Cook (South Australia)


October 28, 2021

Cook is an Australian locality created in 1917 and abandoned in 1997. Both its foundation and its abandonment are linked to the presence of a railway station on the Trans-Australian Railway which connects Adelaide to Perth, with a siding allowing the crossing of trains.


The city was created in 1917 during the construction of the railway line. It owes its name to the Australian Prime Minister at the time, Joseph Cook. The city was abandoned in 1997 when the railroads were privatized and the new owners felt that they did not need staff there, simply keeping reserves of diesel in case of need, quarters for staff. from the train to rest at night and a store that opens when the train is at the station. There are hardly any more inhabitants and there are only a few abandoned houses and the railway installations in service, including diesel tanks for the trains. When the city was inhabited, it was supplied with water by pumping from an artesian well, but today the water is transported by train. Trials of planting plants have been made in the region but they have not been crowned with success.


The Trans-Australian Railway is a standard gauge railway line operated by the Indian Pacific. Cook is on a 478 km straight line, the longest in the world. Its siding allows the crossing of trains up to 1,800 m long. Cook is the only stop for the Indian Pacific in the Nullarbor Plain, and is of no interest to the traveler other than a desert stop in a ghost town.

Culture and science

The 1964 film Nullarbor Hideout is set in and around Cook. In 2003, as part of his Middle of Nowhere project, French visual artist Laurent Mulot worked on and on Cook, with the help of Janet and Ivor Horberton, the only two inhabitants. . Thus was created the first phantom contemporary art center. The old airstrip is a place where you can see the Australian Plover. Cook is the name assigned by the Meteoritical Society to meteorites found in the area.

Notes and references

See also

Indian Pacific Gateway to South Australia Gateway to the Railway

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