I-like-trains Gday, all I've been trying to find information about track elevations throughout Australia. But I just can't seem to find this information anywhere. I'm interested in the total change in elevation from any given line, through to the end of that line. Can anybody help me out?
If you mean total change in elevation for a train from town 'X' on the coast to town 'Y' on the nearby range, then Google Earth has elevations for a particular spot, including in street view.
Be careful as some mountain railway stations are beyond the top of the range so the highest railway line point is maybe a few kms before the station. As an example, the highest point on the rail route from Brisbane to Toowoomba is near where the main road north crosses the railway near Harlaxton, a north eastern suburb of Toowoomba. A train from Helidon (145 metres Google Earth) at the foot of the range to Toowoomba heading west, climbs from Helidon to near Harlaxton (615m) then downhill to Toowoomba platform (588m), depending on where you placed the computer cursor.
Just make sure you zoom in tight enough on Google Earth so you have the elevation at approx track level, not the elevation of the top of the cutting beside the track, or the ground level below the rail embankment. Harlaxton track was 615m but the top of the cutting to the north was 621m, depending on degree of screen zoom.
Old public timetables had the station heights eg 1958 QR Brisbane Toowoomba, Wallangarra on my Google Drive https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByB-ppGeDyvwTTdhSEdOUVN3b1k/view
The quick answer is Google earth and if you want old timetables with heights, try google as many historical ones are on rail enthusiast type website these days