Traralgon-Maffra-Stratford railway was constructed to serve the rich
farming and timber producing areas around these towns, and was
constructed in several stages. By 1883 the new line from Traralgon had
reached Heyfield, and was extended to Maffra in 1886. A branch line
from Maffra to Briagolong was opened in 1889, and the final part of
railway from Maffra to Stratford (joining the main Gippsland line to Bairnsdale) was opened by 1890.
Maffra railway was used for haulage of large quantities of freight
including agricultural produce and timber as well as bringing in
inbound supplies such as food and machinery. From the time of the
line’s opening a daily passenger train service was provided to
Traralgon, which was finally withdrawn in 1977. By that time the
railways had lost much of their business to competing road traffic,
although the line was used to carry through freight trains from Orbost
until October 1983, when the new station at Sale was opened.
freight services on the line were then terminated and trains only
operated as required for large consignments of bulk products. By the
mid 1980s the condition of major bridges had deteriorated and the line
was closed in stages from the Traralgon end commencing in 1987. The track on this section was dismantled and later re-used on wheat haulage lines elsewhere in Victoria. Special passenger trains occasionally visited the line, with a steam hauled heritage train travelling from Melbourne to Maffra via Stratford in August 1990.
section of line between Maffra and Stratford remained in operation for
the occasional haulage of containerized milk products until 1993, when
it finally closed, marking the end of over a century of rail services
on the Gippsland plains.
line has now passed into history after performing its role in the
development of the region, but lives on as a Rail Trail for future
generations to enjoy.
Images from the former railway line between Traralgon and Stratford
Historic Glengarry Station 2007
Walker Rail Car - this type of rail car provided a twice daily passenger service between Traralgon and Maffra until 1977.
Unloading Sugar Beet - Powerscourt siding near Maffra
Cowwarr Station Site - 2008
Crossing Avon River at Bushy Park on the branch line from Maffra to Briagolong.
Sugar Beet in pits at Maffra
Maffra Station 2008
Opening of Tinamba Station
Boisdale Beet Siding and Station
Link to current images of former Traralgon-Maffra railway: www.wongm.railgeelong.com/maffra-line/
Acknowledgement to State Library of Victoria for use of historic images