Centenary of the Opening of the Trans Australian Railway - Port Augusta

 
  Train1959 Train Controller

Centenary of the Opening of the Trans Australian Railway

Port Augusta  SA  22nd of October 2017

In October 2017 the Trans Australian Railway celebrates its centenary. The 1,051 mile or 1,691 km railway was built through some of the world’s most inhospitable and largely uninhabited country. For example the entire line never had to cross a major watercourse, summer daytime temperatures were well above 40 degrees Celsius then there were duststorms, flies and freezing nights in winter. As there were no settlements on the route all food, water and materials had to be railed from either Port Augusta (eastern end) or Kalgoorlie (the western end). Adding to the problems was a shortage of workers and materials due to the First World War.

The line was started in September 1912 and the final rails were joined at a point near Ooldea in South Australia on the 17th of October, 1917. At that point Australia was finally united as a Federation of states and territories. Indeed one of the primary reasons that Western Australia had joined the Australian Federation in 1901 was the promise of a railway line linking east and west.

On the 22nd of October 1917 the first passenger train departed Port Augusta for Kalgoorlie.

Port Augusta will be celebrating these events on Sunday the 22nd of October 2017.

Some of the activities planned include:

The Pichi Richi Railway Historical Society will run a special train from Quorn for the day. They will also run a morning and afternoon shuttle to Stirling North and return before returning to Quorn later in the day;

Port Augusta Vehicle Restorers Club will provide a vintage car display 1912 – 1970;  

The Royal Australian Mint have minted a commemorative coin set for the centenary, we are in discussion to have them present on the day;

Australia Post are printing a special set of stamps for the centenary;

Great Southern Railway have donated a trip for 2 Gold Class Sydney to Perth (or vice versa) on the Indian Pacific valued at $A9,000. Entry is open to all in attendance and the draw will be held on the day:

“Living and Working on the Trans Australian Railway” exhibition at the Platform Gallery, Port Augusta Railway Station;

Royal Australian Air Force flyover;

Special Book / Nick Anchen –Sierra Publications are releasing a special book commemorating Outback Railways concentrating on the Commonwealth Railways with employee interviews, stories and photos;

Special monument to be unveiled on the day;

Budd Car ex Commonwealth Railways CB2 will be on display on the day;

Genesee & Wyoming Australia will have a number of standard gauge diesel locomotives on display at the Port Augusta Railway Station on the day with access to the cabs for the general public;

Entertainment – Local musicians will provide entertainment throughout the day.

The refreshment rooms will be open as well as other food and drink stalls.

Keep an eye on this forum/subject for updates as they happen.

You can also follow updates as they are posted on the Commonwealth Railways Group Facebook page.

More to follow……………..

Sponsored advertisement

  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
A couple of pedantic points:

The Centenary is of the Linking of the Rails on the Trans-Australian Railway. There was no Official Opening.

Where will GM 1 be in all these celebrations?
  Train1959 Train Controller

Yes you are correct. There was no official opening although one was planned but cancelled. I guess it would not have been a good look having politicians and special guests having a celebration in the middle of such a bloody and deadly world war.

As for GM 1 I have no idea. It is supposed to be heading back to WA before that. We will hopefully have a GM, CL and AL on display on the day plus CB2. There could be a surprise or two yet.
  simont141 Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide
A couple of pedantic points:

The Centenary is of the Linking of the Rails on the Trans-Australian Railway. There was no Official Opening.

Where will GM 1 be in all these celebrations?
YM-Mundrabilla
Another one: It's Pichi Richi Railway Preservation Society, not Pichi Richi Railway Historical Society!

Regarding the planned opening, a booklet was printed for the event to be held on 12 November 1917, which can be viewed here: http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-44189606/view?partId=nla.obj-44189611#page/n0/mode/1up
  Train1959 Train Controller

"Living and Working on the Trans Australian Railway" exhibition

October at the Platform Gallery - Port Augusta Railway Station



We are looking for photographs from anyone who lived and worked on the TAR.


Photo Criteria:

Must not be copyright of anyone else
Preferably taken by yourself or a family member
Be of reasonably good quality (not out of focus, not too dark or overexposed etc)
Colour or black and white
Size to be at least 4' x 6"

Photo Theme:

Main theme is from an employee's or family's perspective
Everyday working duties on the railway
Recreation, social activities, sport
Living on the Trans - everyday household activities (cooking, cleaning etc)
Schooling

This exhibition is from a personal perspective but that is not to say it cannot include trains!



The Platform Gallery Port Augusta can collect photos - They are open Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Otherwise post a message and we can get back to you.

The exhibition space is limited and once filled will not be added to.  

  mclaren2007 Assistant Commissioner

Location: recharging my myki
While the completion of the railway was a historic moment, it took another ~80 years for the line to be standardised
  M636C Minister for Railways

While the completion of the railway was a historic moment, it took another ~80 years for the line to be standardised
mclaren2007
The line to Perth was standardised by 1967, so about 50 years.
The line to Sydney was standardised by 1970, so 53 years.
Melbourne and Brisbane were connected via NSW by 1970.

Where does the 80 years come from?

Sydney to Perth seems to justify the name Trans Australian....

Peter
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
'Sydney to Perth seems to justify the name Trans Australian....'
Sorry to disagree but there us only one Trans-Australian Railway and that is between Port Augusta (later Port Pirie Junction) and Kalgoorlie.
  Southern Aurora Locomotive Driver

Yes you are correct. There was no official opening although one was planned but cancelled. I guess it would not have been a good look having politicians and special guests having a celebration in the middle of such a bloody and deadly world war.

As for GM 1 I have no idea. It is supposed to be heading back to WA before that. We will hopefully have a GM, CL and AL on display on the day plus CB2. There could be a surprise or two yet.
Train1959
Interested in knowing how CB2 will be transported to Port Augusta and where it will be displayed. I'm guessing by truck?

Will it be allowed to be displayed on the track at the station platform if the platform road has been booked out for the day?

And also what condition is it in and is it able to turn over these days?

Thanks, S/A
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
CB2 has been at Port Augusta for a couple of years now it was railed up there to be included in the rail Museum that was planned and when that fell through it was meant to be taken to some other place, but nothing happened about that and it is still at Port Augusta. So it will only need to be placed some where by the local Pt Augusta shunter or what ever.

I don't know about being displayed at the platform though although it could be done as for running it might still be able to turn over but would probably need a lot fixed on it before it could be, it has sat static for a long time now!
  Southern Aurora Locomotive Driver

CB2 has been at Port Augusta for a couple of years now it was railed up there to be included in the rail Museum that was planned and when that fell through it was meant to be taken to some other place, but nothing happened about that and it is still at Port Augusta. So it will only need to be placed some where by the local Pt Augusta shunter or what ever.

I don't know about being displayed at the platform though although it could be done as for running it might still be able to turn over but would probably need a lot fixed on it before it could be, it has sat static for a long time now!
David Peters
Thanks for the info David so do you know who owns it these days?
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
If the original line was built from Kalgoorlie to Port Augusta how did Port Pirie become involved years later?
  Train1959 Train Controller

The Port Augusta to Port Pirie standard gauge line was completed and opened in July 1937. So it is 80 years old this July.
Prior to this the rail connection to Adelaide was via Quorn.
Hence why Pichi Richi are running a special train from Quorn on the day. They are simply re-enacting what happened back in 1917.

Regarding the Budd Car. It will be made roadworthy so that it can use the ARTC mainline.
It would take a lot of money to have her running again although she did have her engines running in 2001 at Islington.
A full overhaul is financially unlikely as are the restrictions placed on main line use by ARTC. Then there is insurance etc etc.........
Might set up a crowd funding page and everyone can donate $1k each!!!
The graffiti artists have been out to play so that will need to be removed (preferably close to the event as it will probably happen again!).
Inside is a bit dirty but nothing a bit of hard work cannot fix.

Yes it was meant for a Museum that Council are still thinking about although lack of funds and motivation seems to have stymied that idea.
And no it was never going anywhere else.
And yes, it will be placed at the station along with the other standard gauge locos.
  Southern Aurora Locomotive Driver

The Port Augusta to Port Pirie standard gauge line was completed and opened in July 1937. So it is 80 years old this July.
Prior to this the rail connection to Adelaide was via Quorn.
Hence why Pichi Richi are running a special train from Quorn on the day. They are simply re-enacting what happened back in 1917.

Regarding the Budd Car. It will be made roadworthy so that it can use the ARTC mainline.
It would take a lot of money to have her running again although she did have her engines running in 2001 at Islington.
A full overhaul is financially unlikely as are the restrictions placed on main line use by ARTC. Then there is insurance etc etc.........
Might set up a crowd funding page and everyone can donate $1k each!!!
The graffiti artists have been out to play so that will need to be removed (preferably close to the event as it will probably happen again!).
Inside is a bit dirty but nothing a bit of hard work cannot fix.

Yes it was meant for a Museum that Council are still thinking about although lack of funds and motivation seems to have stymied that idea.
And no it was never going anywhere else.
And yes, it will be placed at the station along with the other standard gauge locos.
Train1959
Thanks for the update and good luck with getting it out there. Think it would be a great spectacle standing beside the Port Augusta station even if that's all it does!
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
The Port Augusta to Port Pirie standard gauge line was completed and opened in July 1937. So it is 80 years old this July.
Prior to this the rail connection to Adelaide was via Quorn.
Hence why Pichi Richi are running a special train from Quorn on the day. They are simply re-enacting what happened back in 1917.
Train1959

Was Port Pirie connected to Adelaide at the time the SG reached Port Pirie from Port Augusta?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
The Port Augusta to Port Pirie standard gauge line was completed and opened in July 1937. So it is 80 years old this July.
Prior to this the rail connection to Adelaide was via Quorn.
Hence why Pichi Richi are running a special train from Quorn on the day. They are simply re-enacting what happened back in 1917.

Was Port Pirie connected to Adelaide at the time the SG reached Port Pirie from Port Augusta?
x31
Not directly and not on BG.
The BG was extended from Redhill (IIRC) to Port Pirie Junction around the same time as the SG was extended from Port Augusta.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Yes Port Pirie was connected by broad gauge from Adelaide at the same time the standard gauge link came In from Port Augusta (1937)
  Train1959 Train Controller

Port Pirie

The first railway in Port Pirie was in 1875 when the South Australian Railways open a narrow gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge line to Gladstone. This was later extended to Broken Hill. The original station was located in Ellen Street with the track running down the middle of the street.

In 1937 the Adelaide to Redhill line was extended to Port Pirie. This was a broad gauge line. The standard gauge Commonwealth tracks and broad gauge SAR tracks met at Port Pirie Junction in Solomontown (this station no longer exists).

In 1967 a new station was built in Mary Elie Street but this to was later closed when there was no longer a need for a change of gauge or passengers in Port Pirie. Passengers then used the Coonamia siding on the outskirts of the city.  


Port Augusta - some random dates

1854 The town was surveyed.
1862 The first ship arrives direct from England. Ships sail direct from Port Augusta to England.
1866 The first camels arrive by ship to be used for transport north of Port Augusta.
1870 Construction begins on the Overland Telegraph to Darwin. It is opened 2 years later.
1878 Construction begins on the narrow gauge "Great Northern Railway".
1882 First train arrives from Adelaide via Quorn.
1884 The Port Augusta Wharf is constructed.
1893 A record 48,330 bales of wool are exported from Port Augusta.
1901 Drought grips the region, only 12,400 bales of wool are shipped, no wheat is shipped at all. The population drops to 1,000.
1911 Railway Bill for the Transcontinental Railway passes through Federal Parliament. Population now just 800.
1912 On the 14th of September the first sod is turned to commence the building of the Trans Australian Railway (Transcontinental).
       Population almost doubles as the building of the railway gets underway.
1915 The Commonwealth Railways sets up a Provision Store at Port Augusta as well as an ice plant.
1917 The Trans Australian Railway is opened. The Tea and Sugar begins life bringing supplies to workers on the TAR.
1924 The Commonwealth Railways supply electric power for town lighting.
1927 The Great Western Bridge across Spencer Gulf at Port Augusta is opened for traffic.
1929 The Great Northern Railway (Central Australian Railway) reaches Alice Springs where the terminus remains until 2004 when the line is finally built to Darwin.


       





  Train1959 Train Controller

I did forget to mention.

The original Port Augusta Railway Station was built around 1879. It is at the far southern end of Commercial Rd opposite the present day Police Station and the northern boundary of the Downer Group/ARTC and GWA yards). It is currently owned by the Dept of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure SA, it is currently vacant. It's condition is best described as "average" although it has new roof which would at least protect the building.

The new station on Stirling Road was built between 1915-1917. From footage around the time of the opening of the TAR it was not completely finished at that time as the verandahs were yet to be completed. The building is also now owned by DPTI SA. There is no "railway presence" at the station although it is now occupied by the Mamma Lou's (café in the old refreshment rooms), the Platform Gallery (the old Booking Office), Natural Resources SA Arid Lands (old Parcels office, Stationmaster's office etc). The top floor is in need of renovation and is not occupied and there is no access. Pichi Richi do use a room at the northern platform end as their booking office on train days.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

The original Port Augusta Railway Station was built around 1879. It is at the far southern end of Commercial Rd opposite the present day Police Station and the northern boundary of the Downer Group/ARTC and GWA yards). It is currently owned by the Dept of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure SA, it is currently vacant. It's condition is best described as "average" although it has new roof which would at least protect the building.
Train1959
The last time I was there the old station was an art gallery, run by local artists. Streetview shows this (the photos seem to be 2010).  Is this no longer the case?
  Train1959 Train Controller

The original Port Augusta Railway Station was built around 1879. It is at the far southern end of Commercial Rd opposite the present day Police Station and the northern boundary of the Downer Group/ARTC and GWA yards). It is currently owned by the Dept of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure SA, it is currently vacant. It's condition is best described as "average" although it has new roof which would at least protect the building.
The last time I was there the old station was an art gallery, run by local artists. Streetview shows this (the photos seem to be 2010).  Is this no longer the case?
duttonbay
Not sure what the official line was but the "Curdnatta Art Group" were told to leave by DPTI SA about 18 months ago. They were allowed to transfer to the Stirling Road Railway Station and became the "Platform Gallery". There were rumours of a major redevelopment at that end of Commercial Rd. The Centrelink office shifted from next door to the station also.

Sadly now Cooinda has also closed its doors. No sign of any redevelopment though.

I'm sure if Cooinda had still been open we could have had a railway reunion of some kind on the October weekend of the TAR 100 Year Anniversary. Never mind, we will make do with what we have.
  8077 Train Controller

Location: Crossing the Rubicon
Port Pirie

The first railway in Port Pirie was in 1875 when the South Australian Railways open a narrow gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge line to Gladstone. This was later extended to Broken Hill. The original station was located in Ellen Street with the track running down the middle of the street.

In 1937 the Adelaide to Redhill line was extended to Port Pirie. This was a broad gauge line. The standard gauge Commonwealth tracks and broad gauge SAR tracks met at Port Pirie Junction in Solomontown (this station no longer exists).

In 1967 a new station was built in Mary Elie Street but this to was later closed when there was no longer a need for a change of gauge or passengers in Port Pirie. Passengers then used the Coonamia siding on the outskirts of the city.  


Port Augusta - some random dates

1854 The town was surveyed.
1862 The first ship arrives direct from England. Ships sail direct from Port Augusta to England.
1866 The first camels arrive by ship to be used for transport north of Port Augusta.
1870 Construction begins on the Overland Telegraph to Darwin. It is opened 2 years later.
1878 Construction begins on the narrow gauge "Great Northern Railway".
1882 First train arrives from Adelaide via Quorn.
1884 The Port Augusta Wharf is constructed.
1893 A record 48,330 bales of wool are exported from Port Augusta.
1901 Drought grips the region, only 12,400 bales of wool are shipped, no wheat is shipped at all. The population drops to 1,000.
1911 Railway Bill for the Transcontinental Railway passes through Federal Parliament. Population now just 800.
1912 On the 14th of September the first sod is turned to commence the building of the Trans Australian Railway (Transcontinental).
       Population almost doubles as the building of the railway gets underway.
1915 The Commonwealth Railways sets up a Provision Store at Port Augusta as well as an ice plant.
1917 The Trans Australian Railway is opened. The Tea and Sugar begins life bringing supplies to workers on the TAR.
1924 The Commonwealth Railways supply electric power for town lighting.
1927 The Great Western Bridge across Spencer Gulf at Port Augusta is opened for traffic.
1929 The Great Northern Railway (Central Australian Railway) reaches Alice Springs where the terminus remains until 2004 when the line is finally built to Darwin.
Train1959

Great post which deserves a few questions.

Does Port Pirie have a working railway station now?

Port Augusta was also shortlisted for the nations capital but a lack of water saw the capital built instead to where it is today.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville

It would take a lot of money to have her running again although she did have her engines running in 2001 at Islington.
A full overhaul is financially unlikely as are the restrictions placed on main line use by ARTC. Then there is insurance etc etc.........
Train1959

What are "the restrictions on mainline use by ARTC"?
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland


Great post which deserves a few questions.

Does Port Pirie have a working railway station now?

Port Augusta was also shortlisted for the nations capital but a lack of water saw the capital built instead to where it is today.
8077
Port Pirie no longer has an operating passenger station, GSR has changed their services to an expensive exclusive rolling hotel status (not for regional passengers wanting public trainsport)  

Adelaide was also In the running for nations capital, but the event of Victorian Gold Rush well and truly gave the nations capital status to Melbourne (much to the disgust of Sydney)
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

The original Port Augusta Railway Station was built around 1879. It is at the far southern end of Commercial Rd opposite the present day Police Station and the northern boundary of the Downer Group/ARTC and GWA yards). It is currently owned by the Dept of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure SA, it is currently vacant. It's condition is best described as "average" although it has new roof which would at least protect the building.
The last time I was there the old station was an art gallery, run by local artists. Streetview shows this (the photos seem to be 2010).  Is this no longer the case?
Not sure what the official line was but the "Curdnatta Art Group" were told to leave by DPTI SA about 18 months ago. They were allowed to transfer to the Stirling Road Railway Station and became the "Platform Gallery". There were rumours of a major redevelopment at that end of Commercial Rd. The Centrelink office shifted from next door to the station also.

Sadly now Cooinda has also closed its doors. No sign of any redevelopment though.

I'm sure if Cooinda had still been open we could have had a railway reunion of some kind on the October weekend of the TAR 100 Year Anniversary. Never mind, we will make do with what we have.
Train1959
Thanks for the update

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.