Flinders Bay Branch Railway

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Former rail line formation near Flinders Bay

The Flinders Bay branch railway ran between Busselton and Flinders Bay, in South Western Western Australia

Originally part of the M.C.Davies Timber railway system, which ran between the two jetties at Hamelin Bay and Flinders Bay (supposedly to be able to load timber regardless of the prevailing weather). The rails were light and the line was poorly constructed, and oriented towards rough workings of the timber railway system.[1]

The railway was taken over in 1925[2][3][4] and connected with Busselton. Although a slow service due to the lighter rails and steep gradients, the branch was important for the dairy industry in the region.[5]

Usually known as the Flinders Bay branch, it ran until 1957.[6]

It was one of three branches in the Western Australian Government Railways system that relied on the important Msa garratt steam engine to be able to move the loads over steep and difficult gradients.

former railway formation near Flinders Bay

Stopping places[edit]

Distances listed after name is that from Perth Railway station in xxx miles xxx chains.

  • Busselton – 148 mi 58 ch (239.3 km)
  • Vasse – 155 m 32 ch (249.9 km)
  • Marybrook – 159 mi 6 ch (256.0 km)
  • Quindalup – 161 mi 77 ch (162.0 km)
  • Yallingup – 165 mi 63 ch (266.8 km)
  • Yelverton/Lennox – 170 mi 0 ch (275.2 km)
  • Metricup
  • Walburra
  • Marmalup/Harmans – 173 mi 56 ch (279.5 km)
  • Cowaramup
  • Rosin/Bramley
  • Margaret River
  • Narawarry
  • Witchcliffe/Pullin
  • Forrest Grove
  • Boranup/Brumvale
  • Arumvale
  • Dianella
  • Karridale – 204 mi 52 ch (329.4 km)
  • Kudardup – 209 mi 58 ch (337.5 km)
  • Augusta – 213 mi 78 ch (344.4 km)
  • Flinders Bay/Barrack Point – 215 mi 61 ch (347.2 km)

(Some names of sidings and locations might have been used during the Group Settlement Scheme era, and not necessarily retained in later locality names)

Most of the railway formation and structures were removed close to closure. The Flinders Bay engine shed, and some parts of the railway yard were not immediately removed and remained intact until the late 1950s.

A limited number of photographs exist of the stopping platform at Flinders Bay, but very few exist of the Flinders Bay Jetty.

At one stage in the 1970s, Railway Bus Drivers had the opportunity to stay overnight in a small railway cottage/shed at the bay-side edge of the Flinders Bay yard.

former steep incline near Flinders Bay

Rail trail[edit]

In 2012 the Adelaide-based firm Mulloway was creating an interpretation plan for the Busselton to Flinders Bay Railway Rail Trail project – that will convert the former railway reserve into a recreational, tourism, and educational trail.[7]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ McNess, Archibald E. J (2005), Original railways of the southwest (Western Australia) : Busselton – Margaret River, Flinders Bay railway construction and Busselton – Wonnerup, Nannup railway line, A.E.J. McNess, retrieved 14 April 2012 
  2. ^ "Margaret River- Flinders Bay Railway: Recent Opening Ceremony by the Minister for Works (Mr. A. McCallum)." Western Mail. Perth: National Library of Australia. 28 May 1925. p. 7 Supplement: Regular supplement – Pictorial Section. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  3. ^ Busselton-Flinders Bay Railway – history of the line opened 1924 Newsletter (Busselton Historical Society), Jan. 1992, p.1-2,
  4. ^ "A NEW RAILWAY". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 18 May 1925. p. 7. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "BUSSELTON- FLINDERS BAY BRANCH TRAIN SERVICE". The Sunday Times. Perth: National Library of Australia. 28 August 1938. p. 13. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  6. ^ Purcell, Len J.(1995) Flinders Bay Railway, Busselton – a look at aspects of the railway's development, opened on 10 April 1925 and closed on 1 July 1957Pinjarra steam express, July 1995, p.15-19,
  7. ^ http://mulloway.com/2012/03/busselton-to-flinders-bay-rail-trail/

References[edit]

  • Higham, Geoffrey Where was that? An Historical Gazetteer of Western Australia, Winthrop, W.A. Geoproject Solutions Pty Ltd. ISBN 0-646-44186-8