Cudgewa railway line

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Cudgewa railway line
Status converted to High Country Rail Trail
Termini Wodonga
Continues from North East line
Stations 4
Opened Wodonga-Huon Lane: 10 September 1889
Huon Lane-Bolga: 18 July 1890
Bolga-Tallangatta: 24 July 1891
Tallangatta-Shelley: 13 June 1916
Shelly-Beetomba: 10 April 1919
Beetomba-Cudgewa: 5 May 1921
Closed 1 March 1981
Owner Victorian Railways
Operator(s) Victorian Railways
Line length 113.5 kilometres
Track gauge 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)

The Cudgewa railway line is a closed railway line in the north-east of Victoria, Australia. Branching off the main North East line at Wodonga it ran east to a final terminus at Cudgewa. Most of the line has been reused by the High Country Rail Trail.


Melbourne-Cudgewa rail ticket 1978
Cudgewa line remnant to Bandiana, looking east from the former turning triangle at Wodonga

The Cudgewa line opened in stages between 1889 and 1921. The first section from Wodonga to Huon opened on 10 September 1889. It was extended to Bolga on 18 July 1890, Tallangatta on 24 July 1891, Shelley on 13 June 1916 (the highest station in Victoria), Beetomba on 10 April 1919 and Cudgewa on 5 May 1921.[1] [2]

In 1919, the line was used to carry materials for the construction of Hume Weir, and three years later a spur line connecting Ebden to the weir was opened.[3]

Part of the line was converted to dual gauge in 1944 to serve freight depots around Bandiana. In the early 1950s, the volume of Hume Reservoir was increased, with the railway around Tallangatta relocated to avoid the rising waters.[4] In the 1960s, Cudgewa became the railhead of materials for the Snowy Mountains Scheme.[3] The line had 1 in 30 grades, with T class T413 becoming the regular diesel locomotive on the line after purchase in 1967, as it was the only locomotive of the class with dynamic brakes.[5]

The last passenger service from Wodonga to Tallangatta ran on 30 September 1961 with a 102hp Walker railmotor.[6] On 21 April 1978, the last regular goods train ran,[3] with closure of the line on 1 March 1981, except for the short section to Bandiana. From 1995, it was a standard gauge track only.[1] The Wodonga-Bandiana section closed on 1 September 2009 as part of the Wodonga Rail Bypass project.[2] The section of the line between Wodonga and Tallangatta has now been converted into the High Country Rail Trail. On 20 October 2012, a new bridge opened over the Hume Weir using the existing piers.[7][8]

Cudgewa railway line
North East line
at Wodonga station


  1. ^ a b Quinlan, Howard; Newland, John (2000). Australian Railway Routes 1854 - 2000. Redfern: Australian Railway Historical Society. p. 28. ISBN 0 909650 49 7. 
  2. ^ a b Cudgewa Line Vicsig
  3. ^ a b c "Heritage Of The High Country Rail Trail". Retrieved 2009-01-04. 
  4. ^ "Reincarination of a Bridge" Railway Digest March 2015 pages 54-55
  5. ^ Leon Oberg (August 2007). Locomotives of Australia: 1850s - 2007. p. 297. ISBN 1-877058-54-8. Retrieved 2009-01-04. 
  6. ^ Chris Banger (March 1997). "Rail Passenger Service Withdrawals Since 1960". Newsrail. Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division). pp. 77–82. 
  7. ^ Festival to celebrate the opening of Sandy Creek Bridge Bicycle Network
  8. ^ High Country Rail Trail Rail Trails Australia

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