Points of Interest

What’s Left of the Abandoned Ferny Grove-Dayboro Rail Line, Qld

The Ferny Grove to Dayboro Branch Rail Line holds a fascinating place in Queensland’s rail history. The remnants of this historic rail line on Brisbane’s north-western outskirts evokes nostalgia of an era when steam trains chugged through scenic landscapes, leaving an indelible mark on Queensland’s history.

In the early 1900s this area at the eastern base of the D’Aguilar Range was prospering as farming and timber logging country, but roads were very rudimentary, which made getting produce to markets in Brisbane and beyond very challenging.

The Ferny Grove Rail Station opened in 1918 and the branch line to Dayboro was completed in 1920, providing transportation for passengers and freight. As time went by, there was an increase of motor vehicles and improved roads, causing rail usage to decline. This particular line ceased operating in 1955, a similar time to other branch lines located around Queensland. At this time there was broad rationalization by the Queensland Government of its rail network.

We follow the abandoned rail line (or what remains of it) from Dayboro into Ferny Grove, which is where the original branch line started.

Dayboro – the end of the line! The rail reached Dayboro in September 1920, providing a vital link for the local community by connecting them to nearby areas.

Armstrong Creek was a farming district. In 1931 rail motor services were introduced, and weekend excursion trains often brought picnic groups to this station.

Kobble Creek was predominately a dairy farming community with some banana and pineapple farming on the surrounding hillsides. There was also timber logging in the area. The Dayboro branch line reached Kobble Creek in 1919.

Samsonvale Rail Station is now under water in what is now Lake Samsonvale, a catchment area for the North Pine Dam.

Mount Samson rail platform remains can still be seen in the small village beside the present Samsonvale and Districts Public Hall.

Closeburn Rail Station was originally called Cedar Creek Station but was renamed in 1931 to Closeburn Station.

Nothing remains of Yugar Rail Station, however the Yugar Rail Tunnel can still be accessed via the Currawong Rail Trail, about 800 metres in length each way. The tunnel is now home to a colony of bent-winged bats that are used for University of Queensland study purposes. There is no access inside the tunnel. The tunnel length is approximately 1.8km, the longest rail tunnel in the Pine Rivers area. Yugar was once a heavily forested area with limited access due to its surrounding steep ranges. Timber, dairy and bananas were the main sources of income for those who resided in this area in the early 1900s.

Samford Rail Station was located in what is now the business heart of Samford village. The old rail station is now home to the Visitor Information Centre. The rail line from Ferny Grove to Samford opened mid-1918. The establishment of the station prompted several scattered businesses to relocate nearby. It is still a busy little commercial centre to this day.

Camp Mountain Rail Station opened in 1918 as part of the extension to Samford. It served as a vital transportation hub for the local community. There was a quarry located in this area and between 1921 and 1923, quarried granite was transported via rail into Brisbane near the Roma Street rail yards. These large granodiorite blocks were used for the foundations of the Brisbane City Hall.

In 1947 Camp Mountain was the location of Queensland’s worst ever railway accident, resulting in 16 deaths, including the driver and the fireman. Another 38 people were injured. The ill-fated train was chartered by the social and recreation club for employees of the Department of Trade and Customs. This train carried around 215 passengers, mostly employees and their families, who were hoping to celebrate the Labor Day public holiday with a picnic at Closeburn. Sadly, this accident occurred on the way to Closeburn. To find out more about this rail tragedy, a video titled ‘A screeching across the paddocks – the Camp Mountain rail disaster‘ by Moreton Bay Regional Libraries and Queensland Rail is available on YouTube.

Ferny Grove Rail Station is still open today and is the ‘end of the line’. In 2012 the Station underwent a significant upgrade as part of the Keperra-Ferny Grove duplication project which included: relocating the platform; construction of a new station building; expansion of the car park. Stage 2 of the commuter carpark is now underway and is due for completion in 2025. It is a huge carpark!

You can view our YouTube video on this link – https://youtu.be/P9vRFqOePQA

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If you are a rail buff, you may enjoy our Muntapa Rail Tunnel, Qld video – https://youtu.be/RoW0UjDUZzU

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