Former steam era QLD South Coast Southport Tweed Heads Coolangatta line
In 1914 Coolangatta’s railway platform was lengthened by 100 feet according to the Tweed Daily 28AUG1914 or by 150 ft according to The Telegraph (Brisbane) 11JULY1914 who also gave the cost as £130. The Tweed Daily remarked this would result in a “first class” platform (*) and was to be enclosed by a picket fence and facilities made for carts to back up to load luggage.

Images of the previous Coolangatta station show facilities similar to a wayside halt type shed so clearly the town was expanding. The 1914 station expansion date is also of interest as the Town of Coolangatta was approved by Order In Council June 1914 with John Lanham the inaugural Mayor following the elections. He was mayor 1914-15. George Lindsay Gordon was mayor 1917.

Brian Webber’s Southside book P.90 notes Coolangatta was upgraded from a “gate” to gain a station master 1921 but reverted to a gate again in 1930 with Gladys Meteyard taking over as Station Mistress for the next 31 years till the line closed.

These two mayoral names, Lanham and Gordon, later appeared as street names on the 1963 street map where the 1960 street map had Nelson St south of the rail yards. At around the same time Chalk St appeared on the former Coolangatta rail yards site as well as Griffith Street being widened when the train line was removed and former rail land offered for sale on 19 January 1963. Sir Gordon Chalk was the QLD Minister for Transport 12 Aug 1957 to 23 Dec 1965. (Post Office History)

John Lanham, the inaugural Mayor, had three sons. Two of whom, Percy and Cliff, became Methodist ministers. Padre Percy died in the Middle East in 1942. Cliff gained his pilot’s licence 1938 and worked with the Methodist Inland Mission as well as a WW2 Padre. After Cliff Lanham left the Methodist Inland Mission he was an air taxi operator at Mary Kathleen and later (c1963) formed Lanham Air Charter at Coolangatta Airport.

(*) First Class platform might be the local newspaper’s term for a good structure? Not sure if it was a QGR term for Coolangatta although stations were graded with different size buildings according to station grade or business volume.


Coolangatta inaugural council. The Brisbane Courier 13JUNE1914 P.5

Coolangatta Council material.

Coolangatta Post Office History courtesy Gold Coast Library, Coolangatta.

Clifford Wilton Lanham material

John Lanham material. Cairns Post 24JUNE1931 P. 4.

Percy Lanham material. Cairns Post 2SEPT1942 P. 4

Gladys Meteyard material. South Coast Bulletin (Southport) 4July1930 P.10

Gregory's Directories/ Universal Business Directories UBD (Aust.) Pty. Ltd. 1963 UBD courtesy Gold Coast Local Studies Library, c1960 Refidex Cokley Collection.

Webber, Brian “Exploring Queensland’s Railways - South from Brisbane”, ARHS [Q] 2007

The Telegraph (Brisbane) 11JULY1914

Tweed Daily 28AUG1914 courtesy State Library Queensland
Obsolete Australian railway historical downloadable document list
Timber for the Tweed Heads Station from Messrs Lahey Bros & Nicklin.

Actual amount and types of timber

The account

EDIT; Although not the actual amounts but the types. The full size image (2.2MB file size) of the types of timbers for the Tweed Heads station is available at
Obsolete Australian railway historical downloadable document list
The first passenger trains operated a few weeks before the official opening to Tweed Heads 14 September 1903. The Brisbane Exhibition was a good reason for hundreds of northern NSW visitors to sample the new Tweed Heads train line Monday 10AUG1903 before the official opening the next month. The passengers included several mayors and other civil dignitaries from as far away as Grafton. The front of two locomotives northbound was 347 of the then new PB15 built by Walkers of Maryborough in 1900. Some of the dignitaries took the time to instead spend a few hours in Ipswich inspecting the Woollen Factory and The Railway Workshops.

The Brisbane Courier 11AUG1903 P.5
Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser 13AUG1903 P.3
Northern Star 12AUG1903 P.5
Obsolete Australian railway historical downloadable document list
1961 timetable comparison between Greyhound Coaches and QGR Tweed Heads Brisbane. The Greyhound terminal was across the other side of Melbourne St from Sth Brisbane Station although I am not sure if they did a Brisbane CBD circuit as well. 4 Greyhound for the Gold Coast and 3 Greyhound for Toowoomba, 2 for Beaudesert, 2 for Sunshine Coast and 1 for Woodenbong. Greyhound frequency source 1962 refidex. Tweed Greyhound Timetable from South Coast Bulletin 12 May 1961



EDIT; The QR c1961 Tweed Timetable (~3MB) has been fixed and I am grateful for an eagle eyed computer helper from our group for this assistance Smile
Obsolete Australian railway historical downloadable document list
The following advertisement for Aitkin’s co-ordinated Transport Service appeared in the South Coast Bulletin the day the Tweed Heads Nerang line closed 30 June 1961

Another South Coast transport operator’s advertisement from that year

There were several other road transport operators servicing the South coast that year and I only chose those two as they had bigger newspaper advertisements.

All this meant the highway needed upgrading

Also of mild possible interest in view of future events in QLD state parliament, the South Coast Bulletin (12 May 1961 P.9) reported Russel James Hinze won the election for Albert Shire Chairman with a record majority of 991 votes against the only other candidate. Three years earlier Hinze won against the same candidate by only 89 votes. Page26 pf that same South Coast Bulletin edition has the full booth results but that scanned into a 4.4MB JPG file so only available by request email to me if you have an interest in historical political science. The South Coast Bulletin is now known as the Gold Coast Bulletin.
Obsolete Australian railway historical downloadable document list
Greyhound Coach Timetable South Coast Bulletin Friday 19MAY1961 P.23

Greyhound Mon - Fri Tweed Heads to Brisbane 2:20 with one hour Tweed Heads Southport and 1:30 Southport to Brisbane.

Rail c1960 Timetable; Train 59, railcar Friday as required, runs express Molendinar to Beenleigh for 2 hour 44 min Tweed to Sth Brisbane. Train 77, railcar Friday only, goes into Southport and departs ex Southport for South Brisbane for 2 hours 55 minutes Tweed to Sth Brisbane. Train 165, daily except Saturday, transfers Tweed Heads carriages to train from Southport at Ernest Junction. Total Tweed to Sth Brisbane 2 hours 50 minutes. I only chose trains that ran weekdays to compare with greyhound weekday services.
Obsolete Australian railway historical downloadable document list
Coolangatta railway stock yards on Griffith St. The date is before December 1958 as that is when the border tick gate moved from the spot in the image to Sth Tweed
[Image: Coolangatta-Grande-Hotel-pre-1958_zps8ecut7fj.jpg]
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(1901, September 13) The Minister for Railways stated, in reply to Mr. Plunkett, in the Assembly yesterday afternoon, that the survey of the railway line from Helensvale to Southport, Benowa, and Nerang, was finished, and he thereupon laid it on the table of the House.

Odd considering the 1901 date and the rail line to Nerang dates from 1889, unless they were planning a deviation???? The Brisbane Courier 13SEPT1901 p. 4.
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Helensvale’s steam era railway station site is now occupied by Helensvale State High School which is 3.3 km north of the present day Helensvale railway station. The Helensvale Rd location on the QR 1889 Working Plans and Sections is similar to its 1969 map location and also similar to the present day Helensvale Rd location near the high school.

In earlier days, Helensvale was the site of a sugar farm large enough to have its own sugar mill as well as handling cane from nearly properties. In 1873 the estate contained 1500 acres with fifty five acres of cane and they expected to plant an additional forty five to fifty acres of cane the following year. In 1885 the Helensvale Plantation was described as a large estate of over 3000 acres with 300 acres of sugar cane. When sold in 1950, the Helensvale property consisted of 1262 acres with a dairy herd. The Helensvale farming property was marked on the 1969 map as about two kilometres north east of the railway station. The Brisbane Courier 3OCT1873 p. 7 The Brisbane Courier 26November 1885 P.2 Queensland Country Life 2FEB1950 P.16

[Image: Helensvale-1960s_zpseysyrcri.jpg]
Obsolete Australian railway historical downloadable document list
Plans for the Pacific Highway in 1962 makes interesting reading as the roads mentioned were eventually built. The right edge was I received it.
Obsolete Australian railway historical downloadable document list

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