Golden Pipeline

National Trust of WA

Explore The Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail

A self-guided drive trail between the Perth Hills and Western Australia’s Eastern Goldfields. Go with the Flow. Follow the water to discover more about the audacious goldfields water supply scheme and Engineer CY O’Connor.

Discover The people and the Scheme

“Future generations, I am quite certain will think of us and bless us for our far seeing patriotism, and it will be said of us, as Isaiah said of old, ‘They made a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” – Sir John Forrest

  • 1The Pipeline
  • 2Pump Station
  • 3Steam Pump

How it works: The Pipeline

Map and Longitudinal Profile of the Pipeline

How it works: The Pipeline

Map and Longitudinal Profile of the Pipeline

Water was pumped from Mundaring Weir a short but steep way from No 1 to No 2 Pump Station. No 2’s engines lifted water to a high point from where it flowed under gravity to No 3. No 3’s engines pumped water on to No 4 and so on up the line until it reached Kalgoorlie. A little further and higher every time.

When it is realised that this scheme…is simply a repetition, several times over, of schemes which are within the knowledge of most people, it is difficult to realise how anyone can consider it to be impracticable.

– CY O’Connor

How it works: Pump Station

A closer look at the operation of a Pump Station

How it works: Pump Station

A closer look at the operation of a Pump Station

Pump stations used water to pump water. The eight original stations generated steam for their engines. Water from the previous pump station entered a tank from where steam-powered engines drew it to deliver water into the pipeline.

How it works: Steam Pump

Operation of the Steam Pumps

How it works: Steam Pump

Operation of the Steam Pumps

Steam drives pistons attached to a plunger that draws in water to be pumped then delivers it into the pipeline. Steam from the boiler room enters the engine and passes through three cylinders as it expands and loses pressure. Steam from a higher pressure cylinder is reheated by steam from the boilers before entering a lower pressure cylinder. From the low pressure cylinder, steam is exhausted into tubes in the shell of the surface condenser. Water to be pumped into the pipeline is drawn into the shell around these tubes, condensing the steam back into liquid form for returning to the boilers.

Explore

Click on any map section or place below to discover The Golden Pipeline.

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