Track following Trans Australia Rauilway.

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 08:08
ThreadID: 65766 Views:4840 Replies:7 FollowUps:6
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This is an inquiry for a mate who does not own a P.C.

His inquiry is this; Are you permitted to use the access road that follows the Trans Australian Railway from Tarcoola to Rawlinna.

Information about this is sketchy, some say you can, some say you can't. Inquiry with the police at Kalgoorlie resulted in an "I don't know".

We did this trip about 8 years ago, it was horrendous in places and good in others, we saw plenty of trains, and had fabulous weather. Haven't been back since & I've no desire to go back either, it cost me a substantial amount to have some repairs effected in Kalgoorlie.

It is believed that Transfield have the contract to maintain this railway, and because they use vehicles that have the ability to travel on the rails the access road that follows the railway line has been allowed to deteriorate.

The recent derailment east of Kalgoorlie could not be accessed because of bad weather & poor road conditions.

Anyway, folks, any information or even rumours will be appreciated.

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Reply By: x - Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 08:46

Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 08:46

Travel along this track is expressly prohibited.

So I can see the train pulling up so the guard can arrest you if they see you on the track.

AnswerID: 347958

Follow Up By: ross - Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 09:10

Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 09:10
Lol ,I think they prohibit travelling on their tracks so they have no responsibilty for anyone getting hurt.
I doubt they have Transit Police hiding behind trees.
FollowupID: 616184

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 10:43

Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 10:43
Hi Ross
It is not the hurt issue, but people trying to stop the train for absolute stupid things. As you know, these trains are very long and take a long time to stop. Was told that the train was stopped once to see if they spare fuel. How prepared were the people out there and imagine what the train driver told the people?

As for the police, it is not policed by state police, but Federal Police.
On chap at our work was in the SA Police for over 40 years. He was going to go through there last year before he retired from the force. He said he was not prepared to have a conviction recorded against him, as he knows the consequences if caught. If you have been through that area, you will know that there are not many trees, but only a few entry and departure points. As big as our outback is if the law is after you, you will be found, especially out there.


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FollowupID: 616205

Reply By: Willem - Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 09:45

Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 09:45

In the past there has been an 'exclusion zone' for tourist traffic between Malbooma Siding and Rawlinna Siding along the Rail Corridor. This was when Southern Rail Corporation were directly in charge of the line

There used to be all kinds of dire notices out as to being fined (by whom I don't quite know) for being along that track. Access to Sidings from the Eyre Highway are still open.(There used to be info here on ExplorOz about the warnings but I couldn't find any this morning)

I suppose that it is a very remote area with few travellers and no assistance if anything should go pear-shaped. Recently I learned of a traveller who busted his/her caravan along that track.

A few travellers have travelled that route and I have done some parts of it but I have no real desire to drive the whole distance.

Hope better info is posted in this thread.

AnswerID: 347965

Follow Up By: Dion - Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 22:54

Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 22:54
I know you will never find a company called Southern Rail Corporation, so they could never have been directly in charge of the line. About the closest names you could possibly get are Great Southern Railway, which own the IP, Ghan and the Overdue cars, but never had their own locomotives to haul those passenger services, or control the line. From Australian National, the American company that were an operator on the TAR, along with National Rail Corporation (now Pacific National) were only ever operators. In the early days after the take over from AN, in it's first guise was Australian Southern Railroad (how American!!), but never an organisation called Souther Rail Corporation.
The line has always been owned by the Commonwealth of Australia, administered by the former Commonwealth Railways, then Australian National Railways and finally Australian National. CR/ANR/AN when they were in existance, conducted their own maintenance, and therefore had exclusive rights to operate their trains over this line.
Subsequently when AN was sold out, administration of the rail line went to Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), still owned by the C of A, (Transfields conduct the maintenance on the TAR). Never has the TAR been owned by any other than the C of A.

FollowupID: 616304

Follow Up By: Willem - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 09:16

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 09:16
Thanks for the correction, Dion. I suppose I assumed that Great Southern Rail name conjured up Southern Rail Corp. I see that a company called Serco Asia Pacific is the major share holder in Great Southern Rail.

The rail line passes about 300 metres to the north of my front door. All I know is that these days, if you want to use the train services, you have to pay extra up front for the train to stop here.
In saying that, Peterborough (a former rail centre) is a passing area for trains and one of the two rail crossing can be blocked off for up to an hour when a train is waiting for another.

FollowupID: 616325

Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 10:11

Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 10:11
Hi Richard
In a nut shell NO!
It is a very long story that involved both State and Federal Governments departments. Access from Tarcoola is only allowed to access Googs Track, further west past Malbooma. Tried to get permits a few years back, green light as far as state government goes,then hit a brick wall when contacted Federal body. From what I was told, it has always been illegal, but tolerated, but now if caught, I was told they will through the book at you.

As much as we wanted to travel this track, the risks of being caught out and heavy fines squashed the idea. The chap told me that ignorance of the law in now not tolerated.


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AnswerID: 347970

Reply By: RobAck - Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 10:32

Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 10:32
The access road is exactly that a "right of way" to allow rail gangs to access the track. It is illegal to travel it and I know as I used to own it back in the mid 90's.

If you want confirmation then contact the Australian Rail Trak Corporation in Adelaide as they now own the right of way you are discussing. I am sure they will set you right.

AnswerID: 347973

Follow Up By: Member - Fred B (NT) - Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 11:23

Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 11:23
Hi all,
the same right of way applies to all railways in Aus.... and yes, it is a FEDERAL offence to use these without written permission. There has been some discussion of this in the NT of late because people have either been using the rail line itself, or the access track to get photo's of the Ghan coming past, or just "to see how far they could go". To the best of my knowledge, two people have been charged in recent months. Don't know the outcome; but local television certainly promoted the fact that it was not only "a stupid act", but also illegal.
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FollowupID: 616209

Reply By: Richard Kovac - Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 16:43

Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 16:43
Gees Richard,

"as I am an Australian citizen, who worked, made a contribution to the community, and paid taxes for the whole of my working life, I should be able to visit or pass through my country (within reason of course)."

Just do it, don't ask a question and don't get told what you don't want to hear... LOL

I know a couple of people that have traveled the full length of the route over three trips.

they say there are no signs wanning you not to travel it, and if it is a closed road it has to be closed at lease once a year, (remember the two Jackaroo's that died in the NW some years back).

But anyway if other people say it's closed it must be ..


AnswerID: 348022

Follow Up By: Richard Kovac - Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 18:44

Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 18:44

Re read your post, you have already traveled it, tell you friend that it is probably the same as it was back in 2000 unsure.


FollowupID: 616277

Reply By: get outmore - Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 17:00

Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 17:00
the derailment East of Kal had nothing to do with normal road conditions as it is excellent and well maintained to Rawlinna

possibly it was still wet and boggy after 70mm in 2 days
AnswerID: 348026

Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 19:09

Saturday, Feb 07, 2009 at 19:09
I raised this in 2007 thread 44718. I had alerted friends planning to travel the trans about feedback on ExplorOz saying it was illegal. Then they heard of a Trakmaster club going through, so they made further enquiries. All their research said you can travel it, but $5,000 fee/fine if you have to stop a train in an emergency, or have parts sent by train - fair enough. They travelled this route with their caravan in 2007 and again last year. They never felt alone with so many trains going past.


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AnswerID: 348043

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