Irrewarra Station

Irrewarra Station
Line: Geelong and Warrnambool
Distance from Melbourne: 141.700 km
Track Diagram: View
Google Maps: Satellite /  Map
Opened: October 1, 1877
Closed: January 24, 1960

The station was opened as part of the Geelong to Colac extension on October 1, 1877 as Ondit. The name was changed on August 7, 1889 when the branch line to Beeac was opened, and an intermediate station on the line took the name. Initial facilities at the station included a 200 foot passenger platform with shelter on the main line, and a goods shed with platform and livestock loading yards on a loop siding. Irrewarra was made a staff and ticket station on July 1, 1878 with two home signals provided at the same time. A proper station building and passenger facilities were provided in 1880.

Branch line

Irrewarra was once the junction for the line north to Beeac and Cressy, and then on to Newtown and Ballarat. The junction was located at the Geelong end of the station, and faced Colac. When the branch to Beeac was opened in 1889 it branched from the main line at the east side of the station, with the only change being an additional home signal on the branch line.

Staff and ticket safeworking was altered to electric staff on the Colac - Irrewarra section on November 1, 1899 with the section Irrewarra - Birregurra following on March 29, 1900. In 1906 a staff exchange box was provided in what could be one of the earliest in the state, and plunger locking of the Colac end points was provided on December 9, 1909.

When the Beeac line was extended though to Ballarat in 1911 the station became a major junction, and in 1913-14 the station was redesigned, with the platform extended to 350 feet and an interlocked signal box provided. By 1915 Irrewarra had a four road yard with a dead end extension for the livestock races, and an enlarged station building. The interlocking was commissioned on August 5, 1915.

Trains on the branch line left their wagons at Irrewarra, which would then be picked up byy the main line train. Freight traffic at the station rose from 1920 when the Irrewarra pastoral run was subdivided and occupied by 50 soldier settlers.



A scissors crossover was located at the up end of the station, but was replaced by two separate crossovers in 1923 to reduce maintenance costs. The large electric staff instruments were replaced by miniature instruments on September 19, 1928 on the sections Colac - Irrewarra - Birregurra. In 1930 the station master was removed, the station being worked under caretaker conditions.

A fire destroyed the signal box and station office in January 1939 and for the next three yards essential signals were worked from levers on the platform. The signal box was rebuilt and recommissioned on March 12, 1942. The new box permitted Irrewarra to switch out when no crossings or branch line traffic was running.

The branch line was closed in 1953, resulting in the rationalisation of facilities at Irrewarra including the removal of the interlocking on August 21, 1954. The automatic Electric Staf exchange apparatus was removed in August 1956. However the home signal on the branch remained until January 1957.

The station was made no-one in charge in August 1957, with the station closed to all traffic on August 22, 1958 but remained in use as a crossing station during holiday periods until the electric staff instruments were removed on November 24, 1960. The remaining siding and home signals were removed in August 1961.

Today a 'Irrewarra' station sign marks the former station site.



October 1, 1877 Opened
January 24, 1960 Closed
Line Opened
July 27, 1877 Line opened Birregurra to Colac



NOTE: Diagrams are not to scale.



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