Canberra Civic branch

 
  DavidB Moderator

Location: Canberra
Driving through Reid today, it was interesting to note that there are still some signs of the line into Civic which was closed in 1922. Amaroo St was part of the trackbed and it's dead flat, whereas the streets either side are slightly undulating. Unfortunately you can't see the route through Glebe Park any more because it has a casino on it.

If you know what to look for you can just make out the trackbed on the north side of Parkes Way between Anzac Pde and Kings Ave, but some bits have been graded over for car parks.

I haven't yet checked for signs of the reservation between East Basin and the old Powerhouse sidings.

Cheers
David

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  allan Chief Commissioner

Was that the 3'6 gauge line?
  DavidB Moderator

Location: Canberra
Was that the 3'6 gauge line?
"allan"

No. This was the standard gauge line from Kingston to Civic. The narrow gauge line ran from the brickworks to Kingston via (Old) Parliament House, with a branch into Civic across what is now the lake.

I'll see if I can draw up a map over the weekend showing both lines.

Cheers
David
  Rob Locomotive Fireman

I am aware that the Kingston-Civic Branch was one of the most short-lived lines in NSW.

Why on earth was it closed in 1922 before Canberra even got started in earnest ? (Old Parliament House was opened in 1927 I think)

In those days it would have been very difficult for many travellers not having a rail service into the middle of town.

It is also strange that Canberra never developed it's own suburban rail network.  It must have been a real challenge getting around in those days without a car.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
For those of us who are not living in or know Canberra that well.  Is kingston the current end of the line?
  Rob Locomotive Fireman

Yes, Kingston is the end of the line into Canberra.  It is about 5km south east (as the crow flies) from the CBD (known as Civic).

The Kingston-Civic Branch was one of the most short-lived lines in NSW, lasting only a matter of months in the 1920s?? (I think)

It would be like the main line into Sydney ending at say, Sydneham or Ashfield!
  DavidB Moderator

Location: Canberra
For those of us who are not living in or know Canberra that well.  Is kingston the current end of the line?
"freightgate"

Yes. The Civic line branched just before the current station. Technically it was an extensiion of the old Powerhouse siding.

The line was closed when the Molonglo River flooded and washed away the bridge. King O'Malley was very pro-car and blocked the bridge being rebuilt.

Walter Burley Griffin did plan a suburban railway )and tramways) for Canberra. See http://dbromage.railpage.org.au/canberra for Griffin's original design and some alternative bids in the design competition.

Cheers
David
  widowmaker Train Controller

Im very interested if someone can give me some directions to where the old railway into the civic centre used to be.

Just looking at those old plans Walter really had everything planned out i wonder where Canberra would be today if the public servants hadnt of ruined it even way back then.
  DavidB Moderator

Location: Canberra
Im very interested if someone can give me some directions to where the old railway into the civic centre used to be.
"widowmaker"

The line ran along Amaroo St and through Glebe Park (where the casino is now). The station was in Alinga St about where the Canberra Centre is and the buffers were about where the Department of Transport building is now (cnr Mort St and Cooyong St). The line was supposed to continue along what is now Mort St, Henty St, Lowanna St and Challis St to Dickson, then out towards Lawson and Belconnon. And eventually to Yass.

Have a look at Amaroo St and see how flat it is compared to Booroondarra St. This is because it used to be a railway.

I'm seriously considering building a model railway of Canberra Civic as it might have in the 80s (when Canberra had an XPT service). To add operational interest I'd assume the Yass and Jervis Bay lines had also been built. Smile

Cheers
David
  DavidB Moderator

Location: Canberra
Finally managed to scan the map I had. It shows the original Griffin proposal, the actual route of the Civic line and the actual route of the narrow gauge brickworks railway superimposed on a modern map of Canberra.

http://dbromage.railpage.org.au/canberra/Civic.jpg

There may be a slight error in it. My understanding was that the Civic line never crossed Cooyong St.

Cheers
David

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