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National Trust Willunga branch.

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National Trust of South Australia


Opening of Willunga Railway

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Fast Facts
Type of event Celebration

Willunga Railway Opening

Street name 10 Station
Street suffix Road
Town or locality Willunga
Date occurred or began January 20, 1915
Date ended January 20, 1915
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Willunga is going to be one of the jewels set in the railway necklet of South Australia... perhaps a turquoise of a curious slate colour. The Register, 16 January 1915, p. 10.

January 20, 1915 was a time of great excitement for the people of Willunga. Finally, after years of delays, the town of Willunga was to be connected to the city of Adelaide by rail. The railway was declared open by his Excellency the Governor Sir Henry Galway and the inhabitants of Willunga enjoyed a gala day. An ordinary train left Adelaide at 10.00am to transport excited city dwellers and then at 11.00, a special train steamed out carrying VIPs including the Governor.

The special train was met by the local railway committee and prominent Willunga residents. Mr R.F. Atkinson, who was chair of Willunga District Council, and young Gordon Richards stretched two pieces of ribbon across the track. Gordon Richards was the son of Harry Richards Richards, Harry, who is thought to have died from the strain of promoting the railway as First Secretary of the Railway Committee. After the Government proclaimed his pleasure at being asked to open the railway, the train steamed through the ribbon, and the railway was officially open!

Related Articles


  • Express and Telegraph 21 January 1915 p5
Willunga Railway Opening 1915
Willunga Railway Opening 1915
Opening the new railway at Willunga, South Australia.
Opening the new railway at Willunga, South Australia.

Memories of Opening of Willunga Railway

The opening of the Willunga Railway was a highlight of 1915. The school children went on a special train ride to Brighton, where they walked along the beach and then returned to Willunga. They were very disappointed that they had no time to play on the beach.

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