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Pine Creek Rail Trail - Trail Description

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Trail

Pine Creek Rail Trail

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Type: Rail trail
Location: Pine Creek, approximately 225km south of Darwin
Start/end: Millar Street to Millar Street
Status: Open
Length open: 1km
Surface: Sealed
Terrain: Flat to uneven walking path
Best seasons: All year round
Contact Region: Northern Territory
Operational 1877 Beyer Peacock NF class steam locomotive at the museum (2020)
Operational 1877 Beyer Peacock NF class steam locomotive at the museum (2020)
Suitable for walking Suitable for cycling touring hybrid bikes
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Details

Features

• Pine Creek Railway Museum
• Easy to access objects and plentiful signage
• Walking distance from all the town’s accommodation
• Best seen by walking but can be cycled

Description

Access Points

• Main Terrace or Millar Terrace
• Access to the rail bridge and reservoir is by walking over mown lawn areas with no distinct paths.

The Pine Creek Railway Precinct was the initial terminus of an uncompleted 19th Century trans-continental railway system. Its contribution to the development of the mining boom in the late 19th Century was profound, enabling companies to transport machinery and equipment with greater ease to the mine fields than had been possible previously. It was also a catalyst for the opening of new mines in the area. Its contribution to the development of Pine Creek and other towns along its route was also important.

Pine Creek maintained its importance after the railway was extended to Katherine and during WWII when it became one of the four dispersal bases on the North Australian Railway. The area has high architectural and historical associations and remains a key feature in the township's heritage and streetscape.

The adjacent Miners Park is important in that it provides a visible link between the railway and the mining industry which it contributed so much to. Its significance also lies in the fact that it provides a place where mining machinery and technology from mines, which are no longer operational or exist, can be maintained to assist in the interpretation of the area's mining history.

The adjacent Water Gardens was developed over the former cutting of the rail extension to Katherine. It has some short walking paths and at the far end there remains a home signal tower.

Note: The map is indicative. The paths in the Water Garden are actually loops, and there is no path from the rail yards to the bridge over the creek or the reservoir. The line shown on the map is simply to inform you that the trail passes through the park and beyond to the creek.

Background Information

The first section of the narrow gauge North Australia Railway from Darwin to Pine Creek opened in 1888 to service mines in the area. It was extended south to Katherine in 1926 and finally Larrimah in 1929, which was as far south as it went, never linking up to the Adelaide to Alice Springs railway. Never-the-less, it played a vital role in the development of the Northern Territory and Australia during the WWII. However once the war was over, improving roads, its isolation, and finally damage to iron ore loading facilities at Darwin Port from Cyclone Tracy resulted in the railway being closed in 1976.

The new standard gauge Alice Springs - Darwin railway opened in 2004 and parts of the new railway were placed on the old North Australia Railway alignment. However, some parts of the old line were bypassed, including the section through Pine Creek town. Many parts of the railway have been declared heritage places, including the precinct itself and many of the separate items that remain.

Links

This rail trail is managed by the Victoria Daly Council and the National Trust NT. Please report any issues by phone (08) 8972 0777.

 

November 2020

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Contact Us About This Trail

Email or click here: nt@railtrails.org.au.

Photos

Comments

Comments

1 comment

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18 November , 2020 by Bryan Baker

The Rail Precinct is really good and easy to access - there are many aspects of the rail history on view with plenty of informational signage along the way. The Museum is the old station building (which requires a coin donation) and the guide I had was very knowledgeable about rail history. The only down side is that path is very narrow as it is also used for local recreation (kids on bikes), and there were no direction signs to find the old water dam.

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