The Wolgan Valley railway was built by the Commonwealth Oil Corporation in 1907 to transport oil from the shale oil refininery that was built at Newnes.
The branch line was built from Newnes Junction (near Clarence, on the Main Western Line in the Blue Mountains) and ran north for approximately 30 miles until it reached the refinery at Newnes.
In it's day it was considered an engineering marvel as it was built through extremely rugged terrain and the section from Deane (at 19 mile post) to Constance (29 mile post) drops approximately 1670 feet (509m) in the 10 mile (16km) section. The ruling grade for this section is 1 in 25. Due to the extreme terrain the line has 5 chain (100m) curves in this section and major earthworks were required to carve out the trackbed along the cliff face.
Due to the steep gradients and sharp curves Shay locomotives were used to haul the trains.
During it's life the railway changed ownership a number of times. Soon after opening the refinery expierenced competition from overseas companies who were able to obtain oil form wells at a fraction of the cost of the shale oil extraction method and industrial problems. As a consequence production was never reliable and the railway sometimes was "mothballed". The last train ran in 1937 and the track was finally pulled up in the 1940s.
This line was similar in design to a number of other lines built by the NSWGR. The Bombala line has similar grades and curve radii, so whilst there is no record of NSWGR locomotives being used on the WVR, 19 Class locomotives could have operated on it.
Much of the track bed is still visible and can be walked in many places. There were two tunnels on the route and one of these is the "famous" glow worm tunnel in the Wolgan Valley.
if you are interested in some more details about the real route, check these sites out:
If you wish to provide any feedback on this route, please use the contact page.
Route Length: 32.2 miles (51.8 kms)
Track pieces used: 1097
Track length laid: 24.4 miles (39.3 kms)
Road pieces used: 304
Road length laid: 22.0 miles (35.5 kms)
If you would like to preview and keep the Route map for Version 1 then you can use Tim Booth's (now upgraded to V0.98) excellent trackviewing tool. This update allows the preview to be loaded and kept permanently installed without causing any MSTS errors.
i) Read the readme file first.
ii) Download Track Viewer (V0.98)
iii) Download the Wolgan Valley Route Map Preview.
iv) Install the above components and open Trackview to view route.
If you want to look at some of the features(screenshots) of the line click here
The Wolgan Valley Railway operated Class C Shay locomotives. The closest match at the moment is a Class D locomotive, which is available from the Train Sim site. Go to the search page, and type in "shayd10.zip" into the File Name box.