- Nanango railway line
Nanango Branch Railway, Queensland, Australia. On 31 October 1882, parliament approved the construction of a branch line from Theebine (then called Kilkivan Junction) west to Kilkivan after gold and copper were discovered in this region of Queensland, Australia. The section was opened in two stages – to Dickabram on 1 January 1886 after two crossings of the Mary River and to Kilkivan on 6 December 1886.
Parliament approved an extension of the line south west to what became Kingaroy on 12 December 1900. The decision served to revitalise the hitherto unprofitable line but such an indirect link with Brisbane faced stiff competition once roads were constructed direct from the area south east to the state’s capital. Initially, as in many other places, railway construction forged the development of settlements along its path – in this instance Goomeri, Murgon, Wondai and Kingaroy townships were thus established.
The second stage to Kilkivan took the line through stops at Miva, Sexton, Boowoogum, Woolooga, Nondiga, Oakview, Bular and Mouingba. A mixed train ran each day from Maryborough to Kilkivan departing the former town at 6.00am reaching Kilkivan at 1.45pm before returning to Maryborough at 4.45pm.
The third stage from Kilkivan to Goomeri opened on 1 August 1902 and stops were built en route at Wygarr, Cinnabar, Coleman and Kinbombi.
Opened on 14 September 1903, the fourth stage took the line further south to Wondai before passing through Manyung, Moondooner and Murgon.
The fifth stage, opened on 19 December 1904, terminated at Kingaroy which was soon to become the most important town in the South Burnett region. En route from Wondai, the line passed sidings at Tingoora, Wooroolin, Memerambi and Crawford. The train service from Brisbane to Kingaroy was tiresome to say the least. Leaving Brisbane at 8.00am on the Bundaberg Mail and travelling north to meet the train travelling west meant arrival in Kingaroy at 9.45pm. A rail motor service ran three times a week between Maryborough and Kingaroy from 1929 to 1967.
The sixth and final stage opened as far as Nanango on 13 November 1911 passing through Edenvale, Hornley, Coolabunia, Hodgleigh and Darlil. By 1914, timber and agricultural traffic necessitated a twice daily service to Nanango and a trip to Brisbane ran overnight. Railheads at Nanango, Yarraman (Brisbane Valley branch terminus) and Cooyar (Oakey branch terminus) were no more than 20km apart yet proposed links did not eventuate.
The Kingaroy to Nanango section of the line was closed on 1 July 1964 and hastily dismantled. The remainder of the line is open but of limited use. The Peanut Company of Australia uses the line to transport peanuts to and from its Kingaroy factory.
- "Triumph of Narrow Gauge: A History of Queensland Railways" by John Kerr 1990 Boolarong Press, Brisbane
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