The Fremantle to Armadale Line was established in 1906 as a route from Perth to Bunbury via the Southern Line. For many years the settlers in the Jandakot area were demanding improved transportation links links to the very poor quality roads that existed, making the transport of their crops for sale in Fremantle very difficult.
The route of the rail line is shown in the map below and runs South from Robbs' Jetty before turning and heading east to Spearwood. From here it makes it's way through to run between South Lake and Little Rush Lake turning more south easterly and along the edge of Lake Yangebup to Jandakot. Bibra Lake Station was located just South not far from North Lake Road near the Lakes Shopping Centre. The stretch of line to Jandakot was opened on 1st April 1906, and the extension through to Armadale on 15th July 1907.
The rail wasn't as successful as hoped and failed to generate
further industry based around the railway as seen in many other areas. The section of the line between Armadale and
Jandakot was abandoned on 23rd January 1964.
When the new standard gauge line from Midland to Cockburn was
constructed in late 1966, it bisected the remaining Jandakot to Fremantle near
the Bibra Lake Station, forcing the closure of the section between Bibra Lake
and Jandakot on 6th June 1966. New
sidings were constructed due
to the original line being cut by the new Midland to Cockburn freight
line, as shown in Weston's photographs.
It was originally envisaged that the sidings would connect to the freight line
and indeed the earthworks were constructed.
However this never happened and the sidings and old line eventually fell
out of service.This Midland
to Cockburn line is the one that remains running at the back of Bibra
The remains of the route joined the new line at the new Spearwood Junction. This lasted until the late 1991 purely for local transportation for industry in Bibra Lake, primarily Elders and CBH. At some point the junction was removed.
Weston Langford took several photographs showing the construction and operation of the sidings in the vicinty of the old Bibra Lake Station. The family of Weston Langford are happy for these photo's to be reproduced below. I would recommend checking out further the work undertaken by Weston Langford . New sidings were constructed due to the original line being cut by the new Midland to Cockburn freight line, as shown in Weston's photographs.
Heading from Spearwood towards Bibra Lake. Below is some images of the trackbed path between Miguel Road to Bibra Lake
The intersection of the two routes is almost where North Lake Road crosses the current rail line. Once on the other side of it, the trackbed makes a brief, and fairly apparent, reappearance. Trackbed, looking towards Jandakot. A small section of trackbed is well preserved inside the nature reserve for Little Rush Lake. Unfortunately it vanishes as soon as the fence for the reserve is reached. The reallignment of North Lake Road to suit modern housing development served to obliterate the trackbed beyond here.
The trackbed runs in a straight line away from the camera. Through the trees is a yellow sign. This was where Bibra Lake station stood.
Site of Bibra Lake station. Platform was roughly where the left most car is, with the track running from the front center in a right hand curve. The traffic lanes with the cars are where the track was. The road originally ran through the car park of the shopping center in the background.
Route of line towards Jandakot. Track ran along the course of the road then curved and ran towards the lamp post in the middle distance.
Where North Lake Road joins Elderberry Drive, the trackbed separates from the road. Development has destroyed all trace of the trackbed here. The track lay almost immediately adjacent to the widened road. The modern route of Osprey drive bisects the trackbed as it passes from Little Rush Lake to Lake Yangebup. A private railway line once joined the route here. It served timber cutting concessions in the area. All evidence of it is long gone. Its course is now taken over by Osprey Drive.
Bibra Lake Looking towards Spearwood Relocating Rails
Date Taken: 19 January 1966
Contract C22 9M 62Ch Looking West Entrance to Bibra Lake Yard on Right
Date Taken: 3 March 1966
Contract C22 13M 23Ch Looking East WAGR Tracklaying on narrow gauge future junction of Soundcem and Bibra Lake lines
Date Taken: 29 March 1966Link to large image
Bibra Lake Yard Up Goods from Jandakot Y 11xx
Date Taken: 7 May 1966
Bibra Lake Down end ng turnout in yard Old line East of Main line SG to Jandakot in middle background
Date Taken: 20 May 1966Link to large image
Bibra Lake Up end of NG Yard looking East Deviation in line to Jandakot at right
Date Taken: 20 May 1966
Bibra Lake Down Wheat Empty K 204
Date Taken: 13 December 1966
Bibra Lake Down Grain Empty J 105
Date Taken: 12 January 1967