refer to picture 8 belowrefer to picture 12B below
Marree South Australia
November 2007
refer to picture 29 belowrefer to picture 32 below
Pictures can be clicked on to advance to next
VIDEOS:   Pulling up the old Central Australia Railway between Oodnadatta and Marree

The 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.

NSU56 at Marree South Australia November 2007
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)

NSU56 at Marree S.A. November 2007
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).

NSU60 and NSU56 beside the old Marree station platform
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

NSU60 beside the old Marree dual gauge passenger platform
4. NSU60 now is a static exibit behind NSU57 beside the dual gauge platform at Marree - November 2007

NSU57 at the old Marree station platform
5. NSU57 is a static exibit standing in front of NSU60, beside the old dual gauge platform at Marree South Australia - November 2008.

NSU60 NSU57 beside the main platform at Marree 
with NSU57 in the distance November 2007
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.

At Marree Platform
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.

Marree Platform and NSU60
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.

Marree platform and 
 station buildings
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.

Marree - The approach to the Narrow gauge platform
from the south. The points ahead, are the loop line, or run around loop,
which extends past the platform.
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.

From rail platform at Marree
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.

Marree dual gauge passenger platform 
 showing the standard gauge side
12. A view of the Marree dual gauge passenger platform, showing the standard gauge side.

Dual gauge track Marree South Australia 1982
12B.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

View from the end of Marree platform
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.

Narrow gauge track opposite 
 coal stage mound
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.

View of a remaining length of narrow 
 gauge track from the old coal stage mound
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.

South of railway station Marree
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.

Marree rail complex with the 
 hotel in the background
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.

The old fettlers accomodation buildings Marree
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.

End of Line Marree
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.

Old dual gauge cattle transfer platform Marree
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

Dual gauge goods transfer platform 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.

Dual gauge track Marree South Australia 1982
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.

The site of railway maintenance shed Marree
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.

Marree power station
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,

Satellite receiving dish and Television 
 transmitter Marree South Australia
24. Near the Marree power station is a tower which transmits a television channel to the area, the signal being receiving from a satellite.

turnout to railyards Marree
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.

rail yard turnout Marree
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.

end of line to north Marree
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.

Narrow gauge Ghan carriage Marree
28. This narrow gauge Ghan carriage is on a block of land in Marree town and is the only similar car remaining.

Marree town
29. Marree main part of town the railway is to the left.

Marree roadhouse
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.

The Oasis  cafe and supermarket Marree
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 outdoor section..

Roadsign Marree
32. A roadsign situated at the start of the road north, out of Marree.


Click here for a pdf of the setout of the dual gauge rail yards at Marree
The illustration in the pdf is a plotting of the yard layout from pictures published
in the May 1997 edition of Bulletin of the Australian Railway Historical Society


Videos:   Pulling up the old Central Australia Railway








from G.Reid on Vimeo.
More about the pulling up of the old Central Australia Railway at
www.nex.net.au/~reidgck/centrly.htm

Other Pages
Pulling up the Central Australia Railway
The Tasmanian Wilderness Rack Railway
Tasmania's Last Long Distance Passenger Train
The Workings of a Mt Lyall Abt Steam Locomotive
New South Wales Steam in the 1960s
      Over 50 pictures of operational steam locomotives
The L class Electrics of the Victorian Railways
Some Steam Trains of Australia
Port Welshpool - Georgetown Seacat Catamaran
      Pictures of the ferry arriving, and at Welshpool
Bass Strait Passenger Ships and Ferries
Bass Strait Passenger Shipping History
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      Page Author reidgck@nex.net.au



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