Beaudesert railway line
The disused Beaudesert railway line with
the remains of Veresdale station in the background
|Opened||15 May 1888|
|Line length||43 km (27 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)|
The Beaudesert railway line is a disused branch railway in South East Queensland, Australia. The first section opened in 1885, the line was completed in 1888 and operated as a Queensland Government Railways (QGR) line until 1996. A heritage operation was undertaken for a short period in 2003. The Canungra railway line connected at Logan Village between 1915 and 1955, and the Beaudesert Shire Tramway connected with the terminal between 1903 and 1944. A study was undertaken in 2010 by the Queensland government concerning a potential Salisbury to Beaudesert rail corridor as a long term potential proposal.
The 43 kilometre-long line branches off the Beenleigh Line at a triangular junction immediately south of Bethania station 35 kilometres (22 mi) south of Brisbane, then progresses generally south-west to Jimboomba and then generally south to its terminus at Beaudesert.
In 1877, a line was proposed from Wacol to Logan Village, Beaudesert and Tamrookum. A trial survey was taken around 1881 with the route commencing from Goodna. This line proposed 1-in-30 (~3.3%) grades, the steepest on the QGR system at the time, as well as requiring a bridge over the Logan River.
The line as built commenced at Bethania on the Beenleigh railway line, south of the Logan River and had the advantage of being a shorter distance of new construction. The section from Bethania to Logan Village was opened on 21 September 1885, with the Logan Village to Beaudesert section opened on 16 May 1888.
All trains were 'mixed' (i.e. consisting of both passenger carriages and goods wagons) until 1929, when a rail motor passenger service was introduced, being withdrawn in 1961. Freight services continued until 20 May 1996 when the last QR train operated.
In 2001, a grant provided by the federal government was given to a local group of Beaudesert people who traded as " Beaudesert Rail" (BR). The group set about acquiring rolling stock and locomotives. The line was upgraded to C17 use. When QGR services still operated on the Beaudesert Branch, only PB15's, B13's, B15's and 60t diesels were used. In order for Beaudesert Rail to commence steam services on the line, they needed to upgrade their track to carry the weight of their C17. The first Beaudesert rail service was held on 18 December 2002 with a run from Beaudesert to Logan Village and return. On 8 March 2003, Beaudesert Rail commenced steam-hauled services. Beaudesert Rail's steam locomotive was an ex-QR C17 #967. Built by Walkers Limited in Maryborough, 967 was in service for 19 years before being placed in a park at Caloundra. In 1985, the Ghan railway bought 967 as a gate train. In 2000, 967 was purchased and road-hauled to Beaudesert. Beaudesert rail then commenced services to Bethania on 4 April 2003. The last service to Bethania took place on 28 June 2003. On that date, Beaudesert Rail's ex-Emu Bay diesel 1105 derailed about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) south of Bethania, between the Dairy Creek Road and Easterly Street level crossings. Beaudesert rail experienced financial problems and the group disbanded in 2005. In 2006, the Zig Zag Railway acquired the former Beaudesert Rail carriages for use on their Blue Mountains system.
Whilst the track has not been substantially removed, many level crossings have been removed and paved over. The corridor is overgrown and many sections are utilised for livestock grazing. At Logan Village, only the platform remains and is covered with growth, the station area is rarely mown and fences have collapsed. At the Waterford - Tamborine road crossing the signals and signage have recently been removed after intersection upgrades. At Jimboomba, all that remains is the track. An attempt to remove the section of line here was made, but not completed. At Beaudesert the station building, water tower stand and the floor of the goods shed remains. Immediately south of the Station building, the line has been covered with dirt and is now a car park. However, the station building has been repainted and a new station nameboard installed.
Proposed Salisbury - Beaudesert line
A 2010 Queensland government study has proposed a new passenger rail line to Beaudesert utilising (and potentially duplicating and electrifying) the dual gauge line from Salisbury to Kagaru, then a new alignment to Veresdale, where the final ~9 km original alignment to Beaudesert would be utilised. Given Beaudesert's current population of ~6,000, this is a long term proposal.
- "The Beaudesert Railway. Opening Ceremonies". The Brisbane Courier. Qld. 16 May 1888. p. 5. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
- (23 February 2015) Salisbury to Beaudesert Rail Corridor Study Archived 6 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Department of Transport and Main Roads. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
- "Zig Zag Railway acquires former Beaudesert Rail carriages". Rail Page. Archived from the original on 28 August 2017. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
- Proposed rail corridor alignment Salisbury to Beaudesert Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
Media related to Beaudesert railway line at Wikimedia Commons