Railways In Katanning
Views of the iconic Katanning Railway station building, marshalling yards,
Steam Loco Depot, and old & “new” goods sheds (both demolished).
The station complex is situated on the Great Southern Railway
(Albany to Northam) which is now only a grain transport railway.
Katanning Railway Station
The railway station has historical, social and cultural significance in that the railway greatly widened opportunities for the district, greatly reducing their dependence on horse and dray or mail coach and opening up the town as a tourist destination.
The station building would have been a central point of activity for the new town and the first point of contact for visitors. The railway made possible ventures such as the flour mill, provided employment and made Katanning the “heart” of the Great Southern region.
The station buildings, which have remained very much intact, also add to the streetscape of Austral Terrace.
The original railway station was constructed early in 1889, when the railway line was established. The railway was officially opened in February 1889, with settlers from all over the district gathering to meet the first trainload of passengers.
It was not only as a railway station that this site was important to Katanning.
In 1890 the first school classes were held in the stations former corrugated iron kitchen and this was to continue until the town had its first purpose built school in 1894.
The old goods shed was pulled down in 1904 to allow for improvements, which included large railway yards and a new goods shed. The station buildings also underwent some improvements. In the late 70’s the railway discontinued passenger travel and was subsequently used as a goods service only. Building is of brick and corrugated iron construction with wide overhanging eaves, supported by large cantilevered timber brackets. Slight alterations and some additions have occurred. The brickwork is laid in English bond and is set above a rendered plinth, with windows being double hung sashes and doors are mostly four-panel timber.
Great Southern Railway Cairn:
The cairn marks the point where the railway construction between Beverley and Albany met. On June 1, 1889. a silver spike was driven into a sleeper at a point on the Great Southern railway exactly halfway between Beverley and Albany. A ceremony at the same time at the site marked the completion of the railway between Perth and Albany.
The spot was marked 50 years later by a cairn in the top of which a piece of the original rail laid in the line was placed.
As part of their Jubilee celebrations of 1939, the community of Katanning erected the cairn to commemorate the completion of the Great Southern Railway.
The railway was officially opened in February 1889, and settlers from all over Katanning gathered at their newly erected station to greet the first trainload of passengers.
The development of the Great Southern Railway greatly influenced the development of Katanning, with a train station being located in Katanning and the town officially declared.
The rail enabled existing markets and industries to grow and develop, such as sheep and wheat, and also stimulated the introduction of new ones, such as tourism.
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