The Appendix to Working Time Book No. 1. of September 1892 shows that although Wooroloo was situated on the Eastern Railway it was not a Staff Station, but was located in the Chidlow's Well to Clackline Staff and Ticket section which utilised a round-shaped Staff coloured Black and Yellow.
Note: SignallingWA has yet to find any illustrations of the early staff shapes or the multi-coloured painting system applied to these Staffs at the time - they certainly were many and varied! We would be most interested to hear from anyone with knowledge of this area. Can YOU Help?
Weekly Notice No. 1 of 1896 announced:
(Late Byfield's Mill, Eastern Railway.)
A Shelter Shed and Platform has been constructed at Byfield's Mill. The platform will be known as Wooroloo.
Commencing on TUESDAY, 1st SEPTEMBER, 1896, any Passenger or Mixed Trains required, will stop to pick up or set down passengers.
On and after date mentioned above, Goods and Parcels may be accepted for this platform, but freight must be pre-paid.
Wooroloo signal cabin was one of the W.A.G.R.'s 'standard' lever cabins, to a design dating from the 1890s. These were no doubt inspired by McKenzie & Holland, the cabins of the major signalling supplier / contractor of the time. Prior to full signalling, two Point Indicators had been used as a guide to Drivers from 2nd April 1898, these being removed when interlocking was brought into use at this station on 17th of January 1899.
Although Wooroloo was only a small cabin set on what was to become an island platform, it served a vital link in the chain of cabins along the old Eastern Line through the Darling Ranges. The trains worked by the Signalmen here were destined for a large variety of stations and sidings throughout the W. A. G. R. network including the Great Southern Railway and Eastern Goldfields Railway.
In 1901 Wooroloo was rated as a 5th Class station, and was provided with a 100 foot Platform (excluding ramps); a cattle dock and Gents toilets. No mention was made of facilities for Ladies! Wooroloo station was originally part of the Eastern Railway when it was single line sections between the stations and the lines were worked under the Rules and Regulations applying to Staff and Ticket train working. The 1901 General Appendix to the Book of Rules and Regulations however, shows that the Electric Staff system had been introduced by then and the sections were:
Interestingly, up to 1903, the station was shown on railway maps as "Wooriloo" - the 1904 map records the name as "Wooroloo". No reason for this has yet been found by SignallingWA, and the naming situation is made more puzzling as the name has always being recorded in departmental Books as "Wooroloo".
Works commenced on the 13th March 1905 to duplicate the line from Chidlow's Well to Wooroloo, and on 10th of December 1905 the duplication was brought into use as far as a 'Temporary Signal Box' located at Mileage 43 1/2 (this location was named 'Beechina' and was provided with no less that five main line signals, all worked by an interlocked lever frame). From this point the line became single track again until it reached Wooroloo. Page 1408 of Weekly Notice No. 51 / 1905 shows the following:- "Further to the Chief Traffic Manager's Circular No. 17 of 1905:- On Wednesday, 20th December, 1905...Double-line working will then come into use" (to Wooroloo - Ed.), and "...The signals at temporary junction will be taken out of use and removed." The double line was extended to Werribee in 1907 and then to Clackline in September of that same year.
This 1905 diagram of the Wooroloo station layout shows the simple arrangement of tracks before duplication of the line had been completed. Note that it is only single line on the right (to the east).
Following the duplication of the line to form double line sections Winter's Block instruments were introduced. An example of one of these instruments which had been used on the line can be seen affixed to the wall in the Chidlow Hotel. The instrument displayed carries a plate "To Chidlow" - suggesting that it was used at one of the stations either side of Chidlow. If anyone can help with a history of this instrument we would be most interested to hear from you.
Weekly Notice 19 of 1928 advises: "...that Block working on Down Road of the Chidlow - Wooroloo section was cancelled". This was due to the introduction of Automatic signalling and involved replacing the lower quadrant 'Up' (No. 8) and 'Down' (No. 26) Main Line Advance Starting signals with three position upper quadrant semaphore signals which worked as 'Semi-Automatic' signals. The Automatic Signalling system was brought into use on the "Down" line to Koojedda on 15th April 1936 and completed to that station on 16th February 1937.
On the 14th of October 1953 the 3-position Automatic upper quadrant signals on Down main line to Koojedda were changed to 3 aspect colour light type signals, and on 21st of May 1957, 3 aspect Colour Light Automatic signals were introduced on the "Up" main from Koojedda, being in accordance with the Diagram of Signalling for the Wooroloo to Coates section C. C. E. Plan 46601, published in Weekly Notice 27 of 1959. This diagram shows and interesting mix of signalling!
With the diversion of rail traffic to the Avon Valley Route, the record card for Wooroloo shows that on the 13th of February 1966 the station was closed and deleted. The card file was additionally endorsed that all material was to be removed, and so it is today with virtually nothing to be seen at this location. A children's playground and a monument to the Kalgoorlie water pipeline project have been erected on the site which is now shaded by many trees.
Information researched and interpreted by Chris. J. E. French of SignallingWA
Any additional information on this signal cabin would be most welcome, please use the e-mail form provided on this page.
Photographs courtesy of Rail HeritageWA Archives and Diagrams of Signalling and Photograph © by W. A. G. R.
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This list may not be complete and does not yet include employees who worked here without being appointed.
Where an appointment date is unknown, the Weekly Notice (WN) date advising of the appointment or other official documentation, i.e. Certificate of Competency (CC) will be used.
Antaley, Michael Louis Anthony
Assistant Station Master
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