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Mount Lofty Railway Station & Accommodation

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by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
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Published November 24th 2012
Your trip ends at the station
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Mount Lofty Station


There was quite a lot of interest shown in disused railway stations in a recent article about the Gilbert Valley, so I wrote a sequel specifically about two country stations at Riverton and Manoora.

Now it is time to visit a station much closer to home, at Mount Lofty.

The Mount Lofty railway station is one of only two stations remaining on the now defunct Bridgewater line. According to Wikipedia it was built in 1883, although in September 1882 both the South Australian Register and the SA Weekly Chronicle refer to the Crafers Summit railway station.

By April 1883 the station was known as Mt Lofty, although the suburb name Crafers Summit was still in use in 1940.

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Main Entry of Mt Lofty Station


The station was built to a standard South Australian Railways design using local stone with brick quoins, and has a neat appearance. Over the years it played a commonplace part in South Australian municipal affairs. In 1902 there were complaints to the Premier about access to the station for traps (horse and carts).

I was quite disturbed to read an 1897 Vice Regal report that the Governor and his wife proceeded from Mt Lofty to Mt Barker where they ate the guests of Mr R. Barr Smith. Fortunately that appears to have been a scanning error, and the letter "r" should substitute the "t".

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Trackside View of the Station


The station master must have had a green thumb because the station won a prize for its garden in 1924. By 1948 the Mail reported somewhat breathlessly about 700 people of all ages going on a mystery trip from Adelaide station that ended in the Adelaide Hills at Mt Lofty.

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Welcome Sign to the Mount Lofty Station


Unfortunately decreasing patronage by the 1980's led to the closure of the Bridgewater line for passenger services, and the station became neglected and derelict. During the 90's the Mount Lofty station was repaired and the interior re-fitted to provide two distinct self catering accommodation areas - the Club Saloon and the Railway Lodge.

This has resulted in the preservation and tasteful re-use of one of the older buildings in the Stirling and Mt Lofty area, benefiting the whole community. It is now a popular place for people to take holidays in the hills, or use for corporate purposes.

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The Railway Lodge Lounge, once the Waiting Room


I particularly like the continuation of the railways theme with railway pictures hanging on the wall, and the furniture seems to be also from the right period. The Trainspotter's Lounge also extends onto the platform, so a great view of passing trains is possible.

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The Railway Lodge Kitchen


The kitchen makes extensive use of timber as would have been popular in times gone by, giving an cosy feel to it. I love the picture of the steam train locomotive hanging over the fireplace too.

One of the advantages of being in the Hills is the great range of attraction nearby - check out what's on offer here.

Prices for renting the accommodation at Mt Lofty start at a very reasonable $140 per couple.

As with other buildings of heritage value, it can sometimes be hard to re-purpose them to a completely different use. The only other remaining station on the Bridgewater line is at Aldgate, and it is now creatively used as The Hut community centre.

It's pleasing to see both these places that served a useful purpose for over a hundred years have now found a new niche in life. May they last for at least another 130 years.
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Why? Get away to a special place
When: Anytime subject to bookings
Phone: (08) 8339 7400
Where: 2 Sturt Valley Rd, Stirling SA 5152
Cost: From $140 per couple
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