COR Siding

Line: Geelong and Warrnambool
Distance from Melbourne: 15.365 km
Track Diagram: View
Google Maps: Satellite /  Map
Opened: May 13, 1922
Closed: Early 2000s

In 1922 Commonwealth Oil Refineries was established jointly by the Commonwealth Government and the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. It was Australia's first oil refinery, and located on Kororoit Creek, north of Kororoit Creek Road. The refinery was connected by pipeline to a wharf at Spotswood where oil tankers unloaded crude oil into storage tanks, from which it was piped to the refinery.

The Commonwealth sold its shares in COR in 1952 and three years later the refinery closed when the owners, now BP Australia Ltd, opened a new refinery in Western Australia. The site remained in use as the BP Altona Terminal, where some of the original tanks and buildings remained. By 1977/78 the refinery was despatching 91,982 tonnes of fuel a year by rail, or 8.8 tank cars a working day, with 78,247 tonnes being sent by block train to Wodonga.

When the Western standard gauge line was put though in 1995, provision was made for the broad gauge siding to cross into the terminal with a switch lock on the broad gauge and a diamond crossing. Trains continued to use the siding until July 1996, when BP and Shell decided to despatch product from the Shell Refinery at Geelong.

The terminal itself closed at an unknown date, the land now subdivided into a number of warehouses and distribution facilities. The switchlock and points in the broad gauge line remain today, but with the frog removed and the blades spiked shut. The diamond crossing and sidings were still marked on diagrams in 1999, and was removed by 2004 but was probably gone earlier.


May 13, 1922 Staff locked points to catch provided
May 30, 1922 Opened to traffic
May 15, 1928 Staff lock replaced by switch lock
January 26, 1958 Renamed B.P. Siding
Early 2000s Closed
Line Opened
June 25, 1857 Line officially opened between Geelong and at temporary terminus at Greenwich. A ferry was used the complete the journey to Melbourne
October 3, 1857 Temporary Greenwich terminal and stub line closed. Geelong line now connected to the partially completed Williamstown line. A ferry complete the journey from Williamstown to Melbourne
January 17, 1859 Williamstown line finally completed to Melbourne. Geelong trains can now operate direct to Spencer Street Station
Track Amplified
October 22, 1967 Line duplicated Altona Junction to Laverton



NOTE: Diagrams are not to scale.



8 images found. Click them to enlarge.

Culvert for the siding

January 18, 2009

Signal equipment at the former mainline connection

From left to right - switch lever to operate points, white pillar is the switch lock to obtain release from signaller to unlock points, and red and green point indicator to the right. Small white box is a point detector. Standard gauge line visible in background

March 11, 2007

Main line connection

Spiked points for the now removed siding. Switch lock, switch lever and point indicator to the right. Standard gauge line visible in background

March 11, 2007


Aerial Photos

1945 photo map of Melbourne, produced by the Victorian Department of Lands and Survey, now accessable via the University of Melbourne:

1945 aerial photo of COR Siding