Bakers Hill to Clackline

Railway heritage rather than pipeline heritage will probably be foremost on your mind in this section between what was a siding and what was an important junction.

 

Pipeline

You may not be walking next to or even see the pipeline most of the time, but there is a site of historic interest related to it in this section. [more]


Railway Line

You’ll be able to see remnants and reminders of the rail line that passed this way. By the 1950s and 1960s both people and goods were travelling by road, rather than by rail. [more]


Settlement

It may seem strange to us today that small villages such as Bakers Hill and Clackline grew up as separate communities so close to one another. In the days before motor cars such distances were considerable.  [more]


Pipeline

You may not be walking next to or even see the pipeline most of the time, but there is a site of historic interest related to it in this section.

Quality bricks

Eight steam pumping stations pushed the water uphill through the pipes. In the Boiler House at No 1 Pump Station are bricks with the name ‘Clackline’ moulded into them. They were manufactured at the ruined refractory just west of the town from ‘refractory fireclays’, top quality clay able to withstand high temperatures.

 


Railway Line

You’ll be able to see remnants and reminders of the rail line that passed this way. By the 1950s and 1960s both people and goods were travelling by road, rather than by rail.

Last train

The “Westland” Express was the last train to use the Eastern Railway in early 1966. By 1984 all rail had been removed but you may still see the occasional sleeper.


All change

Thanks to standardisation of Australia’s rail tracks, the railway east has been relaid. Much of the new line no longer follows the old route – the train now passes through the Avon Valley to Northam via Toodyay rather than via Clackline and Spencer’s Brook.


About face

Behind the Pie Shop at Bakers Hill you can see the remains of the 60 m platform, for years a centre of activity in the town. The original Bakers Hill Tavern used to face the railway but was altered to face Great Eastern Highway in 1922 in response to the greater traffic on the road.

Clackline two

You can also see the remains of the platform at Clackline – actually two, one island platform and one land-based. Remains of a turntable and remnants of the timber railway bridge across Clackline Brook are also visible.


Dam, there’s more

And if you want to spend some time exploring, you’ll find what’s left of a dam built to supply the steam train engines, of the Eastern Railway, with water. Concerned about the cost of carting water, the PWD constructed “an impounding reservoir to catch water from the Clackline Gully” in 1887.

 

Settlements


It may seem strange to us today that small villages such as Bakers Hill and Clackline grew up as separate communities so close to one another. In the days before motor cars such distances were considerable. 

Baker’s Hill

Baker’s Hill has a pleasant lay-by area where you can picnic and take advantage of the toilet facilities. Apart from the award-winning pie shop there’s a café where you can take a break.

Clackline’s claims

Clackline grew up at the terminus of the Newcastle road and railway in the late 1880s. It was an important junction – the line to Northam, the line to Perth and the line to Newcastle (Toodyay) met here.  And the discovery in 1898 of the fine quality clay used in the Clackline Refractory cemented its existence.

Picnic place

Just east of Clackline, at the Spencers Brook Road corner, is a pleasant picnic spot with toilets and an unusual monument.  A stone lion lies on top of the monument erected in celebration of the centenary of British colonization.