Warburton railway line

Mt Evelyn railway station ~1920

The Warburton railway line just outside Melbourne, Australia, was a railway branching off from the Healesville line at the present terminus, Lilydale.

History

The route between Lilydale and Warburton was originally proposed to be built as one of four experimental narrow gauge lines, but the recommendation was not accepted and the Warburton line opened as a 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm) railway on Wednesday, 13 November 1901. The line from Lilydale to Warburton was slightly over 37 kilometres (23 mi) long. The last train ran on Sunday, 1 August 1965, although the official closure was on 29 July 1965.

Services

Throughout its life the Warburton line had both passenger and goods services (passenger services generally running as a shuttle between Lilydale and Warburton stations), although passenger services dwindled during the later years.

Current status

Although the track was dismantled in the 1970s, the Warburton line right-of-way is intact, except for a short section leased to Mount Lilydale Mercy College. All the bridges are still in place, except the one that previously crossed the Maroondah Highway. A new bridge, allowing the highway to be safely crossed by cyclists and pedestrians, was completed in 2011. The route formerly used by the line is now the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail, a pedestrian, bicycle and equestrian trail.

See also