North Australia Railway The Narrows

Historical Sites and Heritage Locations

This remnant of the North Australia Railway (NAR) is an important reminder of the earlier rail system and is an invaluable site for interpretation and display.

The NAR was the start of a grand vision to build a transcontinental railway from north to south. Reaching Pine Creek in 1888, it was extended to Katherine in 1926. The railway was progressing south through Birdum in 1929 when construction was halted because of the Great Depression.

The NAR was a major factor in opening the Top End and key infrastructure for the exploitation of minerals discovered during and after the construction of the Overland Telegraph Line. The railway provided a vital link with Darwin for people in remote communities. During WWII the railway was a vital link for troop and material movements to the war zone.

The Narrows site comprises remnants of the NAR corridor, consisting of a steel bridge, railway line and embankment, steel sleepers, signal posts and warning device switches. It runs alongside the Stuart Highway and is fragmented in patches but is in good condition.

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