Warwick - Killarney
facts about the Branch
Opened: Killarney Junction – Emu Vale 2nd June, 1884.
Opened: Emu Vale to Killarney 24th August, 1885.
Closed: Killarney Junction - Killarney 1st May, 1964.
1879, JULY 31 - £50,000 is set aside for the construction of the
1880, JUNE 5 - Government decides to proceed with trial survey.
1880, JULY 17 - Surveyor N. Amos started the survey of the line.
The railway line opened from Killarney Junction (near Warwick) to Emu
Vale on 2nd June 1884. The section of line was laid with 42 lb rails.
On JUNE 25, 1885 the Warwick Argustus reported that Warwick to Emu Vale
cost of construction was £54,845. The gross earnings of the branch
from June 2nd to December 31st amounted to £1,241 16s 9d, leaving
the net receipts £94, 4s 3d, equal to 172 per cent on the capital
expended in construction, building, &c. It must, however, be remembered
that the cost of maintenance was only charged to revenue during a portion
of the period dealt with in returns before us.
(Warwick Argustus) DECEMBER 31, 1884 - The number of passenger
tickets issued at the different stations was as follows: - Hermitage
110, Swan Creek 1,022, Mount Sturt 299, Yangan 863 and Emu Vale 2,049.
These figures we think justify the hope that as soon as the branch is
completed to Killarney, and its heavy timber traffic from that district
is secured, it will not only pay working expenses but also interest
on the money expended in its construction.
(Warwick Argustus) AUGUST 22, 1885 – A Special Train
ran on 22nd August 1885 for the opening of the extension as follows:
Warwick, depart 9.35 a.m.
Killarney, arrive 11.30 a.m.
Killarney, depart 3.40 p.m.
Warwick, arrive 5.20 p.m.
The second section from Emu Vale to Killarney was opened on 24th August
1885. Mr. John Garget was the contractor for both sections. The opening
of this line proved to be a great boon to farmers and timber millers alike.
The line had been surveyed to Wrights Hill at South Killarney, but the
Government of the day decided that the expense of building and future
maintenance of the line across the Condamine River and its flood plain
was to great. Because this, the terminus was constructed at North Killarney,
some considerable distance from the town. A turntable was installed there
(believed to have come from Warwick
(Millhill)), so engines could be turned around for the return trip to
The decision to terminate the line on the Northern side of the river
eventually caused the business centre of the town to relocate itself,
and the town split into two halves.
The railway brought great prosperity to the town and served the area
well for nearly eighty years.
(Warwick Argustus) SATURDAY, MARCH 27, 1886 - Killarney Branch
Railway – Due to insufficiency of traffic one of the two trains
which now run daily between Warwick and Killarney is to be discontinued,
and the timetable to be rearranged.
(Warwick Argustus) SATURDAY, MAY 22, 1886 - Killarney Branch
Line – We hear that in consequence of the amount of goods traffic
offering on the Killarney line being often beyond the capacity of the
engine power, vexatious delays at times occur in getting timber and
farm produce to market. Consignors complain also that trucks are not
always supplied as promptly as they might be. A Killarney correspondent
says the trucks loaded with timber are often left behind at that station,
the engine driver saying that he can not take more than 70 tons of goods
per day; and our correspondent thinks that this could be obviated without
loss if the Traffic Manager would put on an extra train on Tuesdays,
Thursdays and Saturdays.
A flood in January 1887 completely destroyed the high-level railway bridge
over Emu Creek. Luckily a locomotive was on the Killarney side of the
bridge to enable passengers to the shuttled from Killarney to the bridge,
and then they had to walk the river to board another train into Warwick.
This flood also damaged the Yangan Bridge at Swan Creek.
By MARCH, 1887 the bridge over Swan Creek had been repaired, and trains
started to run daily between Emu Vale and Warwick. The work of restoring
the Emu Vale bridge was to be pushed on as rapidly as possible, but it
was not intended to resume communication with Killarney in the meantime.
(Warwick Argustus) TUESDAY, JUNE 14, 1887 – (WA) –
KILLARNEY BRANCH. It is nearly five months since rail communication
with Killarney was interrupted by the destruction of the Emu Creek bridge
during the flood of January last. Two months after the disaster a sort
of “scratch” service was arranged The new bridge is to be
ready by the end of the month.
(Warwick Argustus) TUESDAY, JUNE 14, 1887 – (WA) –
YANGAN RAILWAY BRIDGE. – There are to be seen in this district
some very fine examples of railway engineering. We have tunnels, big
cuttings, long timber bridges, stately stone viaducts ; but the greatest
curiosity we possess most undoubtedly is an extraordinary structure
which spans Swan Creek, just beyond Yangan, on the Killarney branch.
It was once a bridge, and is a courtesy so termed even now. It was sadly
battered by the flood of January 21, although it has since been in the
hands of engineers and maintenance gangs, still being traces of that
memorable time in which Science was knocked out by Nature in one round.
The piles were knocked out of plum and the superstructure strained.
A gang of men with blocks and tackle pulled the pile back to perpendicular,
and a pile drawing apparatus was employed for some time smoothing off
the inequalities ; but the result, even with the assistance of numerous
wedges placed under girders and sleepers, was not a conspicuous success.
The track was not only crooked, but is was about as level as a piece
of the Downs corduroy country so famous for many things, but chiefly
for testing buggy springs. In this condition the bridge was reopened
for traffic. The passing trains have since improved the level somewhat,
but the structure is still in a very ricketty state. The engineer in
charge of course regards it safe for traffic, or the train would not
be allowed to cross, but it is significant that the driver never crosses
it at a greater speed than four miles an hour ; and the bubbles which
encircle each pile as the train passes above are calculated to make
passengers feel just a trifle uneasy. It may be all right, but –
well we think a new bridge should be erected, or the present one strengthened,
with as little delay as possible.
(The Warwick Examiner Newspaper) JANUARY 12, 1910 - Cream
supplies from the Killarney line last week amounted to 1788 gallons.
Traffic on the Killarney line last week included; 6127 bags of wheat,
1296 bags of maize, 278 bags of barley, 45 bags of oats, 199 bags of
prairie seed, 1578 bags of chaff, 61 cases of fruit, 818 packages of
vegetables, 235 bags of potatoes, 22 bales of wool, 429 sheep, 32 cases
of eggs, 42,240ft. sawn timber, 210 tons coal, 12 packages of cheese,
31 boxes of butter.
On and after MONDAY, 2nd June, 1884, the following Time Table will come
into operation until further notice: -
||Emu Vale dep
|Emu Vale arr
Stations built on the line
The stations and sidings along the line were:
(Distances are from Warwick)
||ft above sea level
It was noted in a 1963 working timetable: "In order to reduce cost
of maintenance, the maximum speed on this branch is 20 miles per hour,
and that only on straight and level pieces of the road, but must be reduced
to FIFTEEN miles per hour in daylight and TEN miles per hour at night
when the line runs along the main road. The maximum speed of Rail Motors
is 25 miles per hour."
1930 WORKING OF KILLARNEY JUNCTION
Killarney Junction is now being worked as part of Warwick station yard.
When necessary to dispatch a train from Warwick for Killarney or Maryvale
Branches, a porter must proceed by tricycle to Killarney Junction to make
the road for the branch line, and the driver, when leaving Warwick, must
be in possession of the Warwick-Millhill train staff, which will be collected
from the driver on arrival at Killarney Junction and taken back by tricycle
to Warwick. Similarly when a train is arriving at Warwick from Killarney
or Maryvale Branch a porter must take out the Warwick-Millhill train staff
to Killarney Junction, pull off the branch signals to admit the train,
hand the driver the Millhill-Warwick train staff, and return to Warwick
after replacing the branch signals and making the road for main line traffic.
Mount Colliery Tramway
In 1893 Coal was discovered on the bank of farm Creek near Tannymorel
Following this, in 1896 - William Roach and William Lanigan established
Mount Colliery on Hurdle Creek, about 5 km from Tannymorel.
By 1905, Mount Colliery was delivering 12 tonnes of coal per day.
A branch line to the coal mine at Mt. Colliery was constructed from Tannymorel
in 1908.This light tramway, used horses hauling coal trucks, until upgraded
for steam trains, the first running on 12th June, 1910. The line was closed
on 1st May, 1964. Coal was transported by road to Warwick until the mine
closed in 1967.
Closure of the line
The branch line from Killarney Junction to Killarney was closed on 1st