Kingaroy to Tarong Rail Connection

The early 1900s was a significant time for rail development in Queensland. As a result the small settlements and townships along the rail line looked to prosper and grow.

One such township was Tarong, a settlement 30kms south of Kingaroy. The Kingaroy railway was officially opened earlier in 1904, followed by Nanango in 1911.

Kingaroy celebrates the opening of the railway, 1904. Image 204860, John Oxley Library State Library of Queensland

Kingaroy celebrates the opening of the railway, 1904. Image 204860, John Oxley Library State Library of Queensland

By January 1916 the railway line linking Tarong to Kingaroy had become a reality. January 2016 marked the centenary of the occasion in the district.

The ceremony of officially opening the Kingaroy-Tarong line was performed by the Minister for Railways (Mr John Adamson) today. A special train of eleven carriages left Kingaroy in the morning and picked up passengers on route, the cars being eventually crowded on arrival at Tarong. The ceremony of breaking the tape, which was held by Councillor John King (Nanango Shire), and Councillor Ernest Lord (Esk Shire), was performed.

Speaking from the engine, Mr John Adamson said there was no doubt about the necessity for this line being completed as far as Cooyar. He was of opinion the line would not have served its purpose until constructed as far as Cooyar. (Applause) He regarded railways as arterials of trade and commerce. In this country there were not a great number of waterways in the interior, consequently railways were absolutely necessary for the development of this country.
Mr Hodge, member for Nanango also addressed the gathering.
The train proceeded back to Brooklands, where a successful basket picnic was held. A great crowd was present from all parts of the district. At the luncheon Mr Adamson spoke on railway matters generally.

Source: Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser (Qld.: 1860 – 1947) 2 February, 1916

By 1921 the subdivision, Tarong Estate advertised land for sale at Tarong Railway Station. This detailed map lists the important aspects of the location and the number of 'choice agricultural farms' on offer. View the full estate map.

Subdivision - Tarong Estate 1921. Image extract: 21116487890002061 John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

Subdivision - Tarong Estate 1921. Image extract: 21116487890002061 John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

Much has changed in the 100 years since the opening of the railway link to Tarong, but records in the John Oxley Library demonstrate the importance of the district in Queensland since settlement. Photographs taken by surveyor Hector Munro entitled GS -23 Tarong Station Photograph Albums bear testament to this fact.  Several are digitised and available online.

Interesting fact..if the railway line had continued the 30kms on to Cooyar, there would have been a continuous rail connection from Toowoomba to Maryborough on the coast!

Anne Scheu - Queensland Memory, State Library of Queensland

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