Started in June 1904, the Moe to Walhalla railway, one of four experimental 2'6" narrow gauge railways built by the Victorian Government, reached its destination in May, 1910 - too late to do much but witness the gradual decline of Walhalla as a premier mining town, with the closure of the Long Tunnel Extended Goldmine in 1911 and its other record-breaking goldmine, the Long Tunnel, in 1914. In 1944 the service to Walhalla ceased operating beyond Platina and in June, 1954, with only one mixed train operating to Erica each week, the line from Moe finally closed. In 1956 the line was pulled up and ceased to exist, except within the memories of many who had witnessed its operations and in the dreams of some who would like to see it operate again.
A number of attempts to restore the line, with varying degrees of success, were tried until, in 1991, with only the remains of derelict bridges on the right of way, the Walhalla Railway Taskforce was formed with the aim of restoring the line from Erica to Walhalla. This became the Walhalla Goldfields Railway, Inc., in 1993 and restoration began with the establishment of Thomson Station and its accompanying yard. The railway commenced operations in April, 1994, simply running up and down the Thomson Station yard. Gradually the line progressed, first over the Thomson River Bridge in May, 1994, then to Leachville, over the Three Span Bridge, to Cascade Halt, to Happy Creek and finally, after the construction of the six railway bridges in the last kilometre, into the Walhalla Station yard for the opening of this section of the line on the 15th of March, 2002.
What of the future? Our next target will be to reach the Boola Road and establish a station there, with the final goal being to enter Erica and establish a station and the railway's permanent workshop complex. A full business plan for the extension has been developed [late 2010] and the long hard process of sourcing funds has begun.
Bridge #10 just on the Erica side of Thomson [below] requires a complete rebuild as does bridge #9 which has already been removed. These are the two main challenges to extend to Boola Road [apart from $s].