Waroona-Lake Clifton Railway


Heritage Council

Place Number




Location Details

Local Government




Construction Date

Demolition Year


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Child Places

  • 25499 Lake Clifton to Codford Railway Line

Statement of Significance

The place is associated with the transportation of the first lime extracted for the manufacture of cement in Western Australia. It is the railway line constructed to serve the Western Australian Portland Cement Company’s works at Lake Clifton which later became the successful Swan Portland Cement. The place provides an example of a privately constructed railway line to service industry in Western Australia, and the State government’s encouragement of such a venture for their later purchase.

Physical Description

A survey of the Waroona to Lake Clifton Railway line (P23523 Waroona-Lake Clifton Railway) in 1984 found little evidence at Waroona but an old formation following an irrigation channel was located a few miles to the west and the bridge over the Harvey River was in use as a road bridge at this time. The portion of railway between the Lake Clifton townsite and the Codford siding (P25499 Lake Clifton to Codford Railway Line) is the only section of the railway where formations and cuttings can still be discerned. In 2002 an archaeological survey of the Lake Clifton Lime Works site (P8637 Lime Works), which is situated in within P16114 Yalgorup National Park, indicated that little remains of the physical fabric. However, the brick constructed Roaster remains relatively intact, remnant pump stands are discernible, some fabric associated with the railway, jetty piles, and a boundary fence remain extant. In addition, some foundations and domestic refuse associated with what may have been the work camp site were noted during the survey.


In April 1916 John Henry Johnson, via an Act of Parliament, acquired a lease from the Crown at Lake Clifton. The lease was for the purpose of working the lime deposits in the area. As part of the lease agreement a railway was to be constructed from Lake Clifton to Waroona within 2 years, a line which the government reserved the right to purchase once complete. Subsequently the West Australian Portland Cement Company was formed in November 1918 and a cement manufacturing plant was established at Burswood (now Rivervale) 1918-1919. This was the first cement producer in Western Australia with all cement prior to this being imported from the eastern states. It is understood the extraction of lime-marl had commenced at Lake Clifton in 1919. By late 1919 clearing for the railway line to Waroona had commenced and the line was completed by March 1921. Transportation of the lime-marl via rail to Waroona and then to Perth via the South West Railway line, subsequently commenced. The venture at Lake Clifton was short lived as it was soon recognised that the lime-marl extracted was of an inferior quality. Bankruptcy followed shortly after with the operation closed in September 1923. The Lake Clifton Railway line was taken over by the government in August 1922 and was closed in May 1924. It is understood the rails and sleepers were removed shortly thereafter and used in the construction of a portion of the Lake Grace-Newdegate railway.

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Original Use Transport\Communications Rail: Other
Present Use VACANT\UNUSED Vacant\Unused

Creation Date

18 Aug 2011

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

13 Aug 2019


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