Beaudesert Shire Tramway

The Beaudesert Shire Tramway was a narrow gauge tramway which operated from Beaudesert to Lamington and Rathdowney in the Scenic Rim Region, Queensland, Australia, It was one of 15 light railways built and operated by Divisional Boards and Shire Councils in Queensland.[1] The line carried passengers and cargo. It operated from 1903 to 1944. It was initially profitable and seen as a great success for the local shire council. The tramway is credited with opening up the agricultural lands of the upper Logan River.[2]

Beaudesert Shire Tramway
Beaudesert Shire Tramway mixed train at Rathdowney station in 1912
Beaudesert Shire Tramway mixed train at Rathdowney station in 1912
OwnerBeaudesert Shire
LocaleBeaudesert Shire
TypeIndustrial tramway
Operator(s)Beaudesert Shire
Opened10 October 1903; 120 years ago (1903-10-10)
Closed30 September 1944; 79 years ago (1944-09-30)
Track length39.36 mi (63.34 km)
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Route map

0 mi
0 km
5 mi
8 km
10 mi
16 km
12 mi
19 km
Tabooba Junction
17 mi
27 km
Christmas Creek
20 mi
32 km
22 mi
35 km
17 mi
27 km
21 mi
34 km
22 mi
35 km

History edit

The Tabragalba Divisional Board, predecessor of the Beaudesert Shire, proposed the construction of the Tramway in 1899.[3] Approval was granted on 23 October 1901 and the Beaudesert Tramway Committee was formed on 3 March 1902.

The Tramway opened from Beaudesert to Innisplain and Lilybank (later renamed Christmas Creek[4]) on 10 October 1903 with Sir Herbert Chermside, Governor of Queensland, officiating at the opening ceremony at Tabooba Junction.[5] In August 1907, it was decided to extend the line to Rathdowney from Innisplain. At the same shire meeting an extension from Christmas Creek was also agreed upon.[6] In 1910, a loan for the extensions was granted.[7]

The Christmas Creek to Lamington extension opened in October 1910 and the Innisplain to Rathdowney extension in March 1911.[1] The total cost of construction was £92,770.[8] In 1918, residents of Urbenville in northern New South Wales unsuccessfully agitated for an extension from Rathdowney to the west of Mount Lindesay.[9]

Services ran between Beaudesert and Rathdowney three times per week.[10] The main traffic was timber, dairy produce and livestock[8] which were trans-shipped to the Queensland Railways Beaudesert line. Early traffic was promising. For example, in the 1905-1906 financial year the Tramway carried 6,712 passengers, 75,375 imperial gallons (90,522 US gal; 342,660 L) of cream, 2,854 pigs, 743 long tons (755 t; 832 short tons) of general merchandise, 260 long tons (264 t; 291 short tons) of other agricultural produce and 9,669 long tons (9,824 t; 10,829 short tons) of timber.[11] During the 1920s the movement of timber was gradually decreasing.[12] The tramway was used to transport postal mail to Rathdowney.[13]

Extension of the New South Wales North Coast railway line from Kyogle to Brisbane commenced in 1926 and generated additional traffic on the tramway carrying construction materials. This led to considerable delays with services unable to run to the timetable.[14] Rathdowney and nearby towns were served by the 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge interstate line from 1930. Traffic volume on the line experienced significant decreases starting from this time.[15] Following the "encroachment" of the standard gauge line and increasing competition from road transport, the Shire approached the Government of Queensland to take over the Tramway but the Minister for Railways declined.[16]

With declining traffic, the Tramway ceased operations on 30 Sep 1944. The rails and rolling stock were sold,[17] and the Beaudesert Tramway Committee was abolished on 31 December 1945.[18]

Route edit

See map: Beaudesert Tramway 1935

Locomotives edit

Image Class Number/Name Wheel arrangement Builder Builders number Built Notes
  B12 35 2-6-0 Ipswich Railway Workshops 3 1878 Purchased from Queensland Railways in 1902.
Used for construction of the line.
  Foden 4-2-0 Rail tractor based on a Foden steam lorry
B13 52 4-6-0 Dubs 1907 1884 Purchased from Queensland Railways in 1921.
  B13 185 4-6-0 Dubs 1751 1883 Purchased from Queensland Railways in 1939.

Rolling stock edit

The Tramway owned locomotives, passenger carriages capable of carrying 70 people and goods vans, with timber wagons and other rolling stock hired from Queensland Railways.[8]

Remains edit

Much of the Tramway reservation is now on private property, although substantial portions are visible from public roads such as the Mount Lindesay Highway. The Tramway station at Rathdowney still exists. Tramway Road at Christmas Creek is built on the former tramway reservation.

Gallery edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b Keith McDonald and Ray Ellis (1980). Beaudesert Shire Tramway. Light Railway Research Society of Australia. ISBN 0909340110.
  2. ^ "Beaudesert Shire Tramway". The Brisbane Courier. No. 16, 698. Queensland, Australia. 19 July 1911. p. 5. Retrieved 28 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  3. ^ Tabragalba Divisional Board Minutes, 7 November 1899; QSA:SRS4983/1/5
  4. ^ "BEAUDESERT TRAMWAY". The Brisbane Courier. No. 16, 565. Queensland, Australia. 13 February 1911. p. 9. Retrieved 24 August 2020 – via National Library of Australia.
  5. ^ "Beaudesert-Lara Tramway: Official Opening". The Brisbane Courier. 12 October 1903. p. 4.
  6. ^ "Beaudesert Tramway Extensions". The Brisbane Courier. Vol. LXIV, no. 15, 479. Queensland, Australia. 22 August 1907. p. 5. Retrieved 28 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ "The Upper Logan". The Brisbane Courier. No. 16, 945. Queensland, Australia. 4 May 1912. p. 12. Retrieved 28 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  8. ^ a b c "The Beaudesert Tramway". The Brisbane Courier. 14 January 1924. p. 15.
  9. ^ "Suggested Beaudesert Tramway Extension". Daily Examiner. Vol. 6, no. 884. New South Wales, Australia. 18 June 1918. p. 4. Retrieved 28 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  10. ^ "For the Man on the Land". The Brisbane Courier. No. 22, 296. Queensland, Australia. 13 July 1929. p. 11. Retrieved 28 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  11. ^ "Beaudesert Tramway: Report for 1906". The Brisbane Courier. 12 September 1906. p. 5.
  12. ^ "Beaudesert Tramway". The Brisbane Courier. No. 21, 545. Queensland, Australia. 14 February 1927. p. 11. Retrieved 28 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  13. ^ "Beaudesert Tramway". The Beaudesert Times. Vol. XVIII, no. 983. Queensland, Australia. 18 March 1927. p. 2. Retrieved 28 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  14. ^ "Beaudesert Tramway". The Daily Telegraph. No. 16, 784. Queensland, Australia. 17 September 1926. p. 4 (City Edition). Retrieved 28 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  15. ^ "Beaudesert Tramway". The Beaudesert Times. Vol. XXII, no. 1156. Queensland, Australia. 18 July 1930. p. 5. Retrieved 28 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  16. ^ "Beaudesert Tramway Hit Hard By Kyogle Line: Deputation to Minister". The Brisbane Courier. 31 July 1931. p. 4.
  17. ^ "Beaudesert Sells Its Tramway". The Courier-Mail. 1 November 1944. p. 4.
  18. ^ Queensland State Archives Agency ID10855, Beaudesert Tramway Committee

External links edit

  Media related to Beaudesert Shire Tramway at Wikimedia Commons

28°10′28″S 152°54′13″E / 28.17444°S 152.90361°E / -28.17444; 152.90361