Stokers Siding Railway Tunnel

It is a Queens Birthday weekend in Queensland today, which is ridiculous as her Birthday is actually 21st April but I digress. Today I decided to checkout the abandoned Railway Line and Tunnel at a place called Stokers Siding. Stokers Siding is a tiny town about 10 -20 kilometers south of Murwillumbah NSW.

Stokers Siding

Stokers Siding

A customer (Sean aka Seany) mentioned Stokers Siding in passing, I was keen have a look.

Leaving from the shop ( I had to go there to get a camera, a Nikon d800. I am actually a Canon shooter but I can slum it every now and then. ) I decided to take the long way via Numinbah Valley and Chillingham before getting to Murwillimbah stopping numerous times enroute.

About 10k south from Murwillumbah, the sleepy town of Stokers Siding appears with it’s school and a shop. I was looking for Tunnel Rd which is a hop skip n jump from the school, on the right.

Stokers Siding Welcome Sign

Stokers Siding Welcome Sign

Following this road for a bit, Tunnel Rd takes a hard right (easy to miss as another road takes over from there, straight ahead. I decided to drive around for an hour or so and pretend that I wasn’t looking for the entrance to the Tunnel, which is my way of saying I was lost, kinda.

When you see the remaining piece of the bridge that was once all the way over the road, stop, park and gather up your stuff,

Remainder of Tunnel Rd Bridge

Remainder of Tunnel Rd Bridge

and walk up the make shift steps on the southern side of the road up to the track.

I am not going to go into the history of the track, there is plenty online if you are interested. Be aware that it is a 2.5-3 k walk to the Tunnel along this …

Stoker Siding Rail Line

Stokers Siding Rail Line

The walk is easy with very little grade at all. It would have been even easier if I had thought to wear shoes.

Mr Dingbat in Thongs

Mr Dingbat in Thongs

If you do this in Summer, you will need water and a hat, I had neither.

Arriving at the tunnel I was greeted with a very cold draft coming from the 500 metres of pitch-black damp tunnel. I ventured in with the light from my iphone, you guessed it, no torch either. Oh well. I walked in about 50 metres but decided to err on the side of safety and back I went.

There is the usual graffiti on the northern end but really, I was disappointed. I can only hope that with some preparation I would have walked to the other end and that in itself would have been enjoyable.

Entrance to Stokers Siding Tunnel

Entrance to Stokers Siding Tunnel

Stoker Siding Tunnel Graffiti

I am not saying that I didn’t enjoy the adventure. I do really love heading off half organised and working it out as I go.  I am saying that as a Gold Coast resident we are spoiled with the Ernest Junction Tunnel at 797 Ashmore Rd, Molendinar QLD 4214

Would I go again? Sure would and next time with some sensible company.