Forrest railway line

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StatusRemoved with partial
conversion to rail trail
Closed4 March 1957
Line length31 km (19 mi)

The Forrest railway line is a former branch railway in Victoria, Australia. It branched off the Warrnambool railway line at Birregurra, and ran through the foothills of the Otway Ranges to the town of Forrest.

It opened to Deans Marsh on 19 December 1889, and to Forrest on 5 June 1891.[1] It had eight stations at opening: Whoorel, Deans Marsh, Arlett's Corner, Murroon, Dewing's Creek, Gerangamete, Barwon Downs, and Yaugher.[2] On 21 September 1891, four stations were renamed: Arlett's Corner became Pennyroyal, Dewing's Creek became Barwon Downs, Barwon Downs became Yaugher, and Yaugher became Forrest.[3] In the 1940 timetable, trains stopped at the same eight stations as in September 1891, with the train taking fifty minutes to get from Forrest to Birregurra.[4] The line closed in March 1957.[1]

The Forrest railway was a key means of transport for the Otway Ranges timber and coal industries.[5] Prior to the opening of the Great Ocean Road, the Forrest railway, with connecting coaches at Deans Marsh, was also the primary means of reaching the coastal resort town of Lorne.[6]

An extension of the line from Forrest to Barramunga was discussed from the 1890s until at least the 1910s. In 1904, it initially received the support of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways but, following an unfavourable report from an officer of the Railways Department, it did not proceed.[7][8][9] Local campaigns for the extension continued for several years thereafter, but were unsuccessful.[10][11]

The Birregurra-Forrest "Tiger" Rail Trail is a walking and cycling track which follows a section of the alignment of the former Forrest line.[1]

Line guide[edit]

Forrest railway line
Port Fairy line at Birregurra Station
Deans Marsh
Barwon Downs


  1. ^ a b c "Birregurra - Forrest 'Tiger' Rail Trail". Railtrails Australia. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  2. ^ "The Otway Forest Railway Line. Birregurra to Yaugher". The Colac Herald. 9 June 1891. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  3. ^ "Notes and events". The Colac Herald. 15 September 1891. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  4. ^ "Victorian Railways". Werribee Shire Banner. 1 August 1940. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  5. ^ Kellaway, Carlotta. Farmland, Forest & Surf: Environmental History of Surf Coast Shire (PDF). Surf Coast Shire. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  6. ^ Ormonde, Lucinda (3 June 2011). "Celebrations for railway line's 150th". The Colac Herald. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  7. ^ "Forrest Railway Extension". Camperdown Chronicle. 19 April 1898.
  8. ^ "The Forrest Railway". Geelong Advertiser. 5 May 1904. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  9. ^ "Forrest to Barramunga Line". The Argus. 5 May 1904. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  10. ^ "Proposed Railway". The Colac Herald. 26 July 1912. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  11. ^ "To Open Up Apollo Bay". Geelong Advertiser. 27 July 1912. Retrieved 9 July 2014.