Excursion: Pine Creek – Darwin

Two days ago in the morning we left the Kakadu NP after almost one week, after passing the Mary River, which was here much smaller than further north, when we crossed it at the first day. After less than two hours drive we arrived in Pine Creek. I visited in this old mining town the former railway station and post office, which houses now a small museum in order to explain the history of the railway to nowhere. There are also two locomotives in a shelter, a diesel one and an old steam locomotive from the US. The steam locomotive was even functioning the last time 19 years ago, but it seemed that the resources for continuing this operation are no longer available. Furthermore, the tracks around the railway museum were cut in several sections, so there’s a lack of distance where this locomotive could in the end even operated. It seems that the new standard gauge railway is mainly using the old narrow gauge railway tracks. Hence, the planned operation of a historic railway never commenced. After the railway museum we went to a lookout to an old pit of a gold mine. This pit contains now 6.8 Mio. m³ of water and it took 14 months to fill it up, by diverting the Pine Creek. After the stop in Pine Creek we got onto the Stuart Highway and drove north. The traffic was more than in the national park, but still far away from being crowded. During a coffee break in Adelaide River, a cargo train full of containers headed south to Alice Springs. In the afternoon we arrived back in Darwin.

The new standard gauge railway now bypasses Pine Creek
The old railway station at the old narrow gauge track…
…which is already interrupted a few hundred metres behind the railway station.
This old steam locomotive was operating the last time about 19 years ago…
…and has one old wodden carriage.
The idea of a rail link from Europe to Australia is pretty old.
There is old iron mining equipment on display next to the railway museum.
The former gold mining pit is now flooded with water.

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