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Australian Rail Maps
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Helping travellers discover Australia by train and public transport
Helping travellers discover Australia by train and public transport

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Today's historic photo of the day takes us back to November 16 1985. We see the railway station at Bethungra on the NSW main South railway - the main line between Sydney and Melbourne. It's unclear whether the station was still in use at this time, but if so it was in its last month. The June 4 1984 timetable shows the overnight 'South XPT' would stop at Bethungra if a passenger wished to board or alight, but the timetable that came in to effect December 15 1985 no longer listed the South XPT and did not list Bethungra as a stop for any trains. Today, all station buildings, platforms and semaphore signals are long gone, but Bethungra is still to this day a place well worth a visit for that great railway oddity - the Bethungra spiral. 
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Today for our historic photo of the day we visit Ferny Grove station in Brisbane's North-Western suburbs. Suburban electric train no 52 waits at the platform before starting its return run in to Brisbane. Ferny Grove is the current terminus of the line which once ran to Dayboro', the line was closed beyond Ferny Grove in 1955 and then electrified in the 1970s. Since this photo was taken, the outer section of the line from Mitchelton to Ferny Grove has been duplicated and Ferny Grove station upgraded. A photo from the same location today would look much more suburban, and you will no longer see the manual point lever frame in the foreground.
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Our historic photo of the day is of Werris Creek railway station taken on April 1, 2007 (no AFDJ). Werris Creek was a significant railway town; positioned at the junction of the NSW Great Northern and Mail North-West Railways, it was a bustling hub of railway activity. Indeed to some extent it still is. The station is an unusual design, being located inside the track junction the platform and the station buildings are V-shaped. The station is served today by a daily NSW Trainlink Xplorer train service from Sydney that divides at Werris Creek on its way north to Armidale and Moree. The two trains amalgamate at Werris Creek on their way South. The North-West line carries significant coal traffic and some agricultural produce too, but apart from the daily passenger service the Mail North line sadly sees little if any rail traffic these days.
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Today's historic photo of the day is a tour train crossing the Snowy River trestle bridge at Orbost in Eastern Victoria. The photo was taken on January 16 1985. The train ran from Orbost to Bairnsdale then to Traralgon via Maffra. At that time the Orbost line was still open to freight traffic, but passenger trains no longer ran east of Bairnsdale. Today, the Orbost line is closed and lifted beyond Bairnsdale, as is the line via Maffra which this train travelled later in the day. Some of the magnificent wooden trestle bridges such as the one in this photo do however still stand. VLine today run three daily passenger trains from Melbourne as far east as Bairnsdale.
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Today's historic photo shows State Rail NSW train number S37, the Canberra Monaro Express from Sydney bound for Canberra and Cooma at Farrer loop between Bungendore and Queanbeyan on December 14 1985. Today, passenger trains still run through here, operated three times daily by NSW Trainlink Xplorer trains, although the trains no longer run to Cooma and Farrer crossing Loop itself has been de-commissioned
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For today's historic photo we travel back to Black Forest in Adelaide's inner southern suburbs on April 25 1986. H class tram number 357 (still fitted with trolley poles) speeds past on its way from Glenelg to Victoria Square. These trams were introduced in 1929 and served Adelaide continuously for about 80 years before being withdrawn and replaced by modern trams. Today, even though the H class trams no longer run, the Adelaide to Glenelg tramway thrives. It has been extended through the heart of Adelaide to the inner northern suburb of Hindmarsh, patronage is healthy and there are even tentative plans for significant further network extensions. The reslience of H class trams meant that the Glenelg line, the single remnant of the once extensive Adelaide tram network, outlasted the sad anti-tram decades, and now the future for trams in Adelaide looks bright.
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Today's historic photo of the day is from December 21 1985. Melbourne works tram 10W runs east along Flinders Street through the Swanston Street intersection. 10W was used for various non-passenger tasks across the network. There were a number of such trams over the years, normally they were adapted from withdrawn passenger trams. This one was in fact one of two purchased from Sydney - it has the distinctive Sydney wide centre window which is quite different from other Melbourne trams of the time. Today 10W has been withdrawn, but it has been preserved. The tramways no longer use works trams. All freight, works, maintenance and even track cleaning tasks are these days performed by road trucks. The intersection today has been tarted up a bit. Tram stops have all been converted to 'super stops' and relocated to the other side of the intersection in some cases. Young and Jacksons pub in the background thrives, and has been repainted and now looks a bit more welcoming today.
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Our historic photo for today was taken at Richmond station in Western Sydney on June 8, 1985. Two diesel railcars are stabled in the sidings ready to operate their next service. In 1985 the Richmond line was not electrified and services were operated by diesel railcars or rail motors as shuttles to Riverstone or Blacktown where passengers connected into electric trains to Sydney. Today, the Richmond line is fully electrified, services run direct to and from Sydney and the 600 class and 620 class two-car diesel trains pictured here have been retired.
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Today's historic photo is of Victorian Railways' electric locomotive L1172 hauling a classic goods train out of Moe headed westward to Melbourne on January 4, 1985. The railway from Melbourne to Traralgon, 160km East of Melbourne, was the only non-metropolitan railway in Victoria to have been electrified. The brown coal reserves in the Latrobe Valley generated sufficient traffic for the railways to justify electrification in the post WWII period. The mainstay of this line were the venerable L class locomotives which hauled virtually all freight and passenger trains (except on Sundays when diesels were regularly used). Today, the line has been de-electrified beyond the end of the suburban area at Pakenham, and the L class locos have been withdrawn. Regular and frequent VLine passenger services operate through here today, and a daily freight service operates to and from Maryvale (beyond Morwell) to serve a paper mill.
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For our historic photo today we travel back to January 30 1983. The Lachlan Valley Railway ran an enthusiasts rail tour over the three day Australia Day long Weekend from Sydney to Lithgow, Mudgee, Coonabarabran, Gwabegar, Dubbo, Peak Hill, Parkes, Bathurst, Lithgow and back to Sydney. Loco 4910 hauled a set of quite luxurious restored sitting, lounge and dining cars across rural New South Wales. Our photo shows the loco running around its cars at the Gwabegar, the Northernmost point of the tour. The line to Gwabegar is these days disused and has not seen any rail traffic north of Binnaway for some years and there have been no trains north of Baradine for very many years.
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