South Coast Line steam era Southport Tweed Heads

 
  davemail66 Locomotive Fireman

Location: Brisbane North and Sunshine Coast
Over the Easter long weekend I again visited the remains of the old railway cutting at Coolangatta (see my pics below) which was once part of the Tweed Heads extension of the original Gold Coast railway. I read in one of the local Kingscliff district newspapers that a mob is again pushing for the re-opening of the Murwillumbah railway along with an extension to the Qld border to coincide with the eventually south ward extension of the current Gold Coast line down from Varsity Lakes to Coolangatta in 2015. I really hope it does happen one day. [bigimg]http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/7739/p4120245.jpg[/bigimg] [bigimg]http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/9758/p4120244.jpg[/bigimg] [bigimg]http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/1289/p4120238.jpg[/bigimg] [bigimg]http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/4198/p4120240.jpg[/bigimg] [bigimg]http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/3910/p4120237.jpg[/bigimg] [bigimg]http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/9961/p4120239.jpg[/bigimg] [bigimg]http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/9239/p4120242.jpg[/bigimg] MOD EDIT: Added BIGIMG tags - KRviator

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  scubs Chief Commissioner

Location: Geebung, Brisbane
I've been going on holidays to Kinscliff for the past 15 years and always go and have a look at the Murwillimbah line. In December last year it was awfully overgrown, the worst I have seen it and Murwillimbah Station was looked really run down.

The major problem with the Murwillimbah to Casino line is that it isn't very straight and winds around through the counrtyside.

The other problem with the proposal of linking the two is gauge and of course what purpose will it have?

Do you know where it was planned the line would cross the Tweed River?
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
At Tweed Heads the line was on an embankment. Maybe that could give a clue as to how they were going to cross the Tweed river. Weren't the tunnels on this line built to the standard loading gauge?
  4001firstdiesel Chief Commissioner

Location: GONE!!!! TIRED OF THE ABUSE AND PERSONAL ATTACKS
I've been going on holidays to Kinscliff for the past 15 years and always go and have a look at the Murwillimbah line. In December last year it was awfully overgrown, the worst I have seen it and Murwillimbah Station was looked really run down.

The major problem with the Murwillimbah to Casino line is that it isn't very straight and winds around through the counrtyside.

The other problem with the proposal of linking the two is gauge and of course what purpose will it have?

Do you know where it was planned the line would cross the Tweed River?
"scubs"


Scubs,

Could you please post some pictures of the station and track if you've got any?

Thanks,
  SM247 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Cavill Avenue Station
Best option now would be to follow the Pacific Highway to Chinderah through the upgraded Sexton's Hill cutting they wil be constructing soon, over a new bridge at Barneys Point and end up at Kingscliff near the TAFE, with potential for an extension towards Pottsville and further south.  

This would require realignment of the proposed corridor south of Tugun so trains are still oriented to the south when arriving at Coolangatta to prevent having to reverse ends.  You would need to tunnel under the airport and head straight in instead of heading around the back way with a small tunnel and overhead station in front of the terminal, which is the current plan.

Stations at:

- Kennedy Drive (station on south eastern side of motorway interchange)
- Banora Point (eastern side of highway opposite Darlington Drive)
- Kingscliff (intersection of Tweed Coast and Cudgen Rd)
- Casuarina (somewhere after the intersection of the Tweed Coast Road and Dianella Dr, to service Casuarina, Salt and Cabarita Beach)
- Pottsville (somewhere off Pottsville Road/Coronation Dr)
- Billinudgel (perhaps the old station site - servicing Golden Beach, Brunswick Heads etc)

With some straightening, you could potentially reuse parts of the corridor between Billinudgel and Byron Bay for a QR service with stations at Mullumbimby and Byron Bay.

In the long term, you would be looking at extra stations at and extensions along a brand new alignment to:

- Lennox Head
- Ballina (co-located with the airport perhaps)
- Alstonville
- Lismore
- Casino

Hourly all stations service to Coolangatta and terminate, with an hourly all stations service to Coolangatta extended to Roma Street stopping at Robina, Helensvale and Beenleigh.

Murwillumbah is dead as far as I am concerned.  QR is the future.
  colinw_mk2 Station Master, Kippa-Ring

Any future rail down that way will have to be 3'6" or just maybe the light rail extended south from Coolangatta/Tweed.

If it is heavy rail, follow the motorway corridor and serve the coastal towns.  Byron Bay would make a good destination then eventually Ballina.  Anything south of Tweed Heads will require significant reform in interstate relations or a nice Federal kick in the head for both Governments.  That stupid state line causes a lot of harm.

For the light rail a short extension over the border to Tweed Heads would make a lot of sense, but then we are a long way from any light rail on the coast, let alone anywhere near Coolangatta.

As for the Casino-M'Bah line, it is a dead parrot.  Leave it to decay in peace.  Its only future is as a rail trail.  Maybe re-opening of Casino to Lismore might make a bit of sense, but that is the limit of it.

cheers,
Colin
  ar31 Chief Commissioner

Location: Elimbah, Queensland
Anything south of Tweed Heads will require significant reform in interstate relations or a nice Federal kick in the head for both Governments.  That stupid state line causes a lot of harm.
"colinw_mk2"


Sadly this is the case.  

What I suggest is separate services operated by a joint QLD/NSW body similar to the "Qconnect" body in regional Queensland (as I've noticed recently on a drive to Toowoomba).  

The local bus service in Toowoomba there is pretty good (owned by the same mob on the Sunshine Coast), though talking to a driver, I've noted they were bought/merged with another company of some sort (bus fans may want to fill me in this one).
  scubs Chief Commissioner

Location: Geebung, Brisbane
I've been going on holidays to Kinscliff for the past 15 years and always go and have a look at the Murwillimbah line. In December last year it was awfully overgrown, the worst I have seen it and Murwillimbah Station was looked really run down.

The major problem with the Murwillimbah to Casino line is that it isn't very straight and winds around through the counrtyside.

The other problem with the proposal of linking the two is gauge and of course what purpose will it have?

Do you know where it was planned the line would cross the Tweed River?
"scubs"


Scubs,

Could you please post some pictures of the station and track if you've got any?

Thanks,
"4001firstdiesel"


Sorry mate, I don't have any, I didn't really think to take any as I see it every year. However it is becoming quite difficult to even see the rails from the road. Very overgrown indeed.
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper

- Banora Point (eastern side of highway opposite Darlington Drive)
"SM247"


If only that could of been done when I was a yoing child.

I was of the impression that the Murwillumbah branch was quite scenic. Unfortunately most of my journeys on it have been at night.
  davemail66 Locomotive Fireman

Location: Brisbane North and Sunshine Coast
The photos I have posted are just over 12 months old, some over grown vegetation is sadly starting to develop.

Murwillumbah station (looking north)


Murwillumbah station (looking south)


Bangalow station (looking towards Casino)




Bangalow station (looking towards Murwillumbah)



By comparison, some photos I took of Grafton City station over the Easter 2009 long weekend.

Looking towards Brisbane


Looking towards Sydney
  TA 2000 Chief Commissioner

Location: SA - I wish!


For the light rail a short extension over the border to Tweed Heads would make a lot of sense, but then we are a long way from any light rail on the coast, let alone anywhere near Coolangatta.

"colinw_mk2"


I agree, it would be great to see light rail extended down Wharf St and Minjungbal Dr to Tweed City.

Though NSW doesn;t seem to want the Qld Government running anything around the Tweed. Translink and MOT can;t come to agreement on bring Tweed Bus runs into the Translink system.
  scubs Chief Commissioner

Location: Geebung, Brisbane


For the light rail a short extension over the border to Tweed Heads would make a lot of sense, but then we are a long way from any light rail on the coast, let alone anywhere near Coolangatta.

"colinw_mk2"


I agree, it would be great to see light rail extended down Wharf St and Minjungbal Dr to Tweed City.

Though NSW doesn;t seem to want the Qld Government running anything around the Tweed. Translink and MOT can;t come to agreement on bring Tweed Bus runs into the Translink system.
"TA 2000"


Well look at how long it took for the Tugun Bypass to be constructed.

Be good to see a rail link from the Tweed up to the Gold Coast, as discussed. However the question is would you run it to a rail line at Murwillumbah or down the coast through the more populated Kinscliff/Casurina/Salt area and then down to Bogangar, Pottsville and Brunswick Heads?

Personally i would like to see both however I highly doubt either would happen due to the interstate relations issue and the actual need vs the cost factor
  bunza Deputy Commissioner

Location: Gold Coast
Be good to see a rail link from the Tweed up to the Gold Coast, as discussed. However the question is would you run it to a rail line at Murwillumbah or down the coast through the more populated Kinscliff/Casurina/Salt area and then down to Bogangar, Pottsville and Brunswick Heads?
"scubs"
Did you miss the discussion about this further up the page?
  scubs Chief Commissioner

Location: Geebung, Brisbane
Be good to see a rail link from the Tweed up to the Gold Coast, as discussed. However the question is would you run it to a rail line at Murwillumbah or down the coast through the more populated Kinscliff/Casurina/Salt area and then down to Bogangar, Pottsville and Brunswick Heads?
"scubs"
Did you miss the discussion about this further up the page?
"bunza"


Most likely, I get bored with reading

me no understand english Laughing
  petey3801 Chief Commissioner

Location: On the rails
To copy what I posted in another thread in the NSW forum not long back on the same issue, this is about the only future of the Casino - Murwillumbah line that I see:


I think what others have said previous times is correct, as much as I don't particularly want to admit it. The Casino - Murwillumbah line in its current alignment is gone.

The best option would be to start fresh from Coolangatta, head south through Tweed and Kingscliff, Pottsville, Brunswick Heads, Byron Bay, then, you could have a fork with two lines:
1) Byron Bay, Suffolk Park, Lennox Head, East Ballina, Ballina Central, West Ballina, Wollongbar, Alstoneville, Goonellebah, Lismore.

2) Talofa (large resort here), Bangalow, Binna Burra, Nashua, Clunes, Bexhill, Woodlawn, Lismore.

From here, you could do one of two things:
1) Make it into a loop line, or;
2) Have the two lines join up and head out to Casino to meet with the NCL.

While fork 2 would generally follow the current route taken by the line (with some exceptions, ie: Clunes), I imagine you would use a new, much straighter, right of way, using the old one if possible in some places. This is also partly an express line to Lismore from the Coolangatta-Byron Bay section of the line.

If its not really worth it, you could drop fork line 2 and just have the single line Byron Bay - Lismore via Ballina, however I would think, in a perfect world, both the lines would be built.

Whether the line/s are SG or Electrified NG is anyones choice, however I personally would like to see it as an electrified NG loop with a connection to Casino where the break of guage would occur. This serves two purposes, it gives Brisbane passengers access to two XPT services to Sydney each day (not a huge deal, but hey!) while giving the greatest range of passengers easy access to the major centres of the Northern Rivers, as well as Coolangatta International Airport and Brisbane City.

All pipe dreams though, unfortunately!

"I"
  ButFli Chief Train Controller

Location: New Farm, Qld
I pulled myself away from the computer for long enough to grab some photos of Murwillumbah Station this afternoon, as requested in this thread.

[img]http://img2.imageshack.us/img2/9638/mcbranch028.th.jpg[/img]
[img]http://img411.imageshack.us/img411/1318/mcbranch029.th.jpg[/img]
[img]http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/3548/mcbranch032.th.jpg[/img]
[img]http://img520.imageshack.us/img520/9162/mcbranch033.th.jpg[/img]

Not much has changed since davemail66 was there. :p Maybe the grass has grown a bit.

In all seriousness, a visitor to the region would probably expect a train to pull up at any minute if they didn't know the line was closed. Murwillumbah Station looks better than a lot of places that are still served by trains!
  Xgentric Chief Commissioner

davemail66 - Thanks for your excellent pics! Could you tell us where the old Coolangatta alignment is? I'd like to check it out as well. And also, if you know, the original tunnel - near Ashmore, I think?

The photos at Bangalow show every fourth sleeper being steel, and many of the remaining wooden ones are in very poor condition these days. Mur'bah station is still kept pretty much under control, but beyond the yard limits is another story.

The Mur'bah line is very scenic, and although I'd like to see it linked to Coolangatta, a coastal route would make more sense. QR have expressed interest in maybe coming across the border, to Kingscliff at least, but only time will tell. Many Gold Coast workers live on the Tweed Coast or in the Tweed Valley (Mur'bah especially), and a rail link would make sense. But the the flood plain would present a challenge.
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
You may find this useful:
http://www.petan.net/railway/sthcoast.htm
  Xgentric Chief Commissioner

Thanks, Graham - much appreciated.
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
You may find this useful:
http://www.petan.net/railway/sthcoast.htm
"Graham4405"


What I'd like to find out is where the line ran in relation to Coolangatta Airport as I've been trying to medel the line in MSTS.
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
What I'd like to find out is where the line ran in relation to Coolangatta Airport as I've been trying to medel the line in MSTS.
"GeoffreyHansen"

That should be easy by comparing this to this. It looks to me as if the alignment would have been where the current Gold Coast Hwy is now.
  Aussie Bhoy Junior Train Controller

Location: Brisbane
1956

[bigimg]http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/3020/1956coolangattaaerial.jpg[/bigimg]
  davemail66 Locomotive Fireman

Location: Brisbane North and Sunshine Coast
That aerial shot of the old railway line and easement into Coolangatta/Tweed Heads from back in 1956 is excellent, thanks for posting Smile
  scubs Chief Commissioner

Location: Geebung, Brisbane
If people thought Brisbane had changed then boy the Gold Coast is unrecognisable!
  NRR Locomotive Fireman

Location: Murwillumbah NSW


What I'd like to find out is where the line ran in relation to Coolangatta Airport as I've been trying to medel the line in MSTS.
"GeoffreyHansen"


I used to work for the QATB & then QAS,  older staff from the  Griffith St QATB station  told me the the grass strip between Coolangatta Rd & the Gold Coast Hwy was the old railway line.

The current ambulance & fire stations stations are on the airport side of it.

This parcel of land seems to  continue from Kirra up to Tugun lights.

Aussie boys photo shows it's southern site, tried Google earth for comparison, but can't for the life of me place it south of the airport.

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