Woomera Siding

 
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
I was at Pimba a couple of weeks ago and had a look around. The remnant of the line which is the apex of the triangle at Pimba was being used for the new acid tank wagons traffic (for Roxby Downs?). Beyond this, the line through to Woomera has been lifted, and appeared to have been gone for quite some time.
"pjknife"


Peter, what is your opinion would have been the length of the time from the apex to the township?

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  pjknife Assistant Commissioner

Location: Port Lincoln
Peter, what in your opinion would have been the length of the line from the apex to the township?
"freightgate"


At a rough guess I'd say about 5 km.
  DavidB Moderator

Location: Canberra
Peter, what in your opinion would have been the length of the line from the apex to the township?
"freightgate"

At a rough guess I'd say about 5 km.
"pjknife"

My recollection is that the branch is over 10km, much of it inside the restricted area.

Cheers
David
  The Fat Controller Chief Train Controller

Location: Macedon, Victoria
G'day All. In a previous life as a RAAF Air Traffic Controller I spent some time in the tower at Woomera when it was active (yes, there is a control tower there!). The old line runs past what is now the detention centre (when I stayed there, sure as hell it didn;t have air con!) and then on to the technical area, which is fenced off. The line is quite easily spotted along the road, but I didn;t get a chance to see what was left of it. The lines inside the technical area lead towards some old hangers. Hope this is of some help. Cheers,

The Fat Controller.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
In 1960 there were two regular 'slow mixed' trains on the TAR between Port Augusta and Parkeston, one, the 'Tea and Sugar' ran westbound and the other  the 'Bomber' eastbound.

At that time (1960) both trains left their respective origins early on Thursday morning. The Tea and Sugar stabled enroute at Pimba, Barton, Cook (2 nights), Loongana and Zanthus, arriving Parkeston around 1200 on Wednesday. The Bomber stabled at Zanthus, Loongana, Cook and Tarcoola arriving at Port Augusta late Monday night.

In more recent years the Tea and Sugar was train 521 and the Bomber was 480 having been advanced to a late Wednesday departure. The Tea and Sugar shunted Woomera during its lengthy stopover but the bomber had only a couple of hours at Pimba on Monday afternoon. IIRC almost all Woomera traffic came from the east.

In 1960 there was a Budd railcar from Port Pirie Junction which arrived Woomera at about 0001 Monday morning. Other services arrived Wednesday evening and on Friday evening. The combination of the Friday and Sunday services allowed a weekend of sorts in Adelaide (Whacko!!!).
  Lowanna Beginner

Hi
Does anyone have any diagrams of the track on the Woomera siding? I believe there was a loop and 2 sidings at the woomera township and a loop shutting yard in the restricted/technical area.
Satellite photo's from google maps shows some of the track but it appears recent buildings etc appear to have erased the exact nature.   A mud map would do.
Also does anyone know what was delivered by train. I imagine aviation fuel, petrel and diesel. I also think water was delivered early on, hence the sidings at the township.
There was small diesel shutter there as well and was wondering if there was enough traffic to keep it occupied?

Thanks
  Top Cat Assistant Commissioner

Location: Under Hilton Bridge
I can assure you....there is no track remaining beyond the end of the triangle apex at Pimba.  That is approx 700m north of the triangle apex turnout....which is where the ARTC owned land and track ends.
However after following and photographing the entire route in 2011, what came as a (little) surprise is that the rail line corridor extends north for about 3 kms beyond the "township" and former stastion to the airbase, where there were other sidings and goods ramps.  A wonderful bip dig exists between the township and the airbase.....freight shunts (using the DE class) between those two locations must have looked brilliant. Check out the Woomera (ELDO) Hotel....like a time machine.......8)
  Lowanna Beginner

I can assure you....there is no track remaining beyond the end of the triangle apex at Pimba.  That is approx 700m north of the triangle apex turnout....which is where the ARTC owned land and track ends.
However after following and photographing the entire route in 2011, what came as a (little) surprise is that the rail line corridor extends north for about 3 kms beyond the "township" and former stastion to the airbase, where there were other sidings and goods ramps.  A wonderful bip dig exists between the township and the airbase.....freight shunts (using the DE class) between those two locations must have looked brilliant. Check out the Woomera (ELDO) Hotel....like a time machine.......8)
Top Cat
Hi Top Cat.  Did you photograph any of the rail corridor at airbase? I would really be interested in any photographs or even a "mud" map of the sidings and goods ramps. Can you still see the rail corridor at the old Woomera station or did the detention centre wipe out the remains? Have been trying to get to Woomera and the ELDO hotel but fate is against me Confused
  rgmccau Junior Train Controller

Location: Canberra
My Dad worked at Woomera 1963-1966, and we lived in the Village.  Everyone had to have "clearance" to enter - I can remember my grandparents visiting and we had to go to the entrance gate to sign them in.  We travelled on the train once I think - possibly from Woomera to Adelaide, probably in early 1964, but not sure about either as I was about 6.  I'll ask my Dad for better details.
  LowannaAgain Beginner

I was at Woomera recently and the siding has been lifted. Does anyone have a diagram or mud map or the siding?  Google maps isn't clear as some parts of the siding are there but it is hard to tell between drains and old track bed. I beleive at the township there was a loop, island platform and 2 sidings. then the siding went to the tech area, where I beleive there was a loop and another 2 sidings.  Does any one have info on this?
  BigTrain2015 Junior Train Controller

I was at Woomera recently and the siding has been lifted. Does anyone have a diagram or mud map or the siding?  Google maps isn't clear as some parts of the siding are there but it is hard to tell between drains and old track bed. I beleive at the township there was a loop, island platform and 2 sidings. then the siding went to the tech area, where I beleive there was a loop and another 2 sidings.  Does any one have info on this?
LowannaAgain

Lifted you mean in  terms of the entire length?
  georges Train Controller

I was at Woomera recently and the siding has been lifted. Does anyone have a diagram or mud map or the siding?  Google maps isn't clear as some parts of the siding are there but it is hard to tell between drains and old track bed. I beleive at the township there was a loop, island platform and 2 sidings. then the siding went to the tech area, where I beleive there was a loop and another 2 sidings.  Does any one have info on this?
LowannaAgain
National Archives of Australia may be helpful. See, for example, some of the images relating to Woomera in http://guides.naa.gov.au/records-about-south-australia/chapter15/15.4.aspx. None of these records seem to have been digitised. However NAA will sometimes make files etc, not held locally, available for viewing in their local capital city office. May be worth calling their Head Office in Canberra.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
I was at Woomera recently and the siding has been lifted. Does anyone have a diagram or mud map or the siding?  Google maps isn't clear as some parts of the siding are there but it is hard to tell between drains and old track bed. I beleive at the township there was a loop, island platform and 2 sidings. then the siding went to the tech area, where I beleive there was a loop and another 2 sidings.  Does any one have info on this?

Lifted you mean in  terms of the entire length?
BigTrain2015
There has been NO track north of the apex of the Pimba triangle for a number of years, so it appears the answer to your question is a Yes.

And incidentally the track formation is approximate 1.8 kms west of the Olympic Dam road (B97) where it passes the township of Woomera. (so 2.5kms from the post office)
The "tech area" (not to be confused with the detention camp site) is some 6kms north of the township, the main launch area being another 40kms northwest of the "tech area"

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