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Strathalbyn Station

Sandergrove to Gilberts

Gilberts to Goolwa

Goolwa Station

Goolwa to Victor



 Along the Line - Strathalbyn to Sandergrove

The original route onwards from Strathalbyn to Goolwa was via a 34km line through Currency Creek to Middleton where there was a junction with the line built earlier from Victor Harbor to Goolwa. Until 1884 trains south of Strathalbyn were hauled by horse power, but between 1883 and 1885 the section to Currency Creek was rebuilt to steam railway standards and a new line was laid directly from Currency Creek to Goolwa.

On 17th December 1885 there was a public holiday to celebrate the new steam hauled service to Goolwa and the 30 or so horses went to a happy retirement!

Southwards from Strathalbyn
The line south from Strathalbyn commences with two easy curves. After the first right hand curve the line passes through a shallow cutting named after Mr T. Gunn, the contractor responsible for this section of line. Beyond the second left hand curve the line then straightens out and runs in a straight line to the south-south-west to Sandergrove.

Shortly after leaving Strathalbyn the old Racecourse platform is passed on the left. In steam days, regular "race trains" were operated from as far afield as Adelaide.

The line then tracks well to the east of the main Strathalbyn to Goolwa road across gently undulating country which slopes gently down towards Lake Alexandrina to the east. A number of small creeks are crossed en route.

The road crossing at Lowanna Road (at the 87km mark) marks the location of the former Lowanna station, the name preserved as the name of one of the Overland sleeping cars.

All change for Milang!
Sandergrove was the junction for the now closed branch leading to Milang on Lake Alexandrina. At one stage there was a small turntable here to turn locos working to Milang but through most of its later life the branchline was operated with Brill railcars. The station boasted an island platform to allow passengers to transfer from the railcar to Victor Harbor trains and a goods siding.

The Milang line was closed in June 1970 and Sandergrove station in July 1973. At Milang a volunteer group has restored the station and preserved some rolling stock. The mIlang to Sandergrove track embankment can still be followed across the fields and maybe a rail connection to Milang might be reinstated some time in the future.

Read about
Strathalbyn station
Survey Map 1
Along the Line
Sandergrove to Gilberts

Motorcaders' Photospots Yard Diagrams as constructed

The main Strath to Goolwa road travels well to the west of the rail line in this section. An alternative route, following the line more closely, can be followed by turning east across Milne Road level crossing at the southern end of Strath yard (signposted "Racecourse"). Leaving the town this becomes Dry Plains Rd.

300m beyond the racecourse, unsealed Michaelmore Rd, to R, can be followed to cross the line after about 0.6km. Turn left immediately after the crossing and follow Greenway Rd southerly, crossing the line again after 0.4km.

Continue south for a further 1.6km to Lowanna Rd (rail crossing 400m to the west) and then 1.3km to a four-way crossing. Continue straight ahead for another 1.2km and veer right to rejoin Dry Plains Rd. Follow Dry Plains Rd south for 0.7km and then turn right onto Tucker Rd and follow it for 1.6km to the rail crossing just south of the Sandergrove Station site.

In sustained wet weather the unsealed road sections along Michaelmore Rd may be difficult to follow and travel directly from Strath to Tucker Rd along Dry Plains Rd might be more appropriate


Sandergrove station is located about 600m north of the Tucker Rd crossing. There is no road access to the site.

A poorly maintained road (not fully navigable in wet weather) parallels the rail line northwards from the Tucker Rd crossing and follows the line to the four-way crossing mentioned earlier. The restored SANDERGROVE station sign and pillbox can be seen from the road across the farmer's field.

The line reserve along the old Sandergrove - Milang line has been designated as the Nurragi Conservation Reserve and stiles across the fences on both sides of Tucker Road provide access to a marked walking track along the full length. A 4-wheel drive track parallels the formation for some distance from the Tucker Rd crossing.


Layout as built - sidings have now all been removed

A look back in history

Rx 195 and Rx233 at Sandergrove in May 1964; first loco hauled train since 1942

Last day of passenger services to Milang - 30 Nov 1968
Photo: Brian Castle

Along the Line
Sandergrove to Gilberts