The Hawker railway station as it is today was completed in 1885 by Bacon & Brewer. The first original timber station building burnt down on Monday 14th January 1884. It was presumed that Railway station building fire was caused by a grass fire started on a hot day near or around the station building . The Station Master received severe burns trying to save the Government property and only succeeded in saving books from the fire.
At the time of rebuilding the station the local community petitioned the Government to locate the station building on the Eastern side of the tracks but was unsuccessful. A railway dam that was constructed for storage near the Eastern perimeter of the station yard, it had 4,365,000 gallon capacity.
The Hawker Station is located in a low area of land, the gradient Northwards was 1 in 99 and 1 in 108 then 1 in 75 Southward.
The original Ghan train to Marree, and later Alice Springs, passed through Hawker until 1956. Hawker station then operated with the line between Quorn and Hawker until the last train visited Hawker on Thursday 8th January 1970. The station finally closed and fell into disrepair.
In 1989 the station was restored to become the Old Ghan Restaurant and Gallery.
The station and goods shed are heritage listed.
The best book on the Hawker to Quorn Rail system is “Proceed to Hawker” by John Evans.
Photo 1. Hawker railway station.
Photo 2. Steam Motor Coach at Hawker Railway Station, this motor coach was purchased in 1906, built in England in 1905. The steam motor coach remained in service until 1931 and was known as the “Coffee Pot” The “Coffee Pot” ran regularly between Quorn and Hawker , leaving Quorn at 6.45am Wednesday for Hawker and leaving Hawker Thursday morning at 5.55am to connect at Quorn with the Quorn to Adelaide train. The journey for the “Coffee Pot” for the 41 miles or 66 kms took 111 minutes.
Photo 3. Filling with water.
Photo 4. Leaving the station yard at Hawker, note the signal mans quarters in the back ground.
Photo 5. Hawker station yard.