Timber railway lines of Western Australia
The network of railway lines in Western Australia associated with the timber and firewood industries is as old as the mainline railway system of the former Western Australian Government Railways system. The timber industry relied predominantly upon the Jarrah forests of the Darling Range and the Karri forests of the Southwest Australia region.
- Millars Empire
- Bunning Brothers
- State Saw Mills
- Adelaide Timber company
- Kauri Timber Company
- Kalgoorlie Woodlines were lines that spread throughout the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia - in all directions from the centre of the Kalgoorlie-Boulder region. Commonly known as the woodlines they sustained a population of railway and timber workers in mainly temporary railway networks that moved regularly from the early twentieth century to the 1960's.
The main companies were:-
- The West Australian Goldfields Firewood Supply Ltd (WAGFS) formed in 1899 Kurrawong later to Lakewood in 1937 closed in 1964/1965
- The Kalgoorlie and Boulder Firewood Company formed in 1902 Broad Arrow later to Lakeside and part of the 1919 combine
- The Westralia Timber and Firewood Company worked between 1902 -1920 at Kanowna later to Kurramia (aka B.T.Henderson’s Tramway)
- The Lakeside Firewood Companies was the combination of the latter two businesses and existed for a short time between 1919-1924
A significant event in the woodlines history that affected the region was the industrial action that became the Woodline strike between the 1st of July through to 14 August 1919 over the attempt at post war reduction of wages for workers. The strike brought the goldmines of Kalgoorlie to a standstill as a result.(Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper stories reported the event)
- Gunzburg, Adrian and Austin, Jeff (2008) Rails through the Bush: Timber and Firewood Tramways and Railway Contractors of Western Australia Perth, W.A. Rail Heritage WA. ISBN 978-0-9803922-2-7
- Fall, V. G. (1972) Cargoes of jarrah. History of the jarrah timber trade in W.A. and of the ships which carried jarrah cargoes. Includes a detailed account of one voyage of the Monkbarns. Early days, Vol. 7, pt. 4 (1972), p. 39-65