The Main West Part 3 covers action on the tracks beyond Dubbo, including the current state of the closed Nyngan-Bourke section.
After reaching Dubbo in 1881, the NSW state government pressed on relentlessly to have the Main West Line extended as soon as possible to Bourke, the political resolve being to reduce ‘ southern control and influence’ by providing a superior transport link to the coast via Sydney instead of having these needs met by Darling River Riverboats controlled by Victorian and South Australian interests through their southern ports. The line reached Nyngan in 1883 and Bourke by 1885 and shortly thereafter experienced incredible traffic growth, aided by freight subsidies from the NSW State Government.
Large quantities of sheep, cattle, wool, chaff, water and general cargo as well as passengers for Western NSW and Queensland were moved by the Great Western Railway. The first country meat works was established in Bourke in 1893, sending processed meat to the east in special refrigerated wagons. Branch lines Nyngan-Cobar and Nevertire-Warren were opened in 1892 and 1898 respectively picking up additional revenue cargo, and wheat from the Nyngan and Nevertire areas was a valued earner. However volumes of traffic began to decline as other rail links were opened up in the west of NSW and Queensland.
As was the case in many parts of the country, improved roads and trucks, with point to point capability, have spelt severe competition for the Main West Line. Even worse for the Nyngan-Bourke section, the destructive floods of 1989 and ongoing losses forced the closure of the track. This presentation details operations on the tracks beyond Dubbo and reviews what physically remains of the Nyngan-Bourke line. Motive power seen include 442, 45, 48, 49, 80, 81, 82, G, GL, GM, T, X and XPT operated by ARG, ARHS/act, CountryLink, Freight Australia, Grain Corp, PacNat and Silverton.
RUN TIME: 68 minutes.