Upper Darling Range Railway

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Engine G 118 on display at the Kalamunda Historical Village which is at the site of the Kalamunda station, this image includes the third station built at Kalamunda
Upper Darling Range Railway
To Perth
Forrestfield freight line
To Northam
Ridge Hill
Statham's Quarry
Kalamunda Zig Zag
Bottom points
No 3 points
Top points
Gooseberry Hill
South Kalamunda
Bickely(formerly Heidelberg)
Pickering Brook
To Barton's Mill
Canning Mills

The Upper Darling Range Railway (also known as the 'Upper Darling Range Branch') was a branch railway from Midland Junction, Western Australia, that rose up the southern side of the Helena Valley and on to the Darling Scarp via the 'Kalamunda Zig Zag section' (referring to the section of line in Gooseberry Hill). At the time of construction it was the only section of railway in Western Australia to have had a zig zag formation.


Completed in 1891, the Upper Darling Range Railway line in Western Australia was built by the Canning Jarrah Timber Company to supply railway sleepers to Perth's growing railway system. It ran from Midland Junction through to the Darling Ranges and up into Kalamunda. It was later extended to Pickering Brook and then on to Karragullen. From Pickering Brook, the line was also run to Bartons Mill. In 1903 the line was taken over by the Western Australian Government Railways and became known as the Upper Darling Range Branch, which ran it until 1949 when it was closed.

Stopping places[edit]

Gradient profile map

Named stopping places and locations on the line included:[1]

Name Previous name(s) Distance from Perth Height above sea level
Midland Junction Railway Station Helena Vale 15 km 9.3 mi 15 m 49 ft
Bushmead (now under Roe Highway) Waterhall 17 km 11 mi 26 m 85 ft
Rifle Range 23 km 14 mi 104 m 341 ft
Poison Gully Creek (scene of 1904 crash)
Ridge Hill (lower section of Zig Zag) 27 km 17 mi
Bottom Points (possible same as Ridge Hill)
Statham's Quarry Perth City Council siding (1920–1949) 28 km 17 mi
Number 3 Points
Top Points (upper section of Zig Zag) Possibly known as 'the Knoll'
Gooseberry Hill 30 km 19 mi 242 m 794 ft
Kalamunda Stirk's Landing 32 km 20 mi 242 m 794 ft
South Kalamunda Guppy's Siding 35 km 22 mi 283 m 928 ft
Walliston Wallis's Crossing 37 km 23 mi 311 m 1,020 ft
Bickley (named Heidelberg between 1904 and 1915) 38 km 24 mi 318 m 1,043 ft
Carmel Green's Landing 40 km 25 mi 286 m 938 ft
Pickering Brook Pickering Junction 42 km 26 mi 282 m 925 ft
Canning Mills Canning Timber Station 48 km 30 mi 254 m 833 ft
Karragullen 50 km 31 mi 300 m 980 ft

The line was closed and pulled up in 1949.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Part of this table is sourced from:- Slee, John (1979) Cala Munnda pp.55-56

Further reading[edit]

  • Gunzburg, Adrian (1967) Upper Darling Range Railway: WAGR held at Battye Library
  • Price, Eric T. (1983) The Canning jarrah line, 1891-1903 Western Australia : E.T. Price
  • Slee, John. (1979) Cala Munnda : a home in the forest : a history of Kalamunda Kalamunda, W.A. : Shire of Kalamunda. ISBN 0-9595831-0-6
  • Steele, Ken.(1993) Zig Zag to Kalamunda : the story of the Upper Darling Range Railway Lesmurdie, W.A.: Drillmark Publications Division. ISBN 0-646-16323-X
  • Watson, Lindsay (1995)The Railway History Of Midland Junction : Commemorating The Centenary Of Midland Junction, 1895-1995 Swan View, W.A : L & S Drafting in association with the Shire of Swan and the Western Australian Light Railway Preservation Association.
  • Webb, E.G. (Eric Godfrey) & Kalamunda and Districts Historical Society (1996). Rails in the hills : a history of the railway from Midland to Karragullen, 1891-1949 Kalamund & Districts Historical Society, Kalamunda, W.A

External links[edit]