Sunday History Photo / Qld

Submitted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 07:35
ThreadID: 78509 Views:3931 Replies:8 FollowUps:1
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The crossing of the rivers on the western line from Toowoomba to Charleville provided most of the major engineering obstacles to construction of what became known as the Western Line.
The Western Line does not run due west but as far as Chinchilla runs to the north west. The first section to Dalby was part of the original railway scheme, and opened to Jondaryan on 18 November 1867 and Dalby on 16 April 1868. Lack of funds prevented further extension. When the extension was made it was not through the established township of Condamine, on the original survey, but to the north, with Chinchilla and Miles (named after the Minister for Railways) established after the arrival of the railway. Malaria was prevalent during construction of the line west from Dalby where it was in proximity to the Condamine River.
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The line to Roma opened in sections, to Warra on 10 September 1877, Chinchilla on 3 January 1878, Miles on 1 August 1878, Dulacca on 3 March 1879, Channing on 30 June 1879, Yuleba on 25 October 1879, Blythdale on 12 January 1880, Bungil on 21 June 1880 and Roma on 16 September 1880. Construction west from Roma proceeded through the 1880s (there were several proposals to build a land grant railway, into western New South Wales and to Adelaide through the south west, all beginning at Roma).
The line opened to East Mitchell on 8 October 1883, and, after construction of the Maranoa River bridge, into Mitchell on 17 January 1885, Dulbydilla on 24 August 1885, Morven on 1 March 1887 and Charleville on 1 March 1888. The line down the Warrego from Charleville opened to Wyandra on 1 July 1897 and Cunnamulla on 10 October 1898.
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In the 1888 timetable the from Brisbane to Roma was officially called the Western Mail, with some runs extended through to Morven. With the opening of the line from Morven to Charleville on 1 March 1888 the train was again extended. The Westlander was upgraded in the early 1950s with new steel air-conditioned carriages. The route taken was 971 km between Brisbane to Cunnamulla, with a side service to Quilpie. The trains were divided at Charleville, which is 777 km from Brisbane. The service was introduced on August 24, 1954. The service to Quilpie was nicknamed the Flying Flea and consisted of two passenger carriages, a locomotive, guards van and power van. Passengers boarded at Cunnamulla at 9.00 am and arrived into Brisbane at lunchtime the next day, with the branch to Cunnamulla being limited to 30 miles per hour (48 km/h), but with the lack of quality roads the train was still preferred. By 1957 freight wagons were also attached to the train, including louvred steel QRX and QLX-T wagons, and MPR refrigerated wagons. Up to 16 vehicles could make up the train. Passenger services to Quilpie and Cunnamulla beyond Charleville were withdrawn in 1994.

Westlander - Mungallala

And for a little more twist on the storyTRACY COSTER / FLYING FLEA

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Reply By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 08:07

Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 08:07
G/Day Doug

Great photos, brings back old memories, I have been on the Westlander many years ago.

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Reply By: Allan B, Sunshine Coast, - Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 08:41

Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 08:41
Thanks Doug,

You know, there really is something special about rail transport and I would expect that there will be a return to it as our fuel supplies dwindle.


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Reply By: Alloy c/t - Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 08:46

Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 08:46
Another great read , but do you know of the spur line from Dalby going north to Jandowae ?
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Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 09:33

Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 09:33
Yes I know of it....why, it's a spur line going to Jandowie, and probably for grain silo's .

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Reply By: B1B2 - Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 12:26

Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 12:26
G'day Doug,
Great shots, it is interesting to read how the Cobb & Co Coaches moved constantly as the railway was built. Ipswich to Grandchester (Bigges Camp) being the first. How they ever drove coaches up the Toowoomba Range I have no idea. There is a coach museum in Toowoomba I must visit next time I am there.

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Reply By: Member - mazcan - Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 14:27

Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 14:27
hi doug t
an interesting item and to think all the work was done manually and with horses
thanks and cheers
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Reply By: Member - Old Girl (QLD) - Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 20:00

Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 20:00
There is a bit of the history along the Warrego Hwy near Chinchilla. I don't know where but there is grave sites along the rail of the families that died. Women and children. We sure have it easy now thanks to them. Couple of weeks ago we went through Jandowie its a nice little town now use to be run down. Worth the drive. I want to go back out there to the Old house on the hill and the Rabbit fence Tourist drive is sign posted thought that could make for a nice day out.
AnswerID: 416939

Reply By: Member - Stuart P (WA) - Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 21:08

Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 21:08
thanks again for a great read , getting to know a little more about this adopted country i live in .
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Reply By: Spade Newsom - Monday, May 17, 2010 at 14:23

Monday, May 17, 2010 at 14:23
Do you have any info on the raging debate at the time as to whether the rail line would go to Quilpie or Adavale. It of course went to Qulipe but a lot of contraversy.
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