South Western railway line, Queensland

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Dirranbandi station with 1721 on the Dirranbandi Mail bound for Toowoomba in November 1987
South Western railway line
413km Dirranbandi
393km Noondoo
383km Hawkston
376km Noondale
371km Dunwinne
350km Thallon
338km Daymar
315km Gradule
289km Talwood
267km Bungunya
247km Toobeah
230km Gooray
208km Hunter
202km Goondiwindi
188km Carrington
174km Kurumbul
154km Yelarbon
134km Whetstone
118km Junction of Texas branch
117km Inglewood
103km Cobba-Da-Mana
71km Gore
58km Karara
40km Thane
19km Wheatvale
0km From Warwick on the Southern Line
Regal visit to Goondiwindi including the first official train at Inglewood, 1907

The South Western line is a railway line in the southern part of the state of Queensland, Australia. It junctions from the Southern line immediately south of Warwick station and proceeded westwards for a distance of 413 km to the town of Dirranbandi.[1] A western extension to Boomie, approved by the Queensland Parliament in 1914, was never constructed. The Thallon-Dirranbandi section was closed on 2 September 2010.[2]

It services the small towns of Inglewood (junction of the now closed Texas branch) and Goondiwindi as well as the villages of Yelarbon and Thallon among others.

History[edit]

The South Western line opened as far as Thane on 1 July 1904 and was completed to Dirranbandi on 21 May 1913.[3] A further extension of the line west of Dirranbandi was approved by Parliament in 1914 but never constructed.[4]

Services[edit]

The South Western Mail was introduced as a twice weekly service in 1910. Upon the opening of the line to Dirranbandi, the train departed Brisbane at 20:45, arrived at Warwick 04:00, Goondiwindi 10:00 and Dirranbandi 16:30. The return service departed 11.30, arrived Goondiwindi 17.35, Warwick 23.35 and Brisbane 07.10 the following morning.

The South Western line was the last railway in Australia to be serviced by mail trains.[5] The last Dirranbandi Mail ran on 11 February 1993.[6]

Passenger services no longer service the South Western line though it is still used for freight as far as Thallon. The line beyond there was extensively damaged in the 2011 flood and was closed on 2 September 2010. Long-distance bus operators Crisps Coaches and Greyhound Australia now serve towns along the route.

Current line standards[edit]

The section from Warwick to Goodiwindi is laid with 30, 41 & 47 kg/m rail, 25-50% steel sleepers, a maximum axle load of 15.75 tonnes and a line speed of 80 km/h. The steepest grade on the section is 1 in 44 (~2.3%), and the minimum radius curve is 200m.

The next section to Thallon has similar rail, a 70 km/h line speed to Toobeah, 60 km/h beyond, a maximum grade of 1 in 50 (2%) and minimum 400m radius curves.

The last section to Dirranbandi had 20 kg/m rail, a 10 tonne axle load and 40 km/h line speed.

Gallery[edit]

1721 turns the Dirranbandi Mail on the triangle on 13 November 1987 
The Dirranbandi Mail at Talwood station on 13 November 1987 
The westbound Dirranbandi Mail at Goondiwindi on 13 November 1987 

References[edit]

  1. ^ QR Limited (Network Access division) (September 2005). "South Western System: Information Pack (Issue 2)" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-11-10. 
  2. ^ http://www.queenslandrail.com.au/NetworkServices/AccessandRegulation/Documents/Southern%20Queensland%20Line%20Diagrams.pdf
  3. ^ QR Limited. "QR Corporate - A vision splendid". Retrieved 27 November 2008. 
  4. ^ Kerr, J. 'Triumph of Narrow Gauge' Boolarong Publications 1990
  5. ^ "The Last of the Mail Trains" Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin" July 1990 pages 155-166
  6. ^ QR Limited. "QR Corporate - Modern competitive railway". Retrieved 26 November 2008. 

External links[edit]