Mungindi railway line

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Mungindi Line
Mungindi
Neeworra
Weemelah
Bengerang
Garah
Moppin
Ashley
Boggabilla line
Camurra
Inverell line (closed)
Moree
Gurley
Bellata
Edgeroi
Narrabri
Walgett line
Turrawan
Baan Baa
Boggabri Coal Loop
Boggabri
Emerald Hill
Gunnedah West
Gunnedah
Curlewis
Gap
joins the Main North line, to Werris Creek

The Mungindi railway line is a railway line in northern New South Wales, Australia. It branches from the Main North line at Werris Creek station and heads north-west through the towns of Gunnedah and Narrabri before reaching Moree which for many years was the railhead before the extension to Mungindi was constructed. The line is currently truncated to Weemelah between Moree and Mungindi.[1] Passenger trains still operate to Moree, and goods trains (mainly wheat) operate to Camurra. As of 1 September 2009, services have been suspended between Camurra and Weemelah. The line between Werris Creek and Moree is also known as the North-West line.[2]

History[edit]

The line opened from Werris Creek to Gunnedah in 1879, Narrabri in 1884 and Moree in 1897. Moree was for many years the railhead for the large sheep stations in the area, however the construction by the Queensland Government of a railway close to the NSW border prompted the construction of a line from Moree to Mungindi, which is on the state border.[2] The line opened in 1914, and effectively became considered an extension of the mainline form Werris Creek. The line traverses the black soil plains of the area, much of which are devoted to sheep grazing. In 1974, the line north of Weemelah was cut by flooding and the line was thus truncated at this location. On 1 September 2009, services were suspended between Camurra and Weemalah, however the decision was reversed in November 2009 with the line expected to reopen in February 2010 after approximately 2,500 sleepers were replaced.[3]

Branches[edit]

A branch line was opened from Moree to Inverell in 1901,[4] with proposals to extend it to Glen Innes, Grafton and Iluka at one time, but nothing came of this plan. This line closed in 1994. A branch line was opened between Camurra (11 km north of Moree) to North Star, New South Wales and Boggabilla in 1932. It is now closed beyond North Star.[5] Another branch was opened from Narrabri to Burren in 1903 and it was extended to Cryon in 1905 and Walgett in 1908. This line is still open for freight only as far as Walgett wheat terminal.[6] In 1906 a branch was opened from Burren Junction to Pokataroo in 1906. The last 16 km (10 mi) of the line was closed past Merrywinebone in 1974, when it was damaged by floods. It is now only open for grain traffic.[7]

Passenger service[edit]

Moree station in February 2007

Currently, a daily NSW TrainLink Xplorer operates between Werris Creek (from Sydney) and Moree.[8]

Until its cessation in November 1988, Moree was served by the overnight North West Mail.[9][10]

In June 1959, an extension of the Northern Tablelands Express to Moree was introduced being operated by DEB set railcars.[11][12] In June 1984, the service was taken over by XPTs and renamed the Northern Tablelands XPT with a DEB set connection between Werris Creek and Moree.[13]

In February 1990, the service was replaced by a road coach service.[14][15] In 1993, the service was replaced with Xplorer railcars, initially operating to Tamworth on a day return but, upon delivery of sufficient rolling stock, direct services were provided to Armidale and Moree, that once again divided at Werris Creek and this is how the train continues in service today.[16]

Between 1926 and 1974, CPH railmotors provided a passenger service between Moree and Mungindi connecting with the North West Mail usually three times per week.

The future[edit]

There are proposals to connect Queensland Rail's South-Western line from a point near Goondiwindi to North Star, either with a bogie exchange or dual gauge to Moree or Narrabri. There are also proposals to extend the standard gauge to Toowoomba railway station and Brisbane and/or Gladstone. In 2008, CTC is being extended as far as Narrabri primarily for coal traffic.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mungindi Line". www.nswrail.net. Retrieved 2006-12-03. 
  2. ^ a b A History of the Mungindi Branch Line Milne, R. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, May 1995 pp115-136
  3. ^ Camurra- Weemalah line to reopen Railway Digest December 2009
  4. ^ "Inverell Branch". www.nswrail.net. Retrieved 2006-12-03. 
  5. ^ "Mungindi Line". www.nswrail.net. Retrieved 2006-12-03. 
  6. ^ "Walgett Branch". www.nswrail.net. Retrieved 2006-12-03. 
  7. ^ "Pokataroo Branch". www.nswrail.net. Retrieved 2006-12-03. 
  8. ^ "North West timetable" (PDF). NSW Trainlink. 20 October 2013. 
  9. ^ "Requiem for a Mail" Railway Digest January 1989 page 14
  10. ^ "Last Passengers" Railway Digest January 1989 page 20
  11. ^ "More Timetable Changes" Railway Digest November 1985 page 326
  12. ^ Cooke, David (1984). Railmotors and XPTs. Australian Railway Historical Society NSW Division. ISBN 0-909650-23-3. 
  13. ^ "XPT Rosters and Names" Railway Digest August 1984 page 255
  14. ^ "The New Timetable" Railway Digest March 1990 page 95
  15. ^ "33 and 34, more than 67" Railway Digest May 1990 page 173
  16. ^ "Xplorer Enters Service" Railway Digest November 1993