Kalamunda Railway Heritage Trail

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Suburb: Kalamunda

Distance: 12km
Time: 4hrs
Grade: -

Location: Gooseberry Hill

Description: Refer to the full Trail Map Notes for a description of the walk and various points of interest.
Dogs Permitted: Please keep your dogs on leads unless signage permits otherwise.
PLEASE NOTE: This trail continues after the Walliston Station through to Canning Mills but is NOT document on these trail notes.

The trail starts at Quenda Creek Reserve in Gooseberry Hill through to Walliston Station. The return trip is approximately 12km.

The original railway formation still exists as a walk trail through the Quenda Creek Reserve, which is named for the creek which begins to flow within the reserve. Further north the formation has been used for the location of Lascelles Parade and the Zig Zag Scenic Drive.

Gooseberry Hill Siding was the first stopping place above the Zig Zag section on the railway. It was located a little over six track kilometres from what is now Ridge Hill Road at the foot of the escarpment, and is some 140 metres higher. Improvements in 1905 introduced a low-level platform and a red shelter shed. There was an orange grove downhill from this siding.

Kalamunda Station was originally known as Stirk's Landing and then Jeck's Crossing. The townsite name chosen by local residents in 1901 was Calamunnda. This was changed to Kalamunnda and then to Kalamunda. A high level platform, goods yard and depot were built after the WAGR took over the line in 1903. The station name remained as Kalamunda until the line was closed in 1949.

This site was originally known as Guppy’s Siding, and was provided to serve a nearby sawmill. A tramway ran down the hill from this main line, probably along what is now Stanhope Road, for some 500 metres to the mill of Mr Guppy. Following the closure of the mill in 1917 the siding was renamed South Kalamunda in 1920, and was eventually resited 1066 metres further south in 1938.

Originally known as 12 Mile Siding, then as Wallis’ Landing or Wallis’ Crossing, this site adopted the name Walliston in 1918. It is the highest point on the railway, and was eventually serviced by a low-level platform and shelter shed. Locally grown produce was transported to the Perth markets from here.

Here in the Shire of Kalamunda we have the best of both worlds—30 minutes from the centre of a city, yet surrounded by ancient bush containing vibrant, meandering and historical walk trails.

The Upper Darling Range Railway started its life as a transport route for the timber industry. Edward Keane, a civil engineer who had interests in the local timber industry, needed reliable transport for
his new enterprise.

In 1890 Keane partnered with the Western Australian Colonial Government to build the rail from Canning Mills, south of Kalamunda to what is now Midland. The line, surveyed by Edward White, involved a climb of some 230 metres in the first 14 kilometres from Midland; no mean feat given the limited supply of suitable heavy construction equipment. Despite the difficulty of the construction, the 31 kilometres of rail with a gauge of just over a metre was completed in only 11 months.

In true Victorian style, timber was rolling from the Canning Jarrah Timber Company mill to Midland by July of 1891. Steam locomotives brought logs from the forest to the mill where it was cut by steam driven saws and in turn hauled to the markets. In July 1903 the Government took over the railway between Midland and Pickering Brook and it officially became known as the Upper Darling Range Railway.

The Kalamunda district developed rapidly because of the railway, which not only supported the vital timber industry but allowed Kalamunda to become a reliable source of fresh fruit for the growing Perth population. With the advent of the railway, Kalamunda became a holiday destination for Perth residents during the long hot summers and passenger services continued for the life of the rail.

The railway line was closed in 1949 due to an Australia wide coal strike and never reopened. Better roads providing easy access to produce markets and workplaces for residents resulted in the demise of the railway and in 1952 the lines were completely removed.

The Railway line was to take on a new life through the prolonged efforts of the community over the years to come, from the efforts of Council to retain the land, and the vision and commitment of the Friends of Railway Reserve who have been the driving force behind the recent upgrade to the trail facilities. This upgrade was undertaken with the support of the Shire of Kalamunda and Lotterywest.

The Trail now provides a facility for local residents and visitors alike to experience the Kalamunda bushland within walking distance of the very centre of town. Crossing paths with the Bibbulmun track it also offers a variety of options for more adventurous recreation pursuits.

The bushland that forms part of the Railway Reserve has been actively cared for by various volunteers over the years, with the Friends of Railway Reserve currently active in many sections along the length of the trail. The volunteers, with the support of the Shire, contribute a valuable service to the community and to the conservation of the biodiversity found in these reserves.

To help reduce the spread of Phytophthora Dieback along this walk trail and in the surrounding area:

  • Don’t spread soil or mud around bushland, in particular during spring & autumn;
  • Stick to tracks & paths;
  • Observe signage in your local bushland reserve and stay out of quarantined areas in bushland.
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Tips on using Load & Walk Trails
  • •Ensure you have the appropriate clothing, shoes and sufficient water for the trail
  • •Although mapped, the environment and paths can change over time depending on conditions and time of year, please ensure you stay alert to your surroundings.
  • •When using your Smart Device, ensure your GPS / Location is enabled on your browser - this allows your movement to be tracked to show your current location on the map.
  • •Follow the highlighted route of the trail
  • * KML files are available to load/view via the Google Earth app. Email enquiries@kalamunda.wa.gov.au to receive the KML file(s) and ensure you have the Google Earth app installed before viewing trails in Google Earth.
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