Glenmorgan railway line

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RM 1901 crosses a swollen Condamine River on the Glenmorgan line south of Dalby, ~1991
RM 1901 at Glenmorgan Station, ~1991
Crossing the Condamine River on the return journey. Note the flood debris accumulated against the bridge
The end of the line railway station at Glenmorgan, which is now a museum.

The Glenmorgan Branch is a railway line in south west Queensland, Australia. It opened in a series of sections between 1908 and 1931. It was intended to reach Surat but construction ceased during the 1930s depression and never recommenced.


After the Western Line from Brisbane, Australia opened beyond Dalby in the 1870s and the South Western Line passed beyond Warwick in the early 1900s, there was agitation for a service west from Dalby towards Tara. An 84 kilometre extension between the two towns was approved by parliament in April 1908. There was some delay in construction as completion of the Haden and Cooyar branch lines was given priority.

The line opened as far as Kumbarilla on 8 September 1911 after passing through sidings at Natcha, Nandi, Kupunn, Duleen, Ducklo and Gulera. On the outskirts of Dalby, Yumborra siding has since been added to the route. On 4 October 1911, the line opened via Weranga, Bungybah, Goranba and Perthton to Tara. A mixed train left Dalby three days a week at noon for the 4¼ hour journey to Tara leaving again the next morning at 11.30am for the return trip.

Slow progress west[edit]

An 80-kilometre extension to Surat was approved by parliament in December 1914 to service dairy and sheep farms en route.[1] The line never reached Surat but four short stages opened progressively as far as Glenmorgan over the ensuing 17 years. Construction began but was suspended between 1916 and 1923. On 24 August 1925, the line was extended via Tullagrie, South Glen and Cabawin to terminate at The Gums. Two of the three weekly trains travelled the extra distance. Further short stages were opened to Hannaford and Meandarra on 28 June 1926 and 2 July 1927 respectively. From 1928, a rail motor service ran twice a week to Tara and later to Meandarra.

Another short extension took the line 22 kilometres to Cobblegum Creek. Opened on 12 December 1931, the terminus was renamed Glenmorgan in honour of Godfrey Morgan the Railways Minister between 1929 and 1932. Streets in the town were named after his family and he was also honoured with the naming of Morganville a railway terminus south-west of Bundaberg.

A twice-weekly goods train and a similar rail motor service operated between Dalby and Glenmorgan. Grain gradually accounted for much of the traffic and special grain services became commonplace. Road transport took over transport of general goods to the point where only seasonal grain traffic remains and then only as far as Meandarra.

The line beyond Meandarra was closed on 26 June 2013.[2]

Contemporary line standards[edit]

The maximum grade is 1 in 44 (~2.3%) and the minimum curve is 400m radius. The line currently is laid with 41 & 30 kg/m rail, 25% steel sleepers and a 15.75 tonne axle load, except for west of Meandarra, which was 21 kg/m with a 10 tonne axle load.

The line speed is 60 km/h to Tara, 40 km/h to Meandarra and was 30 km/h to Glenmorgan.


  1. ^ Kerr, J. 'Triumph of Narrow Gauge' Boorlarong Press 1990
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 April 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

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