The Blayney–Demondrille railway line is a railway line in New South Wales, Australia.[1] It is used mainly for grain haulage. The line is owned by the NSW government, however in 2004 the Australian Rail Track Corporation became responsible for operations over the line.[2] The Lachlan Valley Railway operates heritage and tourist trains over the line, based at Cowra. It previously also operated general goods trains.

From January 2012, the line was managed by John Holland Rail. Following flooding in 2011 between Cowra and Young, the line remains unusable for most of its length.

Opening Edit

Approval was given by the New South Wales Government in April, 1881 for the construction of the 'Blayney–Murrumburrah Railway'. It in fact connects the Main West line at Blayney with the Main South Line at Demondrille, and passes through the towns of Cowra and Young.

The section between Demondrille and Young opened on 26 March 1885. The next section, from Young to Cowra (on the west side of the Lachlan River), saw the first government operated train on 2 November 1886, however the contractor operated trains from May 1886. The bridge over the river was tested on 25 August 1887 and the line opened to the current station site forthwith. The final section, from Cowra to Blayney opened in August 1887. The section from Blayney to Cowra was closed in late 1999 after a bridge near Holmwood but the line was reopened April 2000. Today the line along with many other branch lines in New South Wales are being proposed for closure. If this was to occur all freight trains would be diverted to Parkes causing delays on the Main western line. There have been a proposal for logs to be transported by rail, if the closure passes the log loads will be moved by road instead. The Lachlan Valley Railway (LVR) who operate from their base in Cowra could also face an uncertain future if the line is closed down. This also includes the remaining part of the Grenfell branch which also faces closure.[3]

Eugowra branchEdit

A railway line branched from Cowra and headed west to the small township of Eugowra. The line opened to Canowindra on 4 July 1910 and to Eugowra on 11 December 1922. It mainly carried grain traffic, but also had a passenger service until 1974.[3] Services are currently suspended and the line is in a poor state and is unlikely to reopen.

In June 2010 the Australian Rail Track Corporation removed three viaducts on the line which were located in Cowra.[4][5]

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