Serviceton, now a rural village, is a former railway town on the line from Melbourne to Adelaide, 2 km east of the Victorian-South Australian border.
The choice of the town’s location rested on there being a strip of land about 4 km wide on the eastern side of the present state border line. South Australia was of the view that in surveying the 141st degree of longitude the surveyor had erred by about 4 km, wrongly fixing the border in South Australia. The disputed territory was not resolved until after federation in 1901, finally going to the Privy Council in 1911 which found against South Australia.
When plans were afoot for a railway between Melbourne and Adelaide in the early 1880s it was agreed that a border station was needed for handling customs matters and for engine maintenance, refreshments and overnight accommodation: the journey took two days. It was agreed that the station be located in the disputed territory. The line generally followed the overland gold escort route surveyed in 1852 when gold from Victorian diggings was exported for more profitable sale through Adelaide.
SEE & DO Things to See and Do in Serviceton
Serviceton Historical Train Station
When it comes to train stations, few in Australia have more storied histories than Serviceton’s grand old dame. Completed back in 1889, not only did this heritage-listed two-story red-brick building comprise 33 rooms (and 28 fireplaces), but also a customs house that stood in the middle of the disputed border dividing Victoria and South Australia.
Though the Overland does still fly through from Melbourne to Adelaide, it’s hasn’t stopped here since 1986. So these days it serves as a living museum, and one that feels remarkably intact. A train station like no other, come by to hear tales of train crashes and ghost stories before heading down to its basement that holds not just a jail (for prisoners being transferred interstate), but a morgue too.
Lamenting the closure of its refreshment rooms in 1981, the station was immortalised in the Tom Waits song ‘Town with No Cheer’. But to counterbalance this, more recent news announced that its grain silo would become the latest stop along the Silo Arts Trail – news that’s certain to bring back some cheer to this town!
SHOP Shopping options in Serviceton
EAT & DRINK Eateries and Restaurants in Serviceton
See Kaniva Eateries and Resturants
STAY Accommodation options in Serviceton
Serviceton Camp Ground
8 powered sites (more sites can be arranged)
Toilets and showers
Oval and Tennis Courts and nearby - Bowls (summer) & Golf (winter)
Cost: $20 per night Powered site, $15 un-powered site, (subject to change without notice.
Sue Maidment 0419 032 418
Beth Grosser 5393 1230
Angela Heinrich 5393 1228