Info on tracks Chambers Pillar to train line and south to Finke River and east t

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 17:12
ThreadID: 91299 Views:1930 Replies:4 FollowUps:8
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We are after some information on the following drive from Chambers Pillar north to a track leading west along the line of the Charlotte Range to the Adelaide to Darwin train line. From there we wish to head south along the side of the line, across the Finke River near the Bank Water Hole and further south to a “T” intersection at about 133 31 14 E and 25 19 02 S (that's degrees, minute, seconds).

From there we will turn east and head to Finke and then on to the Simpson. I found the tracks on a Tropo250 map I think I got it from Festy. This particular map covers the whole of Australia.

Note that I am not talking about the old Ghan Line rather the new one. We traveled to Darwin on the Ghan once and there was a convoy of 4WDs traveling along the track next to the train. We were going slow at the Finke River crossing and I though it would be neat to do the same. Hoping to see the train also. It’s a model train enthusiasts thing.

I have searched but all the info I got was either east of Chambers Pillar or in the actual Finke River itself. Not the tracks we are hoping to take.

It will be in mid May in a 4.2 TD 100 series well equipped and not towing anything.

Has anyone any information on the route we are planning to follow? Anything at all and would that route or part of it be closed around one to two weeks before the Finke River races time? Just my luck to be chockers when we go there as we try to avoid the outback “rush hours” at Birdsville and Finke. We do not have much choice for when we go.

Thanks all in anticipation.

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Reply By: Member - Richard H - West NSW - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 17:16

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 17:16
On my last journey to the N.T. there were signs erected at railway crossing saying that travel on the access road was prohibited.

I'd find out before I make any plans if you can use it.
AnswerID: 475323

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 17:46

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 17:46
Thanks Richard.

We will check that particular stretch. But it did not look like an acces road. It was definitely a track. The poor old fettlers wouldn't drive on anything that rough. Fingers crossed though.


FollowupID: 750281

Reply By: P and JM - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 17:45

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 17:45
Hi Phil and a fellow VK operator,

I would be inclined to contact the Railways in Alice Springs prior your trip as it is a big NO NO to use their roads. One reason is if you get into trouble they are not impressed if they have to go and help you and you could be trespassing as they are private roads.

Good luck form an ex train driver and another VK.
AnswerID: 475332

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 17:58

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 17:58
Tried that but got an answering machine. Will not give up though.

Did you read the thread about a woman nearly getting hit. Idiots. Thread number 91300, by Richard H.


FollowupID: 750284

Reply By: Brian Purdue - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 17:58

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 17:58
I too am a Giles fan. "Geographic Travels In Central Australia from 1872 to 1874". The book is very interesting. I would have liked to do it myself. Now too old and feeble.
AnswerID: 475335

Reply By: Member - Ross G (NT) - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 19:38

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 19:38
Richard H is correct. Ever since the railway was finished to Darwin, Great Southern have posted the access tracks as "private no entry". It has closed off a few areas that we used to go to around Alice.
Would be very surprised if you could find anyone in GSR to give you permission. That's too bad as it looks like it would be a great trip.
There is also the fact that apart from the road through Maryvale Station to Chambers pillar being the only public road usable you would be crossing Idracowra Staion if you went to the west from north of Chambers Pillar.
They would take a dim view if you tried that without permission. I believe the gate is locked where you would cross their fence and is quite a way from the homestead.
AnswerID: 475350

Follow Up By: Member - Ross G (NT) - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 19:41

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 19:41
The Finke Desert race is on the Queens Birthday weekend in June and the old South road is only closed for the actual weekend of the race. So your timing would be OK.
FollowupID: 750289

Follow Up By: Member - Ross G (NT) - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 20:20

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 20:20
vk1dx have a look on Google Earth for your proposed route as it is hard to pick out the tracks from the T-Junction to Finke without going down to the Finke-Kulgera track. The imagery is from 2007 but the well used tracks are quite clear. Could give you an idea of the country you will be travelling in. There is also the point that sections of the land around Finke Community may be closed to travel by non-indigenous unless permits are acquired. Have a look at there might be some info there about that area.
FollowupID: 750293

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 21:47

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012 at 21:47
Thanks Ross

I would also doubt that GSR would give permission. It's not their railroad. Its a government owned track and they are a private company. They wouldn't have the money to build it or buy it.

I will contact the Idracowra Staion and see what they say. Can't hurt asking can one.

Re the tracks into Finke, I think I will first contact the Finke police abd see what they say. Even if it's open land it would be nice to know if it was safe from being hassled. We have struck that before on the Maytown road on Cape York. The local station bloke reckoned he owned the road and he didn't. Ah well. The police will also know if I need a permit and maybe even who to contact.

We wil be out of the by late May. A mate is riding in the race and he will be up there in late May practicising as no doubt others will also. But just asking.

Much appreciated.


FollowupID: 750298

Follow Up By: Hairy (WA) - Thursday, Jan 19, 2012 at 11:31

Thursday, Jan 19, 2012 at 11:31
I can second everything Ross said.
You arent allowed on the railway access road and Idracowra did stop all access including previous permission some time ago. Thats not to say they wont give you permission if you explain what you are doing.

Good luck
FollowupID: 750334

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Thursday, Jan 19, 2012 at 13:31

Thursday, Jan 19, 2012 at 13:31

I read that somewhere also. I think it was on a forum where they were listed as a wwoof (????) station stay place. But that was with the previous owners.

It won't hurt asking. Sent an email this morning and am hoping for a good response. But the email address may even be out of date. That's one thing with the internet. Most information is not dated so who kows what current.


I got info back from the Couincil email that I will be clear of any of their lands. Problem number one gone away. Now waiting for a response from the Idracowra.

FollowupID: 750350

Follow Up By: Member - Tony (ACT) - Saturday, Jan 21, 2012 at 13:36

Saturday, Jan 21, 2012 at 13:36
Travelled that track a couple of times in the late 80's. came out onto the Idracowra road in from the Hwy. You actually pass the old Idracowra Sidding not all that far south of the Finike River crossing. No signs then.
FollowupID: 750535

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