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Moree - Inverell Rail Trail - Trail Description

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Trail

Moree - Inverell Rail Trail

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Type: Rail trail
Location: North West NSW, approx 580km north of Sydney
Start/end: Moree to Inverell
Status: Closed
Length open: 0km
Surface: Compacted earth
Terrain: Rural
Best seasons: Not open
Public transport: Train
Contact Region: Country NSW & ACT
Inspection Train at Warialda in August 1991
Inspection Train at Warialda in August 1991
Not yet open
legend

Details

Features

This Trail is not developed - It is one of 17 Potential Rail Trails

This railway line is a branch line that went from Moree to Inverell, a distance of 154km.  If developed into a rail trail, it has the potential to be one of the longest rail trails in NSW.

The line out of Moree traverses a lot of flat broadacre farmland.  As it gets closer to Inverell, the countryside changes to undulating scenic country.  The old line was built for steam trains, and as such follows the contours of the hills, resulting in a windy circuitous course.  However it would be perfect for a rail trail, due to the reasonably flat and scenic route.

Description

The Inverell railway line is a closed railway line in New South Wales, Australia. The line branches from Moree, and travels in an easterly direction through the town of Gravesend then Warialda Rail, gradually increasing in elevation through Delungra towards the terminus at Inverell. The initial estimate of its intended length was 155.2 km. The line opened in February 1900 as far as Gravesend, then more of the line in 1901 before the Gwydir River bridge was finally finished and the line completed in 1902.

Travelling time for passengers between Sydney and Inverell by rail in 1904 was over twenty four hours.

Goods traffic carried on the line during its operation was primarily livestock and grain. Several silos, stock loading facilities and associated sidings can still be seen olong the old alignment. Passenger services were mostly provided by railmotors and ran to timetables which connected with the daily North West Mail train from Sydney to Moree. By the 1970s, the passenger services ran four times a week while goods trains operated on the line each weekday. Petroleum products were also likely carried on the line, evidenced by Shell Oil Company company sidings at Warialda station.

It was progressively closed between 1987 and 1994. Currently a 5 km section at the Moree end remains in use as a siding for the storage of railway wagons. On 8 August 2016, The NSW Government announced that a 2.8km section of the railway would be reinstated to allow grain to be sent by rail, as part of the Fixing Country Rail pilot round.

Background Information

In 1892, a parliamentary committee met at Inverell with local people providing opinions about a rail link to Glen Innes. The committee wrote reports during the 1890s, then the NSW Parliament agreed to an extension of the railway from Narrabri to Moree and the idea of a line to Inverell was raised. Although the distance to Sydney would be longer, construction cost was estimated to be less and there was the potential for heavier loading.

Construction of the 154km line from Moree began in July 1898. Approximately 300 people were employed using horses and drays and a huge plough. A gang of 40 men cleared timber, and earthworks were done by horse-drawn scoops.

With the opening of the railway, Byron Street became more popular and transport of goods to and from Inverell improved.

Passenger services between Inverell and Moree ceased in 1983. Many smaller stations had closed prior to this date due to declining passenger numbers. The final train from Inverell yard ran on 22 June 1987, and the line beyond Delungra was decommissioned on 2 December 1987. In August 1991, the line was further truncated to Biniguy, with the final section closed on 14 June 1994 and the line listed as out of use beyond a short siding from the junction with the Mungindi line, just south of Moree station. The bridge across the Gwydir River near Gravesend was heritage listed in 1999.

Following the closure of the line in 1987, the Inverell station building was relocated to Inverell Pioneer Village.

Links

September 2020

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Contact Us About This Trail

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

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