Owanyilla is located between Gympie and Maryborough on the single-track rail line that runs up the Queensland coast from Brisbane to Cairns.

It was a fairly unremarkable place – I don’t even recall seeing a locality sign on the highway that runs to the east of the railway line – until a wood chipping plant was built on the eastern side of the rail line. The woodchip loader was served by a balloon loop that could be accessed directly accessed from the north so that empties could run straight into the loop and loaded trains could return to the north without the need for any shunting.

At some stage someone decided that a wye or triangle was also needed at Owanyill so now we have the perfect prototypical example for anyone who wants to build a continuous run on their layout. Once in the balloon loop you can just go on going round and round.

The woodchip loader has been closed for some years now although the satellite view does show some wagons on the loop. It’s possible that those are stored coal hoppers that have been superseded by larger capacity wagons. is so old that, as one commenter pointed out, that it shows a woodchip train being loaded.

You can see the current satellite view here and as at 23 July 2011 it still shows the train on the loop.

Google maps also indicates that there is a station at Owanyilla but that was removed some time ago.

For us it’s basically just down the road and next weekend might be a good time to find our way into the area and take some photos.