Located at the 529.010 km marker from Sydney and 5km west of Tumut, is the remains of a once busy small “junction” station called Gilmore.
Gilmore opened after the services from Cootamundra through to Tumut began in 1903, in December 1903. It was originally named as Killarney then in 1904 to Gilmore.
This station used to once play a major part in the Tumut and Batlow branch lines. The station was mainly used to transfer people from DOWN services ex Cootamundra to Tumut, who wished to go to Batlow. They were able to walk across the small platform and get aboard the Tumut to Batlow services.
The Gilmore-Batlow railway branch line (originally up to the late 1950s, the line extended to Kunama about 11km further on but cut back to Batlow due to low usage) was a branch line that separated at Gilmore junction. The station junction at Gilmore – effectively an end of the Cootamundra branch line – serviced both the Batlow and Tumut railway branch sections.
The station had a single island platform with a station building, a male toilet and a signal box / lever frame present. Situated in the yard were many semaphores signals to control the various operational lines. Built opposite the was a loading bank and at the northern end of the yard was a goods shed which enabled local inwards goods and outward goods to be transshipped. A small wooden trestle bridge near the goods shed was used to cross a small creek.
Shown below is a layout and historical photos courtesy of Tumut Branch Line modellers Peter Prewett and Andrew Lawson (They have a superb model display they show case at events of the Tumut, Gilmore, Batlow and Gundagai stations all setup on their webpage – http://www.tumutbranchline.com)
Shown below are photos of Gilmore from 1960s showing the station with operations underway. A 620 railmotor heading towards Tumut and 19 class with a small passenger load heading towards Batlow are shown.
Here we see a down service from Cootamundra heading to Tumut with 3038 hauling a few carriages and passengers walking in the yard. A Batlow service is seen on left platform.
Class leader 1901 is seen heading to Tumut coming from Batlow. Note the wood in the S truck wagons behind the locomotive and the K truck wagon in the goods siding loop.
Gilmore saw many services a week over its operational consisting of passenger and goods movements stopping or passing through the station/yard. Rollingstock used included CPH railmotors, 620 railmotors, 30 class steam locomotives hauled passenger and goods ex Cootamundra to Tumut, 19 class steam locomotive hauled passenger and goods ex Tumut to Batlow/Kunama and 48 and 49 class diesel hauled goods movements to Tumut/Batlow to Cootamundra.
Since 1975, Gilmore has remained quieter when passenger services finished and was still bypassed up until the end of the running of the Cootamundra – Tumut branch line in early 1984. Shown below we see a view courtesy of the Chris Stratton collection of a CPH railmotor passing an intact Gilmore tho underused/under maintained in November 1983.
BRANCH LINE CLOSED 1984
Since 1984 when the Cootamundra to Tumut branch line and station has decayed, and around Gilmore the station was demolished, the track overgrown, semaphore signals cut down, damage to signal box, removal of the signal installations and the station masters house demolished. A brief interlude saw some further action pass Gilmore as a small railway enthusiast train service run from Tumut to Batlow in 1991-1992 but this was closed down after 1.5yrs.
PRESENT DAY GILMORE
In December 2012, a visit to Gilmore was done and also a flight which took me over the station was arranged.
Shown below is a rare view of the Gilmore Junction where the Gilmore – Batlow and Gilmore to Gundagai/Cootamundra lines met and then ran parallel to Gilmore station. The junction is seen in middle with the green bushes and with the Gundagai line branching north, Batlow line crossing right to left near middle of photo.
In these photos the Gilmore station is found situated above the factory in the middle near the area of the large green trees.
A view looking back towards Tumut from Batlow end of yard. The station is clear in this view and also shown is how close the factory encroached onto the rail area.
Gilmore station and yard is heavily overgrown and it is advised not to go walking through it. Photo below shows the extent of growth since the line closed.
A back road near the factory is the only public access and you can photograph safely from here the decaying station remains. The decaying remains include the male toilet, a loading bank, a signal building, a goods shed and what is assumed to be most of the station and yard track. A semaphore was seen to be cut down and decaying.
This is where the station once stood, in the area consisting of next to the signal building, the large tree and the male toilet.
The signal box remains standing but vandalised.
The male toilet building
The goods shed
Details of the yard. It was noted that around the goods shed end of the yard, extensive tall and multiple trees/bushes are growing in what is believed to the former main line area.
The loading bank
The decaying and unloved yard could be still restored by locals/enthusiasts but there is little interest at this time in such a novel idea. There is significant infrastructure still there to at least be preserved in some way to ensure Gilmore’s history could be told for future railway enthusiasts and tourists. The goods shed which is decaying and warped, may at some point be moved to Tumut railway station for saving and restoration.