South Western railway line, Queensland
|South Western railway line|
The South Western line is a narrow gauge 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. 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.
The South Western line opened as far as Thane on 1 July 1904 and was completed to Dirranbandi on 21 May 1913. A further extension of the line west of Dirranbandi was approved by Parliament in 1914 but never constructed.
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.
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
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.
Consistent with the rest of the Queensland regional railways, the line is narrow gauge (3 ft 6 in or 1,067 mm).
1721 turns the Dirranbandi Mail on the triangle on 13 November 1987
- QR Limited (Network Access division) (September 2005). "South Western System: Information Pack (Issue 2)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 July 2008. Retrieved 10 November 2008.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 April 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- QR Limited. "QR Corporate - A vision splendid". Archived from the original on 30 June 2010. Retrieved 27 November 2008.
- Kerr, J. 'Triumph of Narrow Gauge' Boolarong Publications 1990
- "The Last of the Mail Trains" Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin" July 1990 pages 155-166
- QR Limited. "QR Corporate - Modern competitive railway". Archived from the original on 22 July 2008. Retrieved 26 November 2008.