Upper Darling Range Railway

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Upper Darling Range Railway
G 118 kalamunda hv gnangarra.jpg
G118 at the Kalamunda Historical Village on the site of Kalamunda station
Termini Midland Junction
System Western Australian Government Railways
OpenedJuly 1891
Closed22 July 1949
Line length35 kilometres
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)

The Upper Darling Range Railway (also known as the Upper Darling Range Branch) was a branch railway from Midland Junction, Western Australia], that rose up the southern side of the Helena Valley and on to the Darling Scarp via the Kalamunda Zig Zag. At the time of construction it was the only section of railway in Western Australia to have had a zig zag formation.



Completed in July 1891, the Upper Darling Range Railway line was built by the Canning Jarrah Timber Company to supply railway sleepers to Perth's growing railway system. It ran from Midland Junction railway station through to the Darling Ranges and up into Kalamunda. It was later extended to Canning Mills and in 1912 to Karragullen. [1] From Pickering Brook, a line branched off to Bartons Mill. [2] [3]

On 1 July 1903, the line was taken over by the Western Australian Government Railways and became known as the Upper Darling Range Branch. The last service ran on 22 July 1949. The line was formally closed by the Railways (Upper Darling Range) Discontinuance Act 1950; it was dismantled in 1952. [2] [3] [4] [5]

Upper Darling
Range Railway
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to Perth
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Forrestfield freight line
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to Northam
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Ridge Hill
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Statham's Quarry
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Kalamunda Zig Zag
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No 1 points
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No 2 points
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No 3 points
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No 4 points
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Gooseberry Hill
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South Kalamunda
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Pickering Brook
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to Barton's Mill
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Canning Mills
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Stopping places

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Gradient profile map

Named stopping places and locations on the line included: [6]

NamePrevious name(s)Distance from Perth Height above sea level
Midland Junction station Helena Vale15 km9.3 mi15 m49 ft
Bushmead (now under Roe Highway)Waterhall17 km11 mi26 m85 ft
Rifle Range23 km14 mi104 m341 ft
Poison Gully Creek (scene of 1904 crash)
Number 1 Points Ridge Hill (lower section of Zig Zag)27 km17 mi
Number 2 Points Statham's Quarry Perth City Council siding from 192028 km17 mi
Number 3 Points
Number 4 Points (upper section of Zig Zag)Possibly known as The Knoll
Gooseberry Hill 30 km19 mi242 m794 ft
Kalamunda Stirk's Landing32 km20 mi242 m794 ft
South KalamundaGuppy's Siding35 km22 mi283 m928 ft
Walliston Wallis's Crossing37 km23 mi311 m1,020 ft
Bickley (named Heidelberg between 1904 and 1915)38 km24 mi318 m1,043 ft
Carmel Green's Landing40 km25 mi286 m938 ft
Pickering Brook Pickering Junction42 km26 mi282 m925 ft
Canning Mills Canning Timber Station48 km30 mi254 m833 ft
Karragullen 50 km31 mi300 m980 ft

Related Research Articles

Gooseberry Hill National Park Protected area in Western Australia

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John Forrest National Park Protected area in Western Australia

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Kalamunda is a town and eastern suburb of Perth, Western Australia, located in the Darling Scarp at the eastern limits of the Perth metropolitan area.

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Kalamunda Zig Zag Formation of former zig zag railway line

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Pickering Brook, Western Australia Suburb of Perth, Western Australia

Pickering Brook is a suburb of Perth, Western Australia, located within the City of Kalamunda.

Midland Junction railway station Former railway station in Perth, Western Australia

The Midland Junction railway station was an important junction station on the Eastern Railway of Western Australia until its closure in 1966.

Stathams Quarry Quarry in Perth, Western Australia

Statham's Quarry is the site of a quarry on the Darling Scarp on the southern side of the entrance of the Helena River valley on to the Swan Coastal Plain in Perth, Western Australia. It is located in Gooseberry Hill and is within the bounds of the Gooseberry Hill National Park.

Midland, Western Australia Suburb of Perth, Western Australia

Midland is a suburb in the Perth metropolitan region, as well as the regional centre for the City of Swan local government area that covers the Swan Valley and parts of the Darling Scarp to the east. It is situated at the intersection of Great Eastern Highway and Great Northern Highway. Its eastern boundary is defined by the Roe Highway. Midland is almost always regarded as a suburb of Perth, being only 16 km (9.9 mi) away from the city centre.

Kalamunda railway station was a major station on the Upper Darling Range Railway in Western Australia serving the town of Kalamunda. It was known earlier as Stirk's Landing and was located at a distance 20 miles from Perth.

Darling Range Hotel

Darling Range Hotel was a hotel in Bellevue, Western Australia, on the end of the slope on the Great Eastern Highway at the 'bottom of' Greenmount Hill and just north of the former Bellevue railway station, and over the road from the Helena Vale Racecourse.

The Canning Jarrah Timber Company was a timber and timber railway company operating in the Darling Range in Western Australia in the 1890s.

Bushmead, Western Australia Suburb of Perth, Western Australia

Bushmead is a suburb of Perth in the City of Swan located 16 kilometers from Perth's central business district.


  1. Upper Darling Range Extension Act 1911 Government of Western Australia 9 January 1912
  2. 1 2 Bromby, Robyn (1988). Australian Rail Annual 1988. Sutherland: Sherbourne Sutherland Publishing. pp. 115–120. ISBN   1 86275 004 1.
  3. 1 2 History of the Railway Pickering Brook Heritage Group
  4. Railways (Upper Darling Range) Discontinuance Act Government of Western Australia 29 December 1950
  5. Complaints About New Railway Bill The West Australian 1 December 1950 page 4
  6. Part of this table is sourced from:- Slee, John (1979) Cala Munnda pp. 55–56

Further reading