Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Ampol Branch - East Botany
Welcome to 2008!
The Ampol branch in East Botany left the Port Botany line just east of the Page Street overbridge and opposite Kelloggs.
It was not a very long branch and was only ever used to serve the fuel terminal at its end. At either end of the line it crossed a street, Baker and Ocean, in between which was a large gelatin company from where Gelco yard gained its name.
In later years this area became quite bushy and was a favoured spot for local Botany railfans, especially in the late 80s and early 90s when it became an obsession with its expected closure.
All shunting was carried out by pushing the fuel tankers into the terminal. There were no run around facilities provided.
Trains would normally work up from Botany yard to the junction, then with the shunter protecting both crossings the train would be called across by radio. On completion the train would return to the junction where it would either head straight out to other destinations or pushed back to Botany goods yard again.
The line closed in the mid 90s after a merging of Caltex and Ampol saw the terminal closed. This came as a bit of a shock as the whole rail section of the terminal was rebuilt just a couple of years prior.
Today the only rails existing are those in the two level crossings. The mainline has been straight railed, while the section between the two crossings has been variously landscaped, covered in a tennis court and also a car park. Only ballast survives in the actual terminal.
No easy access to walking the formation exists, though it can mostly be seen from both crossings.
Photos: 4916 arrives at the Ampol terminal on the afternoon of 1st June 1991. Used card from a fuel tanker headed to Narrabri in the states north.