Quorn, South Australia

Quorn, South Australia

Infobox Australian Place | type = town
name = Quorn
state = sa

caption =
lga = Flinders Ranges Council
postcode = 5433
est =
pop = 988 (2001 census)
maxtemp =
mintemp =
rainfall =
stategov = Stuart
fedgov = Grey
dist1 =
dir1 =

Quorn (coord|32|20|S|138|02|E|region:AU-SA_type:city(1400)) is a township and railhead in the Flinders Ranges in the north of South Australia, 39 km northeast of Port Augusta. At the 2001 census, Quorn had a population of 988.Census 2001 AUS|id=UCL423000|name=Quorn (Urban Centre/Locality)|accessdate=2007-06-30|quick=on]

Quorn is the home of the Flinders Ranges Council local government area. It is in the state Electoral district of Stuart and the federal Division of Grey.


The town was surveyed by Godfrey Walsh in 1878 and named after Quorndon in Leicestershire, England, as part of the preparations for building the railway line from Port Augusta northwards.

The railway line from Port Augusta to Quorn opened in 1879 and was subsequently extended to the north to Marree, Oodnadatta and Alice Springs (later to be known as the "Ghan line" or Central Australia Railway). This made Quorn an important town, being on such a major rail route. The town flourished and many fine buildings were erected.

At one time Quorn was the junction between north-south and east-west transcontinental railway lines. This role was lost when a standard gauge connection was opened between Port Pirie Junction and Port Augusta. However, during World War II, Quorn was a vital service point for trains heading north to Alice Springs.

During the 1950's a new standard gauge line was built that passed on the western side of the Flinders Ranges from Stirling North to Marree, thus bypassing Quorn, and taking away the last traffic through the Pass, Leigh Creek Coal. Being now a stop on a minor railway that mostly served the local area, Quorn's importance diminished and eventually in 1980 the railway was completely closed, reflecting the growing dominance of road freight.

However, a band of railway enthusiasts wanted to preserve the unique bridges and stone work built in the previous century and so formed the Pichi Richi Railway Preservation Society Inc. They later acquired operable railway rollingstock and today provide a tourist railway service through the Pichi Richi Pass [Babbage, J. Barrington, R. 1984 The History of Pichi Richi Railway Pichi Richi Railway Preservation Society Inc. Quorn.] .


The main attraction of Quorn is the Pichi Richi Railway. There is also a self-guided walking tour which passes the many fine old buildings in the town (ask at the tourist office for a leaflet).

There are a number of restaurants in town, at the four hotels, the Old Mill (now a motel) and at the old Pichi Richi brewery (a few kilometres from Quorn).

Quorn is home to country music artist Jedd Hughes, and was the birthplace of politician Brian Harradine.

Quorn is a delightful stop over for many travellers coming via Adelaide to explore the Flinders Ranges. The tourist office on the main street, manned by volunteers every week day, provides free information, maps and trails to safely see the best sites in the lower Flinders, including Warrens Gorge, Kanyaka Station, Proby's Grave and Itali Itali.


External links

* [http://www.southaustralianhistory.com.au/quorn.htm SA History - Quorn]
* [http://www.quorndon-mag.org.uk/archive/autumn2003/twoquorns.html A tale of two Quorns]
* [http://www.prr.org.au Pichi Richi Railway Website]
* [http://www.fallingrain.com/world/AS/5/Quorn.html FallingRain Map - elevation = 304m (Red dots are remaining railways)]


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