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Gwabegar railway line

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The Gwabegar railway line is a railway line in the west of New South Wales, Australia which passes through the town of Mudgee to Gulgong and eventually heads to Gwabegar.
The section from Wallerawang to Capertee was opened on 15 May 1882; the section from Capertee to Rylstone on 9 June 1884; the section from Rylstone to Mudgee on 10 September 1884; the section from Mudgee to Gulgong on 14 April 1909; the section from Gulgong to Dunedoo on 28 November 1910; the section from Dunedoo to Binnaway on 2 April 1917; the section from Binnaway to Coonabarabran on 11 June 1917 and, finally, the section from Coonabarabran to Gwabegar on 10 September 1923.[1]

DescriptionEdit

The line branches from the Main Western railway line at Wallerawang and heads north through the townships of Kandos, Rylstone and Mudgee before reaching the junction of the Sandy Hollow – Gulgong line at the township of Gulgong.

The section between Kandos and Gulgong, which for several years was used only for heritage trains running around once per month,[2] was subject to heavy speed restrictions.[3] The line had previously been closed from 2 March 1992 until 2 September 2000 but was reopened after repairs.[4] The Rail Infrastructure Corporation (RIC) announced in May 2007 that the line would be suspended from use from 30 June 2007. The effect of this suspension is that the line has ceased carrying trains indefinitely although legally it remains open. The reason for this is because the line needs a $15 million injection or $80 million for freight trains. The line is still waiting for the money. Currently the only freight traffic has been wheat or Super freighters (mainly steel or container trains run by Pacific National which uses the line from Dubbo to Gulgong and on to Newcastle or Brisbane. As of January 2009, there was only occasional traffic on the remaining section of open line. The Moolarben coal mine had planned to use the line to deliver coal to the Mount Piper power station near Lithgow[5] but the decision to delay construction of the coal unloader at Mount Piper for up to five years meant that this coal would not have a destination.

The section between Binnaway and Gwabegar is out of use, having closed on 28 October 2005 by the RIC for safety reasons.[6]

ReferencesEdit

  1. The Wallerawang - Gwabegar Branch Line Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, January, 1968 & August, 1968
  2. Gulgong-Kandos rail line to be suspended from use
  3. Railway Digest, April 2007.
  4. Bozier, Rolfe, "NSWrail.net: Gwabegar Line". Accessed 5 November 2007.
  5. www.moolarbencoal.com.au (pdf)
  6. Bozier, Rolfe, "NSWrail.net: Gwabegar Line: History". Accessed 5 November 2007.

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