The former Bugle Ranges station at 64km is approached across a curving
embankment. Though in the past there were quite a number of residents
living in the area, the station was provided mainly to cater for
Macclesfield people as compensation for the Government not being able
to take the line through their town. This station initially had three
tracks as well as lower-quadrant signals and its own signal cabin.
The station existed well into the 1970s. The rather extravagant signal cabin on the other
hand was removed to Long Gully in the National Park on the Main South
line after less than two years use! A local farmer who has accumulated
a treasure trove of old farming implements and other bric-a- brac now
occupies the remnants of the station property.
A Vista to the Lakes
On from Bugle Ranges, the track follows around the hills and the view
on the eastern side now becomes more open and passengers can see as
far as Lake Alexandrina and the Coorong. To the west however, the
hills rise rather abruptly and restrict any view being had of the
valleys on the other side of them. A long embankment then leads
the line to the Pursell Road crossing, which is just by the 65.5 km
post and for many years the location of the stopping place known as
After passing through a number of substantial cuttings the line
then again crosses the main Mt Barker to Strathalbyn road with its
clanging crossing bells and lights and a few more tight curves brings
it into Gemmells siding, named after an adjacent
land owner, Thomas Gemmell. This siding, originally laid out with three tracks,
was closed in 1964 for all except the boarding and alighting of passengers.
Stone from the
nearby Quarry Hill was also loaded at this point for transport to Adelaide
and other destinations. The road to the disused quarry, Stirling Hill road,
is crossed at the southern end of the yard. This road, named after a local
land-owning pioneer, winds back and forth across the track between here
and Strathalbyn. Today, SteamRanger regularly use Gemmells yard to top
up water in smaller steam locos in preparation for the challenging
climb back up the hill to Mount Barker.