Bethungra Rail Spiral
The Bethungra Rail Spiral is exactly that- a spiral in the railway line. Heritage listed on the 2nd of April 1999, the Bethungra Rail Spiral is built on the Main South line between Junee and Cootamundra.
The line itself was graded at 1 in 40 for Sydney trains, which imposed a massive limitation on train loads through the area, and also caused a lot of congestion as bank engines were attached.
When the line was duplicated in the 1940’s, an 8.9 kilometre spiral deviation was built. The spiral makes use of local geography in the shape of a convenient hill which the uphill line spirals around and has short tunnels. The spiral increased the distance travelled by uphill (northbound) trains by about two kilometres. Downhill (southbound) trains continue to use the original line. The ruling gradient of the new uphill line is 1 in 66.
The Spiral is proposed to be bypassed by the Inland Railway project on a new alignment with an easier grade by the year 2025.