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Jarrahdale 1872 Timber Tramway

Western Australia

Location: 50km south east of Perth
Length: 10 km
Surface: Compacted earth
Start / End: Nettleton Road to South West Highway
Public Transport: None
Suitable for:
  • Cycling – Mountain BikesCycling – Mountain Bikes
  • WalkingWalking

  • Rail Trail
  • On Road
  • Potential RT
  • Other Trail
  • Former Railway
View Map
  • 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

Nearby Attractions

  • Spectacular wildflowers in spring
  • Features old railway sleepers, historic trail markers, vistas and picnic spots
  • Views through the valley as it follows the creek

Last updated: 9 December 2022

The trail follows the route of a timber tramway built in 1872. It starts at an information bay 1 km west of Jarrahdale at the corner of Nettleton Road and Jarrahdale Road.

It includes a loop (not on the railway formation) and several quite steep sections.

There are box drains beneath the rail track made entirely of jarrah sleepers that have survived since the railway was built.

The total distance including the loop walk is 10 km return.

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Background Information

Traditional owners

We acknowledge the Whadjuk people, the traditional custodians of the land and waterways on which the rail trail is built.

Rail line history 

In 1871 a Crown Lease was granted 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 38.5 km wooden tramway was built. The steep line down the Darling Scarp used horse-drawn wagons. There were many accidents as the   wooden wagons were only equipped with hand-operated brakes. A locomotive, the ‘Governor Weld,’ replaced the wagons but difficulties persisted until 1878, when the wooden rails were replaced by solid iron rails.

These remained in use until the line became redundant in 1962, when line was altered and upgraded for diesel-electric locomotives to haul steel trucks loaded with bauxite from the Alcoa Jarrahdale mines to Kwinana for refining and export. The line was mothballed in 1996 when bauxite mining moved south. More historical information is available from the Old Post Office Museum.

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