure it looks like broad gauge tracks receiving from the crusher? Did the narrow gauge deliver to the top of the crusher or is there lift out of the picture or in plain sight and I'm not recognizing it?
SAR523
The NG line was used to deliver rock from the quarries to the crusher and entered behind the crusher to discharge into a large bin at the southern end of the structure.      

It is hidden from view by the crusher itself.

Most of the traces have disappeared under the spoil spread over the rubbish and when the steel superstructure of the crusher was demolished.    Even the little cutting has disappeared.

The Sleeps Hill loading sidings connected to the rest of the SAR system.
  nscaler69 Deputy Commissioner

Location: There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots.
Further sidings ran north to quarries behind the council depot, and south under a bridge, long since demolished, to a quarry in the next valley.   The bridge was an extension of the present Hogarth Road, and the abutments that side can still be made out.
kipioneer
Just for those who may be interested a photo of that bridge from the State Library SA Collection
http://images.slsa.sa.gov.au/mpcimg/59000/B58892_46.htm

  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
Thanks for the pic nscaler69 - I remember it as a wooden bridge, but have no idea when it was removed.

The State Library has quite a picture collection including a great many online.    Well worth the look.
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
There was another opening in the bridge behind the locomotive tender.

The siding into the quarry ran through this opening then behind the house to the loading area.

I can't remember the buildings here, but then I was only 4 in 1953 when the picture was taken.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

I must have been about 11/12 yrs old when I first travelled the Hills line.

I remember the BG sidings were still there in the very early 60s along with the remains of the load-out bins and the old house in the photo. The house was still occupied at that time. I have the impression that there was another as well but may be wrong.

I don't recall the sidings joining the main line. The lower part of the signal cabin was still there on the up side opposite where the siding would have joined the line.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
At one time the line to the quarry was separate from the single track mainline and Mitcham was the Junction station, a 3 way junction actually. The south line went were it is today, the Quarry lines paralleled the South Line to Sleeps Hill quarries where they stopped and the line that was the former head shunt at Mitcham ran out through a curve off the end of it to the original Clapham station. The track plan's are in both the books I mentioned from memory and as I said both books are well worth the money if you want to have a read about these things. The plans for the Sleeps Hill Quarry lines and the original Clapham station are on page 239 of the book "The Overland Railway. The plan for Mitcham station is on page 128 this plan has 3 plans on it 1888,1910 and 1955.

The former quarry branch was rebuilt into the double track South mainline, so the current Belair line track is most probably on the alignment of the old quarry branch line.

I would post scans of these plans but I don't know how to on Railpage. I am not that computer literate and mumbo jumbo just confuses me.
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
Even recently (well 30 years ago Smile) there were 3 tracks between Mitcham and Torrens Park: down Belair, up Belair, and the remains of the Clapham line.

South of Torrens Park traces of the Clapham line remain in the wide cutting and embankment.    There are flats where the station was to the west of the current tracks.

I would assume the down Belair was originally the quarry siding, the up Belair the original main line (the reverse of north of Mitcham where the down Belair was the original line and the up track was built to its west), and the siding the Clapham line.

Now the lines are Belair and a curve eased ARTC track which occupies both the Clapham line and up Belair to one degree or another.


Duplication would have made a big difference at Sleeps Hill and the quarry sidings were relocated to a cutting and embankment on the eastern side of the now duplicated railway to run parallel with the main lines.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Even recently (well 30 years ago Smile) there were 3 tracks between Mitcham and Torrens Park: down Belair, up Belair, and the remains of the Clapham line.

South of Torrens Park traces of the Clapham line remain in the wide cutting and embankment.    There are flats where the station was to the west of the current tracks.

I would assume the down Belair was originally the quarry siding, the up Belair the original main line (the reverse of north of Mitcham where the down Belair was the original line and the up track was built to its west), and the siding the Clapham line.

Now the lines are Belair and a curve eased ARTC track which occupies both the Clapham line and up Belair to one degree or another.


Duplication would have made a big difference at Sleeps Hill and the quarry sidings were relocated to a cutting and embankment on the eastern side of the now duplicated railway to run parallel with the main lines.
kipioneer
Yes I can well remember seeing some  remains of these lines back then and a few others long gone before I was even born. The North Terrace line to Glenelg was one, at both ends of the line including the track left in Colley Tce at Glenelg.
  touring Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide
There's some brilliant stories and links here. Thanks for the memories!
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
I went past here today on the train.

Things have changed quite a bit - the area in front of the bins was flat and extended both south and north of the bins.

South of the bins there appears to be flood mitigation work and the area to the north of the bins has not only been filled in but also built up.    The original cutting walls can be made out behind the fill - I recall 2 or 3 dead end tracks in here and you would have looked down on them from the railway embankment.

Just why this was done I don't know - quite possibly it was a landfill exercise with railway rubbish, the creek east of the bins having been filled up.

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