Northampton railway line

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The Northampton railway line ran from Geraldton through Northampton and on to Ajana in Western Australia. It operated between 1879 and 1957. It was the first government railway constructed in Western Australia.[1][2][3]


Construction of the Geraldton railway station commenced in June 1878, the foundation stone was laid by Eliza, wife of Maitland Brown, on 21 August 1878, and it was completed in February 1879, the first railway station in the colony.[4][5]

The line opened to Northampton on 26 July 1879.[6] The Geraldton to Northampton section was 33 miles 25 chains (53.6 km) in length, and the Northampton to Ajana section was 33 miles 5 chains (53.2 km),[7] and was a later extension.[8] The line closed on 29 April 1957.[9]


The line, as an isolated line, was constructed by two 2-6-0 Kitson locomotives. Originally classed as E1 and E2 they were later classified as M class. They were constructed in 1875, and were in service on the line until 1893. Also between 1879 and 1885 two Fairlie locomotives worked on the line [10]

Northampton railway station[edit]

Northampton had two railway stations, the first (named Gwalla) lasted between 26 July 1879 until January 1884. The second (named Mary Street) was opened in 1913 and closed when the railway closed in 1957 [11]

Stopping places[edit]

  • Geraldton
  • Bluff Point (junction to Narngulu)[12]
  • Webberton
  • Waggrakine
  • Glenfield
  • Wokarina (junction to Yuna)
  • White Peak
  • Oakajee
  • Howatharra
  • Oakabella
  • McGuire
  • Iseeka
  • Chally
  • Bowes
  • Northampton
  • Baddera
  • Ogilvie
  • Hutt
  • Binnu
  • Ajana (terminus)

In 2005 an old railway wagon was identified as being possibly the first item of rolling stock built for use on the line.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rogers, Philippa; Australian Railway Historical Society. Western Australian Division (2007), The first government railway 1879-1957 : Geraldton to Northampton and onwards, Australian Railway Historical Society, W.A. Division, ISBN 978-0-9803922-1-0 
  2. ^ Joyce, John (editor) (1979) Western Australia's first government railway, 1879-1957 compiled from the researches of Adrian Gunzburg [et al.].Bayswater, W.A. Australian Railway Historical Society, W.A. Division
  3. ^ Geraldton - Northampton Government Railway, 1879-1957. Northampton news, July 2004, p.13.
  4. ^ "Northern Railway". Victorian Express. Geraldton, WA. 19 February 1879. p. 3. Retrieved 9 May 2017. 
  5. ^ "Geraldton". The Herald. Fremantle, WA. 24 August 1878. p. 2. Retrieved 9 May 2017. 
  6. ^ "Railway Jubilee". Geraldton Guardian. WA: National Library of Australia. 11 December 1928. p. 3. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  7. ^ Western Australian Government Railways Commission (1948), Report on the working of the government railways for the year ended 30th June, Govt. Printer, retrieved 26 May 2012  page 64, appendix G.
  8. ^ "New railway.". The Daily News. Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 5 February 1913. p. 8 Edition: THIRD EDITION. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  9. ^ Milne, Rod (2001) Rails to Ajana Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, February, 2001 pp. 45-53
  10. ^ See Rogers regardlinc contemporary accounts of the Fairlie locomotives unsuitabilty for the line. See also Gunzburg for more details regarding the fates of the locomotives - Gunzburg, Adrian; Australian Railway Historical Society. Western Australian Division (1984), A history of W.A.G.R. steam locomotives, Australian Railway Historical Society, Western Australian Division, ISBN 978-0-9599690-3-0 
  11. ^ Austin, Jeff (2011), Station Masters of Western Australia, Australian Railway Historical Society - WA Division Inc, ISBN 978-0-9803922-4-1 
  12. ^ opened between Geraldton and Bluff Point – 26 July 1879 – page 68 WN75Quinlan, Howard; Newland, John R; Australian Railway Historical Society. New South Wales Division (2000), Australian railway routes 1854 to 2000, Australian Railway Historical Society – New South Wales Division, ISBN 978-0-909650-49-0 
  13. ^ Warner, Gary. (2005) Piece of history. (Car No. AW323 discovered at Northampton - thought to be the first railway wagon built in Western Australia).Geraldton guardian, 14 Feb. 2005, p.3

Further reading[edit]

  • Higham, Geoffrey (2006) Where was that? An Historical Gazetteer of Western Australia, Winthrop, W.A. Geoproject Solutions Pty Ltd. ISBN 0-646-44186-8