Moura Rail System

Belldeen 155 km

Moura Mine 191 km
Belldeen 155 km
Earlsfield 128 km
Annandale 121 km
Dumgree 109km
Mt Rainbow 91 km
Fry 74 km
Clarke 63 km
Stirrat 40 km

Belldeen Loop is located on the crest the Banana Range that separates the Callide and Dawson Valleys, at 268 meters above sea level it is the second highest point on the Moura line.
The rather long sections either side of Belldeen Loop ensure that most of the time a load from Moura Mine will cross with a empty here. Train controllers often contact loads climbing out of the Dawson Valley to monitor their progress.
Any mistakes can see long delays to trains particularly empties, the result being upset customers.
The loop was extended during 2007 in the East or Up direction on the grade down into the Callide Valley the top of the grade in both directions is about 100 meters west of the Up Home signal.
The decent into the Callide Valley is via Neville Creek and at some places the line has been strengthened with rock to protect it from the creeks flow.
The decent into the Dawson Valley is a more gentle and less twisting route via cuttings and embankments built to ease the grade for loaded trains.
The map below is centered on the crossing loop itself and to find the locations of the photos just zoom in and follow the railway line. The photos run in order from west to east and with the information in the captions the locations are not hard to find.

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A loaded train from Moura Mine about halfway up the climb out of the Dawson Valley at the Banana Holding Road level crossing. This climb is the longest sustained grade against loaded trains on the Moura Line with an average of 1 in 85 and ensures locomotives earn their keep.


Same location as the previous photo as seen from the north.


Back at the level crossing with an empty running fast and quiet down the grade from Belldeen Loop where the line crests the Banana Range about six kilometers away.


4101 and 4102 with 4038 as cover power climb Banana Bank about five minutes from 4101 suffering a fire in the inverter cabin. The crew extinguised the fire and started 4038 to get to the top of the grade at Belldeen where the loco was cut out of the train. The units were on acceptance testing and were three days into their 1500km test in regular traffic.


A train of Baralaba Coal heading up the Banana Range about a kilometer west of the crest that is marked by the Up Home signal at Belldeen Loop. The train was slow to load and departed the pad with about a dozen empty wagons on the rear. The photo below taken from the same spot shows the grade it has to battle with to get up the range.



Taken from the Down or western end of the loop you can see the sand stained rails of the main line compared to the loop. You may also notice the stone blower in the loop tied up for the evening, tomorrow it will be used on the Moura Mine loop.
The loop also features a cattle yard but it may have been some time since cattle were loaded onto a train here.


A empty train waits in the loop at Belldeen for a four unit train to climb out of the Dawson Valley. 22/09/07


The loaded train arrives with a roar and starts down the grade to the Callide Valley.


A yellow aspect protects the previous train as another train from Moura Mine headed by test units 4101 and 4102 featured in photos above struggle and eventually 4102 fails on the grade.


After grinding away for nearly forty minutes a heavy train of 58 VASL wagons is about to pull up and wait for a cross with an empty at Belldeen Loop. At the rear of the train the line curves away to the left fot the run down into the Dawson Valley.


Taken from the crossing at the Up or eastern end of the loop you can see the loop extension underway as the line starts its descent into the Callide Valley. The points are delivered premade though they might be narrorw gauge there is nothing lightweight about the construction of the track.


4002 leads a loaded train down into the Callide Valley in its special QRN livery done for the official opening of the line to Rolleston about 120 km west of Moura.


Same place as the previous shot just on the opposite side of the track but now the extension is complete.


After passing under the Dawson Highway an empty continues out of the Callide Valley to cross with a loaded train at Belldeen. You can just make out the loaded train waiting at the new Up starter signals for Belldeen Loop.


The loaded train runs down into the Callide Valley the grade while the empty departs the loop in the background above the locomotives. 20/10/07


Passing under the Dawson Highway a empy train climbs out of the Callide Valley about three kilometers east of Belldeen.


2254, 2255, 2264 and 2267 with a 75 wagon set run down the hill into the Callide Valley near the Dawson Highway overpass. This train is the same weight as a 56 wagon VASL set at about 5800 ton and takes advantage of the longer crossing loops. As with anything painted black they are proving hard to keep clean as you can see the light road grime stands out more on these units.


About two kilometers east of the previous photo an empty train begins to climb out of the Callide Valley by following Neville Creek up to Belldeen. The hill in the center of the photo is known as Greycliff and several kilometers east of this shot is the site of a proposed crossing loop if the line is extended to the south west.


Taken at the Orange Creek Road level crossing a loaded train runs down the grade shown in the previous photo. The locos are at the bottom of the grade and use the trains momentum to push it up the small hill in front of it.


A loaded train approaching Davis Road level crossing about two and a half kilometers east of the previous photo. The Banana Range is now a memory and the train will glide across the Callide Valley untill it faces the climb out starting at Earlsfeild.