Questions on Balhannah Station in 'the good ol' days', i.e. 1940s - 1960s

 
  Rocko's Modern Life Beginner

Hello all,

I am interested in finding out more about the Onkaparinga Railway and in particular about the stations in Balhannah and Woodside. For starters, I would like to focus on Balhannah.

I imagine this must have been an interesting station to witness operations in, seeing as a branch line started here. However I cannot locate any area around the station that would suggest a turntable having been on site. Did the trains to Mt Pleasant actually start out from Bridgewater, where the locos would have been serviced as well?

I would love to see a station layout in flesh (i.e. a model railway) or a layout sketch, but cannot find anything on the www. Any help would be much appreciated.

Thank you very much in advance,

Rocko

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  NSW3802 Locomotive Fireman

Hello all,

I am interested in finding out more about the Onkaparinga Railway and in particular about the stations in Balhannah and Woodside. For starters, I would like to focus on Balhannah.

I imagine this must have been an interesting station to witness operations in, seeing as a branch line started here. However I cannot locate any area around the station that would suggest a turntable having been on site. Did the trains to Mt Pleasant actually start out from Bridgewater, where the locos would have been serviced as well?

I would love to see a station layout in flesh (i.e. a model railway) or a layout sketch, but cannot find anything on the www. Any help would be much appreciated.

Thank you very much in advance,

Rocko
Rocko's Modern Life
The Mount Pleasant Historical Group has information on the line and there was a book published on the railway through the Adelaide Hills which from memory included the Mount Pleasant Line.

It could be worth checking the ARHS Bulletin because I think there was an article in one of their issues.  

There is a DVD of station track plans of nearly every SAR station and the Mount Pleasant line is included. Orient Express stock the DVD.

Les.
  DJPeters Assistant Commissioner

Balhannah did not need a turntable as most trains to Woodside originated at Adelaide or Mile End goods yard and on the Mt Pleansant line there were turning triangles some long enough on all legs to turn an entire train. Balhannah was just the junction for the Woodside line which it became when the Woodside line was built before that it was just another station on the the South Line. After it became the junction it was kept pratically the same as when it was a normal station, the track was rearranged a bit to allow for the junction though.
  dylan Train Controller

Location: South Australia
As David said there were no turning facilities at Balhannah, trains turned on the triangle at Mt Pleasant. There was also a triangle at Oakbank which was used primarily for the trains running to the Easter races.
The Mt Pleasant line does have a fairly interesting history, and if you can track down a copy of Railways In The Adelaide Hills by Roger Sallis it’s well worth a read.
  Rocko's Modern Life Beginner

Thank you all for your replies. Thank you for explaining the various train operations, how they were turned etc. This sounds like Balhannah is maybe not such an exciting station to model after all. Ah well...
I'll chase that book up that was mentioned, thank you.

Cheers,

Rocko
  dylan Train Controller

Location: South Australia
Incidentally the station yard at Woodside was almost a carbon copy of that at Truro in the Barossa valley. The station building and goods shed were the same design, the track layout may have been slightly different. Woodside had three tracks: main line, passing siding and goods siding, with a dead end running off the goods siding at the Charleston end which serves sheep and cattle loading races.
A quick google search of ‘Truro railway station South Australia’ should bring up the Stationspast website, which hopefully will give you a rough idea of what Woodside looked like.
  DJPeters Assistant Commissioner

The other book to chase up is "The Overland Railway" by W.H Callaghan as it also delves into the stations along the railway line to Serviceton from Adelaide. Also a book called "Line Clear" by Reece Jennings might also be worthwhile chasing up as all three of these books give you the overall picture of the South Line in South Australia and what happened on it and its branches as well.

Both these two books are now out of print but your local library might be able to source a copy or you might try a bookshop that sells secondhand books or a railway type of shop that sells similar.


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