News

Railway carries industry history

An early photograph of the railway station.
An early photograph of the railway station.

THE last station master of the Gin Gin railway station has compiled a history of the service in the region.

Alan Cheshire said just 25 years after settlement began in the Bundaberg region in the 1850s the pastoral and mining industries petitioned the government of the day for a better means of transporting their produce to the Port of Bundaberg.

"In 1878, during the last session of Parliament, approval was given for the construction of a railway that was to be known as the Bundaberg Branch Railway," he said.

"In 1879 the contract for the first section of 44 miles 36 chains was let to Messrs J and A Overend and company."

ALL ABOARD: The last rail motor to leave Mt Perry.
ALL ABOARD: The last rail motor to leave Mt Perry.

By the end of 1880 more than 350 men were employed in building the railway.

Mr Cheshire said the only construction difficulty was the sinking of the pylons for the bridge cross Splitters Creek, near North Bundaberg.

"Volcanic boulders were to hold up the construction of the bridge," he said.

This bridge was the largest construction of the first section of the line and was unique, as the timber trestle section was built as three bridges, one on top of the other.

Mr Cheshire said other sections of the track were built through the more mountainous country to Mt Perry.

"On one of these sections the Boolboonda tunnel was dug through the range.

"It was famous as there was no support used as it went through very hard rock.

"These sections were completed by 1884 and the branch line was complete but too late for the mining industry at Mt Perry."

The arrival of an excursion train at Mt Perry.
The arrival of an excursion train at Mt Perry.

Refreshment rooms were later provided in part of the railway station at Gin Gin.

Mr Cheshire said the Gibson and Howes sugar mill at Bingera had a branch line built to connect with the Bundaberg railway at Watawa, just west of Gin Gin.

The Burnett Valley Railway League advocated the construction of a branch line from Goondoon to the pine forest at Goodnight Scrub. It was approved in 1914 and opened to Wallaville and the Gin Gin Sugar Mill in 1920 and was extended to Morganville by 1931.

This branch was closed in the 19670s and the roadbed was used by the Bingera mill to extend their tramway system.

The line from Tirroan to Mt Perry was also closed in the 1960s.

Construction of the railway station.
Construction of the railway station.

Mr Cheshire said the Gin Gin line served the settlers and communities by carrying the goods and produce of the residents to and from their businesses.

"It became the lifeline of the communities before the advent of better roads and motor cars," he said.

Trains moved the ores from the Mt Perry mines and timber, and later sugar cane as that industry became established.

Later years saw train loads of pine logs from the Goodnight Scrub and sleepers to help build railways to the central Queensland mines.

Cement was taken to Gin Gin to build the Monduran Dam on the Kolan River.

Mr Cheshire said the railway services to Gin Gin and the surrounding area stopped on January 17, 1992.

After the closure the railway station and its environs were handed over to the Kolan Shire Council and the Gin Gin Historical Society to be a tourist attraction for the area.

Topics:  gin gin, history, trains




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'All I heard when my baby cried was ‘you’re a terrible mum'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images of Katie Dykes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

KATIE'S battle with PND is not unlike many mothers.

'I just thought all mums got no sleep'

MELTOPIA battled PND with all four of her children.

4 survival tips for mummas heading back to work

The few reminders every working mum needs to read.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Mother wants justice for her son

FATAL CRASH: Matthew Cooper was a passenger in the silver Toyota when the red Mitsubishi slammed into it, killing Mr Cooper on January 1, 2015. Photo: Ben Turnbull / NewsMail

“IS THAT all my son’s life is worth – 10 months?”

Sounds of brass at bandstand unveiling

MORNING MUSIC: The Bundaberg Municipal Band plays at yesterday’s reopening of the historic bandstand.

Historic structure gets new lease on life

Hinkler candidate makes misleading comment

WHOOPS: Hinkler One Nation candidate Damian Huxham told voters he was a Liberal supporter eight months after he ran for party at last year’s state election.

Candidate says he supported party months after running for rivals

Latest deals and offers

Clive Palmer to re-open refinery

Clive Palmer on ABC radio.

Clive Palmer talks about his achievements, election chances and re-opening the...

Dash Cam of Slip in Snow

Even light snow can be hazardous.

Dash cam shows how easy it is to lose control in even light snow.

Chaos outside Istanbul Airport

Turkish police block the road after an suicide bomb attack at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, 28 June 2016. At least 10 people were killed in two separate explosions that hit Ataturk Airport.

Distress as cars escape Istanbul airport after bombing.

Burnett Heads housing development approved

COUNCIL APPROVED: A Burnett Heads housing development has been approved by Bundaberg Regional Council. Photo Contributed

Councillors approved the development seven votes to four

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward