Abandoned Train Station, Railway Bridge and Yards - Hamley Bridge, South Australia

 
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Another dormant railway station, something there are many of in South Australia. In this video I took a look around Hamley Bridge, a town where the railway had a big impact. In 1869 the line from Roseworthy to Forresters was built and opened.
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/hhtqxPeMwjw

https://youtu.be/_xgwqp_WSfQ​ Last steam train 1992

https://youtu.be/J01NmbMMvN8

Thanks to my good friend Redhen334 for joining and exploring with me.

https://youtube.com/channel/UCjHD7hSV...​ Filmed on the 29th of December, 2020

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  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnwIkc2td1o
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Why did ANR stop running freight to this location ?
  allan Chief Commissioner

Why did ANR stop running freight to this location ?
freightgate
Economics. Road vehicles offer better service at less cost.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Why did ANR stop running freight to this location ?
Economics. Road vehicles offer better service at less cost.
allan
My namesake sold SAR to the Commonwealth for a song in 1975 (along with Tasmania at that time) and I'm pretty sure the intention right from the start was that the whole network bar main lines would be shut down.

Branch freight in South Australia was progressively run down to the point where it just wasn't economical at all any longer - and unlike Victoria where the state government remained in charge the SA government always had plausible deniability in the form of "it's not our responsibility any more!".
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Bevans, thanks for this thread - I really love Hamley Bridge having been there several times - nice little town with beautiful Victorian and Edwardian buildings only 25 mins from Gawler. Terrible shame what happened to the SA mid-north rail network - death of a thousand cuts. Even grain hauled from Roseworthy is taken by truck now-days despite the fact that there's a railway line in situ and its only about 5km from the Gawler line. Goes to show how little political will there is in this state for putting freight onto trains.

There's been several attempts to reinstate rail to nearby Kapunda (pop 2,900 vs. Hamley Bridge's 900) but nothing has ever come of it. Kapunda now has McMansion estates growing there and I believe Hamley Bridge has one in the planning on the south side of the town due to those towns proximity to Gawler. Something might happen in the future but I wouldn't hold my breath...
  62430 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Metro Adelaide
Bevans, thanks for this thread - I really love Hamley Bridge having been there several times - nice little town with beautiful Victorian and Edwardian buildings only 25 mins from Gawler. Terrible shame what happened to the SA mid-north rail network - death of a thousand cuts. Even grain hauled from Roseworthy is taken by truck now-days despite the fact that there's a railway line in situ and its only about 5km from the Gawler line. Goes to show how little political will there is in this state for putting freight onto trains.

There's been several attempts to reinstate rail to nearby Kapunda (pop 2,900 vs. Hamley Bridge's 900) but nothing has ever come of it. Kapunda now has McMansion estates growing there and I believe Hamley Bridge has one in the planning on the south side of the town due to those towns proximity to Gawler. Something might happen in the future but I wouldn't hold my breath...
don_dunstan
The problem with the rail line to Roseworthy is that it is broad gauge which now has very limited access to freight facilities with the removal of the BG crossing across the ARTC track at the Dry Creek triangle and much of the dual gauge track to the grain terminal adjacent to Port Flat Yard.

When and where were the last BG grain workings in SA?
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
My namesake sold SAR to the Commonwealth for a song in 1975 (along with Tasmania
don_dunstan
And a set of steak knives?
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
Bevans, thanks for this thread - I really love Hamley Bridge having been there several times - nice little town with beautiful Victorian and Edwardian buildings only 25 mins from Gawler. Terrible shame what happened to the SA mid-north rail network - death of a thousand cuts. Even grain hauled from Roseworthy is taken by truck now-days despite the fact that there's a railway line in situ and its only about 5km from the Gawler line. Goes to show how little political will there is in this state for putting freight onto trains.

There's been several attempts to reinstate rail to nearby Kapunda (pop 2,900 vs. Hamley Bridge's 900) but nothing has ever come of it. Kapunda now has McMansion estates growing there and I believe Hamley Bridge has one in the planning on the south side of the town due to those towns proximity to Gawler. Something might happen in the future but I wouldn't hold my breath...
The problem with the rail line to Roseworthy is that it is broad gauge which now has very limited access to freight facilities with the removal of the BG crossing across the ARTC track at the Dry Creek triangle and much of the dual gauge track to the grain terminal adjacent to Port Flat Yard.

When and where were the last BG grain workings in SA?
62430
Last grain train on BG in SA was in 2007 to Roseworthy ran by GWA (obviously).
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
Why did ANR stop running freight to this location ?
Economics. Road vehicles offer better service at less cost.
allan

Hamley Bridge has not been a receival site for around a decade if not longer.  

The real estate is/was up for sale
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Regarding Country freight in SA.

There are no Mid North towns with any significant industry that would generate rail traffic. Unlike Victoria there are no towns with large flour mills. What potential traffic there is is agriculture based.

Farming methods have changed. Bulk fertilisers are no longer used. Each paddock or portion of a paddock has its own fertiliser according to the soil needs, much better suited to road transport direct from factory to paddock. No more bulk super by rail.
Grain harvesting machinery takes off grain much faster which is now stored on the farm, hence all the bins. Once harvest is over the farmer then uses his own semi to take the grain to the bulk deport. Later in the season the same farmer uses the same semi to move the grain on. In some cases like Mallala or Crystal Brook the grain might be railed out.

Hay is one success story for rail but only because Balco are committed to rail.

No passenger services means there is no way to quickly send light freight and parcels.

Don's namesake handed the SAR over to the Commonwealth to avoid having to make politically difficult decisions. Decisions which would have to have been made sometime.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

There’s a diagram of Hamley Bridge during its DG days (1879 -1927) in the National Railway Museum’s Mixed Gauge Muddle article (pages 10 & 11):

http://nrm.org.au/assets/pdfdocs/collections/multi-gauge-muddle.pdf#page=10


BG – red
NG – blue
SG – black
DG (BG & NG) – purple
DG (BG & SG) – orange
DG (NG & SG) – green
Triple-Gauge – pink


PS: Not sure why the crossover at Signal 14 is DG and not just BG.

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