Australian Bureau of Statistics
1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 1921
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/01/1920
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MILEAGE OF PRIVATE RAILWAYS OPEN, 1919-20.
2. CLASSIFICATION OF PRIVATE RAILWAYS
In previous issues of the Year Book, a classification has been given shewing particulars of the private railways open for general traffic and for special purposes. On account of the necessity for economy of space, this classification has been omitted from this issue and has been transferred to the "Transportation Bulletin No. 12."
3. NEW SOUTH WALES
In this State the mileage of private railways open to the public for general traffic at the end of 1919 was 184.32, and of lines used for special purposes, 160.83 miles. Most of these lines were constructed primarily for the purpose of conveying coal from the mines to the Government railway systems. Particulars for the year 1919-20 of the operations of lines open for general traffic are given, so far as available, in the table on page 614.
(i) Private Railways Open for General Traffic. The most important of the lines open for general traffic are as follows: - (a) The Deniliquin-Moama Line. In 1874 permission was granted by the New South Wales Government to the Deniliquin and Moama Railway Company to construct a line forty-five miles long from Deniliquin in the Riverina district, to Moama, connecting with the Victorian Railway system at the Murray Bridge, near Echuca. The line was opened in 1876, the land required being granted by the Government. (b) The Cockburn-Broken Hill Line. This line is owned by the Silverton Tramway Company. It was opened in 1888, and connects Broken Hill with the South Australian railway system, having a total length of 36.67 miles. (c) South Maitland Railways. These lines, belonging to the South Maitland Railways, Limited, run from East Greta Junction, on the Northern line of the Government railways, to Stanford Merthyr, a distance of 7.36 miles, and from Aberdare Junction to Cessnock, 12.08 miles - a total of 19.44 miles. (d) The New Redhead Coal Company's Railway. The lines owned by this company branch from the Northern line of the Government railways, and run from Adamstown to Burwood Extended Colliery, thence to Belmont, and from Burwood Junction to Dudley Boundary and branches, a total distance of 12.00 miles. The lines are worked by the Railway Department, coal wagons being supplied in part by the coal companies using the line. The colliery companies using the line pay a way-leave for right to run their coal over the line, and the Railway Commissioners allow the New Redhead Company a proportion of the revenue from the passenger and goods traffic. (e) The Seaham Coal Company's Railway. This line runs from Cockle Creek to West Wallsend and Seaham Collieries, and has a total length of 5.13 miles. (f) Hexham-Minmi Railway. This line branches from the Northern line of the Government railways at Hexham, and has a length of 6.00 miles. (g) The Commonwealth Oil Corporation's Railway. This line runs from Newnes Junction on the Great Western line of the Government railways to the company's refinery, a distance of 33 miles. The Shay geared type of locomotive is in use on this line. (h) The Warwick Farm Line is a short line, 0.83 of a mile in length, connecting the Government line near Liverpool with the Warwick Farm Racecourse. Government rolling stock is used. (i) The Goondah-Burrinjuck Line is a line 26.25 miles in length, built and worked by the Public Works Department in connexion with the reservoir at Burrinjuck (j) Liverpool - Holdsworthy Line is a line 5 miles in length, worked by the Railway Department, for which service a sum of £300 per annum is paid by the Defence Department.
In addition to the lines referred to above, legislative sanction was obtained in 1890 for the construction of a private line from the flux quarries at Tarrawingee to the Broken Hill line, a distance of 39.51 miles. The line was purchased by the Government in 1901, and is operated by the Silverton Tramway Company under lease from the Chief Commissioner, who pays the working expenses and receives the ordinary earnings and one-half the net receipts on special and holiday traffic. The mileage of this line is included in that of the Government railways, and it has a gauge of 3 feet 6 inches.
In Victoria there are two private railways open for general traffic. (a) Kerang-Koondrook tramway, opened in 1889. The cost of construction of this line to the end of September, 1920, was £39,229, paid out of a loan advanced by the Victorian Government. The total length is 13.94 miles. The line is at present controlled by the Kerang Shire Council, but proposals have been made for its transfer to the Railway Department. (b) Yarra Junction to Powelltown. This line has a length of 11 miles, and is worked mainly for timber purposes.
A line running from Elsternwick to Oakleigh, a distance of about 5 miles, was constructed by a private company many years ago. It was never in general use, and has for some time been dismantled.
In this State private railways open for general traffic may be grouped under two heads: - (i) Lines constructed primarily for mining purposes or for the transport of sugar-cane, and (ii) Shire tramways.
(i) Mining Railways.(a) The Chillagoe Railway. The most important of these is the Chillagoe Railway, constructed under the Mareeba to Chillagoe Railway Act 1897, and opened in 1901. This line runs from Mareeba, on the Cairns railway, to Mungana, a distance of 102.73 miles. On 20th June, 1919, it was vested in the Queensland Railways Commissioner. (b) The Stannary Hills Line. This line branches from the Chillagoe railway at Boonmoo and runs to Rocky Bluff, via Stannary Hills, a total distance of 21 miles. The gradients on this line, which has a gauge of 2 feet, range as high as 1 in 27, while the radius of some of the curves is as low as 1.25 chains. An additional length of 8 miles has been surveyed with a view to extending the line.
(ii) Shire Tramways. Under Part XV. of the Local Authorities Act of 1902 provision is made whereby not less than one-third of the ratepayers in any district may petition the local authority to apply to the Governor for the constitution of a tramway area. The Governor may define the area and may also approve of the plans and specifications of the proposed tramway. The amount which may be advanced by the Government for the construction or purchase of a tramway may not exceed a sum equal to £5,000 for every mile of its length. As regards repayment of loans, no sum need be paid during the first three years, but after the expiration of that period the principal and interest must be repaid by half-yearly instalments on the basis provided for by the "Local Works Loans Act 1880 to 1899." For the purpose of raising the money to pay these instalments the local authority may levy a rate upon all ratable property within the tramway area. The money required for the tramway may be raised by the local authorities by the issue of debentures.
6. SOUTH AUSTRALIA
In this State a private railway open for general traffic is owned by the Broken Hill Proprietary Company, and runs from Iron Knob to the seaboard near the head of Spencer's Gulf, a distance of 33.80 miles. The line is utilized for the carriage of ore for use in connexion with the smelting works at Port Pirie and the steel works at Newcastle. There is also a line from Marion Bay, having a length of 5 miles, used for mining purposes.
7. WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Owing to the difficulty experienced at one time by the Government in constructing lines urgently required for the development of the country, private enterprise was encouraged to undertake the work of construction on the land-grant principle, and two trunk lines were thus constructed. The greater part of the private lines now open, however, have been constructed in connexion with the timber industry. (i) The Midland Railway. This line is 278.35 miles in length, and runs from Midland Junction, ten miles from Perth, to Walkaway, where it joins the Government line running to Geraldton. It was constructed under a concession of 12,000 acres of land per mile of line constructed, to be selected along the entire route of the railway. (ii) The Great Southern Railway. This line, which was built by private enterprise under the land-grant system, is 242 miles in length, and was acquired by the Government by purchase on the 1st January, 1897. The total price paid for all the interests of the private company and of the original concessionaire, was £1,100,000, which was divided by the Government for book-keeping purposes into £300,000 for the land and £800,000 for the railway. (iii) Millar's Timber Trading Company's Lines. These lines have been built chiefly under special timber concessions and leases. There were, at latest date available, in all eight lines situate in various parts of the State extending into the bush, whence logs are brought to the mills. The total length of these lines was approximately 239.69 miles. (iv) Other Lines, There are also several other lines in various parts of the State used chiefly in connexion with the timber industry.
In this State the three private lines open for general traffic are situated in the western part of the island.
(i) The Emu Bay Railway Company. The lines owned by this company run from Burnie to Waratah, from Guildford to Zeehan, and from Rayna to Dundas, and have a total length of 102.94 miles.
(ii) The Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company. The Mount Lyell railway runs from Regatta Point, Strahan, to Queenstown, and the North Mount Lyell line from Kelly Basin to Linda. The former line, 22.13 miles in length, was constructed in 1895 - 6, while the latter line, 27.80 miles long, was taken over from the North Mount Lyell Copper Company on the amalgamation of the two companies in 1903. The line from Kelly Basin to Linda is now worked only intermittently.
(iii) The Magnet Silver Mining Company's Railway. This line runs from Magnet Junction, near Waratah, on the Emu Bay Company's line, to Magnet, a distance of 9.99 miles.
9. Operations of Private Railways 1919-20
The tabular statement given below shews particulars, so far as returns are available, for the year 1919-20, of all private railways open to the public for general traffic in the Commonwealth : -
PARTICULARS OF PRIVATE RAILWAYS OPEN FOR GENERAL TRAFFIC, 1919-20.
10. Comparative Railway Statistics.-On page 566 ante a table is given shewing the railway facilities in 1919-20 in the States, in the Northern Territory, and in the Commonwealth, the railway mileage open for traffic being compared with both the area and population.
In the table below, comparative railway statistics of a like character are given in respect of the principal countries of the world at certain dates. The dates have been so chosen as to bring into relation the latest accurate figures for both population and railway milage.
COMPARATIVE RAILWAYS STATISTICS, VARIOUS COUNTRIES
It will be seen from the above table that per 1,000 of population the Commonwealth of Australia had the greatest mileage (in 1920), 4.90 miles; the next in magnitude being Canada (1917) with 4.37 miles, Argentina (1918) with 2.64 miles, the United States (1916) with 2.53 miles, and New Zealand (1920) with 2.49 miles.
The least mileage per 1,000 of population is shown in the case of India (1918) with 0.12 mile, followed by Egypt (1917) with 0.23 mile.
With regard to the mileage per 1,000 square miles of territory, Belgium (1914) with 479.29 miles was easily first, followed by Switzerland (in 1917) with 229.09 miles, the United Kingdom (in 1919) with 195.05 miles, Germany (in 1914) with 189.67 miles, and Denmark (in 1918) with 175.84 miles.
The least mileage open per 1,000 square miles is that of Asiatic Russia (in 1913) with 1.59 miles, the next being 5.34 miles in the case of Brazil (1917).
1. General. - Tramway systems are in operation in all the States of the Commonwealth, and in recent years considerable progress has been made in the adoption of electrical traction, the benefit of which is now enjoyed by a number of the principal towns of the Commonwealth.
In many parts of Australia private lines used for special purposes in connexion with the timber, mining, sugar, or other industries are often called tramways, but they are really private railways, and the traffic on them has nothing in common with that of the street tramways for the conveyance passengers, which are dealt with in the present section.
(i) Total Mileage Open and Classification of Lines. The following tables shew the total mileage of tramway lines open for general passenger traffic in each State and in the Commonwealth for the year 1919-20, and also in the Commonwealth as a whole for the years 1910-11 to 1919-20, classified (a) according to the motive power utilised, (b) according to the nature of the authority by which the lines are controlled and (c) according to gauge :-
TRAMWAYS. - CLASSIFICATION OF MILEAGE OPEN FOR PASSENGER TRAFFIC IN EACH STATE AND IN THE COMMONWEALTH, 1919-20.
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This page last updated 23 November 2012