In 1880 the current station was established a few hundred meters north of the original station and the station was first called Alma. Hamley Bridge station was built originally for the Broad Gauge Peterborough line.
In 1880 a line from Hamley Bridge to Balaklava was opened and that line later extended to Gladstone. That line was built as a narrow gauge line and Hamley bridge was a break of gauge station until 1927 when the Gladstone line was converted to broad gauge. The station consisted of a main building and 4 platforms. Each platform was an island platform and a signal box was also contructed. Cranes, silos and a goods shed were added. There were many tracks and sidings at the rail yards with the junction to the north and sidings for storing wagons to the south.
The town of Hamley bridge was named after the railway bridge over the Light River on the south side of the station for the Peterborough line. The foundation stone of the bridge was laid by Lady Edith Hamley, wife of that times Governor of South Australia, on the 25th of July in 1868. In 1925 the original stone bridge was demolished and a new bridge was erected. The alignment and remains of the original bridge remain today. The current bridge is 91 meters long and 24 meters high.
There is nothing to walk on but old wooden sleepers so I obviously didn’t want on it. The bridge was a magnificent site and gives a great view of the light river in the valley. Unfortunately the demise of the railways was happening by the mid 1980s. In December 1986, Australian National Rail ran the last passenger service on the Peterborough line.
By 1988 that line had been cut back to Hallet and to Burra in 1990. The line past Burra has been since ripped up. In 1992 the last passenger train ran on the line and was a steam special hauled to Burra. The Gladstone line past Balaklava was closed in the late 1980s but still saw freight trains until May the 5th, 2005 when the last train ran.
Freight trains still used the Burra line for freight to Saddleworth but they ceased in 2006. Since then nothing has used the tracks through Hamley Bridge. The main station building was sold off along with one of the island platforms and signal box. The tracks for those platforms have been ripped up.quite a lot still remains of the old railway with the tracks, platforms and many other things still intact. It’s a shame what happened to this line but unlikely that trains will return here again.
Footage of trains at Hamley bridge: Steam tours 1986
https://youtu.be/_xgwqp_WSfQ Last steam train 1992
Thanks to my good friend Redhen334 for joining and exploring with me.
https://youtube.com/channel/UCjHD7hSV... Filmed on the 29th of December, 2020