History of Blackwood Station and yard

  trainweld Train Controller

Hi guys,
Getting off topic and back to Blackwoods Spur.
We own the tower and the depot along the main where the current spur is. Our questions have been around there being a spur next to the tower.
During works on the property behind us (Station Road) quite a few rails and sleepers were pulled up from our shared driveway (approx 90deg to the line and the right hand side of the depot) any ideas about that? Smile
Maybe I should ask for a split of this discussion into a new thread? Pretty keen to find out more about the history involved here!


Sponsored advertisement

  Top Cat Assistant Commissioner

Location: Under Hilton Bridge
Whether this has been raised before or not - not sure.  However Blackwood once had a dead end engine siding (and pit), as a facing point off the Down Main, and ran immediately adjacent to the water tower.8)
  2001 The Snow Lord

Location: The road jump at Charlotte Pass. Paxman Valenta on two planks.
Maybe I should ask for a split of this discussion into a new thread? Pretty keen to find out more about the history involved here!
Dedicated thread right now.

Continue ...
  SAR526 Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia.
Whether this has been raised before or not - not sure.  However Blackwood once had a dead end engine siding (and pit), as a facing point off the Down Main, and ran immediately adjacent to the water tower.8)
Top Cat
Which is exactly what I remember and for which I once once always looked out, wondering about what would happen if an engine ventured too far. The questioning of my memory began this now separate thread, and I was told that I 'remembered what was not there', though I passed it daily for a couple of years on my way to and from university.

Similarly, at least one contributor didn't know that there were once two single track tunnels approaching the viaducts from the city. The mouths were once clearly visible from passing trains, as was the fact that it was not a single span over the gully, but had a very short section of solid ground towards the down end. On recent trips to Belair and back, I have noticed that a great deal for which I formerly always looked out is now obscured by vegetation. I can therefore understand why some more recent travellers on the line had no knowledge of their existence.

I can remember the appearance of separate signal boxes instead of the later ones integrated with the station building at Nairne (I used to visit Mr. Parry while he worked in the coal warmed box), Ambleside, Aldgate and Mount Lofty, the island platform at Mount Barker Junction with gas lighting, the proper station building with a station master and sidings at Littlehampton, the refreshment rooms at Mount Barker where station master Mr. Lohmeyer reigned supreme with his train order signals controlled by levers in his office, the streamlined 'Sir Malcolm Barclay-Harvey' with its electrically turned driving wheels on display at the Royal Show, the huge near new Webb engines and the brand new 520 on a test run that astonished me as it passed while I was gathering mangel-wurzel leaves to feed the local dairyman's herd in my wartime after-school job, the long lines of redundant early locomotives that sat for years at the workshops, and dozens of other points of interest that a small boy who was and is mad keen on railways will never forget until his dying day.

You younger ones don't know what you missed, and I am very glad that I was born when I was, in the heyday of rail and tramways, double deck trolley buses in an exciting Rundle Street brilliantly neon lit and crowded day and night, with six multi-storied department stores and my other great love the six big stand-alone movie theatres crowned by the magnificent Regent, with Hindley Street's Metro, Wests and many other beautiful city and suburban theatres that were once here in the hey day of the movies.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner


No informed person has ever said the siding did not exist just when it did exist. Some people confused it with the present siding which is just an extension of the down main.

I have seen photos of Blackwood in the single track days with the siding leading off the  then down platform road. The turnout was a Y and had very sharp lead probably a 4:1 frog; OK in the days of 4-4-0s.

I can't recall if the water tank is still there now having not used the BG line since it terminated at Belair. The spout of the bottom of the tank was there last time I saw it and years ago you could at least see the formation of the track which led to it, there was no lead off the down main when I walked around the yard as a  teen in the 60s nor was it shown in the "pull diagram" published here earlier.

I do recall there was a trailing crossover from down main to up main at the up end of the platforms.  

  SAR520SMBH Train Controller

SAR526, as a 34 year old, I'm one of the younger ones that missed the days of steam on the SAR. The closest I got was the late 80s too mid 90s SteamRanger runs and interstate visitors and a very brief visit from a famous British loco. I'm thankful that I could experience this, as brief as it was.
I've always been a railway buff, especially the steam locomotive period and past history, I was fascinated when I was a child and I still am now, I have my Dad to thank for this.
It's stories that Dad has told me over the years that keep the fascination going for me and there's a part of me that wishes I lived during the steam period that my Dad, Yourself and others on here remember and write about so fondly.
  SAR526 Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia.

No informed person has ever said the siding did not exist just when it did exist.
Hello Ian.

I am talking about the 30s and 40s, not the 60s. In 1952-3 I experienced several times going to my work in the South East by steam hauled sleeping car over third rail track from Wolseley to Kalangadoo when there was narrow gauge to Beachport and Kingston, and returning a couple of times in a friend's canvas roofed Whippet along a dirt surfaced Princes Highway which wound up and down over the sand hills to and from the Coorong's edge. I took a trip from Millicent to Mount Gambier in the guard's van of a T class hauled goods train one weekend then, and have b&w photos that I took of the isolated stretch of third rail broad/narrow gauge at Tantanoola that predated the broadening to Millicent.

Back in 1934 I left my father's Pontiac car without permission and went to gaze in awe at the many F class suburban engines bustling about the 13 platform Adelaide Station with the Findon (and in the mornings Henley) trams passing by in North Terrace. I was taught a lesson when the car wasn't there when I returned, though of course Dad picked me up before I was reduced to jelly by panic.

Whatever the track diagrams said in the 60s, the watering/coaling spur was at Blackwood in my time. As I have said, I was fascinated by it as a child and teenager and always looked out for it though I only ever passed through the station and I never saw an engine use it – probably because it was useful only to pre-Webb engines.

And SAR 520, I rode behind the 'Flying Scot' and was behind the 'Duke' when he beat the 'Scot' from a standing start in a parallel run to Salisbury. I remember also riding in a similar contest with the streamlined C38 (our 520s were better) that was the first ever to cross Australia.

In 1945-48 I travelled to and from Port Augusta by an SAR 520 class hauled steel car train with the cafeteria car attached, via a change to the Commonwealth standard gauge at Solomon Town, with T class hauled ore trains running parallel.

Having previously travelled from Sydney by steam to Dubbo, then by the 'Tin Hare' to the NSW station, changing by taxi to the Silverton Tramway station, and then by sleeper through the original Peterborough station and Terowie to Adelaide, I was a passenger on the narrow gauge last train to Hawker, and by sleeper on the last express to and from Broken Hill. I have colour photographs from ARHS trips and a ticket stub for 'Rails to the Summit' somewhere. Then there was being a foundation member of 'Puffing Billy' when it still ran from Fern Tree Gully and many fan trips in Victoria, photographing the last broad gauge 'Spirit of Progress' pass through Footscray behind A class steam, train to Rockhampton with red Beyer Garratts seen in some wayside stations, trams in Melbourne, Footscray, Sydney, Brisbane, Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo, and a visit to the interchange station at Wallangarra, split down the middle with NSW station building specifications and platform height on one side and the quite different Queensland ones on the other.

I wish that a time machine could allow you those thrills. As I said above, I am glad that I was born when I was and that I am still active, healthy and computer literate in the strangely wonderful and yet impoverished world of today. And after several abortive schemes for installing them since before I was born, I at last have the wires running through my local stations!

My regards to you both,

  nscaler69 Deputy Commissioner

Location: There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots.
Is this any good or does this explain anything.

  touring Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide
@Steam4Ian the water tank and spout are still there.

I tacked a few photos of the area near the station to the end of an article about Blackwood Forest Recreation Park which I wrote in April.
  trainweld Train Controller

Hi There
Thanks for the input guys, Id love to get a blown up copy of the diagram as to workout where on our property this would have been!
Also just a quick note on the link.... the picture of the "Cold Stores" is actually the old Milk Depot (Dairy Farmers) the cold stores were behind on the now re-developed property and were demolished around 2010. We own the property from the station side of the tower down to the culvert and right back to the current development and are pretty keen to find out where everything was back in the day!

  touring Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide
Thanks Trainweld for the feedback re the cold stores, the text will be updated.

Sponsored advertisement

Subscribers: Pressman, Railnthusiast, touring

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.