Daylesford Spa Country Railway

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Daylesford Spa Country Railway
Overview
TypeTourist Railway
StationsDaylesford to Bullarto
Operation
Opened1880
Closed1978
Reopened1990
Route map
63rm daylesford 3.jpg

The Daylesford Spa Country Railway (which is operated by the Central Highlands Tourist Railway) is a volunteer-operated 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) gauge tourist railway located in Victoria, Australia. It operates on a section of the closed and dismantled Daylesford line, and currently runs services between Daylesford and the hamlet of Bullarto.

History[edit]

Victorian Railways era[edit]

The original line was opened in two stages, from the mainline junction at Carlsruhe to the town of Trentham, on 16 February 1880. The remainder of the line was opened a month later on 17 March. The line initially had significant goods and passenger traffic, with 50,000 passengers travelling the line in 1884 alone. However, over the next seventy years, both traffic and the quality of line gradually degraded, until the last passenger service was replaced with a road coach in 1978.

Reopening as a tourist railway[edit]

The Central Highlands Tourist Railway was founded two years later, and set about restoring the railway to operating condition. After several years of restoration, trolley services commenced to a temporary terminus located in the Wombat State Forest in the latter half of the 1980s. On 15 September 1990 rail services commenced between Daylesford and the nearby hamlet of Musk. Another section of line was opened on 17 March 1997, allowing services to operate as far as Bullarto. As the station had been demolished, this required building a new platform and installing a portable station building. In 2002, the organisation changed its trading name from the Central Highlands Tourist Railway to the Daylesford Spa Country Railway.

On the evening of 23 February 2009, bushfires in the Daylesford region destroyed 1.6 kilometres of track running through the Wombat State Forest, with about 2000 sleepers destroyed, rails buckled, and the last two broad-gauge cattle pits on a running railway in Victoria destroyed.[1] As a result, services were truncated, running out of Daylesford on the 1.7 km of line which remained unaffected.[2] The repairs were expected to cost $250,000.[3]

In August 2010, services to Musk were reinstated after repairs to the damaged section through the forest, and the rest of the line through to Bullarto was reopened in December 2013.[4]

Rollingstock[edit]

DSCR Locomotives & Railmotors[edit]

Number Image Year built Builder Status Notes
RM 7 22 July 1949 Under Restoration 102 hp Walker railmotor. Stored for future restoration.
RM 32 24 March 1953 Operational 153 hp Walker railmotor.
RM 53 15 February 1926 Under Restoration A double ended Leyland railmotor
RM 63 63rm daylesford 3.jpg 7 August 1930 Operational DERM
RM 74 8 February 1937 Under Restoration Passenger mail motor.
RM 82 11 October 1950 Stored 280 hp Walker railmotor. Spare parts for RM 91.
RM 85 15 May 1951 Stored 280 hp Walker railmotor. Stored for future restoration.
RM 91 30 May 1952 Operational 280 hp Walker railmotor.
DRC 40 DRC40 at Daylesford.jpg 18 May 1971 Operational Diesel Rail Car.
Y 159 14 March 1968 Operational Y Class Diesel Locomotive
RT 3 15 February 1957 Operational Rail tractor

Trailers and Carriages[edit]

Number Image Year built Builder Status Notes
26 MT 29 August 1930 Stored DERM trailer. Stored for future restoration.
56 MT 5 February 1952 Stored Walker railmotor trailer
200 MT 24 April 1928 Stored Brill railmotor trailer
28 C 15 December 1891 Stored C van
ZL 544 26 February 1918 Operational ZL van

Current operations and extension plans[edit]

Sunday market adjacent to Daylesford station

The railway operates every Sunday, with five return services to Bullarto and one to Musk on its regular time table. In 2017, the railway commenced operations on Wednesdays during the school holidays with three return services to Bullarto. On the first Saturday evening of each month, the railway operates the Silver Streak Food and Wine Train.[5]

The railway also runs the famous Daylesford Sunday Market within the station grounds, which has been an important part of the railway's activities since the early 1980s.

In 2018 a new platform opened adjacent to the Passing Clouds winery at Musk, opening up new opportunities for passengers to enjoy the hospitality of the winery and travel there by vintage train.

Line guide[edit]

Daylesford Spa Country Railway
Carlsruhe
Tylden
Fern Hill
Trentham
Lyonville
Bullarto
Passing Clouds
Musk
Daylesford

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Osborne, M., (1993?), Timber, Spuds and Spa, A descriptive history and lineside guide of the railways in the Daylesford district 1880-1993, Australian Railway Historical Society: Victoria Division, ISBN 0-85849-044-7
  1. ^ "Daylesford Spa Country Railway in jeopardy". Hepburn Advocate. www.hepburnadvocate.com.au. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 2009-09-01.
  2. ^ "Daylesford Spa Country Railway Timetable". www.dscr.com.au. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
  3. ^ "Daylesford Spa Country Railway seeks $1.7m for repairs". Hepburn Advocate. www.hepburnadvocate.com.au. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 2009-09-01.
  4. ^ "Regular Operations to recommence between Daylesford and Bullarto". Daylesford Spa Country Railway. Archived from the original on 2 January 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-01.
  5. ^ Daylesford Spa Country Railway - Timetable and Fares

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°20′30″S 144°09′15″E / 37.341588°S 144.1541°E / -37.341588; 144.1541