Hotham Valley Tourist Railway

Author

Shire of Murray

Place Number

23956

Location

Pinjarra-Williams Rd Pinjarra

Location Details

Local Government

Murray

Region

Peel

Construction Date

Constructed from 1910

Demolition Year

N/A

Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Category
Municipal Inventory Adopted 25 Aug 2011 Category A

Statement of Significance

Hotham Valley Tourist Railway has high significance as a collection of locomotives, coaches and related equipment, which together assist in telling the history of railway operations in Western Australia. Hotham Valley Tourist Railway is a significant tourist attraction, and has high social value both for visitors and for local residents.

Physical Description

Hotham Valley Tourist Railway is a collection of buildings, locomotives, coaches, and related equipment, necessary to operate a tourist railway.

History

Dwellingup was a busy centre for the timber industry until a disastrous fire in 1961 saw the demise of most of the surrounding timber mills. The railway line to Dwellingup, which had opened in 1910, saw ever-decreasing use until the weekly freight service was withdrawn in 1984. In 1974 local residents formed 'Pinjarra Steam and Hills Railway Preservation Society', which later became 'Hotham Valley Tourist Railway'. They recognised that this was a railway which retained its original character and was located with easy traveling distance from Perth. Because o the steep grades and small radius curves on this line, special locomotives were required for operation. After the cessation of steam locomotive operation in Western Australia in 1971, many were stowed at Collie. The Mountain type 'W' class was found to be the most suitable and four were purchased. A former Western Australian Government Railways )WAGR) dining car became Hotham Valley's first item of rolling stock when purchased in 1975. The former Pinjarra Loco Depot buildings, leased to a local fuel agent since becoming redundant during the 1960's, were leased to Hotham Valley in March 1976. Turnouts, track and sleepers were collected from many sources and re-laid and the two parallel ash pits were excavated and timber capping replaced. The depot was officially opened on 17 July 1977 by Westrail's Metropolitan District Engineer, mr. Don Pearce. Steam locomotive operation from Pinjarra commenced in Autumn 1978 and these locomotives have been used regularly from may to October on Forest Ranger picnic trains to Dwellingup. The first building project undertaken by Hotham Valley was a shed measuring 106m by 18m, erected at Pinjarra to accommodate two locomotives, while at Dwellingup a refreshment kiosk was built on the platform and the old booking hall and Station Master's office became a souvenir sales area. One of the most significant buildings is the former Westrail trainmen's barracks adjacent to the Pinjarra depot. The elimination of Pinjarra as a train crewing depot in 1986 made the barracks redundant and Hotham Valley was able to lease the premises. In addition to locomotives and coaches, Hotham Valley has acquired many other items of equipment. These include a 25 tonne steam crane, a turntable from Katanning and a wheel lathe from Geraldton. The achievements of Hotham Valley and its contribution to tourism have been recognized and rewarded. In 1986 Hotham Valley won the Transportation category of the National Tourism Awards and the following year won the Sir David Brand Tourism Award for the same category. This success in the State awards was repeated in 1988 and in 1990.

Integrity/Authenticity

Good

Condition

Good

Other Reference Numbers

Ref Number Description
049 Municipal Inventory

Place Type

Precinct or Streetscape

Uses

Epoch General Specific
Present Use Transport\Communications Rail: Other
Original Use Transport\Communications Rail: Other

Historic Themes

General Specific
TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATIONS Rail & light rail transport

Creation Date

18 Nov 2011

Publish place record online (inHerit):

Approved

Last Update

01 Jan 2017

Disclaimer

This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.