Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home2/rakaohm/public_html/cms/plugins/content/prrfares/prrfares.php on line 70

Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home2/rakaohm/public_html/cms/plugins/content/prrtimetable/prrtimetable.php on line 73
An early train crossing the Waukarie Creek bridge near Woolshed Flat, ca. 1890. Photograph courtesy of the State Library of South Australia. SLSA: B 43223

The railway from Port Augusta through the Pichi Richi Pass to Quorn opened in 1879, and was part of the first stage of the Great Northern Railway that was intended to link Port Augusta with Darwin. The Ghan name originated in Quorn in 1923 when the Great Northern Express was dubbed The Afghan Express by railwaymen. In 1929 this line reached Alice Springs.

The East-West Transcontinental railway across the Nullarbor Plain was completed in 1917, and the Pichi Richi Railway became part of the East-West route for the next 20 years.

Quorn was a vital railway junction, especially during World War II when military, coal and other traffic placed sizeable demands on the railway.

Washaways in the north and the incapacity of the railway to handle expanding traffic saw a new standard gauge railway constructed from Stirling North to Brachina, and the Pichi Richi Railway was closed to regular traffic in 1957.

History article index

Two trains in front of the old Quorn railway station building, ca. 1910. Photograph courtesy of the State Library of South Australia. SLSA: B 17431