Introduction: Rail and Wallangarra
The earliest presence of rail travel in Australia began in 1854, first developed within states to link major settlements with various resources. The idea of intercolonial transportation began circa 1855: a network of railways systems crossing the country and connecting major settlements. Railways slowly expanded as settlements developed further inland, with rail essential in bringing farm and mining produce to capital cities and ports. Wallangarra, a town situated on the New South Wales border, 200km south-west of Brisbane, was one of the first Queensland settlements to establish intercolonial rail transportation in 1887, and it may have been one of the busiest. Its efforts in connecting two colonies – New South Wales and Queensland - post federation held significance in the town’s progress into the 20th century.
Now a heritage listed building and site, the Wallangarra Railway Station has seen an array of change and excitement in its 100 Years. An inquiry into just how important the station was during colonial trade and transportation as well as the town’s development – as a result of its presence - was undertaken through a local site study of the Railway’s building and surrounding area. The findings of this inquiry will be discussed in the following discourse.
1. Colonial and Intercolonial Trade and the Beginning of Wallangarra
In order to understand the purpose and need for the Wallangarra Railway Station [and subsequent