The Grange Railway Station

In the 1880s a railway line was built between the townships of Woodville and Grange, influencing the growth and development of the Henley and Grange region. The line branched off from the Adelaide to Port Adelaide Railway line – which had already been in operation for over a quarter century and was in fact the first steam railway service in South Australia.

A narrow-gauge line was laid from Woodville to Grange, with a station terminus on the Esplanade where there was a double platform and turntable. The line was formally opened on 30 September 1882. As a consequence of the different rail gauges, passengers to and from Adelaide had to change trains at Woodville. However, by 1909 the growing population in the region justified the cost of alteration, and hence the narrow-gauge line was widened to enable a through service from Adelaide.

Grange Station was the terminus until 1893. Early plans were to extend the line northward along Military Road towards Fort Glanville. However, the decision to build the line to Henley Beach resulted in the curve southwards and the relocation of the Grange Station to the northwest corner of Military Road and Jetty Street. In 1909 a new curve with a larger radius was constructed as the original curve was too sharp and often caused derailments.

With the introduction of the electric tramline on Henley Beach Road. that length of the railway line extending beyond Main Street (or ‘Jetty Road’ as it was known) to the terminus at Henley Beach Road became virtually redundant. In 1957 the Metropolitan Transport Advisory Council closed the Grange to Henley line.  For nearly thirty years the Grange Station, and hence, the termination point of the railway line, remained located on the north-western corner of Military Road and Jetty Street. The ticket office on the platform was closed in 1985 and demolished in 1986 when the station was finally closed.

The old Grange Station, the crossing and signal gongs were all decommissioned on Sunday 9 March 1986, the same day the new station was commissioned. All that remains of the old station today, and of the line’s continuation south of this point, is the concrete platform. The closure of the Grange Station at this location, however, was the final step in wiping clean any obvious evidence of a grander era of public transport, which many people would fondly remember.

Grange station today is located on the eastern side of Military Road, adjacent the garage / service station.

(abridged from an article written by Rob McDade in H&GHS Journal 21, 2000)

Image credit: Henley & Grange Historical Society

Please share any memories you have of the old Grange Railway Station.


  1. Anne Talbot

    When the train terminated at Grange the conductor walked across Military Road to the Post Office opposite and delivered and collected the mail from Adelaide. Many people assume that the tiny house at the end of PostOffice Place and Charles Sturt Ave was the original post office but in fact it was a residence .The post office was in the house where the Grange Medical Centre is now situated

  2. Michael Stanley

    The inaugural meeting of the Grange Cricket Club was held at the Grange Railway Station on the Friday evening, August 14,1885

  3. Chris Kendall

    We used to catch the train to the city for school excursions from Star Of The Sea as late as 1985 from the old platform.

  4. Theo Ellenbroek

    Pleased that the old platform now has a Heritage plaque attached. Few current residents would know about this.
    More Heritage plaques required on our Local Heritage sites – eg, the former Henley Police Station on Military!!

  5. Jillian Crider

    The Grange train, at one stage, commuted only between the Grange Station and the Woodville station. 1960s?
    One morning, even though I lived on Seaview Rd, between Beach St and Grange (Kirkcaldy) Road, awoke very early to sound of train horn blaring solidly (no breakup), then it would fade, for a while, then the noise would come back again. This happened over and over for quite a while. I’m sure many were awakened. Seems the steam horn had stuck open, as it travelled between Grange and Woodville. I can always remember the newspaper clipping commenting on this happening with a comment that probably, because of early awakenings there would be additions to the population along the train tracks in 9 months time. I may still have the news clipping.

    • Helen

      Hello Jillian – I bought a picture of the old Grange Railway Station that you painted before it was pulled down. It now adorns my wall in Port Lincoln and reminds of going on the train with my small children.

  6. Rodney Barrington

    The line was always broad gauge (5ft 3inch or 1600mm) however the tracks at Woodville were only indirectly connected to the SAR mainline preventing a through service. A through connection was created when the tram arrived at Henley Beach in 1909 and there was some new competition! Thereafter most trains ran through to the city.
    Ref: Barrington. Rodney “When Henley Beach had a Railway”, Modelling the Railways of South Australia Convention, 2022.


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