Yass Junction railway station , which up to late 1980s was a south main line junction station which serviced the town of Yass via the Yass Town branch line.
Located at 318.010 km from Sydney is the country railway station, Yass Junction, which was opened on July 3 1876 as an official railway station.
The town of Yass was founded in the early 1820s and over the years grew as the region developed. Yass was in the early 1870s, pitching for a railway service as railways spread across NSW. The problem was Yass was not connected to the Main South Line going to Albury.
The locals wanted a railway service…. but unfortunately the topography made the government bypass the town by a few kilometres to the north when the main south line was constructed.
As this bypass didnt please the people of the town – they wanted more closer railway services even if it meant a line going through it. Finally in 1892, after much debate and planning, a light railway tram branch line was built to Yass which connected at Yass Junction to the main line.
Yass station was then renamed as Yass Junction on April 20 1892. Trams serviced the town and as traffic grew soon steam locomotives and carriages and wagons were used on the short branch line to service the town.
Refuge sidings, station buildings and signal box are all that remain of an era long ago. Nowadays the only passenger train anywhere near Yass is the services provided by the former NSWGR now Countrylink, which services stop at Yass Junction occasionally during the day and night.
The 2 main station buildings are made of solid brick design, with the down station building double storey which use to have accommodation upstairs. There is a over bridge for access to the up platform. A tall radio antenna is rather prominent at the down platform north end for communication to enable train crews to keep in touch with signallers. Well maintained gardens bloom in summer and look very attractive in autumn.
The Yass Town branch line veers off to the left off the main line via a refugee siding loop line on the down line. This line passes behind the signal box and used to have a small platform area next to the station. The line is also considered as a refuge siding for freight trains.
In the steam locomotive era, the steam locomotives which stopped at Yass Junction had water columns and ash pits at the station on the main line for servicing needs. A locomotive through shed and water tanks were also located nearby. These are now all long gone.
Nearly every type of steam locomotives class has at one time or another passed through Yass Junction as has every diesel class. Small light 13 Class were the main steam locomotive class at Yass Junction and they were used to service the branch line and were commonly seen around the station. X200 series diesel motor replaced the 13 Class in the 1960s.
Nowadays the Yass Railway Heritage Centre uses the Yass Town station precinct as a museum which a large display of rollingstock, photos and displays.