Marble Bar Railway


There are no real tracks along the route of the old railway, though there are some tracks that can get you onto the route. There is a northern section of about 50km that can be followed. And a southern section from Marble Bar that can be followed. Many sections have not been driven for decades and there are some interesting things to see. We found one old river crossing that amazed us with the amount of hard labour that would have been required to build. We also located a very old IXL bottle along the southern route.

The middle sections follow the bitumen road to Marble Bar very closely. There was also a telegraph line that also followed the rail track.

There were few bridges and most of the river crossings were no more than a causeway, and often flooded during the wet season.

There are two sections of the old track that are accessible. The northern part from around the 12 mile to where the track meets the current Marble Bar Road, and the southern section from Marble Bar to near the Coongan river. The southern section is shown on our mudmaps page. Travelling this track requires care,  as the formation is covered in dog spikes, spinifex and has numerous hidden washaways. But it is none the less good fun and a fascinating 4WD adventure. Oh, did I mention the scratches?


This trek is in the Pilbara region of WA and has two sections. The northern one near Port Hedland, and the southern one near Marble Bar.


The Port Hedland to Marble bar railway line was opened on July 1st 1912. For the first few years there was one train per fortnight. This was increased to one per week in 1919. When it was not necessary to run a full train, a railcar, called the Red Terror, was used. The line was used during WWII to transport munitions to Marble Bar for Corunna Downs.

Trip Report

Places to See

Degree of Difficulty 

I rate this as difficult. You do need high ground clearance, there will be scratches and no tracks are present in some sections. There are washaways, and you need the ability to fix tyres if you get too many flats. Long range communications are needed. There is spinifex and the risk of vehicle induced fire is present if care is not taken.




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