Engenium have started work on extending a historic railway line in Kalgoorlie-Boulder to increase tourist accessibility to The Super Pit, Australia’s largest gold open pit mine.
The new extension will run from a disused railway line at Boulder City station, part of The Golden Mile Loopline Railway built in the late 1800’s, across the Goldfields Highway up to The Super Pit Lookout and back. The extension will be phase one in re-establishing one of the oldest railway lines in Australia.
To turn this project into reality Engenium are working alongside Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM), who manage The Super Pit, with assistance from Brookfield Rail.
Engenium have significant rail engineering experience and have donated their services to this worthy project. Engenium will design the layout plans, profile drawings and provide engineering specifications for extending the railway line up to The Super Pit Lookout. KCGM, who are major supporters of this project, will be carrying out the earthworks for the ramp that will allow the rail line to reach the top of The Super Pit Lookout. Brookfield Rail will donate second hand track, sleepers and turnouts to the project.
“With a long history in the rail engineering business, we are proud to lend our services to this project.” said Wayne Peel, Engenium’s Managing Director. “The Super Pit is a must-see tourist attraction and an extended railway line up to the Lookout will increase its visitor numbers considerably. Kalgoorlie is renowned for its ‘gold rush’ era, so we are delighted to provide our support in phase one of bringing The Golden Mile Loopline Railway back to life.”
It is hoped the earthworks and track laying will be completed by February next year. On completion, The Super Pit Loopline will be approximately 4km long, and will be used to take visitors to the Lookout up to six times a day.
Originally constructed in the late 1800’s The Golden Mile Loopline was once the busiest railway in Australia, carrying freight for the miners, hauling wood, as well as transporting workers to the mines. At its peak over 100 trains were running day and night. The beginning of its decline as the main means of transport in Kalgoorlie-Boulder came with the first tram service.
“The concept of the Loopline is to link all the main tourist attractions in the City together,” said Mike Lucas, Manager of the Golden Mile Loopline Railway Society. “This includes the Super Pit Lookout, WA Museum, Mt Charlotte Lookout, Kalgoorlie Railway Station and the Hannan’s North Tourist Mine. This will be achieved in four stages, the first being the Super Pit Lookout.”
“It is envisaged that by 2023 we will be carrying approximately 70,000 visitors a year. These will include local members of the community, local tourists, executives visiting the City, intrastate tourists as well as interstate and overseas tourists”.
The Super Pit is one of Kalgoorlie’s major tourist attractions, producing up to 800,000 ounces of gold every year. Stretching 3.6 kilometres long, 1.5km wide and going down to a depth of more than 600m, its operation far outweighs any other mining centre in Australia.
With the services of Engenium, KCGM and Brookfield Rail, The Super Pit will become more accessible to Kalgoorlie’s tourists and assist in bringing back to life some of Kalgoorlie’s original rail history.