South Coast railway line, Queensland

The South Coast railway line (also known as the Tweed railway line) was a railway from Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland, Australia. The route via the Gold Coast (then known as the South Coast) to Tweed Heads on the border of Queensland and New South Wales. The line operated from 1889 to 1964. The Gold Coast railway line re-opened in 1996 along a modified alignment in the north and a new route south but does not extend as far south yet as the South Coast line.

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South Coast Line
StateLibQld 1 293367 Southport train at Tweed Heads Railway Station, 1940.jpg
Train at Tweed Heads in 1940
Operation
Opened25 January 1889 (to Southport)
10 August 1903 (to Tweed Heads)
Closed1 July 1961 (to Tweed Heads)
30 June 1964 (to Southport)
OwnerQueensland Railways
Operator(s)Queensland Railways
Technical
Line length73 kilometres
Track gauge3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm)
Route map

showing distance (miles and chains)
from South Brisbane

0 mi 0 ch
0 km
24 mi 15 ch
38.93 km
26 mi 61 ch
43.07 km
31 mi 16 ch
50.21 km
33 mi 79 ch
54.7 km
Pimpana Creek
38 mi 35 ch
61.86 km
39 mi 35 ch
63.47 km
Saltwater Creek
40 mi 56 ch
65.5 km
Coombabah Creek
44 mi 54 ch
71.9 km
46 mi 40 ch
74.83 km
50 mi 10 ch
80.67 km
48 mi
77 km
49 mi 11 ch
79.08 km
53 mi 54 ch
86.38 km
55 mi 33 ch
89.18 km
61 mi
98 km
62 mi 70 ch
101.19 km
63 mi 79 ch
102.98 km
67 mi 16 ch
108.15 km
68 mi 4 ch
109.52 km
69 mi 7 ch
111.19 km
Turning wye
69 mi 33 ch
111.71 km

HistoryEdit

 
Flood damaged Logan River crossing, 1887

The Beenleigh railway line opened in 1885[1] before being extended 26 miles (42 km) from Beenleigh railway station to Southport in 1889.[2] The firm of J. W. Sutton and Company of Kangaroo Point in Brisbane provided materials and aided in bridge construction for the railway line.[3]

A branch line running 22 miles (35 km) from Southport Junction (later renamed Ernest Junction) to Tweed Heads opened on 10 August 1903.[4]

It had been hoped that the New South Wales Government would extend its Casino to Murwillumbah line a further 30 kilometres from Murwillumbah to Tweed Heads, but this did not occur due to cost of resuming the land and the expenses associated with the tunnel and bridge that would be required.[5]

Due to the increasing popularity of the motor car, and political interests in road transport, the Tweed Heads branch closed on 1 July 1961, followed by the Beenleigh to Southport line on 30 June 1964.

RouteEdit

The initial South Coast line officially opened on 24 January 1889 [6] and included stops at:

Distance from South Brisbane railway station Station Coords Notes
Yatala
Stapylton
31 miles 16 chains (50.2 km) Ormeau 27°47′18″S 153°15′51″E / 27.7883°S 153.2641°E / -27.7883; 153.2641 (Ormeau railway station (former)) Coords are approximate as the area has been substantially redeveloped, losing landmarks from railway era map[7][8]
33 miles 79 chains (54.7 km) Pimpana 27°48′55″S 153°17′32″E / 27.8152°S 153.2921°E / -27.8152; 153.2921 (Pimpama railway station (former)) [8][9]
38 miles 35 chains (61.9 km) Coomera [8]
39 miles 27 chains (63.3 km) 39 Mile Platform (Oxenford) 27°53′08″S 153°18′55″E / 27.8855°S 153.3154°E / -27.8855; 153.3154 (Oxenford railway station) [8][10]
40 miles 56 chains (65.5 km) Helensvale [8]
Coombabah
46 miles 40 chains (74.8 km) Ernest Junction [8]
50 miles 10 chains (80.7 km) Southport 27°57′49″S 153°24′40″E / 27.9637°S 153.4110°E / -27.9637; 153.4110 (Southport railway station (former)) [8][11][12]

It included a number of cuts, river crossings, long grades and a tunnel [13] at, Ernest Junction, that remains in situ. The second branch of the South Coast line, known as the Nerang-Tweed Heads extension,[14] opened in 1903 [15] and stretched from Ernest Junction to the Queensland-New South Wales border. Stops included:

Distance from South Brisbane railway station Station Coords Notes
Benowa
47 miles 61 chains (76.9 km) Molendinar 27°59′08″S 153°21′22″E / 27.9855°S 153.3560°E / -27.9855; 153.3560 (Molendinar railway station (former)) [8][16]
49 miles 11 chains (79.1 km) Nerang 27°59′43″S 153°20′24″E / 27.9953°S 153.3401°E / -27.9953; 153.3401 (Nerang railway station (former)) [8][17][18]
53 miles 54 chains (86.4 km) Worongary [8]
55 miles 33 chains (89.2 km) Mudgeeraba [8]
Reedy Creek
61 miles 23 chains (98.6 km) West Burleigh [8]
62 miles 70 chains (101.2 km) Elanora [8]
63 miles 79 chains (103.0 km) Currumbin [8]
65 miles 46 chains (105.5 km) Tugun [8]
67 miles 16 chains (108.1 km) Bilinga [8]
68 miles 4 chains (109.5 km) Kirra 28°10′03″S 153°31′17″E / 28.1675°S 153.5213°E / -28.1675; 153.5213 (Kirra railway station) [8]
69 miles 7 chains (111.2 km) Coolangatta 28°10′07″S 153°32′12″E / 28.1685°S 153.5367°E / -28.1685; 153.5367 (Coolangatta railway station) [8][11][19]
69 miles 33 chains (111.7 km) Tweed Heads 28°10′19″S 153°32′26″E / 28.1720°S 153.5405°E / -28.1720; 153.5405 (Tweed Heads railway station) [8]

The present day Pacific Motorway largely follows the route the railway between Yatala and Currumbin. Stewart Street between Currumbin and Tugun, the Gold Coast Highway between Tugun and Kirra, Coolangatta Road between Kirra and Coolangatta, and Griffith Street in Coolangatta/Tweed Heads are built on the former railway reservation.

ServicesEdit

Passenger trains ran from South Brisbane to Southport with connecting trains from Ernest Junction or Southport to Tweed Heads. Picnic and excursion trains ran through from South Brisbane to Tweed Heads on Sundays.[20][21][22]

From opening until the 1950s, services were operated exclusively by PB15 class locomotives, the largest locomotive permitted to cross the Logan River. Diesel rail cars operated some passenger services from the 1950s until closure.[23][24]

RemainsEdit

 
A preserved piece of railway, where the route crossed Bay Street at Tweed Heads
  • The Beenleigh railway line is still in use.
  • The track bed between Ernest Junction and Southport, and between Tugun and Coolangatta, is still visible.
  • The railway bridge over Currumbin Creek was converted to a footbridge. As was the Tallebudgera Creek bridge converted to a footbridge
  • Short sections of the route at Currumbin,Coolangatta and Southport have been reused as a pedestrian/bicycle paths.
  • The Southport tunnel still exists, but the 2 West Burleigh tunnels do not; they were demolished to make way for the Pacific Motorway.
  • The Coolangatta station area is now located between Chalk St and Griffith Street.

ReplacementEdit

The Gold Coast railway line on a new alignment opened from Beenleigh to Helensvale in 1996, Nerang in 1997, Robina in 1998 and Varsity Lakes in 2009.[25]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ History of Mt Gravatt Our Brisbane
  2. ^ The Southport Railway Brisbane Courier 25 January 1889 page 6
  3. ^ "Kangaroo Point: Iron Ships and Bridges". The Brisbane Courier. 24 May 1930. p. 22. Retrieved 24 January 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ Visitors from New South Wales The Brisbane Courier 11 August 1903 page 5
  5. ^ Tweed Heads Railway Extension The Brisbane Courier 29 May 1903 page 5
  6. ^ "THE SOUTHPORT RAILWAY". The Brisbane Courier. XLV (9, 682). 25 January 1889. p. 6. Retrieved 9 May 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ "Town of Ormeau" (Map). Queensland Government. 1971. Archived from the original on 5 April 2020. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Untitled" (Map). Queensland Government. 1947. Archived from the original on 5 April 2020. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  9. ^ "Tamborine" (Map). Queensland Government. 1954. Archived from the original on 2 April 2020. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Parish of Barrow" (Map). Queensland Government. 1973. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  11. ^ a b "South Coast Rail Line". Archived from the original on 15 September 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  12. ^ "Southport" (Map). Queensland Government. 1978. Archived from the original on 5 April 2020. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  13. ^ "SOUTHPORT RAILWAY". South Coast Bulletin. 8 (430). Queensland, Australia. 21 August 1936. p. 6. Retrieved 9 May 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  14. ^ "OPENING OF NERANG RAILWAY". Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald And General Advertiser. XLIV (6642). 27 August 1903. p. 2. Retrieved 9 May 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  15. ^ "VISITORS FROM NEW SOUTH WALES". The Brisbane Courier. LX (14, 220). 11 August 1903. p. 5. Retrieved 9 May 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  16. ^ "Tambourine" (Map). Queensland Government. 1926. Archived from the original on 5 April 2020. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  17. ^ "OPENING OF NERANG RAILWAY". Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser. XLIV (6642). 27 August 1903. p. 2. Retrieved 9 May 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  18. ^ "Town of Nerang" (Map). Queensland Government. Archived from the original on 5 April 2020. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  19. ^ "Tweed Heads" (Map). Queensland Government. 1943. Archived from the original on 5 April 2020. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  20. ^ "Southport Timetable". The Week. XXVII (682). Brisbane. 12 January 1889. p. 26. Retrieved 18 January 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  21. ^ NINE SPECIAL TRAINS BOOKED FOR 4BH PICNIC TO SOUTHPORT (1939, October 21). The Telegraph (Brisbane), p. 4 (LATE WEEK END FINAL ALL THE NEWS). Retrieved January 18, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article188037010
  22. ^ "Tweed Heads-Brisbane Railway". Northern Star. 28. New South Wales, Australia. 24 October 1903. p. 8. Retrieved 18 January 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  23. ^ "LOCOMOTIVES". The Telegraph (16, 575) (5 O'CLOCK CITY ed.). Brisbane. 15 January 1926. p. 12. Retrieved 18 January 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  24. ^ "1st Diesel run". The Courier-Mail (4980). Brisbane. 13 November 1952. p. 3. Retrieved 18 January 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  25. ^ Robina-Varsity Lakes rail extension state's most expensive The Courier-Mail 14 December 2009

BibliographyEdit

  • Alan Arundell (2011). The South Coast Railway: A history of Growth and Transport on the Gold Coast. Water Street Productions. ISBN 0646555286.
  • John Kerr and John Armstrong (1978). Destination Sth Brisbane : an illustrated history of the southside railways of Brisbane. Australian Railway Historical Society.

External linksEdit