Tarcoola to Mabel Creek.

Submitted: Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 21:00
ThreadID: 138411 Views:1119 Replies:5 FollowUps:16
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Can you legally drive from Tarcoola to Mabels Creek either along the Adelaide to Darwin rail line or other means. I mentioned it to the publican at Kingoonya and he seemed surprised.
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Reply By: Mick O - Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 21:44

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 21:44
A fair question. There is always a service track beside the railway and you can in fact see it on the maps but just who's property that is in SA is a question worth asking. Is it part of a rail reserve?

The big question might actually revolve around the Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA) of which the railway passes through the guts of. The only normal exemption for punters like us is the Stuart Hwy. Unless you are an authorised person (Rail maintenance/inspection etc), you may breach those regulations regarding access to the restricted area.

I'm sure it will be etched somewhere in a Cth or State Act or regulations for those with more time than I to go look for.

Good question though.

Cheers,

Mick

''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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Follow Up By: MUZBRY- Life member(Vic) - Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 21:54

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 21:54
Gday
George M and i looked into this road not long back, if you can get permission from the property owners, woomera rocket range orthorities will let you drive through.BUT only if the military are not using the area , which is booked twelve months ahead , but they wont tell you when they are to be there We decided that it was easier to go around .
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Reply By: Idler Chris - Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 21:57

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 21:57
This is the cheapest way to see what it looks like.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiG3ipuB0Sw

Chris
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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 10:45

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 10:45
.
Ivan,

As Mick has said, there is the service track alongside the railway line but it is not available for public use. The official statement is.... "The service roads are not open for public access – they are privately owned by the rail network operators for the purpose of maintaining the track."
I have no idea of what action may be taken if you were found on those tracks.

The country from Tarcoola to Mabel Creek has the usual minor station tracks and several old tracks from the early days of the WRE operations. You could easily get lost on them.

Furthermore, that area is wholly covered by the Woomera Protected Area and entry requires a Tourist Access Permit from the Coordination Office. These permits are not so easily obtained these days other than to travel on the Anne Beadell Hwy, and then only outside of the declared "exclusion periods" when military operations are, or may be, taking place. These times are published here.

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Allan

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Reply By: Dion - Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 22:11

Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 22:11
Yes, I do legally drive, quite regularly, along the Adelaide to Darwin rail line between Tarcoola and Mabel Creek. Although I've never stopped to mention it to the Kingoonya publican.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Friday, May 31, 2019 at 07:45

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 07:45
.
With a permit from Woomera Dion?
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Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Friday, May 31, 2019 at 11:21

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 11:21
Dion,

You may regularly drive this road with permits from the Defence Dept. & the Land Councils, but that does not mean what you are doing is legal. The line and its corridor from Tarcoola to Alice Springs is owned by the Australian Rail Track Corporation and leased on a long term basis to Genesee & Wyoming Australia. The line and its corridor from Alice Springs to Darwin is owned by Genesee & Wyoming Australia, and will transfer to the state and federal governments in 2054. Unless you have written permission from the owners or leasee, you are trespassing. That is not to say people don't drive these tracks, I have myself, but what you are doing is illegal.

Macca.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Friday, May 31, 2019 at 14:06

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 14:06
Any time I criticised an associate for operating on the road illegally (running overweight, running without permits, etc), he always came back with - "I've been illegal all my life!! - I ain't about to start getting legal, now!!" LOL

Bottom line is, you have to consider the potential "worst case scenario" if something unexpected happens - such as an accident.
If you're travelling on a road that is not classed as a "public road", will your insurance cover you in case of an accident?

If you contribute to a rail accident by colliding with a rail support vehicle, that appears out of nowhere - be prepared to be sued for the full cost to the rail operator, of the accident, and any other financial losses incurred by the rail operator.
These global corporations are run by rottweiler lawyers, and they take no prisoners.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Dion - Friday, May 31, 2019 at 15:23

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 15:23
Were I writing in another language?
I'll say it again.
I drive along their legally, quite regularly.
So long as I have my written authority issued by Genesee and Wyoming from Dry Creek SA, I'm very legal.
When we see motorists that aren't Genesee and Wyoming employees or their subcontractors, or pastoralists that are authorised to use the road, we are obligated to call Genesee and Wyoming at Dry Creek and report them. There are numerous signs there warning other that authorised vehicles, it is a private road and any other vehicles are not permitted.
I would hate for there to be a collision between me and any motorist, wether they are authorised or not, the law of probability says 130T trailing 4000T at 110km/h I will come out better in such collision.
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Follow Up By: Dion - Friday, May 31, 2019 at 15:28

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 15:28
Macca, ARTC finishes at 510.850km, from 510.850km to 2750km is ALL Genesee and Wyoming.
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Friday, May 31, 2019 at 16:58

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 16:58
Dion,

You may have been writing in English, but the without the later qualification regarding the written permission from Genesee & Wyoming, you give the impression that anyone can legally drive this track, which is incorrect. People reading your original comment could quite easily think that they can legally drive these Railway Maintenance track.

From what I was told recently by a Genesee & Wyoming employee, ARTC stills owns the track all the way to between Adelaide & Alice Springs, however, it is leased to Genesee & Wyoming, Genesee & Wyoming owns the track from Alice Springs to Darwin.

Macca.
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Follow Up By: Dion - Friday, May 31, 2019 at 18:22

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 18:22
Genesee and Wyoming are what is defined as a Vertically Intergrated operator of the Tarcoola to Darwin railway line, ergo, ownership.
GWA are an above rail operator Adelaide to Tarcoola, and then VI from Tarcoola to Darwin. I obey signals and Train Authorities Adelaide to Northgate (510.850km) from ARTC and then Train Authorities exclusively from GWA from Northgate to Darwin. From Tarcoola, yes ARTC do control 4.600km northwards to Northgate.
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Follow Up By: Dion - Friday, May 31, 2019 at 18:26

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 18:26
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Saturday, Jun 01, 2019 at 10:37

Saturday, Jun 01, 2019 at 10:37
Dion,

All well and good, and you are doing the right thing, but my point was that your original post on this matter failed to include the fact that you had a permit from Genesee & Wyoming. This then leaves the reader with the impression that anyone can legally drive on railway maintenance tracks at any time, which is just not true.

Macca.
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Follow Up By: Zippo - Saturday, Jun 01, 2019 at 11:21

Saturday, Jun 01, 2019 at 11:21
Dion, it seems that most here have not picked up on the fact that you drive "130T trailing 4000T at 110km/h" and that you "do legally drive, quite regularly, along the Adelaide to Darwin rail LINE" (emphasis mine).

I was going to ask you what tyres you drive on there, to help the penny drop.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Jun 01, 2019 at 11:26

Saturday, Jun 01, 2019 at 11:26
.
Which is why, Zippo, that I asked Dion if he had a "Woomera Permit".
You will notice that he chose to not answer that. LOL
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Allan

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Follow Up By: Dion - Saturday, Jun 01, 2019 at 18:59

Saturday, Jun 01, 2019 at 18:59
Zippo, on steel wheels.
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Follow Up By: Dion - Saturday, Jun 01, 2019 at 19:02

Saturday, Jun 01, 2019 at 19:02
Allan, if DoD are doing performing an activity that has the potential to make rail travel unsafe, then DoD talks with GWA Train Controller, not with the drivers. When, as drivers, we have a valid authority to proceed, then toot toot, we proceed.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Jun 01, 2019 at 22:38

Saturday, Jun 01, 2019 at 22:38
.
Yes, of course Dion.
Mine was a rhetorical question.
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Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Sunday, Jun 02, 2019 at 15:18

Sunday, Jun 02, 2019 at 15:18
Well Dion, you got me in. I just came back from travelling the whole line from Darwin to Adelaide quite legally, although I wasn’t driving.

Macca.
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Reply By: IvanTheTerrible - Friday, May 31, 2019 at 19:02

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 19:02
Sent an email to Genesee and Wyoming. Will let everyone know how I go.
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