Rail brought opportunity and prosperity to Karoonda and was a lifeline for transport and trade in its early years.
The first train, a construction contractors’ work train, reached Karoonda in May 1912. Regular train services to nearby Wanbi began in January 1913.
Construction on the railways between 1911 and 1914 opened up the Mallee region. Karoonda, located on the Brown’s Well railway line, was an important junction – with the Waikerie railway line heading to the north and the Peebinga line to the east. While both branches closed in 1990, the main line through Karoonda to Loxton remains open and was converted from broad to standard gauge.
Historic railway carriages that once passed through Karoonda sit inside Pioneer Park, waiting to be explored.