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Walhalla railway line

Coordinates: 37°59′36″S 146°21′57″E / 37.99333°S 146.36583°E / -37.99333; 146.36583
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Excursion train crossing Thomson River (Victoria) ca 1910
StatusTourist railway
  • Moe
  • Walhalla
Opened1908[1]: 18 [2] 3 May 1910[3]
Closed25 June 1954
ReopenedApril 1994
Line length26.5 miles (42.6 km)
Number of tracksSingle track
Track gauge2 ft 6 in (762 mm)
Route map

distance from Southern Cross station
Gippsland line at Moe station
Temporary Station Site
Tyers River
Collins Siding
also branched off to Tyers Valley Tramway
(Planned extension of tourist railway)
Knott's Siding
(Planned extension of tourist railway)
O'Shea and Bennett's Siding
(Planned extension of tourist railway)
(Planned extension of tourist railway)
(Planned extension of tourist railway)
Winter Platform*
Cascade Bridge Halt*
Happy Creek*
Asterisks (*) refer to stations or stopping places built during the reconstruction of the Walhalla Tourist railway

The Walhalla railway line was a 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge railway located in Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. The line ran from Moe to the former gold-mining town and popular tourist destination of Walhalla. Construction began in 1904. The line closed in sections from 1944 to 1954.


Walhalla railway station, c.1910
A special train poses on a bridge of the Long Tunnel Extended timber tramway built to supply wood to the mines at Walhalla. The occasion, a visit by the State Governor in February 1907, shows passengers in ties and hats sitting on empty log trucks, along with the Bagnall 0-4-0ST locomotive and its crew in the foreground.

The last of the four narrow gauge lines of the Victorian Railways to be opened, construction of the Moe–Walhalla railway began in 1904 but was not completed until 1910 due to the difficult mountainous terrain to be contended with. The railway was expected to be a boon for the town, which was in a state of economic and population decline due to gold mining operations becoming increasingly uneconomical, with the largest gold mining company closing in 1914. However, the arrival of the railway did not save the town.

After the closure of the Walhalla mines, substantial timber traffic was carried from sawmills in the Erica area until the late 1940s. Although the line carried numerous special passenger trains to Walhalla in the 1930s and early 1940s, freight and passenger traffic to Walhalla itself had declined to almost nothing by 1939.

The railway was closed in sections from 1944 to 1954. The section from Platina to Walhalla was closed in April 1944[1]: 43 [4] and the final section from Moe to Erica was closed on 25 June 1954. The tracks and buildings had been removed by 1960, leaving only the roadbed and a number of bridges.

The Thomson River Railway Bridge is listed on the Register of the National Estate. The centre span had been part of a road bridge over the Murray River at Tocumwal (NSW).[5]

In 1938, the station building at Walhalla was relocated to the Melbourne suburban station of Hartwell.



In recognition of the outstanding tourist potential of the railway, a number of attempts were made to reopen the line for tourist traffic, but none were successful until the early 1990s. The Walhalla Railway Taskforce was formed in 1991, becoming the Walhalla Goldfields Railway, Inc., in 1993. By this time the roadbed was a totally overgrown jungle of blackberries and heavy scrub, with numerous sections of the trackbed having collapsed and all being derelict except one of the bridges. Restoration began with the establishment of Thomson Station and its accompanying yard on the site of an original station. The railway commenced operations in April 1994, within the Thomson Station yard. Gradually the line extended, first over the nationally heritage-classified Thomson River Bridge[6] in October 1994, pushing up the Stringers Creek Gorge to Happy Creek. This became the terminus for the line until the six bridges in the last kilometre into the Walhalla Station yard were completed, this section of line opening on 15 March 2002. The operating line is 2.5 mi (4.0 km) in length.

See also



  1. ^ a b Anchen, Nick (2011). Rails to old Walhalla. Sierra. ISBN 978-0-9807640-1-7.
  2. ^ "MR. BENT AT WALHALLA. EXPERIENCES ON THE WAY". The Argus. No. 19, 249. Victoria, Australia. 28 March 1908. p. 18 – via National Library of Australia.
  3. ^ "WALHALLA RAILWAY". The Argus. No. 19, 900. Victoria, Australia. 3 May 1910. p. 4 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ "Advertising". The Age. No. 27746. Victoria, Australia. 24 March 1944. p. 4 – via National Library of Australia.
  5. ^ "Thomson River Narrow – Gauge Railway Bridge (Place ID 19194 )". Australian Heritage Database. Australian Government.
  6. ^ "THOMSON RIVER, WALHALLA and RAWSON, BAW BAW SHIRE". Victorian Heritage Database. Victorian Government.

37°59′36″S 146°21′57″E / 37.99333°S 146.36583°E / -37.99333; 146.36583