Trans-Australian Railway celebrates centenary


EXACTLY 100 years after it opened on October 22, 1917, a ceremony was held at Port Augusta (South Australia) to commemorate the opening of the Trans-Australian Railway between Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie (Western Australia).

A week previously, a simpler ceremony had marked the centenary of the physical completion of the line at Ooldea, around 700km from Port Augusta, on October 17, 1917, the line opening just a week after the construction teams from east and west had met.

As part of the Trans-Australian Railway centenary celebrations at Port Augusta on October 22 former Commonwealth Railways (CR) 4-8-0 NM25 ran two shuttle trains from Port Augusta to Stirling North. The ‘NM’ class 4-8-0s were based on the Queensland Railways’ ‘C17’ class and were the most powerful CR steam locos used on the former 1,067mm narrow gauge. STEVE McNICOL

The 1,711km-long line was built as standard gauge although the lines it connected to at both ends were then 1,067mm gauge.

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The line includes the world’s longest continuous straight section of railway line – a 478km section across the almost uninhabited Nullabor Plain.

Read more on this story and other news from Australia in the March issue of The RM – on sale now!

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