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Strathalbyn Station

Strath to Sandergrove

Sandegrove to Gilberts

Goolwa Station

Goolwa to Victor



 Along the Line - Gilberts to Goolwa

Two major bridges are crossed in this section as the line crosses Tookayerta and Currency creeks, both tributaries to the lower Murray River.

The line then passes SteamRanger's Goolwa Depot before winding through the back streets of Goolwa to reach the historic Goolwa Wharf precinct.

Climbing up from the Finniss bridge, the line passes through Gilberts, originally built with both a main line and goods siding. The siding has now been removed, but a small platform on the eastern side remains and has been used from time to time by SteamRanger to transfer passengers to local coach tours.

Black Swamp Bridge
The next major bridge on the line, locally referred to as the "Black Swamp" bridge, crosses Tookayerta Creek, a major stream running into the Finniss and on into the Murray. Today's bridge is the second to take the rail line over the creek. The first bridge consisted of wrought iron girders resting on timber piers, supported on red gum piles, but this soon began to subside into the swampy ground.

Today's bridge, built to the east of the first, has two 61ft spans on concrete piers. In 1884, a windmill, overhead tank and water column were built immediately to the south of the bridge to provide good quality water to locomotives. The windmill was progressively upgraded to a hydraulic ram, a boiler and steam pump and, in 1912, by an internal combustion oil engine. All that remains now are the foundations of the overhead tank.

Currency Creek
The line now run straight for nearly 5kms, crossing the main Goolwa road at the well known "Canoe Tree" crossing with its flashing warning lights. This was an early SAR stopping place known as Murtonga. A little further on was the Moonoerp where the parallel road leaves the line and drops down into the settlement of Currency Creek. Currency Creek was named after the "Currency Lass" a whaleboat used to explore the Murray in the 1850s. The "Currency Creek Inn" and a flour mill were built in the river valley. The Inn has recently been restored as a private residence, but the mill is no more.

The track remains on the high ground to the east as it passes through Currency Creek station, still fitted with a stock ramp and passing loop (used from time to time to store maintenance vehicles) and then descends through a cutting onto an impressive bridge towering 23m above the creek.

As built in 1866, the viaduct consisted of six brick piers and two abutments joined by seven spans varying in length forom 29ft to 39ft. Over subsequent years various steps were taken to strengthen the construction, but this was not adequate for Webbs "large steam" locomotives and in 1926 the piers and abutments were repaired and five 11.9m and two 8.8m spans replaced the original spans

On to Goolwa
Climbing away through another long cutting the line straightens out and crosses the Willunga and Middleton roads before commencing to parallel the Strathalbyn road into Goolwa. 3km from Goolwa the line crosses the road at the site of the SAR's Wirlpana stopping place.

SteamRanger's Goolwa Depot is passed on the eastern side, with points leading to a rail triangle at both the northern and southern boundaries of the Depot. The Depot is used to service rolling stock used on the local "Cockle Train" service and as a base for volunteers living on the south coast.

The line winds its way through the back streets of the town to emerge from a cutting under the new Hindmarsh Island bridge and into Goolwa yard at the historic Goolwa Wharf precinct.

Along the Line
Sandergrove to Gilberts
Survey Map 1
Read about
Goolwa Station

Motorcaders' Photospots Yard Diagrams as constructed

The railway reserve and adjacent farmers' fields are not public rights of way. We recommend that lineside photographers use only public roads to follow our trains

From Gilberts backtrack to the east, crossing a small creek after 0.5km, and return to the sealed Winery Road. Turn R to follow it south west. The road drops downhill before crossing a small causeway across Tookayerta Creek .

Just before crossing the causeway look for a latched farm gate on the righthand side with an information sign just inside the gate. This marks a new well signposted walking track up the northern side of the creek towards the Black Swamp bridge, across the stream just below the bridge and then back on the southern side. A number of good photo sites can be found along the path, or by climbing up to rail level.

Return to the road and drive across the causeway and uphill past Currency Creek Winery. From the winery, the road and rail track then run parallel most of the way into Goolwa. 2km from the winnery, the road joins the main Strath - Goolwa road at the "canoe tree" crossing, a popular photo location with its crossing lights.

At Currency Creek the roads drops into the river valley and the best photos are obtained from the tourist park under the bridge

Currency Creek


The station remains essentally as constructed with a platform shelter and stock ramp still in-situ


Railcar "pelican" crosses the Black Swamp bridge
Photo: David Worth

621 and 520 cross Currency Creek bridge in 1978 on their way back to Adelaide         Photo: Roger Currie

Read about
Goolwa Station