Great Southern Railway (Western Australia)

Great Southern Railway (Western Australia)

Great Southern Railway (Western Australia)

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Description:
The Great Southern Railway (GSR) was the name of a railway company that operated from Beverley to Albany in Western Australia between 1886 and 1896. In 1896 the Western Australian Government Railways took over this company and the railway route also kept the name.

Construction

The first sods for the railway were turned on the 20 October 1886. This occurred simultaneously at Beverley and Albany by Lady Broome and the Governor Sir Frederick Broome respectively. The final spike was driven on the 14 February 1889, 122 miles north of Albany. The official opening of the line was on the 1 June 1889.

The construction of the railway was significant for the development of economic activity in the region and lead to the establishment of grain and sheep grazing, along with the development of towns such as Katanning, Broomehill, Tambellup, Mount Barker and Woodanilling.

There was some initial debate over where the railway line should be placed. In the end, the link was made from an existing line ending at Beverley because it was the cheapest option. This devastated residents of the town of Kojonup, who initially hoped the line would pass through their town and follow the Albany Highway.

Dieselisation

Steam locomotives were withdrawn from mainline work in Western Australia in 1971 - the process of removing steam from the Great Southern line had serious economic effects upon the town of Narrogin where extensive barracks and services relative to steam operations were closed down...
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