Strahan–Zeehan Railway

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Strahan–Zeehan Railway
Overview
Termini Zeehan, Tasmania
Regatta Point, Tasmania
Operation
Opened 1892
Closed 1960
Technical
Line length 51 km (32 mi)
Track gauge 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm)
Route map
Melba Line
to Burnie
Up arrow
Zeehan
Silver Bell
Austral
Oceana Junction
Professor
Grieves Siding
Eden
Powell's Siding
Mallana (Fowler's Siding)
Henty Bridge (Kopyule)
Henty
Beach Road (Ocean Beach)
Bellinger
Opah (Stella)
West Strahan
Strahan Wharf
Regatta Point Heritage railway
Mt Lyell Line
to Queenstown
Down arrow

The Strahan–Zeehan Railway, also known as the 'Government Railway', was a railway from Strahan to Zeehan on the west coast of Tasmania.

It linked two private railways: the Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company railway line (now known as the West Coast Wilderness Railway) between Queenstown and Regatta Point and the Emu Bay Railway between Zeehan and Burnie.

Early photographs of the Strahan wharf and buildings adjacent taken from the north usually have the railway tracks in the lower section of the photograph, as the line followed the shore from Regatta Point around the bay before passing northward in what is considered to be West Strahan today.

The line ran parallel to Ocean Beach before heading towards Zeehan.[1]

It was a critical link, due to the difficulties of shipping negotiating the entrance Macquarie Harbour and was essential during the 1912 North Mount Lyell Disaster. The track gauge of the lines between Burnie was the same all the way to Queenstown.[2]

Flooding and fire affected the most important link, the Henty Bridge, at stages in the lines history. 1920 was one year where the break in the line is recorded [3]

The line was heavily reliant upon the mining industry and its fortunes, and traffic reduced drastically at times of mining down-turns.[4][5]

Following its closure, parts became tracks and eventually the formation was made into the Zeehan-Strahan Road.

Dates[edit]

The line was opened on 4 February 1892, and it was closed 2 June 1960.[6][7]

Stations and stopping places[edit]

  • Zeehan
  • Silver Bell
  • Austral
  • Oceana Junction
  • Professor
  • Grieves Siding
  • Eden
  • Powell's Siding
  • Mallana—renamed Fowler's Siding
  • Henty Bridge—renamed Kopyule (1926)
  • Henty [8]
  • Beach Road—also known as Ocean Beach
  • Bellinger
  • Opah—renamed Stella (1903)
  • West Strahan [9]
  • Strahan Wharf
  • Regatta Point

See also[edit]

Railways on the West Coast of Tasmania

References[edit]

  1. ^ Strahan – Zeehan [railway] line, 1900, retrieved 25 January 2016 ; a photo of unidentified location on the route
  2. ^ "STRAHAN-ZEEHAN RAILWAY.". The Mercury. Hobart, Tas. 11 December 1891. p. 3. Retrieved 25 January 2016 – via National Library of Australia. ; a news report with local concern about construction of the line, and its completion
  3. ^ "STRAHAN-ZEEHAN RAILWAY.". The Advocate. Burnie, Tas. 19 February 1920. p. 3. Retrieved 25 January 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 
  4. ^ "STRAHAN-ZEEHAN RAILWAY.". The Examiner. Launceston, Tas. 11 June 1947. p. 2. Retrieved 25 January 2016 – via National Library of Australia. ; an early 1947 call for the closure, it remained open for over another ten years
  5. ^ "STRAHAN-ZEEHAN RAILWAY.". The Advocate. Burnie, Tas. 5 September 1947. p. 4. Retrieved 25 January 2016 – via National Library of Australia. ; the decision to delay closing due to uncertainty of mining industry in Zeehan
  6. ^ Stokes, H.J.W. (January–February 2003). "The Tasmanian Government Railways on the West Coast". Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin. Australian Railway Historical Society: 3–21, 43–62. 
  7. ^ Quinlan, Howard; Newland, John R. (2000). Australian Railway Routes 1854-2000. Sydney: Australian Railway Historical Society New South Wales Division. ISBN 0-909650-49-7. 
  8. ^ Trainiac (2014), 1909 12 11 Page_16a, retrieved 25 January 2016  a picture of Henty Station from a photo of 1909
  9. ^ Photograph – West Strahan – Ron Smith on turntable – Zeehan Railway, LINC Tasmania, 1972, retrieved 25 January 2016  a picture of West Strahan turntable

Further reading[edit]