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Friday, 25 March 2016

Bridges over Murray River Billabongs - Robinvale To Lette Railway

You could easily be forgiven for wondering what I am referring to here, as few people were aware that a railway was constructed from Robinvale to Lette in New South Wales. And strictly speaking, there was not one. It was planned in 1922, but was only completed as far as Koorakee. 

Work started in 1926 and it reached Koorakee in 1930. This was celebrated by a special train. Work continued towards Lette, but was never completed. The line was never officially opened and was operated by the Railway Construction Branch until construction was officially abandoned on 12 February 1943. The rail-road bridge was replaced in 2006 by a new road bridge.

Ken Littlefair was involved in the work on the new bridges and roadway of the Murray Valley Highway on the Euston (NSW) side of the line and took the following photos which he has kindly made available.

From available information, there were only two bridges on the line, the large combined road and rail lift bridge over the Murray River itself and these ones over a billabong. 

The bridge over the Murray was demolished in 2006 when the new bridge was built, but the lift span section has been preserved in a local park at the northern end of the Robinvale rail yard, on the corner of the Murray Valley Highway and Moore Street.

Photo by Ken Littlefair

Photo by Ken Littlefair

Photo by Ken Littlefair

Photo by Ken Littlefair

Photo by Ken Littlefair

Friday, 11 March 2016

Bridge over Merran Creek near Stony Crossing - Murrabit to Stony Crossing Line.

This was the last crossing of Merran Creek by the railway, just short of the terminus at Stony Crossing. 

This photo was taken by Des Jowett while flying along the line. Actually pretty obvious when you see the aircraft wing in the shot.

Photo by Des Jowett

Des Writes: This B&W shot was taken when a mate & I drove there when the line was intact and we planned to try and follow the line along dirt tracks. Down came the rain and that put paid to our plans as my Austin Lancer would have gone down in the mud.  The line was dismantled in 1961 back to Murrabit, and Murrabit to Kerang closed in 1964 when the  Barr Ck bridge collapsed under a small train - luckily the J and it's train remained on the track but the van was on the saggy portion.

The photo was taken on September 9, 1958.

Photo by Des Jowett

Bridge 1 over Larrys Creek - Murrabit to Stony Crossing Line.

This bridge is shown in the VR grades book as being over Nerran Creek, which these days is named Merran Creek, however looking at the maps, the section of creek is now isolated and called Larry's Creek. 

This is another photo by Des Jowett, taken from a light aircraft while flying along the route of the line. 

Photo by Des Jowett

Bridge over Coobool Creek (Merran Creek) - Murrabit to Stony Crossing Line.

Bridge over Coobool Creek (Merran Creek) - Murrabit to Stony Crossing Line. This bridge is listed in the VR grades book as being over Coobool Creek, although these days it is shown as Merran Creek. 

This photo was kindly contributed by Des Jowett. Des took the shot from a light aircraft flying over the line, and is cropped from a wider shot.

The bridge still appears to be in existence today.

Photo by Des Jowett

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Murrabit Bridge over Murray River - Stony Crossing Line.

Des Jowett writes: The shot of Murrabit Bridge shows the last remaining bit of rail on the Stony Crossing line on the approach road to the lift span on the NSW side.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Lancefield Town Platform - Clarkefield to Lancefield Line.

This entry was kindly contributed by Des Jowett. Des writes:

Here is a shot of the Lancefield Town platform. You can see the ramped  end but the wooden facing has been removed. 

Photo by Des Jowett

Ever since the line to Lancefield was opened in June 1881, the locals wanted the line extended a bit closer to the centre of the town. With the building of the Lancefield-Kilmore line the opportunity was taken to build a platform near the rear of the Macedonia Hotel with an access pathway to the street. The Lancefield - Kilmore line opened on 6-4-1892 and arrangements were made that from June 1, 1892, trains would run to and from the Town platform, for trains departing the platform it was ten minutes before the departure time from the main Lancefield station, where the train then stopped for passengers from the Town station to purchase their tickets. There is no record of how long the Town platform was in use for; the PMG replaced the Mail Box there in August 1895 after the station building had been removed, so perhaps it closed with the 1897 first closure of the Lancefield-Kilmore line.  In 1917 a firewood loading site was established at this location.

Here is a shot of a 280hp Walker railmotor stabled at Lancefield right down over the two bridges and near the Town platform site. The date was April 19, 1954 and it formed the afternoon Up service to Melbourne on a public holiday. I think they ran it way down there to get it out of the way of a goods train.

Photo by Des Jowett

Bridge over Access Road at Lancefield Station - Clarkefield to Lancefield Line

From Des Jowett. I have found another old bridge at Lancefield that was the road access to the station ground on the eastern side of the station. It was between the station and the old creek bridge, and cut through the embankment. This photo was taken on 28-9-1986 by which time the deck had been removed and the opening filled in. You can still just see the remains of the roadway curving towards the bridge opening on Google Maps view.

Photo by Des Jowett
Thank you Des.