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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 1921  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/01/1920   
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This page was updated on 23 Nov 2012 to include the disclaimer below. No other content in this article was affected.

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Users are warned that historic issues of this publication may contain language or views which, reflecting the authors' attitudes or that of the period in which the item was written, may be considered to be inappropriate or offensive today.


PRIVATE RAILWAYS


1. TOTAL MILEAGE OPEN, 1919-20

As has been stated in a previous part of this section (see A. 8) a number of private railway lines have from time to time been constructed in the Commonwealth. By far the greater proportion of such lines, however, has been laid down for the purpose of hauling timber, sugar-cane, coal, or other minerals, and is not generally used for the conveyance of passengers or for public traffic; in many cases the lines are often practically unballasted and are easily removable, running through bush and forest country in connexion with the timber and sugar-milling industries, and for conveying firewood for mining purposes. Private railways referred to herein include (a) lines open to the public for general passenger and goods traffic; and (b) branch lines from Government railways and other lines which are used for special purposes and which are of a permanent description. Other lines are referred to in the part of this section dealing with Tramways (see 3, Tramways).

The following table gives particulars of private railways in the Commonwealth open for traffic for general and special purposes during 1919-20. A classification of these lines according to their gauge has already been given.

MILEAGE OF PRIVATE RAILWAYS OPEN, 1919-20.

Particulars
NSW
Victoria
Q'land
S. Aust
W. Aust
Tas
C'wealth
Miles
Miles
Miles
Miles
Miles
Miles
Miles

For general traffic
189.32
24.94
278.68
33.8
278.35
162.86
976.95
For special purposes
172.35
45.71
982.91
15.95
575.5
48.69
1,841.11
Total
361.67
70.65
1261.59
49.75
853.85
211.55
2809.06



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.


4. VICTORIA

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.


5. QUEENSLAND

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.


8. TASMANIA

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.
Expenses

Rolling Stock

Miles
open (route)
Train
Miles
Capital
Cost
Gross
Revenue
Working
Interest
etc
Locos
Coaches
Passen-
gers
Jour-
neys
Tons of
goods etc
No. of Empl-
oyees
Line
No.
No.
No.
No.
No.
No.
Tons
No.

NEW SOUTH WALES
C'wealth Oil Corp'r'n
33
17,013
194,500,
6,115
8,615
(h)
4
(d)3
69
1,512
15,938
17
Deniliquin- Moama..
45
45,375
162,671
30,358
20,276
(h)
4
6
62
22,668
45,501
43
South Maitland
19.44
430,241
546,086
142,201
114,238
27,291
23
27
45
789,664
202,100
296
Goonh-Burrinj'k(a)
26.25
27,950
80,756
1,010
(i)9,420
(j)
4
3
28
2,896
3,461
29
Hexham-Minmi
6
1,968
1,000,000
200
352
(h)
1
1
. .
243
600
4
New Redhead Co.
12
(h)
102,000
(h)
(h)
(h)
(c)
(c)
(c)
(h)
(h)
(c)
Seaham Colliery Co.
5.13
7,852
25,000
1,223
2,898
(h)
2
2
2
18,382
9,179
13
Silverton Tramway(l)
36.67
45,360
482,724
48,824
47,557
(h)
20
1
676
35,826
122,218
135
Liverp'l-Hdswthy(l)
5
1,688
35,354
(h)
(h)
(h)
(c)
(c)
(c)
(h)
(h)
(c)
Warwick Farm(l)
0.83
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
(c)
(c)
(c)
(h)
(h)
(c)
Total (b)
189.32
577,447
2629,091
229,931
20,356
27,291
58
43
882
871,193
122,218
135

VICTORIA
Kerang.K'ndrook (n)
13.94
17,778
39,229
6,001
4,194
1,426
3
2
9
18,350
25,680
17
Yarra J. - Powellt'n (n)
11
29,000
47,400
5,800
4,186
465
2
2
33
12,500
59,000
13
Total
24.94
46,778
86,629
11,801
8,380
1,891
5
4
42
30,850
84,680
30

QUEENSLAND
Aramac-Barcaldine
41.5
15,212
86,739
13,911
7,386
4,256
2
2
2
5,719
11,877
15
Beaudesert(e)
33
(h)
93,559
12,337
10,651
. .
1
3
1
14,090
11,585
27
Belmont Tramway
4.31
9,995
19,903
2,493
3,006
393
(c)
(c)
(c)
56,736
16,835
(c)
Buderim
7
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
Irvinebank
14
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
Douglas-Mossman
17.71
8,450
43,238
8,589
5,184
3,369
2
3
22
7,500
6,600
11
Invicta Mill
8.7
635
20,067
530
(h)
1,016
(c)
(c)
(c)
(h)
(h)
(c)
Lucinda Pt. to Stone R. and Lg. Pocket and Green Hills to Hampledon Junc.
54.88
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
2
3
82
(h)
42,517
(h)
Macgregor(l)
22.13
3,328
66,328
1,610
2,057
1,213(k)
(c)
(c)
(c)
767
6,223
5
Mapleton
15
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
Moreton Central S.M.
8.5
1,725
17,865
1,208
541
269
2
3
2
12,580
1,158
2
South Johnstone
Central S.M. (l)
27.5
5,591
115,000
4,864
3,025
(h)
2
4
23
13,116
5,724
7
Stannary Him -.
21
16,159
64,320
4,031
5,675
(h)
2
2
76
1,916
12,439
8
Tannymorell Tram
3.45
2,237
(h)
296
148
(c)
(c)
(c)
(c)
1,022
3,668
c
Total(b)
278.68
63,287
527,019
49,869
37,673
10,516
13
20
208
113,446
118,626
75

SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Iron Knob(b)
33.8
70,350
(h)
(h)
(h)
(h)
5
3
155
839
309,800
42

WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Midland Railway(l)
278.35
269,611
(f)2,036,855
129,057
80,483
(h)
17
18
402
62,972
99,399
247

TASMANIA
Emu Bay Railway(g)
102.94
105,801
613,137
67,845
40,701
21,656
9
6
155
30,348
51,662
169
Magnet Railway(l). -
9.99
3,640
18,750
331
1,675
(h)
2
1
6
886
425
8
Mt. Lyell Rallway(n)
22.13
44,249
216,086
26,883
23,955
(h)
7
7
117
22,921
40,776
104
Nth. Mt. Lyell Rly(n)
27.8
8,470
316,638
4,394
8,086
(h)
4
4
56
3,620
13,034
20
Total (b)
162.86
162,160
1,164,6111
99,453
74,417
21,656
22
18
334
57,775
105,897
301
Total for C'wealth(b)
967.95
1,216,653
6,444,205
520,111
404,309
61,354
120
106
2023
1,137,075
1,117,399
1232

(a) The property of Commissioner of Water Conservation and Irrigation; for year ended 30th June, 1920. (b) Incomplete. (c) Worked by Government Railways. (d) Including one motor car. (e) For year ended 31st December, 1916. (f) For year ended 30th June, 1917. (g) Including 47.66 miles owned by the Emu Bay and Mount Bischoff Railway Company. (h) Not available. (i) Including interest. (j) Included in working expenses. (k) Rental of Permanent Way Material. (l) For year ended 30th June, 1920. (m) Exclusive of shipment coal. (n) For year ended 30th September, 1920.


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

Miles of Railway
Country
Year
Miles of Railway
Population
Area in
Square Miles
Per 1,000 of population
Per 1,000
Sq.Miles of Territory

Europe
United Kingdom
1919
23,725
47,000,700
121,633
0.5
195.05
Austria
1914
15,739
29,193,293
115,882
0.54
135.82
Belgium
1914
5,451
7,264,054
11,373
0.71
479.29
Denmark
1918
2,645
3,032,891
(c)15,042
0.87
175.84
France
1914
(a)31,958
39,601,509
207,054
0.81
154.35
Germany
1914
39,600
64,114,100
208,780
0.62
189.67
Greece
1914
1,365
4,821,300
41,933
0.28
32.55
Hungary
1914
13,589
21,134,862
125,609
0.64
108.18
Italy
1917
11,891
36,740,000
110,632
0.32
107.48
Netherlands
1918
2,113
6,778,699
12,582
0.31
167.94
Norway
1918
2,010
2,632,010
125,001
0.76
16.08
Portugal
1913
1,854
595,785
35,490
0.31
52.24
Russia
1916
48,955
149,884,230
1,997,309
0.33
24.51
Spain
1917
9,306
20,695,691
(b)190,050
0.45
48.99
Sweden
1917
9,303
5,813,850
173,035
1.6
53.76
Switzerland
1917
3,660
3,937,000
15,976
0.93
229.09
Asia
India
1918
36,333
315,156,396
1,802,629
0.12
20.16
Russia
1913
10,586
29,141,320
6,641,587
0.36
1.59
Africa
Egypt .
1917
(d)2,874
12,710,120
350,000
0.23
8.21
Union of South Africa
1918
10,021
6,986,687
473,096
1043
21.18
America, North -
Canada
1917
38,604
8,835,000
3,729,665
4.37
10.35
Mexico
1914
15,840
15,501,684
767,798
1.02
20.65
United States of America
1916
26,6381
105,253,300
2,973,890
2.53
89.57
America, South
Argentina
1918
21,880
8,284,266
153,119
2.64
18.97
Brazil
1917
17,477
30,492,275
3,275,510
0.57
5.34
Chile .
1918
5,611
3,945,538
289,829
1.42
19.36
Australasia
Australia
1920
25,956
5,229,734
2,974,581
4.9
8.73
New Zealand
1920
3,134
1,257,405
104,751
2.49
29.92

(a) Including lines of "local" interest. (b) Exclusive of Balearic and Canary Islands. (c) Exclusive of Faroe Islands. (d) Exclusive of 1,500 miles in the Sudan.


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).


3. Tramways

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.

New South
Victoria
Queensland
South
Western
Tasmania
C'wealth
Wales
Australia
Australia
Miles
Miles
Miles
Miles
Miles
Miles
Miles

ACCORDING TO MOTIVE POWER
Electric
155.35
105.26
42.6
66.03
50.66
23.13
443.03
Steam
73.96
1.15
6.00
..
17.75.
34.05
132.89
Cable
..
45.90
..
..
..
..
45.90
Horse
..
0.63
..
(a)17.36
7.16
7.60
32.75
Total
152.94
48.6
83.39
75.57
64.76
654.57

ACCORDING TO CONTROLLING AUTHORITY
Government
225.81
118.13
..
17.36
52.16
27.13
440.59
Municipal
..
..
6
66.03
8.66
23.13
103.82
Private
3.5
34.81
42.6
..
14.75
14.5
110.16
Total
229.31
152.94
48.6
83.39
75.57
64.76
654.57

ACCORDING TO GAUGE
Gauge
5ft.3in
..
5.16
..
7.35
..
..
12.51
4ft.8in
229.31
146.63
42.6
66.03
..
..
484.57
3ft.6in
..
1.15
6
10.01
58.66
50.26
126.08
2ft.0in
..
..
..
..
16.91
14.5
31.41
Total
229.31
152.94
48.6
83.39
75.57
64.76
654.57

(a) 16,38 miles included in South Australian Government railway mileage.


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Commonwealth of Australia 2014

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