pictures below were taken at Marree, a town
in the Outback of South Australia, in November 2007
and show the the remains of the railway infrastructure there at that time.
Marree had become the transhipment point for all rail freight and passenger traffic
on the old Central Australia Railway, all of which had to change trains there.
between standard gauge and narrow gauge, after the standard gauge was opened to that
location from Port Augusta.
The standard gauge to Marree was an extension from Leigh Creek to where the standard gauge
was constructed to carry coal to the power station at Port Augusta.
The standard gauge replaced the narrow gauge between Port Augusta and Marree.
There were 14 NSU class diesel
electric locomotives numbered 51 to 64. They were introduced in 1954
and worked on the
3 foot 6 inch narrow gauge between Port Augusta and Alice Springs initially and
then between Marree and Alice springs after the standard gauge reached Marree.
The locomotives were manufactured by the Birmingham Carriage Wagon Co U.K..
They had two, three axle bogies with electric motors powering the 2 outside axles
on each. They had 6 cylinder in line cylinder Sulzer 6lda28 engines with horsepower of 955/850.
Fuel capacity was 3413 litres. speed 50 MPH (81 KPH) wheel diameter 0.91 metres,
weight 62 tons, length 46 feet 4 inches, gear ratio 65:14,
Tractive effort 68KN@24.5KPH. starting=100KN.
1. NSU56 is parked beyond the Oodnadatta end
of the old dual gauge passenger platform at Marree.
This locomotive, with NSU55 (which is now at Steamtown at Peterborough),
was used by the contractors who pulled up the line between Oodnadatta and Marree.
(video at bottom of this page)
2. The above locomotive, NSU56 together with NSU55 was used by the
contractors to dismantle the old Central Australia Railway section
between Oodnadatta and Marree in the early 1980s.
(NSU55 has been restored and is at Steamtown at Peterborough).
3. A Marree local sits on an old standard gauge
gangers trolly which someone has tried to match to
3ft 6in gauge, near where NSU57 and NSU60 are
in retirement beside the dual gauge platform,
into and out of which they once operated
4. NSU60 now is a static exibit behind NSU57 beside the dual gauge platform at
Marree - November 2007
5. NSU57 is a static exibit standing in front of NSU60, beside the old dual gauge
platform at Marree South Australia - November 2008.
6. View from the narrow gauge side of Marree dual gauge platform.
NSU60 is closest with NSU57 in front of it while NSU56
facing the opposite way is in the distance parked on part
of the former 3ft 6in main line.
7. This is obviously the frame of an old steam loco which was used in the main
rail yards as a bridging vehicle over which transfer of narrow gauge locos and other vehicles
took place onto
standard gauge flat wagons, for transfer, probably mainly between Port Augusta railway
workshops and Marree. It, together with a small narrow gauge flat wagon on the other
side of the platform, form part of a walkway to allow pedestrians to cross
over the platform. Both vehicles are visible from different directions
in pictures 8 and 9 below.
8. A view of NSU60 at Marree. The two vehicles mentioned in the previous
are in the distance.
The station building is visible behind the loco and further on is the crews barracks
and a nearby siding off which other sidings deviate,
obviously a N.G. loco stabling area.
9. The Marree station building is on the right and in the distance can be seen
NSU60 (closest) and NSU57, both parked on the loop
while NSU56 is in the far distance on part of the old main line and facing south,
while the two vehicles mentioned in
illustration 5 above can also be seen.
10. Although the former large and interesting dual gauge railway
yard complex at the back of the town has been dismantled,
there is still some trackwork remaining in the town
area. and to about two kms south, as well as points and
sidings beside where this picture was taken, and illustrated
in the picture below.
11. Taken from Marree Platform near the southern end showing the sidings from
the platform loop leading to the loco stabling and servicing area with part of the
former crews barracks on the left. In the distance, can be seen a mound of earth which
was once the lead up to the coal stage for fueling the steam
locomotives of pre-diesel times.
12. A view of the Marree dual gauge passenger platform, showing the
standard gauge side.
Marree Railway Station Building
12C.Marree Hotel as seen from the railway platform with a display of
an old army truck and other equipment, parked on one of the goods transfer
platforms in the foreground
13. A view from the southern end of Marree platform. The rails on the right, which also
are through the platform, are all that remain of the standard gauge line. The rails on the
left are the narrow gauge of which a greater proportion survives. On the left is the coal
stage mound visible also in the previous picture. The fettlers accomodation building which
is one of the oldest buildings in Marree, and shown in picture 18 below, is behind
the tree on the right.
14. Part of what would have been the old narrow gauge main line to the south
before the standard gauge arrived in 1957. Part of the track is missing ahead but apart
from that, it continues to about a mile or a couple of KMs or so. The end of this
line is shown in picture 19 below.
15. A view of the same length of track as in the picture above, only
this one is a view from the coal stage mound.
16. A view from the mound which led onto the former coal stage
seen in pictures 9 and 10 above.
Marree south of station platform . The hotel, opposite the platform, is in the distance
while the start of the narrow gauge platform loop shown also in picture 8
is on the left of the picture. The end of the remaining standard gauge track is in the
center of the picture, just beyond the narrow gauge track.
17. A magnified view of the picture above, showing some narrow gauge trackwork
and the end of the standard gauge trackwork (farest from camera), which is still down through
the platform, and the Marree hotel in the background.
18. Another view from the coal stage mound. This is of one of the oldest buildings in Marree,
and mentioned in illustration 13
the fettlers accomodation. The trackbed of the standard gauge track which passed close to
this building is plainly visible, while the old narrow gauge mainlne to
the south is in the foreground.
19. This picture, mentioned in illustration 14, shows the
end of the narrow gauge line about one mile or two kilometers
or so south of Marree. Buildings in Marree can be seen in the background. The
end of the track is buried under a mound of sand upon which a runaway rake of cattle wagons,
said to have been pushed by a strong wind,
piled up on after the railway closed.
20. The old dual gauge cattle transfer facilities which were in the former Marree
rail yards at the back of the town, Marree is to the right of the picture
in the far nackground near where a tall tree can be seen. The power lines on the left
come from the power station which was once in the railyards, and supplies
electric power to Marree
21. The dual gauge goods transfer platform in the once extensive rail yards at Marree.
On this platform were storage buildings and each side was served by rail lines. The power
station is in the background in the center, while the cattle transfer facilities in picture
21, are on the right of this picture out of view.
21B. A picture taken in 1982 gives a glimpse of the extensive dual gauge
goods transfer yards at Marree. In the distance can be seen gantry cranes.
The one on the right was being used to transfer recovered rails from the section
to Oodnadatta, from the narrow gauge trains that hauled them in, to standard gauge trains
for the remainder of their journey east. The rail yard on the left was for cattle
and oil transfer. Both yards were connected by a balloon loop around which trains of
both gauges could be reversed. This meant of course, that the inside rail for
the 3'6" gauge had to change sides within the loop.
22. This was the site of a large railway maintenance shed - mainly for narrow
gauge vehicle maintenance, with three or four tracks running through it but it also
had a standard gauge track into it.The power station can be seen on the left
of the picture.
23. Marree power station. The remaining narrow gauge wagon visible is NVD 1276
and is bogieless and apparently used as a storage. The power wires to the left
end a short distance away at a communication tower shown in the
next next picture,
24. Near the Marree power station is a tower which transmits a television channel
to the area, the signal being receiving from a satellite.
25. Facing south, standing behind NSU56 with Marree in the background.
the turnout to the right was to the main railyards, which combined with another
turnout shown in picture 26, also formed a triangle for the narrow gauge.
A short length of track has been removed here because of a road crossing.
26. Standing on the old main line just north of Marree. The turnout to the right
was to the former extensive dual gauge railyards, and also with the turnout in
picture 25, formed part of the narrow gauge triangle.
27. This is the northern extremity of the remaining narrow gauge trackwork
at Marree. This was once the mainline out of Marree to Oodnadatta and Alice Springs.
28. This narrow gauge Ghan carriage is on a block of land in Marree town
and is the only similar car remaining.
29. Marree main part of town the railway is to the left.
30. On the other side of the railway to the hotel, is the main road and this picture shows
the roadhouse. The length of the bitumen road is short. On either side of town,
the road called the Oodnadatta track, reverts to gravel and dust.
31. The Oasis cafe and supermarket at Marree moments before a willy willy,
(a whirlwind), swept past and re-arranged the tables and chairs in the
Sign at the start of the road to Oodnadatta from Marree
Map showing the railway loop outline
Map2: Showing the outline of the former triangle: NSU56 can be seen in the lighter area
Video above: Pictures taken at Marree
South Australia at the time the old narrow gauge Central Australia Railway was
being dismantled in 1982 - 1983. During the operation, the bogies of NSU55 were
swapped with the bogies from NSU62. The bogies from NSU55, and locomotive NSU62
consequently resting on temporary bogies, are seen in these pictures as well as
some of the rail recovered from the line between Oodnadatta and Marree. The other
of the two locomotives used on the dismantling of the line between Oodnadatta and
Marree, was NSU56 which is now in very poor condition at Marree. NSU55 is at
Steamtown Peterborough and has been restored. Various videos of the dismantling
of the railway are at centrly