COLLIE RIVER VALLEY
The Collie River, named after Dr. Alexander Collie in 1829, flows through the beautiful Collie River Valley, a valley surrounded by national parks and state forest in the South West of Western Australia. In the 1800s, the area was recognised as being useful for pasture lands and timber production, but it was the discovery of coal in 1883 that sped up the arrival of both resident population and associated infrastructure such as railway. The Collie town site was declared in 1896 and rail was connected to the town in 1898.
Collie grew to become an important source of coal for the state - for power production in railways, shipping and generation of electricity. Timber was produced in abundance from the surrounding hardwood forest and agricultural enterprises emerged on the periphery, however these remained subsidiary to coal which was Collie's main economic base. The town boasts a variety of attractions for residents and visitors alike. A variety of essential professional and shopping services, historical buildings, natural features and recreational activities.
One of the many attractions is the Steam Locomotive Museum featuring the small engine, "Polly", that has been in the area since early 1911 - originally a traction engine when driven overland to Collie from Kelmscott. The trains were purchased and originally restored by the Collie Apex Club and include some of the last steam trains used in W.A. Built in 1898 and designed by C.Y. O'Connor, the railway goods shed is located in Forrest Street. After the end of small goods transport on rail in 1982, it became a depot for Total West and now, restored by the Collie Heritage Group in 1996, to the east of the goods shed, the overhead footbridge, built in 1913, spans 120 meters over the main rail line in the Collie town centre. The bridge allowed access to the original train station on the south side of the rails. The station was demolished in 1977 but as a project of the Collie Railway Station Group, has been rebuilt. For more information about the Collie River Valley region please see our links page for access to the Shire of Collie or the Collie River Valley Visitor Centre.