The present Port Elliot station office was built in 1911 to replace a smaller galvanised
iron structure of the 1870's. National Trust members maintain the station , sell tickets for the
Cockle Train, have an excellent historical display on early Port Elliot and operate a souvenir
and local history book shop. Historical walks are conducted and delicious Devonshire 'Teas are
often available on the station platform. You are welcome to break your journey at this point to
explore the historic township. The return journey can usually be completed on a later train,
but check with the guard for details as timetables differ from day to day.
Leaving Pt Elliot
Quite a grade leaving the platform and a challenge for our loco crew! Then over the crest of
the sandhills and onto the cliff tops with Victor Harbor in the distance. At Watson's
Gap the train crosses over an arched reinforced concrete bridge built in 1906 to replace the
original timber bridge constructed in 1863. The timber piers of the old bridge can be seen on
the seaward side of the railway. Our photo shows F251 with a typical Cockle Train
The line skirts the Southern Ocean for over 3km after leaving Port Elliot. Surfing beaches at
Boomer Beach, Chiton Rocks and Dump Beach are all within 100 metres of the
line. This section arguably offers one of the most scenic vistas from a train carriage window
Entering the outskirts of Victor
The line crosses over the Hindmarsh River on a five span concrete bridge built in 1907.
This replaced the combined road/rail crossing known as the "Alexandra Bridge" originally
opened in 1863. This and the Watsons Gap bridge (crossed earlier) mark important milestones in
Australia's civil engineering history; the Watson's Gap bridge was the first of its kind in the
State and the Hindmarsh River bridge was the first to be built on the "beam and slab" principle
A recent addition on the road side is a walking / cycle bridge which forms part of a pathway
stretching along the foreshore from The Bluff to Middleton. As the train enters the station
yard look out for the the authentic semaphore signal on the left, the restored electric
turntable on the right and the historic stone walled railway crew resthouse on the left opposite
the bowling green.
Victor Harbor has been one of the premier tourist resorts for generations of South Australians.
From the railway station, right in the centre of town, it is only minutes to the beach, shops
and nearby hotels The imposing brick station building at Victor Harbor, built in 1926, is the
only example of its kind in South Australia. This station is the third building on the site
since the days of the horse tram. The Coral Street manual barrier gates are the last
remaining examples of rail/road crossing gates in the State and are an important link with our
Granite Island, across the causeway, is one of the most popular attractions in the Victor
region and a popular excursion is to ride the restored horse tram across the causeway and then
walk around the rugged ocean side of the island and back to the mainland.