Mungar … now there’s a name that doesn’t quite roll off your tongue. It’s not even a very attractive sounding name and, unless you’re a Queenslander by birth or by choice, you’ve probably never even heard of it before.
Today it’s just a little village on the back road from Maryborough to Tiaro but there was a time when it was quite an important railway junction … one of two junctions on the north coast line between Gympie and Maryborough and mainline trains regularly stopped at Mungar.
Branchline trains heading for the busy Monto branch left the mainline at Mungar by either the southern or northern leg of the triangle that was located at the southern end of the station. Trains taking the southern leg of the triangle avoided the station all together while trains using the northern leg could access the back platform of the station and a very small goods yard.
The rather attractive wooden station was manned and there was a loop off the mainline to allow trains heading north and south to pass.
This is what Mungar looked like on 13 March 2011. At least the platform is still in place.
QR in their wisdom mothballed the Monto branch a few years ago and finally closed it on 30 June 2010.
Currently though the track is still in place along the branch line and if a train did come in from the branch it could still access the main line via either leg of the triangle.
The signal guarding access to Mungar station limits from the branch is still switched on and local residents using the main road still halt at the stop sign even though there hasn’t been a train through there in years.
Of course the mainline still gets plenty of use and while we were there the southbound Tilt Train ran through but the passing loop doesn’t seem to see much use at all.