Avoca railway line

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Original Avoca railway line
Avoca Railway line west of Bung Bong.jpg
Avoca railway line west of Bung Bong
StatusFreight only line (currently reopened)
Closed2005 - reopened Jan 2018[1]
Rolling stockBallast, Grain
Line length87.769 km (54.537 mi)
Number of tracksSingle track
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Route map

Warra Yadin

The Maryborough–Avoca–Ararat railway is a railway line in western Victoria, Australia. It is one of the few railway lines in the state to have been closed and then reopened. Today it is a standard gauge branch line connecting the Western SG with Bung Bong (ballast) and Dunolly (grain), running through Maryborough station.


The first section of line was opened as a branch from Maryborough to Avoca in October 1874, 24 kilometres in length, then was extended 62.8 kilometres to Ararat in November 1890, forming a through route between two main lines. In July 1959 the line between Avoca and Ararat was closed.[2] In October 1966 the line was reopened,[2] and in 1996 it was converted to standard gauge, along with the main Melbourne–Adelaide railway.[3]

The Avoca–Ararat section of the line has been unused for a number of years and Pacific National used it to store over 100 surplus grain wagons,[4] until many of them were reactivated to carry the 2011–2012 harvest.


The line is to be reopened (as of 2017) as standard gauge and upgraded to 21-tonne axle loads, with insertion of over 100,000 new concrete sleepers. The second reopening of this cross country line is primarily to allow for the carriage of mineral sands from Manangatang to a processing plant at Hamilton. The reopening project includes the provision of a direct standard gauge connection between the Avoca and Hamilton lines at Ararat to avoid the need for trains to have to reverse at Ararat.[5][6][7]

It was announced in June 2017 that work will begin to reopen the 87 km line between Maryborough and Ararat.[8]


The Maryborough to Ararat rail freight line was officially re-opened at Avoca early in 2018 after more than 13 years of siting idle.[1][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Rail freight is back on the Maryborough-Ararat line". The Courier. 13 January 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  2. ^ a b Sid Brown (March 1990). "Tracks Across the State". Newsrail. Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division). pp. 71–76.
  3. ^ "VICSIG". www.vicsig.net. Retrieved 23 November 2008.
  4. ^ "Grain wagon must return". Weekly Times. Melbourne. 5 March 2011. Archived from the original on 9 March 2011. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  5. ^ "Murray Basin Rail Project". Public Transport Victoria. 2013. Archived from the original on 4 August 2017. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  6. ^ Hunt, Peter (26 May 2017). "Rail freight Victoria: Works to cause more delays for grain". The Weekly Times. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Murray Basin rail project".
  8. ^ Smith, Keven (27 June 2017). "Murray Basin network upgrade contract awarded". International Rail Journal.
  9. ^ https://www.araratadvertiser.com.au/story/5256587/first-freight-train-for-restored-maryborough-ararat-line-videos/

External links[edit]

Media related to Avoca railway line at Wikimedia Commons