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Jarrahdale 1872 Timber Tramway - Trail Description



Jarrahdale 1872 Timber Tramway

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Type: Tramway trail
Location: 50km south east of Perth
Start/end: Nettleton Road to South West Highway corner
Status: Open
Length open: 8km
Surface: Compacted earth
Terrain: Flat and undulating
Contact Region: Western Australia
Near Nettleton Road
Near Nettleton Road
Suitable for walking



The trail follows the original 1872 timber tramway, passing the disused old bauxite railway, through mixed jarrah/marri forest to the edge of the scarp into wandoo country.


  • The trail starts at an information bay 1km west of Jarrahdale at the corner of Nettleton Road and Jarrahdale Road.
  • The trail features spectacular wildflowers in spring.
  • It includes a loop (not on the railway formation), and includes a couple of quite steep sections.
  • The trail includes a number of box drains under the rail track made entirely of jarrah sleepers that have survived since the railway was built in 1972.
  • The total distance including loop walk is 8km return.

Background Information

The trail follows the route of a timber tramway built in 1872.

In 1871 a Crown Lease was given to a consortium from Victoria to cut jarrah on condition that a timber mill was built at Jarrahdale with a railway to Mangles Bay and a Jetty at Rockingham. A wooden tramway was built, horse drawn wagons were used, covering a distance of 24 miles (38.5kms). The steep line down the Darling scarp resulted in many accidents, even death, as the early wooden wagons were only equipped with hand operated brakes. Soon a true locomotive, the Governor Weld, was in use but there were still difficulties until 1878 when the wooden rails were replaced by solid iron rails. These remained in use until the line became redundant 1962.

In 1962 the line was altered and upgraded to allow for the diesel-electric locomotives to haul steel trucks loaded with bauxite from the Alcoa Jarrahdale mines to Kwinana for refining and export. This line was mothballed in 1996 when bauxite mining moved south. Further historic information available from the Old Post Office Museum.


1. Jarrahdale Information
2. Jarrahdale History
3. Trail Map

November 2020

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