Molong–Dubbo railway line

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Molong- Dubbo Line
from Dubbo on the Main West line
Cumboogle
Toongi
Nubingerie
Arthurville
Walmer
Yeoval
Yullundry
Cumnock
Larras Lee
joins the Broken Hill line at Molong

The Molong- Dubbo railway line is an inactive[1] railway line in western New South Wales, Australia. It branched off of the Broken Hill railway line at Molong and paralleled the Main West line before rejoining it at Dubbo. The line was designed with gentler grades than the steeper section of the Main Western line via Wellington, but this resulted in it taking a meandering course (131 km in length for a point-to point distance of 85 km).[2]

The line is particularly scenic, and comprised several steel bridges and some significant engineering works. The New South Wales Government Railways had intentions for it to become the mainline to Dubbo. The line was approved in 1916, but the First World War saw its construction delayed until 1920. It opened in 1925[3] with expectations of high traffic as ten crossing loops and significant attended passenger station facilities were provided. It never reached its full potential however.

Passenger services were operated by CPH type rail motors between 1932 and 1974, with the occasional diversion of other mainline trains over the line. The rail motor was withdrawn in September 1974 along with many other branch services during a nation-wide fuel crisis.[4] The line saw considerable local grain haulage however, but the general freight downturn in the 1980s, the opening of the Ulan line and a transfer of some local grain haulage to road transport by the State Rail Authority saw the line's demise, and it was truncated north of Yeoval in 1987 with the remainder officially closed in 1993.

In 2012, Alkane Resources expressed an interest in upgrading and opening the line for transporting goods and ore to and from its Rare Earth Mine, 30 km south of Dubbo, at Toongi. The cost of upgrading this section of line was estimated at A$30 million.[5] In April 2013, Alkane announced that its studies into the reactivation of this part of the line were 'well advanced'.[6]

A late 2013 environmental impact statement from Alkane suggested that road would be the preferred option initially because of a lack of guaranteed material supply via rail from Newcastle, but that the issue might be revisited again before 2018.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Molong- Dubbo Branch". au.prime7.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  2. ^ Henderson, G. Molong- Dubbo. Railway Digest, November 1994.
  3. ^ "Molong- Dubbo Branch". www.nswrail.net. Retrieved 2007-05-10. 
  4. ^ Milne, R. The Molong- Dubbo Line. Australian Railway History, August 2006.
  5. ^ "Molong- Dubbo Branch". au.prime7.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  6. ^ http://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20130411/pdf/42f5w86dfg7xyv.pdf
  7. ^ http://www.alkane.com.au/images/pdf/Community/EIS_Explained_-_Transport.pdf