Quorn, South Australia

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South Australia
The Transcontinental Hotel
Quorn is located in South Australia
Coordinates32°20′0″S 138°02′0″E / 32.33333°S 138.03333°E / -32.33333; 138.03333Coordinates: 32°20′0″S 138°02′0″E / 32.33333°S 138.03333°E / -32.33333; 138.03333
Population1,230 (2016 census)[1]
Elevation293 m (961 ft)
LGA(s)Flinders Ranges Council
State electorate(s)Stuart[2]
Federal Division(s)Grey[3]

Quorn is a small town in the Flinders Ranges in the north of South Australia, 39 km northeast of Port Augusta. In 2011 there were 1206 people living in Quorn.[1] Quorn is the home of the Flinders Ranges Council local government area. It is in the state Electoral district of Stuart[2] and the federal Division of Grey.[3]

It is also the home of the Pichi Richi Railway.

History[change | change source]

The town was surveyed in 1878 and named after Quorndon in Leicestershire, United Kingdom. It was a railway town, part of the railway line being built from Port Augusta. The railway line from Port Augusta to Quorn opened in 1879. It reached Government Gums (Farina) in 1882, Marree in 1884, Oodnadatta in 1890 and Alice Springs in 1929. This railway line later became known as the "Ghan line" or Central Australia Railway.

In 1917, Quorn became the crossroads of the north–south Central Australian Railway and east–west Trans-Australian Railway between Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie. This made Quorn an important town, as everyone travelling east–west or north–south in Australia passed through Quorn. As a result, many fine buildings were built as the town expanded.

Quorn's role as a crossroads was lost in 1937 when a standard gauge railway connection was opened between Port Pirie and Port Augusta. However, during World War II, Quorn was a vital service point for trains heading north to Alice Springs. Over one million soldiers passed through on their way to Darwin and on to Papua New Guinea. There were over 50 trains eaxh day during and immediately after World War II. The trains also carried coal mined at Leigh Creek to the new Playford A Power Station in Port Augusta.

During the 1950s a new standard gauge line was built which did not pass through Quorn. It was built on the western side of The Dutchmans Stern, Mount Arden and Mount Eyre. This line went from Stirling North to Brachina and then followed the original narrow gauge route through Leigh Creek and to Marree. Trains no longer went through the Pichi Richi Pass or Quorn. The only services now operating through Quorn was freight from Peterborough and Hawker. As a result Quorn lost its important railway business and in the 1980s the railway was completely closed as freight was moved to road transport. One unusual aspect of the railway working from Peterborough to Quorn and then on to Hawker was the need for the engine to be turned and joined to the opposite end of the train when arriving at Quorn, as it was not a "through" station for the trip from Peterborough to Hawker.

In 1973 the Pichi Richi Railway Preservation Society was formed to keep and protect the unique bridges and stone work that formed the railway through the Pichi Richi Pass between Quorn and Stirling North. At first they only wanted to preserve the railway through the Pichi Richi Pass, but they later got railway carriages and locomotives to provide a tourist service through from Quorn to Port Augusta.[4] TheThey have written a book showing the railway in its heyday.[5]

Tourism[change | change source]

The Old Mill

A main attraction in Quorn is the Pichi Richi Railway. There are also a self-guided walking tours in the town, included several based around the town's historic old buildings, the railway yards[6] and other historic locations. The Flinders Ranges Visitor Information Centre / Pichi Richi Railway in the Quorn railway station provide visitor information, bookings for the railway, accommodation, tours and souvenirs.

There are a number of hotels, restaurants, bistro and cafes in town.

The Heysen Trail and the Mawson Trail, two long distance trails for walking and cycling, pass through town and there are many bushwalks and 4wd tracks.

Famous people from Quorn include country music artist Jedd Hughes, politician Brian Harradine and champion SANFL footballer Fos Williams. Former Australian of the year and AC, CBE, Lowitja O'Donoghue also spent her childhood at the Aboriginal mission in Quorn, the Colebrook Children's Home.

Travellers use Quorn as a base to explore the Flinders Ranges, including Warren Gorge, Kanyaka Station, Proby's Grave and Itali Itali.

Quorn has also been used in several movies, including The Shiralee, Sunday Too Far Away, Gallipoli, Wolf Creek, The Sundowners, The Lighthorsemen and The Last Ride[7] starring Hugo Weaving.

Naming[change | change source]

The name Quorn has been used as a name for a crater on the planet Mars, without commemorating the town.[8]

Gallery[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Quorn". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "District of Stuart Background Profile". Electoral Commission SA. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Federal electoral division of Grey, boundary gazetted 16 December 2011" (PDF). Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  4. Babbage, J. Barrington, R. (1984). The History of Pichi Richi Railway. Quorn: Pichi Richi Railway Preservation Society
  5. McNicol, Steve. Quorn Line Album. Railmac Publications. ISBN 0949817295.
  6. "Quorn Railway Station Yard Heritage Walk". Pichi Richi Railway Preservation Society Inc. Retrieved 2010-01-29.
  7. lastridemovie.com
  8. Categories for Naming Features on Planets and Satellites, Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature, USGS Astrogeology Science Center, NASA

Other websites[change | change source]