Leaving Gemmells the line runs around the base of Stirling Hill and across
an impressive horseshoe curve embankment, beyond which passengers can
again see across the lakes and to Strathalbyn before the line crosses the
road again. Another cutting and a long embankment take the train through
Stirling Hill itself.
A very high, though narrow, underpass originally
put in for Mr Stirling's cattle is crossed.Another cutting is followed by
what could well be the highest (and most photographed) embankment on the whole line. At approximately 76.5 km,
Burnside Road is crossed and this location was also known in years gone
by as Panketyi.
A Race to Strathalbyn
Beyond, the line is flatter and the long straight section into Strathalbyn
was always a favourite with S.A.R. enginemen in the past who were willing
to give their trains a quick burst of speed. At 78.5km the line passes
the old Strathalbyn mine.
Just before the line comes into Strathalbyn,
the only wheat silos on the branch are passed north of the East Terrace
crossing, originally served by a short siding leading off the main line
on the left side of the main line. High Street is crossed soon after
East Terrace, followed by the River Angas and then South Terrace.
Next to the South Terrace crossing is the old Police Station which is
operated as a museum by the Strathalbyn branch of the National Trust.
Across the Angas River
The Angas River bridge consists of two steel deck spans which replaced
the original iron ones installed in 1884. The central pier is now concrete
which encases the iron columns, but the two abutments were able to keep
their original stonework when the bridge was rebuilt. In October 1926
when the girders were being exchanged, the first slipped while an attempt
was being made to position it, just as it had during construction in 1884!
A case of history repeating itself!