South Coast Line steam era Southport Tweed Heads

 
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
Those who follow @petan's excellent contributions may be interested in the upcoming ARHS "Gold Coast Reminiscences" tour.

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  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Petan, your research is extraordinary. I've only just discovered this thread after being curious about the Currumbin rail bridge. I ride over this bridge every day on my way to work. I always knew it was a rail bridge, but never thought a lot about it until recently. It got me thinking about the approximate location of Currumbin Station. Was it on the southern side of Currumbin Ck Rd near the tennis courts, or on the northern side in the vicinity of the rsl car park? Thanks. Really enjoying reading about the history of the line.
BorderLoop
Thanks BorderLoop for your kind words Smile

Currumbin Railway Station was opposite the present day Station Street shops with the southbound lanes of the 2015 Pacific Motorway close to the station site. There was an open level crossing on Currumbin creek Rd on the northern edge of the station yard. Currumbin was shown on the timetables as 63 miles 79 chains which is sometimes given as 64 miles instead. This is because the 64 mile post was within the Currumbin Station yard.


The QR working plan and section shows the Currumbin Creek Road open level crossing was 3 chains (60.35 metres) from the end of the bridge while the present day Currumbin Creek Road is 90 metres from the end of the bridge. That shows the present road has been realigned 30 metres south from the railway era road alignment. This makes the start of Currumbin Station yard on the actual present day Currumbin Creek Road alignment.  The 1951 steam train era cadastral plan shows the old alignment as well as the still 2015 existing corner of Station Street and Currumbin Creek Rd. The former curvy alignment of Currumbin Creek Rd near the railway station site and the present day RSL was straightened as part of the works with the removal of the rail infrastructure. The present day RSL club was formally the site of the School of Arts Hall.

Currumbin Station 1951 Cadastral courtesy QLD State Archives QSA Item ID 1430365    http://i311.photobucket.com/albums/kk478/petanoz/All%20Coolangatta%20Tweed%20Line%20images/Currumbin-1951_zpslcm6oett.jpg

Currumbin QR Working Plan and Section courtesy QR http://i311.photobucket.com/albums/kk478/petanoz/Coast%20south%20Working%20Plans%20Sections/SCL-N-C-s10-Currumbin_zps9d34c9a4.jpg
  Laidback Station Master

Those who follow @petan's excellent contributions may be interested in the upcoming ARHS "Gold Coast Reminiscences" tour.
Graham4405
Interesting.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
QSA Item ID 621623 Town of Southport Parish of Nerang County of Ward. 8 chain scale 1914 (16 MB file size)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByB-ppGeDyvwV294WTRRVDhYRUk/view
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
This week we merged the following two topographical maps from A3 scans. I marked their date with a small blue arrow on the data at the base of the maps. Some years ago I posted previous scans of these maps using A4 scans and I think I might have more success finally with these versions. These show the Pacific Highway construction on most of what was the Tweed rail route.  

Currumbin 1984 https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByB-ppGeDyvwandHVkFXTXc5SEk/view

Burleigh 1982 https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByB-ppGeDyvwWGlURlZDODJHX28/view
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
(Sir) Gordon Chalk, QLD Transport Minister 1957 to 1965, was lampooned around the time of the closure of the South Coast Line when he defended the closure decision with the prediction that within a decade helicopters would offer a comparably priced commuter service. (Lee P.8)

It seems there might have been some vague substance to his prediction as I found a newspaper clipping that reported a similar false prediction. I suspect similar helicopter taxi predictions were in capital city newspapers as well and perhaps spotted by one of Chalk’s advisers who then wrote a speech for Chalk along those lines.  

Helicopter taxi prediction1960 pdf (2MB file size) https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByB-ppGeDyvwRHdERl9zNDZ2NlE/view


Bibliography;

Lee, Robert “Fruits of Federation - The Grafton to Brisbane Uniform Gauge Railway & Clarence River Bridge” Loco Works Productions, Sydney 2009  

Gold Coast Adviser 25NOV1960.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
The linked page (2MB size)  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByB-ppGeDyvwcDgwUWFTRjBFQU0/view   has the source name and date on the paper itself. If what Cecil Charles Carey MLA says in the paper is true, then his transport company had fewer profits from the route after the rail closure.  The 700 tons a week of general rail freight is also an interesting amount as it would only amount to one reasonable train payload a day perhaps. Also notice the article mentions the removal of road tax.

John Knowles has some factual discussion on this general topic. http://freespace.virgin.net/johnk.pb15/southport.html  and http://freespace.virgin.net/johnk.pb15/TWEED.HTM  

More on Cecil Charles Carey MLA
https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/members/former/bio?id=1853018449   and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_district_of_Albert

EDIT; the linked article also shows the mineral sands company had been using road transport (quote) long before the railway was closed down anyway (end quote)
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
The 1964 passenger road tax for operations when the Southport rail route was in operation has been revealed by the linked page below as one penny per passenger per mile. After the line closure it became 7.5% of the revenue. The linked page shows the local bus service government fee as well. That would suggest the 1964 fee for other long distance road passenger services in competition with the railways was still one penny per passenger per mile and perhaps the 7.5% of the revenue was the standard government fee for long distance bus operators in other parts of the state not in competition with the railways.  The mineral sands traffic page I posted recently shows the government tax was 3 pence per ton mile on road freight hauls in competition with the railways. Road maintenance charges would have continued.
http://s311.photobucket.com/user/petanoz/media/All%20Coolangatta%20Tweed%20Line%20images/Road-permits-removed-1964_zpskwww7xb2.jpg.html

The extra bus company in addition to Greyhound that took over when the Southport train closed on 30JUNE1964 had a Brisbane terminal described in the attached newspaper clipping as 20 Barry Pde in the Valley. Skennars Coaches listed their address as 22-30 Barry Pde Valley so not sure if same place. This link also reveals the new fares http://s311.photobucket.com/user/petanoz/media/All%20Coolangatta%20Tweed%20Line%20images/Gold-Coast-Coaches-Brisbane-May-1964_zpstga8zxwz.jpg.html
  BrianBS Locomotive Driver

...........................
The extra bus company in addition to Greyhound that took over when the Southport train closed on 30JUNE1964 had a Brisbane terminal described in the attached newspaper clipping as 20 Barry Pde in the Valley. Skennars Coaches listed their address as 22-30 Barry Pde Valley so not sure if same place. .......................
petan
G'day Peter,

When turning left into Barry Parade from the city, Skennars bus terminal was immediately on the left, squashed in between Barry Parade and School Street (where The Hub Apartments are now), next was Black and White Taxis, then Ascot Taxis, and finally a Caltex garage on the corner of Barry Parade & School street.

I haven't driven down Barry Parade for the best part of 20 years or more, but I often filled up at the Caltex when I was down in that part of town.

Regards, Brian
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
(Sir) Gordon Chalk, QLD Transport Minister 1957 to 1965, was lampooned around the time of the closure of the South Coast Line when he defended the closure decision with the prediction that within a decade helicopters would offer a comparably priced commuter service. (Lee P.8)

It seems there might have been some vague substance to his prediction as I found a newspaper clipping that reported a similar false prediction. I suspect similar helicopter taxi predictions were in capital city newspapers as well and perhaps spotted by one of Chalk’s advisers who then wrote a speech for Chalk along those lines.  

Helicopter taxi prediction1960 pdf (2MB file size) https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByB-ppGeDyvwRHdERl9zNDZ2NlE/view


Bibliography;

Lee, Robert “Fruits of Federation - The Grafton to Brisbane Uniform Gauge Railway & Clarence River Bridge” Loco Works Productions, Sydney 2009  

Gold Coast Adviser 25NOV1960.
petan

Equally impressive but not related was an adjacent article whereby the forecast of 1000 people were expected to die on NSW roads in 1960, whereas 348 people died on NSW roads in 2015 with many more cars on today's roads.

Mike.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
G'day Peter,

When turning left into Barry Parade from the city, Skennars bus terminal was immediately on the left, squashed in between Barry Parade and School Street (where The Hub Apartments are now), next was Black and White Taxis, then Ascot Taxis, and finally a Caltex garage on the corner of Barry Parade & School street.

I haven't driven down Barry Parade for the best part of 20 years or more, but I often filled up at the Caltex when I was down in that part of town.

Regards, Brian
BrianBS
Thanks Brian Smile
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Gold Coast 1983 street and district map.  The long brown strips are from the sticky tape I used to hold it together over the years before I eventually had it scanned at the local shopping centre. Publishing source shown on the map. PDF 6MB file size downloadable from https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByB-ppGeDyvwMzJ4b3BPYjVvLTg/view
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
I draw your attention to this thread regarding John Kerr's notes at the QLD State Library and now online. I have located South Coast Line material in Vols 1 & 8 so far  
https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11383598.htm
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Currumbin Creek former QR railway bridge is being repaired. Council website notes the following; work will be done to conserve the 113-year-old ex-railway bridge at Currumbin which is now a dedicated pedestrian bridge. This does mean the bridge will be closed from April to July 2016. The heritage of the existing structure will be retained and environmental considerations are identified as high priority.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Currumbin Creek former QR railway bridge is being repaired. Council website notes the following; work will be done to conserve the 113-year-old ex-railway bridge at Currumbin which is now a dedicated pedestrian bridge. This does mean the bridge will be closed from April to July 2016. The heritage of the existing structure will be retained and environmental considerations are identified as high priority.
petan
Gold Coast Council websites on the job http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/currumbin-railway-bridge-renewal-30825.html
http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/thegoldcoast/currumbin-railway-bridge-history-30836.html
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Molendinar; traced the tender for the road over rail bridge on present day Southport Nerang Rd. Till then, all road traffic went via a level crossing (present day Harper St) north of Molendinar station. This is also mentioned on the Working Plan and Section. http://s311.photobucket.com/user/petanoz/media/All%20Coolangatta%20Tweed%20Line%20images/Molendinar%20Bridge%20tender%201950_zpslaq6hmg3.jpg.html

Also traced the Molendinar Earthenware Pipes siding  http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/212597242
 
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Railway Time Table—Brisbane Tweed Heads (1930, May 8). The Border Star (Coolangatta, Qld,1929 - 1942) P. 6. Retrieved May 17, 2016 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226598799
Cheers
Peter Cokley
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Nerang to The Border 40 chain litho cadastral map QLD State Archives Item ID299671. This shows the various proposed colonial rail routes to Coolangatta and signed (initials) in 1889 by Henry Charles Stanley, QR Engineer at that time. The file size is 6MB and downloadable from my Google Drive in the usual manner. I added the QSA item ID in my usual blue text at the top in case anyone wants to trace the original cloth version at QSA.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByB-ppGeDyvwNmlmMzNVT016Vzg/view
  jonwil Station Master

Why exactly did they close the south coast line anyway? I heard rumors from somewhere that it was done because there was a relationship between the local trucking company and a senior government minister and it was basically corruption (i.e. the trucking company didn't like the fact that the railway was cheaper/better and used their relationship with the government to get it shut down) but I dont know for sure if that's what really happened or not.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Why exactly did they close the south coast line anyway? I heard rumors from somewhere that it was done because there was a relationship between the local trucking company and a senior government minister and it was basically corruption (i.e. the trucking company didn't like the fact that the railway was cheaper/better and used their relationship with the government to get it shut down) but I dont know for sure if that's what really happened or not.
jonwil
Re the trucking company myth; see my material a few posts earlier and I will repost some here to save you searching for it... The linked page (2MB size)  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByB-ppGeDyvwcDgwUWFTRjBFQU0/view   has the source name and date on the paper itself. If what local member of parliament at the time, Cecil Charles Carey MLA, says in the paper is true, then his transport company had fewer profits from the route after the rail closure.  The 700 tons a week of general rail freight is also an interesting amount as it would only amount to one reasonable train payload a day perhaps. Also notice the article mentions the removal of road tax.

John Knowles has some factual discussion on this general topic.
http://freespace.virgin.net/johnk.pb15/southport.html  and http://freespace.virgin.net/johnk.pb15/TWEED.HTM  

Another of the closure myths blames Joh although the spreaders of that myths are not smart enough to realise he was not the premier at that time. The premier was Sir George Francis Reuben (Frank) Nicklin (1895-1978), whose grandmother was Jane Nicklin, nee Lahey. Her family were famous for the Canungra Tramway and sawmill. The Laheys also supplied the timber for the Tweed Heads station.

In short, once the highway bridges were opened c1930 over the Logan and Coomera rivers and the Jubilee Bridge over the Nerang River at Southport was opened in 1925, the railway was doomed. The road bridges over the Tallebudgera and Currumbin Creeks in 1926 plus the earlier road bridges allowed people direct access to the tourist resorts. The Jubilee Bridge also allowed buses and trucks direct from Brisbane, without transhipping at Southport, into the tourist areas instead of using Myers Ferry over the Nerang River into what is now Surfers Paradise.

The closure was also because the population purchased cars like the FJ Holden and the Falcon and therefore could load their car boot at home with their holiday gear and drive direct to their holiday instead of loading their gear onto public transport at one end and then off the train and across the streets to the beach or holiday flats or motel. See the car adds on the linked newspaper. The train was lucky it lasted that long.
  phil_48 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Wynnum North
Sadly, as I saw this era at first hand, I have to agree with Petan's views.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
The closure was also because the population purchased cars like the FJ Holden and the Falcon and therefore could load their car boot at home with their holiday gear and drive direct to their holiday instead of loading their gear onto public transport at one end and then off the train and across the streets to the beach or holiday flats or motel. See the car adds on the linked newspaper. The train was lucky it lasted that long.
petan

It was also a time of affluence after the rationing of WW2 and the start of the baby boomer generation. Everyone had to have a car or you were just seen to be left behind. Ben Chifley may have launched the 48-215(FX) Holden, but it was PM Menzies that ended the rationing and brought a breath of fresh air and optimism after the war years

Trains were old hat..especially rail motors winding along a slow and at times circuitous track...and on reflection, people would have been fitter lugging all their gear for the beach on the train...fitness wasn't in vogue in those days and it was all about convenience. Come tho think of it, it still is hence the obesity epidemic...but that's for another discussion

I think Bruce Small also had something to do with the demise of the train.

Thanks Petan for your research throughout this and other of your threads...I've thoroughly enjoyed it.. Very Happy

Mike.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Currumbin Creek former QR railway bridge is being repaired. Council website notes the following; work will be done to conserve the 113-year-old ex-railway bridge at Currumbin which is now a dedicated pedestrian bridge. This does mean the bridge will be closed from April to July 2016. The heritage of the existing structure will be retained and environmental considerations are identified as high priority.
Gold Coast Council websites on the job http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/currumbin-railway-bridge-renewal-30825.html
http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/thegoldcoast/currumbin-railway-bridge-history-30836.html
petan
I packed my vegemite sandwiches and made sure I was at the Currumbin Rail Bridge to see the last of the Carnegie long girders and the Earl of Dudley cross bearers removed Friday 5 August 2016.  I used my phone camera for a 5-minute video which my wife had tidied up and placed on YouTube

https://youtu.be/n1ltfiiI1n0  

The last video image with our credits shows part of the new bridge decking. The bit next to the crane was from under the Pacific Motorway bridge where I made sure I was seen by the crew who saw me afterwards to get copies of my images for their personal records. Our house guest, Samboo the Bear, is listed in the video as the technical director and he appears in the last bit of the video. Samboo has his own Facebook and travels with us on our geocaching trips etc  https://www.facebook.com/samboothebear/
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
1954 Coolangatta and Tweed track plan including the Kirra fuel depot and passenger station, which were at different sites along Coolangatta Rd as it was in that era. The Kirra rail land is now occupied by most of the houses along the  southbound lanes of Coolangatta Rd which also is mostly former rail land south till Appel St. Kirra Station site opposite Kirra Surf, formally Gilltraps car museum.

Courtesy QLD State Archives at Runcorn (4MB file size)   https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByB-ppGeDyvwbldNX3J3cHYxeG8/view



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