Abminga Railway Siding

Tuesday, Dec 01, 2020 at 09:40

Stephen L (Clare) SA

Here is one for all the Railway buffs.

Do you know where the most remote Railway Siding is located in South Australia ?

Do you know it once played an import part as a staging point for a scientific desert exploration ?

Did you know it has had 2 names ?

If you would like to know more, then please read on.

Located just under 17 kilometres south of the Northern Territory State Border is South Australia’s most northerly railway siding that is now placed on the South Australian Heritage Register in accordance with the Heritage Places Act 1993.

Completed in 1928 by the Commonwealth Government as part of the Central Australian Railways, as part of the construction of a railway line to Alice Springs, the siding was briefly known as Bloods Creek before its current name of Abminga, which was derived from the local Aboriginal people of that area, ‘apma’ which meant a snake and ‘inga’ meaning a track. The course of a creek of the same name was regarded by local Aboriginal people as the track of a mythical snake in their dreaming stories.

There were 36 former railway sidings constructed between Marree and the Northern Territory border and one of only 6 that still have substantial remains and is the only siding that was built by the Commonwealth and today is the most substantial serving relic in South Australia from the Central Australian Railway.

When constructed, the Abminga Railway Complex consisted of the railway station, two settlers cottages, a coal bin, water tank, pump shed and shearlegs, trolley shed and storage platform. A dam was constructed at the site to supply water for the steam trains, but due to the inadequate supply, a bore was then sunk to supply a reliable source of water.

On the 27th May 1939 the Madigan party arrived at 4am where they were greeted by Mr Fred Sharp and Mr Lowe from the Dalhousie Station. Their equipment was unloaded and then loaded onto a truck driven by Tom Kruse, where the party was then driven to the abandoned railway siding of Charlotte Waters, just over the border in the Northern Territory and the party went on to complete by camels the first ever scientific expedition across the Simpson Desert.

With the closure of the old Ghan Railway line Abminga Siding was closed and abandoned at the end of 1980 and all saleable assets were removed from the site.

Simpson Desert Colours
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