Dutton Bay Tramway - The Story

The DBT Story

Shock! Horror! Read All About It

In an amazing series of coincidences, new information about proposed Narrow Gauge railways on the Peninsula has come to light. Read about it on the Eyre Peninsula Narrow Gauge page.

The Imaginary History

In the early days of Eyre Peninsula settlement, a 2'6" gauge tramway was built from Lipson Cove north via Port Neill to Anunaka (on Dutton Bay), a distance of 17 miles, to provide port access for the copper mines at Lipson Cove. A southward extension to Tumby (13 miles) soon followed.

In the early days of SAR's Eyre Peninsula railway building (1910-1914), the SAR built an additional 3'6" branch running NNE from Little Swamp, along the Tod River valley to Kadlunga (just south of the actual town of Koppio). When this line was completed, the DBT was extended south-west to Kadlunga (15 miles from Tumby), thus providing a rail connection to Port Lincoln.

Soon after, a short branch (4 miles) was built from Racecourse Junction, 2 miles north of Tumby, inland to additional mines at Copper Ridge.

When the SAR's Mt Hope line was built west from Cummins (1914), another 2’6" line was built. This one ran from the Lake Malata gypsum and salt deposits (at Kelvin) northwards for 2 miles to the SAR line at Kalanda, between Yeltukka and Kapinnie. Soon after, a third isolated line was built to tap the Lake Greenly deposits. This line ran south from Wepowie to the jetty at Mt Dutton Bay, a distance of 14 miles. The 14 mile gap between Wepowie and Kelvin was then closed, to allow shipping of Kelvin products direct to Mt Dutton Bay, by now renamed to follow the rapidly growing township of Port Dutton. The original SAR connection at Kalanda was maintained for general traffic.

The final development of the DBT was the linking of the two divisions via a 29 mile line from Kadlunga, crossing the SAR main line at Warunda, to Port Dutton.

Initially carrying just a ‘general traffic’, the Port Dutton-Kadlunga link gained importance in the early 1950s when shipping access to Mt Dutton Bay jetty became difficult and the gypsum and salt traffic was diverted to Anunaka. As the grades between Port Dutton and Wirrandra are heavier, this necessitated remarshalling of trains at the junction outside the township, named Mount Dutton Junction. The jetty line at Mt Dutton Bay was virtually abandoned at this time.

Work is progressing on production of a timetable for the whole railway, but you can see the schedule we used at the most recent exhibition.

Stations, Distances and Interchanges

Stations on the line, sectional distances and interchanges are:

Port Neill5
Cape Hardy5
Lipson Cove7
Racecourse Junction11
(Racecourse Jn-Copper Ridge4)
Kadlunga9SAR interchange
Warunda14SAR interchange
Port Dutton9
Woolshed Creek8
Kalanda2SAR interchange

The three 'divisions' are 45, 29 and 30 miles respectively.

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Last Modified November 1, 2000