The Kevin-Penong railway is the western most part of the former Eyre Peninsula Division (EPD) of the old SAR, and the state railway system as a whole.
The line was built in 1924 to assist with the opening of the land by soldier settlers following World War II. The terminus at Penong is home to a silo that holds, in a good year, some 27000t of grain. This was railed some 95km to the Port of Thevenard for shipping around the world.
The line was used late last century (1997) and was subject to a 5km/h speed restriction. Numerous derailments suggested that the line was beyond its use-by date, and it was abandoned by ASR earlier this year. The section from Kevin to Thevenard is the busiest part of the EPD and still sees about a million tonnes of gypsum a year.
Originally the line ran from a siding west of Thevenard and accross to Penong, but this section was replaced in the early 70's by a more direct route through the sidings of Moule and Charra. The line from Kowulka to Kevin was built in the early 40's to take gypsum from an overhead cableway. This became part of the mainline with the bypass.
The track is in most parts marked with "67" nails, or no nails at all.
I negotiated access on behalf of ASSCO - indeed ASSCO was the lessee of this railway for the weekend. Nice to know I owned a railway for weekend!
Our lease expired on the GWA Operational Boundary which was just north of Kevin Yard.
The silos at Penong.
The locals thought we were a Telstra crew doing some work, and when they finally sussed out what we were up to, took great pleasure in talking to us.The road in front of the section car is the road to the Kevin Gypsum mine
We divided the line into two sections, Kevin Kowulka and Kowulka Penong. Ian and co visited Kevin, whilst Norm and I ran back to Penong. This photo was taken on the Sunday afternoon. And yes, it rained.......heavily.
On the first run out, we cleared some of the crossings. This Occupational Crossing was set up by the Shippards who own the property. Along with the rest of the locals, in particular the Mitchells, they made us feel quite welcome.
This photo shows some of the track. Good stuff ehh?
The end of our lease. The yellow sign (see faulty paint can at bottom, it is supposed to be red) is pretty close to the end of our line and the start of GWA's operational lease.
Left to Right: Ian Harris, Michael Bennet, Jeff Harris, and Norm George.
Car is Nic Doncasters M15B-Z42, last used ex Port Lincoln in 1986.
Norman George snapped the three cars under the outloader at Penong. Perhaps the last rail vehicles to sit on this bit of line
Our trio at the Western and Northern most point of the EPD, and
formerly western most point of the SAR.
Page © Nic Doncaster 2008
Uploaded November 8, 2008