Margaret River Railway

Margaret River Railway, Western Australia The Margaret River Railway was officially opened to the public by the Minister for Works, Alex McCallum, on the 7th of November, 1924. The railway line extented from Busselton to Flinders Bay.

"Margaret River Railway. Official opening. Mr McCallum optimistic. Busselton, November 7. More than forty miles of permanent railway were officially added to the State railway system to-day, when the Busselton-Margaret River section was declared open for traffic by the Minister for Works (Mr A McCallum)…The Minister for Works expressed confidence that now a substantial start had been made with the development of the South-West, much progress and wealth would result…"West Australian, 10 November 1924.

 

In 1885, prior to the opening, M.C. Davies and his private company had built their own railway network from Flinders Bay to Margaret River . The network was built to service the growing timber industry. However in 1912, the Western Australian Government Railways (W.A.G.R) took over the line and proceeded to recondition and connect it with the Busselton line. The Pubic Works Department had the task of reconditioning the 22 miles of old line. They also had to build a 3 and a half mile deviation due to the steepness of the terrain. An interesting point to note was that from 1900-1914, aproximately 17 million railway sleepers were cut from the forests in the Margaret River and Augusta region.

Prior to the new railway being connected to the Busselton line, all timbers were transported by ship.

In the 1950's, the State Government decided to closed down a third of all their rail networks because they could no longer support the services. This unfortuanately included the Busselton to Flinders Bay line. With much protest from the locals the line was officially closed on the 1st july, 1957.


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