Opening of Willunga Railway in 1915

Event Dates:

20 January 1915

Willunga Railway Opening
“Willunga is going to be one of the jewels set in the railway necklet of South Australia… perhaps a turquoise of a curious slate colour. Willunga is going to be one of the jewels set in the railway necklet of South Australia… perhaps a turquoise of a curious slate colour”.The Register, 16 January 1915, p. 10.

20 January 1915 was a time of great excitement for the people of Willunga. Finally, after years of delays, the town of Willunga was to be connected to the city of Adelaide by rail. The railway was declared open by his Excellency the Governor, Sir Henry Galway and the inhabitants of Willunga enjoyed a gala day.

An ordinary train left Adelaide at 10.00am to transport excited city dwellers and then at 11.00, a special train steamed out carrying VIPs including the Governor. The special train was met by the local railway committee and prominent Willunga residents. Mr R.F. Atkinson, who was chair of Willunga District Council, and young Gordon Richards stretched two pieces of ribbon across the track. Gordon Richards was the son of Harry Richards, who is thought to have died from the strain of promoting the railway as First Secretary of the Railway Committee.

After the Government proclaimed his pleasure at being asked to open the railway, the train steamed through the ribbon, and the railway was officially open!  The opening of the Willunga Railway was a highlight of 1915. The school children went on a special train ride to Brighton, where they walked along the beach and then returned to Willunga. They were very disappointed that they had no time to play on the beach.

References:

1915 ‘OPENING OF WILLUNGA RAILWAY‘, The Express and Telegraph 8 January, p. 4. viewed 16 Feb 2024,
1915 ‘ON THE WAY TO WILLUNGA‘, The Register 16 January, p. 10. , viewed 16 Feb 2024,
1915 ‘WILLUNGA RAILWAY‘, The Register 18 January, p. 4. , viewed 16 Feb 2024,
1915 ‘OPENING THE WILLUNGA RAILWAY‘, The Express and Telegraph 21 January, p. 5. viewed 16 Feb 2024,
1915 ‘OPENING OF THE WILLUNGA RAILWAY‘, Observer 30 January, p. 27. , viewed 16 Feb 2024,

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