Former steam era QLD South Coast Southport Tweed Heads Coolangatta line
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Obsolete Australian railway historical downloadable document list
A Southport local [not me] has put up video of the Ernest Junction tunnel
Obsolete Australian railway historical downloadable document list
Added this to the master download list above.
The following 1990 XPT timetables are available for download by using the download selector in the **FILE drop down menu** top left on that website page XPT to Brisbane June 4 1990 XPT to Murwillumbah June 4 1990

The Brisbane one departed south again at 7.40 am in 1990 and arrived at Sydney Terminal at 9.40 p.m. The Murwillumbah one returned in 1990 after a 45 minute turn around time and headed back to Sydney Terminal at 9:15pm, reaching its destination at 10.35 am. The present day timetable is at but that does not have the Murwillumbah one of course.
Also shown are the QLD rail connections for that era eg Capricornian.
Obsolete Australian railway historical downloadable document list
Added; Murwillumbah 2 April 1989 Country and Interstate Timetable State Rail [NSW]
Cairns Brisbane Sydney 2 April 1989 State Rail NSW Timetable
11/2/1990 NSW NORTHERN DIVISION Trains NE 1/NE 2 Brisbane Limited Express; NE 3/NE 4 Pacific Coast MotoRail and NT25/NT26 Holiday Coast XPT were replaced by XPT services NT17/NT6 XPT; NT5/NT18 XPT respectively.
Murwillumbah 22 June 1969 Country Timetable NSWGR
Gold Coast MotoRail Express 2 June 1974 Country Timetable PTC of NSW
Obsolete Australian railway historical downloadable document list
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Obsolete Australian railway historical downloadable document list
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Obsolete Australian railway historical downloadable document list
The downloadable document list in this thread includes the Working Plans and Sections [WPS] list for Beenleigh south. Maybe like me earlier, not everyone knows how to decode the WPS so as to discover the useful engineering data they contain. I had help [of course!] in developing the following Working Plans and Sections [WPS] Explanation Key.

Working Plans and KEY

The WPS consists of a locality map showing the track with distances and curves. The South Coast ones date from the initial construction with updates, some in red. Underneath are rows of data.

The top data row is a visual representation of the vertical curves with the various embankments [banks] and cuttings [cuts] numbered as well as the individual fill or cut volumes in cubic yards. Directly under Mudgeeraba station itself is “Bank #38” consisting of five individual sections which totalled 1040 cubic yards of fill required. This fill volume is shown as coming from both cut # 28 which gave 850 cubic yards and cut # 29 which gave 190 cubic yards.

Under the cut and bank data is the track vertical gradient with Mudgeeraba station shown as level and a gradient of 1 in 330 to the south of the station. The heights are also shown with 113 ft, measured by “Railway Datum”, at the southern end of the level section of Mudgeeraba station and 111 ft at the southern end of the 1 in 330 gradient / slope section which means there was a 2 ft descent over the length of that 1 in 330 section.

Depth of cut or fill height; Upper set of values in this row is the depth of cut and the lower values is the height of fill. Thus the highest depth of cutting #30 was 19.85 ft on the rail centreline and depending on the side slope of the ground at that point, more or less at the tops of the cutting sides.

Formation level; this is the height along rail formation after route preparation including cuttings and embankments. This row is blank in parts where the line is marked as level.

Natural surface level: Ground height before any rail route earthwork preparation. The height values in some situations on this row have been abbreviated by 100 ft. This standard engineering procedure of deliberately omitting certain data values was for clerical simplicity.

An example is found in the above WPS Explanation KEY for the Natural Surface Row with the elevation value of 119.60ft midway across the page. The value to the immediate left is 25.60 ft and to the immediate right 13.54 ft. If real then that would result in a very extreme height change from 25.60 ft up to 119.60 ft and then down to 13.54 ft within the length of two chains or two cricket pitches.

The standard clerical practice was the omitting of the hundred foot value but with the occasional spot where the full 100 ft value is included to remind staff. So 25.60 ft on the WPS really meant 125.60 ft. The next value of 119.60 ft was left as it was to remind staff and 113.54 ft shown as 13.54 ft on the WPS. That equates to a more realistic gradual height change from 125.60ft down to 119.60ft and 113.54ft without any extreme peak mid-way.

Perhaps similar to the clerical procedure in the above formation level row where some sections are left blank where the line is marked as level.

These three rows along the bottom are linked mathematically. Adding or subtracting the Depth of cut or fill height [top row] values with the Formation level [middle row] results in the Natural surface level [bottom row] value, ie add the measurements for the cutting and subtract the measurements for the embankments.

The bottom of the page shows track distance in miles and chains with curve radius in chains. The start and end of curves are also marked.
Obsolete Australian railway historical downloadable document list
More on the Working Plans and Section [WPS] but I divided it into two posts so help readibility. Similar to what I provided on Railpage but not everyone at WOS reads Railpage for what ever reason.

These 1880s Workings Plans & Sections [WPS] use miles and chains. The zero point for the miles and chains shown on these WPS is not the same on the entire route south to Tweed Heads and Southport.

The Beenleigh to Southport and Nerang line was measured from Bethania as seen when the Beenleigh WPS is examined. It is SCL B-N&S s1 which is Beenleigh to Nerang and Southport. The distance along the base at Beenleigh starts at 3 miles 49 chains which is the distance back to Bethania.

South from Beenleigh to Nerang the distance measurements shown on the locality map on the top section of the WPS use a dual system with both the longer distance from South Brisbane and the shorter distance from Bethania.

The distances on the Southport line east of Ernest Junction follow a similar dual pattern with the longer distance from South Brisbane. But, the shorter distance is the distance from Ernest Junction. WPS SCL B-N&S s16 shows the actual location for the zero point for the Southport line’s distance measurement.

The WPS south from Nerang only shows the distance from South Brisbane. The WPS for Nerang, SCL N-C s1, shows the point for the end of the Bethania measurements in the southern end of the Nerang rail yard, near the word “Nestle”. The WPS codes also change from SCL B-N&S to SCL N-C codes.

In that 1880s era, the South Brisbane terminus was near the Dry Dock in Stanley Street. As the Melbourne Street terminus opened in December 1891, the early Southport trains were South Brisbane [Dry Dock] services. [Kerr & Armstrong, 1978:p77] That means the South Brisbane distances shown on the WPS to Nerang and Southport are from the Stanley Street [Dry Dock] station via the Wooloongabba railway yard. The Coolangatta Tweed Heads line post-dates the Melbourne Street terminus.

The locality names on all the WPS files eg Mudgeeraba, were added by me to help sort the files. WPS “SCL N-C s5 Mudgeeraba station” was given to me as “WPS SCL N-C s5” without the locality addition to the file title.

The original Working Plans and Sections suggest the line south from Nerang was originally titled the Nerang Coolangatta line not Nerang Tweed Heads. Tweed Heads station was added after the cross border matters were decided. This is seen in the titles used on the following two documents.

The Working Plan and Section for the start of this line, SCL N-C s1, is printed as “Nerang to Coolangatta” with no mention of Tweed Heads on the document

In a similar manner the Nerang to Coolangatta permanent way data sheet only mentions Coolangatta not Tweed Heads in the printing of the name of the line

The Working Plans and Sections are all coded SCL N-C for South Coast Line Nerang to Coolangatta with the Tweed Heads WPS titled SCL N-C s13 not SCL N-T or similar.

When the rail lines through the Logan district were first planned, the line to Beaudesert was to be the main line and the line to Beenleigh was to branch off the main Beaudesert line at Bethania. [Armstrong/Kerr 1978 P.19] Later railway literature eg the 1961 timetable, referred to the Beaudesert line as a “Branch” and the Southport line as the South Coast Line [SCL]. The Tweed Heads section was referred to as a “Branch” by John Knowles. [ accessed 11 July 2012]

Rail level height, needed for determining the height of structures such as station platforms, is determined by adding ballast and rail/sleeper height to the formation height. The original Nerang to Coolangatta / Tweed Heads permanent way data sheet that shows ballast and rail/sleeper height is
Obsolete Australian railway historical downloadable document list
The following Tweed Shire history has some very useful material on the NSWGR, QR and Sugar industries. [19 MB in size] TWEED SHIRE COUNCIL COMMUNITY BASED HERITAGE STUDY THEMATIC HISTORY

Report for Tweed Shire Council September 2004

P. 91 of the Tweed history downloadable pdf noted above states;

quarry at Point Danger. Over the next five years breakwaters to the north and south of the river entrance were constructed and the training walls were completed, greatly improving navigation in the river. A light railway line was built from the quarry to the `tip head' nearly 400 metres away to transport stone for the northern breakwater and western training wall. Stone for the southern breakwater was loaded into punts from a wharf on the western wall and towed across the river to a wharf on the south wall. From there it was hauled by horses to the tip head.

The route of this quarry line is shown on the following QR Working Plans and Sections

SCL N-C s13 Tweed
Obsolete Australian railway historical downloadable document list
I need your historical assistance to help “The Friends of Currumbin Inc”, [FoC] a community service association based on the southern Gold Coast, who plans to install a commemorative plaque on the former Currumbin rail bridge, now used as a public walking and cycling bridge over Currumbin Creek. The plaque is partly funded with a Gold Coast City Council grant.

The Friends of Currumbin Secretary especially wants a clear close up side on picture of a locomotive hauled train on the bridge. He specifically asked me for a side on photo, not a front on or three quarter view as he wants the bridge to be the focal point, not the train. The photo will be etched or somehow engraved on to the metal plaque. I have not seen such a photo so again I ask here. Photo legal copyright clearance would also be required.

This historical bridge was opened with the Tweed Heads railway in 1903 which closed in 1961. The plaque is about A3 is total size including the picture so needs short precise factual content. More about “The Friends of Currumbin Inc”, [FoC]

The following data, added to our earlier research, reveals the Currumbin Railway Bridge was built by the Queensland Government Railways day labour staff, using a steel bridge supplied by John McCormick and Son who obtained the steel from The Round Oak Steelworks in the West Midlands, England.

IRONWORK FOR RAILWAY BRIDGES. [Brisbane Courier 18th July 1902 P.4 from TROVE ]

The tender of John M'Cormick and Son, at £5458 4s. 11d., was the lowest received yesterday by the Railway Department for the manufacture of steel wrought-iron work for bridges over Tallebudgera and Currumbin Creeks, on the Nerang Raliway extension. The other tenders received were from .W. S. Binnie, R. P. Vincent, Smith, Faulkiner, and Co., A. Sargeant and Co., and Walkers Limited.

[Image: Currumbin-Bridge-tender-newspaper-1902_zps7f2db8b3.jpg]

Currumbin Rail Bridge’s steel cross bearers marked “Earl of Dudley”, which refers to “The Round Oak Steelworks” in the West Midlands, England. Longitudinal beams marked “CARNEGIE”.

[Image: Earl-Of-Dudley-branding-Currumbin-Rail-B...6b6528.jpg]

Each of the piers are individually marked eg the three row 15 piers are marked either 15U 15M 15D with the U on the upstream side, M is middle and D is on the downstream side, of course!

[Image: CurrumbinRailBridgePier-15M_zps44605bd5.jpg]

[Image: Currumbin-rail-bridge-15U_zps63dc36f2.jpg]

[Image: Currumbin-rail-bridge-15D_zps70fb3c0f.jpg]

The day labour fact is from; “Destination South Brisbane”Armstrong, John /, Kerr John, ARHS [QLD] 1978 page 43

[This section was edited to reflect the more accurate data in my following post]

The Working Plan and Section SCL N-C s10 shows the 567 foot Currumbin Rail bridge as 21 – 27’ spans rolled joists on screw piles. Brian’ Webber’s book has it as a steel bridge on screw piles. Combining those two sources gives 21 spans each 27 feet long of rolled steel joists on screw piles. There are still 21 spans as we recently counted and measured them, with original looking concrete abutments.

Thanks for any pictures or other help!

Obsolete Australian railway historical downloadable document list

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