Owanyilla, Queensland

Owanyilla is located between Gympie and Maryborough on the single-track rail line that runs up the Queensland coast from Brisbane to Cairns.

It was a fairly unremarkable place – I don’t even recall seeing a locality sign on the highway that runs to the east of the railway line – until a wood chipping plant was built on the eastern side of the rail line. The woodchip loader was served by a balloon loop that could be accessed directly accessed from the north so that empties could run straight into the loop and loaded trains could return to the north without the need for any shunting.

The entrance track … on the left of this photo … and departure track … on the right of this photo … were connected because a train entering the loop would have blocked the mainline for some time as the hoppers at the front of the train were loaded.

With the connection place the trains entered the loop, apparently did a complete circuit before being loaded with the train clear of the mainline.

The woodchip loader has been closed for some years now although the satellite view although this satellite image from Google shows a train in the process of being loaded.

Google Maps has, in the past, indicated that there was a station at Owanyilla but, if there ever had been one there, it was gone by the time the above image was taken.

The current satellite image for the loop can be accessed here

This article was revised and moved to this site on 20 June 2020 and at that time the track for the loop was still in place but the loop had been disconnected from the mainline.