Mount Gambier Rail Corridor

 

News article: Mount Gambier Rail Corridor

Rail corridor demolition work scheduled for October This follows the planning process stalling six months ago as Mount Gambier City Council sought “urgent” details from the State Government over the ownership of rail infrastructure on the site.

  hilly Locomotive Fireman

Location: Mount Gambier
Rail corridor demolition work scheduled for October This follows the planning process stalling six months ago as Mount Gambier City Council sought “urgent” details from the State Government over the ownership of rail infrastructure on the site.

But jubilant elected members and council staff are celebrating this week with news the government has indicated it will hand over all surplus rail infrastructure to the local government body.



The legal advice was crucial news given the outcome had the potential to derail the entire project, which is one of two major developments earmarked for the city in the next financial year.



The State Government has contributed $1m to the $2.3m stage one of the project, which will overhaul the most strategic untapped parcel of land in the centre of the city.
Mount Gambier Rail Corridor


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Not looking good for the future of rail in the southeast but note the last paragraph which states that a easement will still be left for a possible return of rail services!

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  GN4472 Deputy Commissioner

Isn't it funny there is money available to re-develop the area, but no money available to re-instate rail services - SA Great?
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
There's never been much enthusiasm for reinstatement of any kind of rail service for the Mount for reasons that have been done to death in many threads about country rail in SA.  To be honest I'm surprised they bothered keeping any of the easement, once Limestone Coast folded a while ago I was expecting the whole thing to get bulldozed and tuned into a car-park for the Lakes Plaza.
  Southern Aurora Locomotive Driver

This poses some intersting questions:
a). Does this mean the V/Line RNA dis-used Broad Gauge track between Heywood and Mount Gambier will remain but the SA tracks removed?
b). Do the other councils between Wolseley and MG acquire the rest of the track?; if so it's probably pointless keeping the easement as all councils would have to refrain from building on it and would need to come to a joint agreement if ever there was an opportunity to restore rail services to the South-East; and
c). Does this include the Millicent railway?
Does not look promising Crying or Very sad
  hilly Locomotive Fireman

Location: Mount Gambier
This poses some intersting questions:
a). Does this mean the V/Line RNA dis-used Broad Gauge track between Heywood and Mount Gambier will remain but the SA tracks removed?
b). Do the other councils between Wolseley and MG acquire the rest of the track?; if so it's probably pointless keeping the easement as all councils would have to refrain from building on it and would need to come to a joint agreement if ever there was an opportunity to restore rail services to the South-East; and
c). Does this include the Millicent railway?
Does not look promising Crying or Very sad
Southern Aurora
As far as I know the removal of rail infrastructure only applies to the Mount Gambier yard area, which the City Council proposes to develop.
The development is still in the planning stage.
I have not heard of any plans to remove the rails anywhere else, so the leaving of an easement through the Mount Gambier yard still leaves open the possiblity(very remote) of relaying the rails and getting the system operational again.
  Southern Aurora Locomotive Driver

Thanks hilly there's still a faint glimmer of hope then!!
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
There was a thread some time ago in the SA forum about the future of the easement and as far as I recall the State made the redevelopment of the yards conditional that a 5m wide easement would remain 'just in case' but I'm not sure what that actually entailed and what the definition of 'preserved' was.  The yards themselves were redundant; if the line was ever rebuilt it would be better to have a freight interchange out near the intersection of Wandilo Rd and Jubilee Hwy on the west side of the Mount where trucks could better access it.

The best hope in my opinion would be a direct standard gauge link to Heywood therefore connecting with the national rail network and the Port of Portland; it's only about 90km that would need doing as opposed to the much greater distance to Wosley.  There have been some proposals from various Victorian and national operators to restore the Heywood link, particularly for wood chips or other paper products.  Maybe one day someone will get around to it -
  hilly Locomotive Fireman

Location: Mount Gambier
Re the Mount Gambier-Heywood line, there was a substantial new railway bridge built across the Glenelg River at Dartmoor. Fom memory I think it was brought into use in the late 1980s and it cost millions of dollars to build. I have done a Google search for more information about it but nothing came up.  I know it was in use in 1991 when R766 on a tour train crossed it and I don't think it was very old at the time. Perhaps another Railpager has more information.

Services were suspended on the line in 1995, so the bridge had a very short period of use.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Hilly - yes I do remember that bridge, it's over the Glenelg at Dartmoor and it's a very modern steel and concrete construction.  It is very strange that the track was built/maintained to a very high standard and then just turfed when the lines connected to it went to standard gauge.  I think the SA government was reluctant to spend money that would see the SE SA freight task sent to Victoria and there was also the issue of the prominent local businessman vehemently opposed to the railway line (since deceased).

It's stupid that for the sake of moving a rail six and a half inches the Mount can't have a rail freight service.

NB: I know there's a lot more work than just gauge conversion to be done now!

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