Wandoan railway line
Wandoan Branch Railway. The Western Line from Brisbane, Australia reached Miles in August 1878. Taroom, about 120 kilometres to the north of Miles, later became an established pastoral region and a line in that direction was needed to promote closer settlement. Approval was given in 1910 for construction of the first section to Wandoan (then called Juandah) and the line opened from Miles as far as Giligulgul on 20 December 1913. Sidings appeared en route at Dalwogan, Kowguran and Gurulmundi.
On 11 August 1913, during construction of the Miles-Taroom section, a ballast train collided with several cattle 13.5 miles (21.7 km) from Miles. Two men including the train's timekeeper were killed, another man was injured. Hopper cars being pushed in front of the locomotive were emitting dust at the time. A fourth crew member was not significantly injured.
Kowguran siding achieved prominence during World War II when the RAAF operated a munitions store next to the railway line. Kowguran Sub-depot to No. 3 Central Reserve Explosive Store included 20 concrete underground bunkers in which up to 2500 tons of bombs and ammunition were stored. Supplies, munitions and personnel were connected by rail to Brisbane via Miles and Toowoomba.
Juandah Station was established in 1853 following favourable reports from Ludwig Leichhardt after his trek through the region in 1844. The small town of Juandah gradually appeared. A second stage opened via Guluguba, Burunga and Wubagul to Juandah on 16 December 1914. A further extension to Taroom was approved at the same time but was never constructed. Juandah was renamed Wandoan in 1927 to avoid confusion with the town of Jundah south west of Longreach.
Trains worked from Chinchilla about 40 kilometres to the east of Miles. A twice-weekly mixed service plied the route which connected at Miles with trains west to Roma and east to Brisbane. The 65 kilometres or so between Miles and Wandoan was covered in three hours. In 1954, a twice-weekly rail motor service was introduced to connect with the Sydney Mail at Toowoomba. Like so many services in country Queensland, the line faced increasing competition from road transport. Traffic gradually dwindled to seasonal grain transport. The line is still open but its future is unclear.
- "Serious railway accident, Two men killed.". Brisbane Courier. 12 August 1913. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
"Triumph of Narrow Gauge: A History of Queensland Railways" by John Kerr 1990 Boolarong Press, Brisbane
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