Trans Continental Railway Service Access Track (SA)

Submitted: Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 03:52
ThreadID: 110561 Views:8732 Replies:6 FollowUps:5
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I have been doing some research on track access across the Trans Continental line, where a section of the road is restricted. Member Boobook2 has stated in one comment, that there is a parallel road owned by Telstra that CAN be used, and in a later comment ....

12 Sep 2014 Boobook2
This information is not correct The road is open with no restrictions. It is NOT owned by ARTC. It is an exploreoz forum myth that this raod has no access. Great drive.

A google search has produced a permit requirement PDF, which indicates that this actually is not a myth generated by the Exploroz Forum, but an official closure. The PDF can be found on a number of 4WD Club Websites. It states in regard to the Transcontinental Service Track ……….

Transcontinental Railway:
The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has confirmed that the only publicly accessible parts of the access road which runs parallel to the transcontinental rail line are those parts between Kalgoorlie and Haig in Western Australia and between Kingoonya and a point a short distance west of where the recently realigned northern end of Googs Track now exits to the transcontinental rail access road in South Australia. Both of those sections remain gazetted as public roads.
It is thus illegal to travel east of Haig or essentially west of the Googs Track northern exit point utilising the rail access road. It is private property and absolutely no permits are being issued. This situation arose consequent to the corporatisation of Australian National Railways some years ago. Regrettably, there had been far too many instances of travellers breaking down, or needing help, and they were, incredibly, flagging down the trains! Management have simply barred access and will have transgressors dealt with as trespassers. The fine can be quite hefty. You have been warned!
Additionally, ARTC advise that the only places where it is legal to actually cross the rail line are at properly constructed and marked rail crossings.

"Researched and compiled by John Greig – Toyota Land Cruiser Club of Australia – Sydney"

So, my question is, WHAT is the actual situation. Is the Telstra road within the ARTC private land enclosure, and what is the legality of using this alternative road?


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Reply By: The Landy - Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 08:01

Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 08:01
I am familiar with the road and travelled it earlier this year. My travel was based on information received and on balance I weighed it all up and elected to travel along it.

With the benefit of hindsight I have formed a view the information I based my decision to travel the road was imperfect and that it is exactly as the ARTC have stated and legal access is available only between the points it has articulated.

The issue of two roads is tenuous, at best, as there are many points where there is only one.

You may find that you are able to travel along it without being challenged, and I don’t recall seeing any sign stating the restrictions when I travelled along it. However, most maps and the ARTC website are clear in the assertion it is restricted and I suspect the ARTC would not assert its right unless it actually had the right to do so.

When weighing up your decision don’t overlook the fact that you may void your right to make an insurance claim, should you have a mishap along this road given the warnings on the ARTC website and popular maps.

So if I was to dispense any advice having had first-hand experience, I would heed the restrictions and avoid travelling the restricted areas of this road.

You didn’t mention what parts you were looking to travel, however if you are looking to travel to Maralinga there are alternatives that avoid the ARTC road.

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
AnswerID: 543505

Reply By: Boobook2 - Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 08:44

Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 08:44
The road that you travel on is not one of the two ARTC maintenance tracks. They are right next to the railway line. I am very sure ARTC don't want you to travel on those, and they are in a poor state of repair.

However you need to make your own call. My research and conversations with ARTC at their head office in Adelaide confirmed that the tracks referred to, are not the road that I traveled on.

AnswerID: 543507

Reply By: Member - Bruce and Di T (SA) - Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 10:42

Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 10:42
We travelled this this year from Glendambo to Watson on our way to Maralinga and the Anne Beadell. There is no longer a sign after exiting Googs Track saying that you can't travel the road; there used to be. We met several ARTC maintenance workers, had chats with them and continued travelling. We were never challenged, in fact we were given heads up about things to look out for.

To Ooldea it is an excellent track, well made and easy to travel. From there to Watson was still easy to travel but not maintained.

AnswerID: 543513

Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 13:23

Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 13:23
Hi Di

Seemingly we did a similar trip to Maralinga, and then onto the Anne Beadell Highway, and loved every minute of it!

Can I say that my response is not so much directed to you, but more thinking out aloud, as this is an important question that deserves consideration…

I commend those who have opened up Maralinga as a four-wheel drive destination, it is a great place to visit for those with an interest in this part of Australia’s Atomic Age. Mind you, it won’t be for everyone, but given the proximity and access to the Anne Beadell Highway, it will have an appeal to many in the four-wheel drive touring fraternity.

Increasingly, the question about how to travel there will become more common place as people become familiar with the opportunity to visit Maralinga, and the ARTC route will feature heavily in the discussions. Ultimately, there may end up being a more formal response from the ARTC if there are an increasing number of incursions on the restricted access parts of the ARTC road west of where the Googs Track intersects.

And whilst we were not challenged by anyone whilst driving on the road, I think one needs to be careful viewing that as tacit approval and may be a case of it isn’t a problem, until it is a problem, and then all hell-breaks loose.

Travellers need to understand that by using the restricted access parts of the ARTC road without approval they are exposing themselves to potential legal action for the incursion, and secondly, could be exposed to liability claims that may not be met by their motor vehicle insurer whilst travelling this route if there is an incident.

Ultimately it is for individuals to determine their own viewpoint and position. As I indicated, we travelled it based on advice given, but in hindsight whilst I believe it was well intentioned, it was also imperfect.

If we travel to Maralinga in the future we will do so only on the public access routes.

For clarity, my understanding based on information available is the road from Glendambo to Tarcoola is a public road, and the same for the road west from Tarcoola to Malbooma, noting Malbooma is about the point where the Googs track intersects.

The only other section of the ARTC road that can be travelled on within the restricted access area is where it is designated a public access road 5-kilometres either side of Ooldea. Presumably this is to facilitate access to the local aboriginal community and Maralinga.

And whilst us ExplorOz forumites can debate the existence of two roads, and split hairs around that one, it may be a different scenario and outcome for us in a court with a smart ARTC barrister debating the toss…

Good luck out there, Baz - The Landy
FollowupID: 830466

Follow Up By: Boobook2 - Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 20:21

Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 20:21
Fair enough Baz. However I must say I didn't rely on EO because no one on this forum has any idea. Everyone is guessing and going by old reports. I went to the source to get my answer - ARTC, who told me about the dual roads and the fact that the main, well made road isn't theirs. It's Telstra's from when they put the fiber optic line in. I am guessing that all the info about not being able to travel on that section predates Telstra's optical installation.

That's why the sign prohibiting travel isn't there. I wouldn't mind betting that if you actually did follow the old ARTC service tracks you would find that old sign. So in reality if permission is needed then it should be from Telstra.
FollowupID: 830495

Reply By: Member - Laurie K (WA) - Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 11:12

Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 11:12
Thanks guys.
I have a problem in hitting the THANKS button. A sign pops up which says
"You must be registered and logged in to use this feature.
Click Register to start the Free Registration Process or
Click Login if you are already registered."
You hit register or login, and it takes you back to the top of the page and nowhere that I can see to register. HELP!!! ………. please …..
AnswerID: 543514

Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 12:10

Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 12:10
hi Laurie
your a member so if your not logged-on thanks button wont function
go to top of page and click on --home -- you can then log-in and then the thanks button should work
but in saying that I just tried to log-off and it's not working ???
I even went off the internet and came back on and it still hadn't logged me off ???
and also I asked the question where do new users register and couldn't find an answer??
this site is a continuing learning curve
such is life on the net
cheers barry
FollowupID: 830464

Follow Up By: Member - Laurie K (WA) - Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 21:43

Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 21:43
Thanks Barry
I thought that was the case, and was puzzled that being logged on, that I was being denied access. Like you, I have tried to log off, and it wont let me ….. we have been imprisoned in the EO Forum.

David and Michelle ………. HELP

FollowupID: 830499

Reply By: Ron N - Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 12:57

Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 12:57
"Additionally, ARTC advise that the only places where it is legal to actually cross the rail line are at properly constructed and marked rail crossings."

This is a warning that needs to be continually hammered, and particularly into gung-ho young blokes who think utes and 4WD's can go anywhere and do anything.

Rail lines, particularly the heavier standard gauge rails, are particularly difficult to climb over with a vehicle, if there's no specifically-designed crossing.
It is very easy to get stuck and be unable to get off the line.

Once you're stuck on a rail line, you will quite often find that you've got stuck only 15 or 20 mins before a train arrives!
If your vehicle is hit by any train, where you have tried to cross a rail line - no matter whether it is a marked or unmarked crossing point - you will be held fully 100% liable for any damages, injuries or deaths.

There's still way too many vehicles getting cleaned up by trains, and in every case, it can be sheeted home to the vehicle drivers negligence.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 543518

Follow Up By: get outmore - Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 13:50

Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014 at 13:50
your coment brings back memories out the back of kalgoorlie we were doing a drilling program behind the KCGM waste dumps
for this we had a temporary crossing and i was staying camped in the bush there in my 2wd camper.

at one stage i saw a machine i didnt know going up an down - little known to me it sorting the ballast out between the rails

i went to go over like the other dozen times and BANG the lack of ballast in the centre meant i was bottomed out !!!

my mind instantly flicked to the many films and TV series id seen with vehicles stuck on railway tracks----- i put it into reverse, said a prayer ----- and got off

--- and found a better crossing
FollowupID: 830468

Reply By: Member - Laurie K (WA) - Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 12:53

Thursday, Jan 01, 2015 at 12:53
Thank you everyone. I still can't get the Thanks button to work, so please accept my thanks for all of your input

Happy New Year people

AnswerID: 543571

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