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14 December 1880 Opening of Hallett to Terowie railway line

14 December 1880     Opening of Hallett to Terowie railway line

On 14 December 1880 a special train carrying the Governor, Sir William Jervois, left Adelaide for the northern town of Terowie. The occasion was the opening of the rail line from Hallett to Terowie, the town chosen as the important break of gauge station between the broad gauge to Adelaide and the narrow gauge extension to Pichi Richi through Peterborough (then called Petersburg). Terowie was chosen because it was near the pastoral lands and the line passed through agricultural lands to the south. The South Australian Railways were building more lines in the north in this period: 1879 had seen the Port Augusta – Quorn track opened, 1880 Quorn – Hawker, 1881 Hawker – Beltana, 1882 Beltana – Farina and 1882 the line running between Terowie and Port Augusta via Orroroo and Quorn was established. With the building of the rail link to Broken Hill in 1887 ore was transshipped through Terowie en route to Adelaide. When coal was discovered in Leigh Creek, Terowie saw a new lease of life moving the coal to Port Augusta. From the 1950s on, with the closing of many lines and the extension of the broad gauge system Terowie has been on the decline.

Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, Feb 1971, pp.25-35.

Tags: Hallett, Railways, Terowie