Birregurra Station

Birregurra Station
Station
Line: Melbourne - Geelong - Warrnambool
Distance from Melbourne: 134.287 km
Track Diagram: View
Google Maps: Satellite /  Map
Opened: March 13, 1877

Birregurra was once the junction of the line towards Forrest. The junction was located at the Geelong end of the yard, and faced Colac. Today all sidings have been removed, with the original station building remaining alongside the main line, as well as a iron water tower behind the building.

Early years


In 1870 the Western Railway Extension League requested to support of the Winchelsea Shire Council for the construction of a railway to Hamilton via Colac. By 1874 the railway was being planned and the sitting of Winchelsea and Birregurra stations begun. The line opened to Winchelsea in 1876, and the extension to Birregurra was opened on November 1, 1877. The line was extended to Colac opening later the same year.

Polychrome brickwork was used to construct the station building, which was of similar design to that at Winchelsea. The original station building was extended at an unknown date, with an enlarged station office provided at the up end, along with an entrance porch. Timber extensions were also added behind the station to provided a larger residence.

The goods shed was of corrugated iron with a curved roof, and was accompanied by a four-tonne gantry crane, and a stockyard at the Colac end. A 20,000 gallon overhead water tank was located beside the station building, and remains in place today.

Construction of the branch line to Forrest begun in 1889 and was completed at a cost of 96,000 pounds. It was opened to Deans Marsh on December 19, 1889 and to Forrest on June 5, 1891. The line was used by tourists bound for the coastal resorts of Lorne and Apollo Bay.

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Alterations


In 1916 a new 53 foot turntable was provided, along with a new turntable road that led off the carriage dock. A few months later new signals and interlocking were provided. It was about this time that the wooden signal box was provided at the up end of the platform. Large Electric Staff to Armytage and Irrewarra was replaced by the miniature version in September 1928.

The 1929 track chart of the line showed the platform on the southern (down) side of the line, opposite a four road yard and goods platform. At the up end of the platform leading off the turntable area was a carriage dock platform.

Number two and four roads had dead end extensions to the down end, with number four road also having a dead end extension at the up end. A 53 foot turntable was located beside the station building, and a scissors (delta) crossover lead from the main line and number two road to the Geelong and Forrest lines.

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Rationalisation


The delta crossing was simplified in 1941 and replaced in single crossover. In 1947 the compound between the main line and the down end of number 2 road was abolished, with dead end siding 'A' renumbered road 2B and connected to the main line at the down end.

The Forrest line was closed on March 2, 1957. In December 1961 the turnout to the Forrest line was removed, the dock and turntable sidings also abolished, along with a number of signals. When number two road was extended to 2100 feet (around 700 metres) in 1968, the signal box at the station was closed and later removed, a signal bay being added to the front of the station to replace it.

By the 1970s freight traffic to the station died off, with few reports of wagons being sighted in the yard. The gantry crane was taken out of use in 1977, but both it and the goods shed were still standing four years later. The station staff was withdrawn in November 1978 due to declining patronage, but passenger trains continued to stop at the station. Freight traffic was sent via road to Colac.

The Lonie Report of 1980 recommended the Geelong - Warrnambool service be closed, which was not undertaken, but it was proposed for Birregurra to lose a number of rail services when moves were made to speed up the service. A local community group successfully put pressure on VicRail to maintain the services.

By this time the yard consisted of the main line along with number 2 and 4 roads, the other sidings being removed. A van goods shed was still located at the up end of the platform, along with a lamp room at the down end (located in the former ladies toilets). The orignal lamp room and toilets at the down end of the station had been removed some time earlier, the picket fence along the platform being removed in the early 1980s.

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Events


March 13, 1877 Opened
Line Opened
March 13, 1877 Line opened Winchelsea to Birregurra
July 27, 1877 Line opened Birregurra to Colac

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Photos


MAXIMAGES_LOCATIONPAGE of 15 images found displayed. Click them to enlarge.

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Sources