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Mt Barker to MB Junction

Mt Barker to Philcox Hill

Philcox to Gemmells

Gemmells to Strath

Strath Station



 Along the Line - Mt Barker Junction Station

Mt Barker Junction
  The brick station here today was built in 1943 and is no longer in use. The main standard gauge line between Melbourne and Adelaide bypasses the platform on the northern side of the yard.You might note that the track alongside the platform at one time had three rails - more of that later!

But lets look back in history - click on each of the camera logos
At the turn of the century
the elevated signal box
was a feature
Bluebird Railcars
cross early one Saturday
morning in 1968

The Junction; then was quite a substantial station with an elevated signal box and waiting room on the present platform, a shelter shed on an island platform opposite and a forest of signals on high masts. A turntable and single track engine shed were located on the southern side at the Adelaide end of the yard

The shed was dismantled in 1904 and re-erected at Pinnaroo, whilst the buildings on the main platform were demolished and replaced with today's brick building in 1943. The station was closed and the island platform demolished in the early 1980s.

Rail Gauges

MBJ track As noted earlier when SteamRanger took over at Mt Barker there were originally three rails on the platform track. SteamRanger trains trains stood on the two outer rails which are 1600mm apart or "broad gauge". All SA Railways tracks in this area were originally broad gauge and it was possible for through trains to operate from Adelaide to Victor Harbor The inner two rails are 1435mm apart or "standard gauge".

The through Adelaide to Melbourne track on the north side of the yard is also standard gauge. When this line was narrowed in 1995 as part of the initiative to create a single rail gauge between all mainland capital cities SteamRanger's earlier services right through to Adelaide came to an abrupt halt here and resulted in an expensive relocation of all our assets to Mt Barker.

MBJ switch When the main line was converted both gauges were installed along the platform to allow passengers from Adelaide the ability to interchange to SteamRanger's broad gauge trains, to allow standard gauge track machinery to park off the main line and perhaps to allow future extension of the standard gauge to Mt Barker.

At the Adelaide end of the platform you can see evidence of where the standard gauge platform line would have connected to the main line, but this connection has now been broken .

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Photo Credits:
Mt Barker Junction 1900 - SA Archives
Bluebirds at Mt Barker Junction - D. Worth
All other photos - SteamRanger

Reference Information
South Coast Limited - Kim Bird (ARHS)1972
The Victor Harbour Line - Dean Harvey - ARHS Bulletin July/Aug 1992
Railways in the Adelaide Hills - Roger Sallis (Open Book Publishers) 1998
The South Coast Encounter - John Ramsey (ARHS) 1991
Editing and Compilation - Bob Green (SteamRanger) June 2000