Upper Darling Range Railway

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Upper Darling Range Railway
G 118 kalamunda hv gnangarra.jpg
G118 at the Kalamunda Historical Village on the site of Kalamunda station
SystemWestern Australian Government Railways
TerminiMidland Junction
OpenedJuly 1891
Closed22 July 1949
Line length35 kilometres
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)

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. At the time of construction it was the only section of railway in Western Australia to have had a zig zag formation.


Completed in July 1891, the Upper Darling Range Railway line was built by the Canning Jarrah Timber Company to supply railway sleepers to Perth's growing railway system. It ran from Midland Junction railway station through to the Darling Ranges and up into Kalamunda. It was later extended to Canning Mills and in 1912 to Karragullen.[1] From Pickering Brook, a line branched off to Bartons Mill.[2][3]

On 1 July 1903, the line was taken over by the Western Australian Government Railways and became known as the Upper Darling Range Branch. The last service ran on 22 July 1949. The line was formally closed by the Railways (Upper Darling Range) Discontinuance Act 1950; it was dismantled in 1952.[2][3][4][5]

Upper Darling Range Railway
to Perth
Forrestfield freight line
to Northam
Ridge Hill
Statham's Quarry
Kalamunda Zig Zag
No 1 points
No 2 points
No 3 points
No 4 points
Gooseberry Hill
South Kalamunda
Pickering Brook
to Barton's Mill
Canning Mills

Stopping places[edit]

Gradient profile map

Named stopping places and locations on the line included:[6]

Name Previous name(s) Distance from Perth Height above sea level
Midland Junction 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)
Number 1 Points Ridge Hill (lower section of Zig Zag) 27 km 17 mi
Number 2 Points Statham's Quarry Perth City Council siding from 1920 28 km 17 mi
Number 3 Points
Number 4 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


  1. ^ Upper Darling Range Extension Act 1911 Government of Western Australia 9 January 1912
  2. ^ a b Bromby, Robyn (1988). Australian Rail Annual 1988. Sutherland: Sherbourne Sutherland Publishing. pp. 115–120. ISBN 1 86275 004 1.
  3. ^ a b History of the Railway Pickering Brook Heritage Group
  4. ^ Railways (Upper Darling Range) Discontinuance Act Government of Western Australia 29 December 1950
  5. ^ Complaints About New Railway Bill The West Australian 1 December 1950 page 4
  6. ^ 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]