Devil's Terror Cutting – Glen Forrest, Australia - Atlas Obscura

Devil's Terror Cutting

Glen Forrest, Australia

A feat of railway engineering required to bypass a muddy quagmire. 


The original route of the Eastern Railway through the Perth hills opened in 1884 and was closed in 1965. The old line is now a popular walking, riding, and cycling trail passing through suburbs and bushland up the Darling Scarp.

Near the end of Dalry Road in Glen Forrest is the site of the most troublesome part of constructing the line. As a cutting was being excavated for the line to run through, the builders hit a layer of clay over a series of springs. The water turned the clay into a quagmire and workers were sometimes trapped up to their waists in clay. The cutting was quickly dubbed “Devil’s Terror.”

Eventually, it was decided to shift the railway 100 meters to the south, along the bed of Nyaania Creek. The creek was diverted along the top of the cutting to prevent it from washing out the railway tracks.

Today, as visitors pass through the small cutting they will notice flowing water down the sides of the track, the springs are still flowing.

Know Before You Go

The most direct route is along the trail that leads from the end of Dalry Road, which links onto the old railway line. Head east a short way and you will find the cutting. The area is prettiest in early spring when the creek is still flowing and wildflowers are abundant.

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