The Colac to Crowes Line

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Pages for all stations on this line have this colour as a background.

Colac | Elliminyt | Tulloh | Coram | Barongarook | Watson & Facey's Siding | Birnam | Kawarren | Henrickson's Siding | Lovat | Gellibrand | Ballast Siding | Banool | Wimba | McDevitt 1 | McDevitt 2 | Dinmont | Devitt Bros. Siding | Ditchley | Beech Forest | Buchanan | Ferguson | Weeaproinah | Pile Siding | J.G.M. Knott Siding | Kincaid | Wyelangta | Pettitt's Siding | Stalker | Macknott | Lavers Hill | Crowes

map of line

This map is part of the Victorian Railways map published on 1/10/1943. I have included surrounding railways for reference.

With a length of 43m 70ch (70.64 km) the Colac - Crowes was the longest of the Victorian narrow gauge lines.

An excellent reference to this line is Norman Houghton's The Beechy published 1992 by the Light Railway research Society of Australia (ISBN 0909340-29-3).

The gradient diagram of the line is in four parts.

The Colac to Crowes line was built to serve the local timber and farming community. It was built in two stages, and closed in three stages. The section from Colac to Beech Forest was opened on 1/3/1902. The extension to Crowes was opened on 20/6/1911. The section from Ferguson to Crowes was closed on 9/12/1954. From Ferguson to Weeaproinah was re-opened on 19/1/1955. The closed section was pulled up using trains in 1961. The rest of the railway was closed on 30/6/1962, a few days before the re-opening of the Puffing Billy Railway.


When opened the line from Colac to Beech Forest was worked as one section under the Staff and Ticket system. With the extension to Crowes another staff section was added. By 1913 there were four staff stations Colac, Gellibrand, Beech Forest and Crowes, with Barongarook and Banool available as temporary staff stations. All of these stations except Crowes had signals. This leads me to think that trains never crossed at Crowes.

An experiment was tried with Train Section Orders replacing the Staff and Ticket System. The railway was in two divisions with Beech Forest as the division point. Barongarook, Gellibrand and Wyelangta were crossing stations. Weeaproinah was added as a crossing station about 1938.

Train Staff and Ticket working was reinstated from 11/12/1939 with staff stations at Colac, Gellibrand, Beech Forest and Crowes.

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This page is maintained by Bill Russell
Created: 3/09/1996 Last update: 113/3/2004