Benalla railway station
Station building looking east, yard in foreground
at least 9 tracks in the yard.
|Opened||18 August 1873|
|Operator||V/Line, NSW TrainLink|
|Station status||Staffed Station|
Benalla is a railway station on the North East railway in the city of Benalla, Victoria, Australia. Located at the Midland Highway level crossing close to the centre of town, the station is served by both V/Line Albury-Wodonga line and NSW TrainLink Melbourne - Sydney passenger services. Travel time to Melbourne is about two and a half hours.
The main station platform is located on the west standard gauge line, with a brick station building located in the centre. A goods shed and sidings are to the west, while the platform on the parallel standard gauge is located along the street side, with a road over bridge to the north providing station access.
The former locomotive depot was located to the north, as is a crossing loop. The station is an important junction in north eastern Victoria, with the Oaklands line towards Yarrawonga branches off and heads north; it was also a junction to the now closed Tatong line.
The station has seen many interesting occasions including, the famous Kelly Gang, Royal Tours, as well as hosting the Flying Scotsman during its visit in 1988, and a 2006 freight train derailment. It is one of the oldest country stations in the state once boasting a bar and restaurant for rail travellers.
The old time dance hall, located next to the station and run by ex railway workers was a mecca for oldies wanting to dance like it was 1947, unfortunately rising insurance costs ended its nearly 50 year run and more recently, part of the disused building was knocked down by the 2006 freight train derailment. The railway yard has a working turntable but is only used for heritage trains, while the rest of the yard has been slowly dismantled .
Platforms and services
- Albury-Wodonga line - intercity services to Southern Cross (3 per day) and Albury (3 per day)
- NSW TrainLink Southern – interstate Melbourne XPT to Sydney
The site of the station was a controversial decision at the time, guided by the 1870 flood of the Broken River to the south that engulfed the town. The railway opened on 18 August 1873 but only temporary facilities were provided. The first permanent building was provided in 1874 of identical design to that at Seymour station. It was extended in 1888 including dining and refreshment room facilities, administrative offices, all topped by a large tower, since removed.
The bridge over the Broken River of iron plate-girder construction was the longest metal girder bridge in Australia at the time of construction, totalling 241.7 metres. Listed on the Victorian Heritage Register, it was the second bridge of its type built in Victoria, and the first metal railway bridge both designed and fabricated within the colony.
The branch line to St James opened in 1883, and extended to Yarrawonga in 1886. The goods yard was expanded for this extra traffic in 1885, with more sidings added in 1902. At this time the original goods shed was demolished and replaced. The Tatong branch line followed in 1913, and remained until closure in 1947.
In 1913 Benalla gained a second and third platform, these being a wide island platform with cantilevered verandah located in to the west of the main station building, and linked to it by an iron footbridge provided in 1888 across the station yard. The island platform was removed in 1937 leaving the main platform only. Two signal boxes were built in 1888, both being extended in 1914, but only the southern one remains today, unused.
A locomotive shed was provided at Benalla early on, located at the north end of the station yard. Of corrugated iron construction it could house six engines. In 1899 a roundhouse shed was erected, with the old shed used for wagon repairs. In 1908 a 70 feet (21 m) long turntable was provided, replaced in 1953 by an electrically driven unit. After the demise of seam locomotives usage declined, with several stalls removed in 1960 to permit the passage of the parallel standard gauge track. The locomotive depot was hit by a severe storm on 22 November 1994 leaving the shed damaged and destroying two Tait carriages stored inside. The shed was later demolished.
70th anniversary run of the Spirit of Progress stopped at Benalla
- "VICSIG - Infrastructure - Benalla Loop". www.vicsig.net. Retrieved 2008-12-24.
- Turton, Keith W. (1973). Six And A Half Inches From Destiny. Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division). p. page 99. ISBN 0-85849-012-9.
- National Trust of Australia (Victoria). "RAILWAY BRIDGE OVER BROKEN RIVER - BENALLA". www.nattrust.com.au. Retrieved 2008-12-24.
- Turton, Keith W. (1973). Six And A Half Inches From Destiny. Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division). p. page 127. ISBN 0-85849-012-9.
- "Operations". Newsrail (Australian Railway Heritage Society (Victorian Division)): page 55. February 1995.
|Closed station navigation|
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