Railway Centenary celebrated

My uncles – Ron and Keith Nelson – reportedly watched the first train pass through McLaren Vale in 1915

Willunga History News

Centenary Railway celebrations, Willunga, 20 January 2015.  Photo by Chris Horsman. Centenary Railway celebrations, Willunga, 20 January 2015. Photo by Chris Horsman.

On 21 August 1903, an E.K. Miller of Semaphore wrote a letter to the editor of The Chronicle, which began, ‘As various railway projects are before Parliament, allow me … to call attention to the fact that about four years ago, the Commissioner of Public Works promised a deputation to obtain a report from the Engineer-in-Chief as to the advisability of constructing a railway to Willunga … I had supplied the Commissioner with reliable statistics, showing that existing traffic would amply pay the interest and working expenses for at least one train daily each way for a time via Brighton.’

Such a report was not commissioned until 1909, when 117 witnesses, including many local Willunga people, were interviewed. Only one was against the construction of the railway to Willunga, on the grounds that it would not pay. Following a…

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