WAGR 'Number 2 Railway Mill', Banksiadale

Stephen Smith

Keywords: Engineering, heritage, timber

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One of only two timber mills operated by the Western Australian Government Railways, ‘WAGR Number 2 Railway Mill’ was a purpose designed high output mill and town to supply the Government Railway department with all its timber requirements from the local hardwood timber (jarrah) forest. This railway mill and town was constructed in 1910 as the most technological advanced steam powered mill in the State, with the design including state of the art US machinery such as the ‘Simonson Log Roller’, ‘Shot-gun Log Carriage’, Steam Cant Flippers’ and community reticulated water and power. Many viewed Banksiadale as an exemplar of modern design and efficiency. Representatives from the Eastern States timber industry visited and stated, in their opinion this was the most advanced mill in the nation and equal to any in Canada. The intent of this paper is to examine the industrial heritage of this technological leader of the hardwood timber industry. 

REFERENCE: Smith, S. 2007 WAGR 'Number 2 Railway Mill', Banksiadale.  Fourteenth National Engineering Heritage Conference Perth, Australia, 18 September - 21 September 2007.  The Institution of Engineers Australia: Conference Papers.