Monthly Archives: May 2020

Terowie Train Station – Hidden Secrets

Terowie Train Station – Hidden Secrets


The mid-north town of Terowie sits 220 kilometres north of Adelaide, in South Australia. It is an important landmark town in the state for its many historical buildings. Terowie Train Station opened in 1880 when the broad-gauge railway line from Adelaide reached the town. The first train arrived on December 14, 1880, carrying Sir William Jervois, Governor of South Australia
 Not long after, a narrow-gauge line from nearby Peterborough was extended to Terowie station. Terowie railway station, from then on, was used to unload goods from the broad-gauge line, onto trains on the narrow-gauge line, to move goods through the state, and interstate.
 The Adelaide to Red Hill railway line was extended to Port Pirie in 1937, taking away some of Terowie’s train traffic.  When Leigh Creek Coalfields opened, traffic through Terowie increased again, but this line was soon made obsolete with a new Stirling to Maree line opening in 1957. The Port Augusta to Broken Hill line was converted to a standard gauge, which saw railway lines north of Terowie converted to broad gauge in1970, making Peterborough the breakpoint of gauges and rendering Terowie obsolete.
During World War Two. A large military camp was established close the railway station, enabling the military to move troops and ammunition swiftly across Australia to wherever needed. The break of gauge at Terowie meant that the town was vital for the Silverton to Burra, Adelaide to Perth and Adelaide to Alice Springs routes. During the War, all north-bound men and goods were transhipped at Terowie.
While changing trains on the 20th of March 1942 at Terowie U.S. General MacArthur made a speech about the Battle of The Philippines, in which he said:. “I came out of Bataan and I shall return”.
The Terowie line was reduced to a crossing loop with the line closing in July 1988,
Today Terowie is a historical town much loved by its residents. The train station stands as a monument to the railway workers that opened up the outback to exploration, commerce and tourism.

Researched by Allen Tiller