Yes, it has been a little while. The delay in posting Gular stems from teenagers’ modem syndrome – the ability of teenagers to take perfectly functioning electrical items and render them unusable, then pop them into a cupboard and deny all knowledge of the item’s newly acquired fault. So, on the back of modem #3 for 2011, we move along the line to Gular.
Gular lies 48 kilometres from Gilgandra. It is 14 kilometres from Armatree and 111 kilometres from Dubbo. It is also two kilometres outside of the village of Gulargambone. The district takes its name from the original pastoral property in the area, Gullargambone, which was established by a Mr Toilby in 1841.
After the initial settlement the village grew steadily in size. A public school was opened in June 1881. While there were clearly other villages, Gulargambone was named along with Gilgandra as the only settlements of worthy of particular note north of Dubbo during the NSW Parliamentary Debates over the construction of the railway.
During the construction of the Coonamble branch line Gulargambone remained the title for the railway yard. However the railway authorities decided that a name change was in order as Gulargambone could be confused with the already-established stations of Girilambone and Garah. The chosen name of Gular saved both confusion and printers’ ink.
The commencement of services along the branch line brought the establishment of a 219 metre crossing loop at Gular. The yard also possessed two shorter sidings. The first at the southern end of the yard provided a stockyard with a combined cattle/sheep race. The second siding passed around the eastern side of the crossing loop. It provided a loading/wool bank and a substantial goods shed. All up, Gular possessed standing room for 219 four-wheel wagons – suggesting a degree of optimism by the Railway Commissioners about the level of commerce emanating from Gulargambone.
Intending passengers were provided with a decent-sized waiting shed for shelter, though it appears that the shed was not available until October 1903, so the first winter of railway operations may have been fun.
A 90kl water tank south of the Dubbo-end of the platform and fed from the Castlereagh River, enabled crews to refill tenders of the steam locomotives.
As with other locations the initial years of operation brought numerous improvements to the railway infrastructure. At some stage a 5 ton crane and a 20 ton weighbridge were installed. December 1910 brought extensions to the platform, while January 1921 brought the roofing of the water tank.
The most substantial capital improvements at Gular during the 20th century came in the latter half. After nearly five decades of bagging wheat in 1951 a wheat bulkhead was built at Gular. Before the end of that decade a wheat silo was also under construction, while 1964 brought a second wheat silo. Ryan notes that the C Depot grain facilities provided 49,800 tonnes of capacity at Gular and were constructed with concrete walls and ends and a corrugated roof.
Not all changes were capital improvements - Gular’s demise paralleled the stripping of similar items at other locations along the branchline. The demise of passenger services occurred in the mid-1970s, along with the demolition of the water tank took place in April 1976. A decade later in July 1986 the wrecking ball came for the station.
Entering the 21st century, Gular was formed by an 890 metre loop on its eastern side. Alongside the loop is a 958 metre stub-end siding to service the grain receival facility – including a gravity hump at the southern end. It remains worthy of recognition as the third largest township on the branch line, only eclipsed by Gilgandra and the terminus.