The Railway at Minnipa

(157M 28C from Port Lincoln)

Minnipa was opened as terminus of the line from Port Lincoln on 5 May 1913. At the time of opening the facilities included an engine shed, coal stage, station building, maintenance barracks and two residences. It became a 'through' station when line opened to Nunjikompita on 14 August 1914 (later extended to Thevenard and Penong).

A small goods shed was erected by 1919, and transportation barracks in 1920-21. A 3 ton derrick crane and additional sidings were provided in 1926-27, and combined sheep and cattle yards in 1930. A dining room was added to the transportation barracks c.1936.

A new larger goods shed was erected c.1953, replacing the small original one. Between 1951 and 1955 a new 15 ton coaling gantry improved life for the loco crews. The first grain silos (4 cells) were constructed in 1962, and an additional siding was added on 21 January 1963 to assist with shunting of the silos. A second block of 6 silos was constructed in 1968, and the following year a further 6 cells were added to the original block. The derrick crane was replaced with a new revolving jib crane in 1967.

The northern leg of the triangle was disconnected on 23 March 1972, following the withdrawal of all steam locomotives from the Division in 1970. A new transportation barracks building was erected in 1972-73. Station staff were withdrawn and Minnipa became unattended from 1 August 1983. The yard layout was extensively revised in mid-1983, with the loop sidings extended and an additional dead-end siding provided. The station building was demolished on 28 May 1985.

Detail pages for the various facilities at Minnipa can be accessed via links in the text above, or by clicking directly on the relevant object or location in the yard diagrams below.

Yard, c.1920

Minnipa yard, circa 1920. The station building and original small goods shed are prominent, and the transportation barracks and maintenance barracks (part) can be seen in the right distance along with two railway cottages. Photo courtesy Minnipa Progress Association

1921 diagram

Yard, 1957

Minnipa yard in 1957, looking from the top of the coaling tower. A T class locomotive is in the foreground. The train curving onto the triangle is being coupled to a relay van which was converted from a 'Long Tom' coach, while a composite goods brake converted from a 'Short Tom' coach sits on the main line. In the distance, the new goods shed is opposite the station building, a curtained grain stack is this side of the goods shed and the large SAFU bagged grain shed is beyond it. Photo: L Richardson, P Wood collection

1963 diagram

Yard, 2003

DA6, 842 and 851 are shunting grain empties at Minnipa on 8 March 2003. Photo: Greg O'Brien

1987 diagram