The Southern Systems of a Vast Continent
THE chapter, “Across Australia by Train”, beginning on page 349, tells the story of the Australian railway pioneers. In part-
To appreciate the development of Australia’s railways it is necessary to remember that Australia was a federal common-
IN AUSTRALIA’S PLAYGROUND -
The transport of the State of New South Wales is controlled by a Commission including representatives of roads, road transport, tramways and railways. The railways of the State, which total, in 1935, more than 6,100 miles of standard-
The Southern line extends to the Victorian border, and branches serve the world-
Owing to the mountains of the Great Dividing Range which for so long isolated the earlier settlers, confining them to the narrow coastal strip, most of the traffic has to be hauled over difficult country. Engineers are constantly at work regrading the line to expedite traffic and reduce costs. At one time the railways imported locomotives and rolling-
Steep gradients and sharp curves are unavoidable on many sections in the mountainous regions. In the southern system the station at Roslyn, near Crookwell, is at an altitude of 3,225 ft; at Nimmitabel, on the Goulburn to Bombala Railway, the height is 3,503 ft. On the western system the height is 3,503 ft at Newnes Junction, in the Blue Mountains, and 3,623 ft at Oberon, the terminus of a branch line. On the northern system, Ben Lomond Station stands 4,473 ft above the sea.
The standard rails are 100 lb per yard in the metropolitan area, 80 to 90 lb on main lines, and 60 lb on branch lines. Australian hardwood sleepers, 8 ft by 9-
The most important inter-
ONE OF THE WORLD’S BUSIEST STATIONS Flinders Street, Melbourne. The station has sixteen platforms, and is the main terminus for suburban traffic. The first railway line in Australia was opened from Flinders Street to Port Melbourne in 1854.
A popular train operating within the borders of the State is the “South Coast Daylight Express”, which runs between Sydney and Nowra, ninety-
A Proud Record
Another famous train, the “Caves Express” is normally made up of five light cars, the total weight being just over a hundred tons. The speed for the first fourteen miles through the suburbs of Sydney, with 1 in 90 grades, averages forty-
New South Wales passenger traffic is divided into suburban and country sections, the former being that within thirty-
A DEEP CUTTING near Myalla on the North West Coast line in Tasmania. There are 634 miles of 3 ft 6-
The State has a safety record in which it takes pride. In one period of twenty years there were fourteen years during which there were no fatal accidents on the railways. In the remaining six years fifty-
At the time of writing the State owned 6,164 miles of track, 1,287 locomotives, 2,673 carriages, 37 motor passenger vehicles, 22,247 freight wagons and 1,458 service wagons. Among the largest locomotives is the three-
Rail motor transport on branch lines began in 1919 with a converted motor lorry, the railways now have nearly forty rail-
The suburban lines round Sydney have been electrified on the multiple-
Sydney Harbour Bridge, the largest single-
Sydney, with a population of over 1,240,000, was the third largest city in the British Empire. It lies mainly on the southern side of the harbour but at an early period suburbs began to grow on the northern side until, before the bridge was built, as many as 100,000 persons were carried by ferry steamers into the city in the morning and back in the evening.
The building of the bridge had to be carried out without hindering shipping, for the big liners, up to 20,000 tons, pass under the bridge to their berths; more than half the shipping of Sydney, the chief port in Australia, goes under it. Hence the width of the central span of 1,650 ft, and the height giving head-
Including the approaches, the total length of the bridge is two miles and three-
Before the official opening, locomotives and tenders were run on to all four tracks until they stood end to end extending across the main arch. After this, locomotives were placed on all four tracks over one-
There is a striking contrast between the splendour of this monument of skill and enterprise and the painfully slow progress of the early railway pioneers. Sydney is hemmed in by mountains, and the State was not wealthy enough to borrow large sums at that time. Thus it took six years (1862-
From the opening of the railways in 1855 to 1864 only 143 miles of lines were built the next decade to 1874 added only 260 miles. Progress accelerated, and 1,215 miles were added before the end of 1884 The rate dropped again to the year 1894 to 883 miles and to 780 miles in the decade ending 1904. Also a further drop in the rate of mileage additions cont-
The present tendency is towards more powerful locomotives for heavy traffic and rail-
THE KITCHEN QUARTERS in the dining saloon of an express train on the Victorian Government Railways system.
Victoria is remarkably well served by railways. Hardly any appreciable area of arable, pastoral, or non-
The railway policy has been to regard the iron roads as wealth creators rather than profit makers. An illustration of the effect of this policy is provided by Mallee, in the north-
The State uses the railways to send knowledge to the farming communities instead of expecting those communities to go to the cities. With this object the two Departments of Agriculture and Railways co-
A University on Wheels
A typical “Better Farming” train which went on a ten-
“Reso”, or National Resources Development Trains, go on tour to give city men a knowledge of the State’s resources. These trains are self-
Land cruises are a feature of the holiday season. One cruising train took fifty-
After Melbourne, Geelong is the chief coastal city in the State, The “Geelong Flyer” is Victoria’s crack express. The distance is forty-
For the Melbourne-
NEAR SYDNEY. An electric train on the suburban lines round the capital of New South Wales. Ninety-
The State Railway system comprises about 4,600 miles of 5 ft 3-
Flinders Street Station, Melbourne, has at times been claimed, without complete justification, to have the heaviest passenger traffic in the world. It is certainly a busy spot, with its sixteen passenger platforms in constant use, especially on Melbourne Cup day. The race for the Melbourne Cup, at Flemington Race-
Melbourne and Sydney are two of the most attractive cities in the world. To the visitor from the Old World they each convey a message of beauty and endeavour. Cleaner and, in many ways, more progressive than many European cities, which are rooted in the past, each represents a triumph of Anglo-
The railways have, of course, played their part in the development of the two cities.
Going westward into South Australia the traveller finds the sunlit city of Adelaide. For size, Adelaide cannot compare with her sisters, but she has a charm of her own. The railway station is one of the finest in the Commonwealth.
The State operates about 1,450 miles of 5 ft 3-
The standard gauge line, part of the Trans-
The principal train is the Adelaide-
A SEVERE CURVE known as “Coalmine Bend” on the Main Line railway in Tasmania. This line is 133 miles in length and connects the cities of Hobart and Launceston.
The South Australian railway system has been reorganised in recent years. Before reorganisation some veteran locomotives were in use. On the broad gauge lines a Disabilities Commission found a locomotive sixty-
Matters have altered since then. Not only has a policy of running new and powerful locomotives been adopted, but, in the Mount Lofty Ranges, steep gradients and acute curves have also been reduced and freight trains in this district now load up to nearly 600 tons as compared with ninety-
A “MOUNTAIN” TYPE ENGINE of the “D 57” class. This heavy goods traffic engine has three cylinders 23¼-
The State has specialised in freight cars. A weatherproof thirty-
The “Poison Train” is interesting. Weeds and other vegetation growing in the ballast and alongside the track are destroyed by an arsenical compound solution sprayed on to the permanent way by travelling tanks. The total capacity of the tanks which form the “Poison Train” is 13,500 gallons, or sufficient for ten miles of track. The tracks are poisoned every third year, or more often if weed growth interferes with ballast drainage, or the weeds grow over the rails and cause the wheels of engines to slip. Formerly, trolleys were sent out which, with a capacity of 400 gallons of weed-
The “Mechanical Stoker”
Cattle trains of ninety-
Before the “Mountain” type locomotive was built to haul passengers and freight trains over the Mount Lofty Ranges, where the ruling grade is 1 in 37, with ten chains curvature, the Melbourne Express, with a load of 375 tons, was hauled by three “Rx” engines (two hauling and one pushing) to the summit. Nowadays one “Mountain” type locomotive can take 430 tons. This feat is accomplished unaided.
The “Pacific” locomotive is a powerful passenger engine capable of high speeds if required, and is used for hauling fast heavy passenger trains (Trans-
BUILT IN NEW SOUTH WALES. A “C 36” class express passenger engine used to haul trains on the 95 miles run between Sydney and Nowra. It has a 4-
Some “Mountain” locomotives are equipped with a “booster”. The “booster”, the low-
Mechanical stoking is used on some of the larger locomotives. The coal is crushed in the tender to the requisite size, brought forward by worm drive, and later spread fan wise over the grate area by steam pressure. The even distribution ensures economy in coal consumption and an increase in engine efficiency.
Particulars of the main locomotive classes are to be seen in the accompanying tabulation.
Beautiful mountain scenery, steep gradients, and sharp curves are features of the railways of Tasmania, the island State of the Australian Commonwealth. Tasmania is called “The Playground of Australia”, and attracts holiday-
The first railway was opened in 1871 between Launceston, in the north of the island, and Deloraine, to the west, and was forty-
Extensions of the Western Line and the construction of branch lines were carried out, and the total mileage of Government railways is now 645; 634 miles of 3 ft 6-
Owing to the mountainous interior and the number of ports, particularly on the Northern Coast Line, and also the number of good roads, the railways have had to face severe competition by sea and road transport. Recently the passenger traffic problem has been partly solved by the introduction of rail-
A MAP showing the chief routes in Tasmania. There are 645 miles of track open.
The first two “Sentinel-
A larger type now in service is of 250-
When a liner calls at Hobart, a rail-
The main line is 133 miles in length and connects the cities of Hobart and Launceston, the greatest altitude being 1,500 ft. The boat express covers the distance in about five hours and a quarter. For the first twelve miles the railway runs alongside the River Derwent, crossing the river at Bridgewater over a long causeway and bridge.
Farming country is traversed through hills and valleys, with a tunnel forty-
Launceston claims the honour of founding the State of Victoria. In 1834 two members of the Henty family left Launceston, then a village, crossed Bass Strait and occupied a portion of Portland Bay area with flocks of sheep. It was also from Launceston that John Batman sailed on May 12, 1835, for Victoria, and a month later steered a boat up the River Yarra and exclaimed, “This will be the place for a village” when he contemplated the site of Melbourne, Batman’s vessel was a thirty-
The Fingal Line is a branch of forty-
The North Eastern Line extends eighty-
The Western Line runs from Launceston for 168 miles to Stanley, serving the principal agricultural area of Tasmania. It crosses a number of rivers and touches a score of towns, and reveals farming areas that are a delight to sightseers. Some of the towns passed in the first forty-
After crossing the River Mersey the line reaches the coast and runs within sight of the sea for about fifty miles, traversing an area of rich agricultural land between the mountains and the sea. Several short branch lines strike inland to serve farm, timber, and mineral areas.
The Emu Bay Company’s Line runs from Burnie, on the north-
The Mount Lyell Mining Company’s Line, over twenty miles long, runs from the port of Strahan to Queenstown, where the mine known as Mount Lyell is situated. This mine produces copper, silver, and gold. The line is remarkable for the views its affords, as it follows the gorges of the Great King River, giving vistas of awesome canyons and magnificent forests of beech trees, with grass-
THROUGH ATTRACTIVE COUNTRY. A stretch of line owned by the Mount Lyell Railway on the west coast of Tasmania. The line is only twenty-
[From part 17 published 24 May 1935]
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