SAR Port Pirie-Broken Hill

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Port Pirie-Broken Hill Line Location Index Scenarios
Gladstone - Paratoo Section

Gladstone

Junction for Wilmington LineBroad Gauge

FuelCoalWaterShedTurntableLoopPassengersGoodsGrainLivestockWool

Yangya
Passengers
Caltowie 
LoopPassengersGoodsGrain
Jamestown
CoalWaterTurntableLoopPassengersGoodsGrain
Belalie North
LoopPassengersGoods
Yongala
WaterLoopPassengersGoodsGrain
Peterborough Junction for Quorn LineTerowie Line
CoalWaterShedTurntableLoopPassengersGoodsGrainLivestock
Ucolta
WaterLoopPassengersGoodsLivestock
Oodla Wirra
WaterLoopPassengersGoodsLivestock
Nantabibbie
Loop
Peechara
Loop
Nackara
WaterLoopPassengersGoodsLivestock
Methuen
Loop
Paratoo
CoalWaterWYELoopPassengersGoodsLivestock

Symbols:

Facilities:
Coal Loco Coal Stage Fuel Bunker C Oil Fuel Point
Loop Crossing Loop WYE Turning Triangle or WYE
Turntable Loco Turntable Shed Loco Shed
Water Loco Water Tank  
Commodities:
Passengers Passengers Passengers Station closed or inactive
Goods Goods Grain Grain
Oils_Fuels Oil and Fuel Stockyard Livestock (Cattle and Sheep)
Minerals Minerals Wool Wool Bales

Line History:

Opened:  1875-1888
Closed:  still in operation
Length:  127km - 79mi (Gladstone to Paratoo) of 390km (242mi) total length

Built as a narrow gauge (3ft6in - 1067mm) line from Port Pirie to Gladstone in 1875, it was extended to Cockburn on the South Australia - New South Wales border in stages by 1888.

Because the South Australian Railways were not allowed to operate over the border into New South Wales, a private railway, the Silverton Tramway (which was called a "tramway" for legal reasons but it was a fully operating narrow gauge railway), was built to connect the line to the mines at Broken Hill. The SAR and Silverton Tramway simply swapped locos at Cockburn on the border.

The main purpose of the line was to transport the mineral ores from the mines at Broken Hill to the smelters and port at Port Pirie, a function it still performs today.

Several narrow gauge branch lines were added at Gladstone (to Wilmington), Peterborough (to Quorn and Terowie) and to mines between Paratoo and Cockburn. A broad gauge (5ft3in - 1600mm) line from Adelaide (the state capital) was extended to Gladstone in 1894. The narrow gauge line from Peterborough to Terowie was made dual gauge with the addition of broad gauge in 1970, providing a second broad gauge line to Adelaide.

During 1969-1970 the entire Port Pirie-Broken Hill line was converted to standard gauge (4ft8½in - 1435mm). The conversion closed or bypassed many of the locations along the narrow gauge line. Gladstone and Peterborough became triple gauge "break-of-gauge" locations. By 1990 all the connecting narrow and broad gauge lines were closed.

The line is now a vital part of the standard gauge Transcontinental railway from Sydney to Perth.

Only one passenger service still operates on the line, the Indian-Pacific which runs between Sydney and Perth via Adelaide. It runs non-stop between Broken Hill and Adelaide.

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