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Railways - Break of Gauge Problem - Report of Royal Commission

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Presented by Co ... mmand; ordered to be printed, i2th October, 1921.

[Cost of Paper :-Preparation, not given; 1,000 copies; approximate cost of print ing and :publishinJl, £1 80:.

Printed and Published for the GOVERNMEN'r of the COM 10NW EAI.TH of AUSTRALIA by ALBERT J . MULLmT, Government Printer for the State of Victoria. 5s.


GEORGE THE FIFTH, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great /3ritain and Ireland and oj'tltt British Dominions beyond the Seas King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India.

To Our trusty and well-beloved JoHN JosEPH GARVAN, Esquire, RusTAT BLAKE, Esquire, FREDERICK METHVEN WHYTE, Esquire • .


KNOW YE that We do by these OU1· Letters Patent, issued in Our name by Our Governor-General of OU1· Cmnmonwealth of Australia, acting with the advice of Our Fedeml Executive Council, and in pursuance of the Constitution of Our said Commonwealth, the Royal Commissions Act 1902-1912, and all other powers him thereunto mabling. appoint you to be Commissioners to consider and report-

1. Which railway gauge should be adopted in Australia, and the reasons fm· selection of the one recommended ,·

2. What is necessary to be done in order to unify the gauges of the railway systems of Australia ;

3. What will be the estimated of unifying the gauges o.f­

(i) Main t.Yunk lines, ( ii) All lines ,·

including and showing 8eparately-(a) Alterations to existing railways and structures,·

(b) Any new lines necessary,· (c) Adjustments of rolling stock;

4. The order in whicli the work should be carried out and the methods by which it should be executed and controll8d ;

5. Whether a third rail or any mechanical device should be utilized ; if so, what device, upon what section8, and estimated cast ,·

and to in.quire into and report upon any other matter appertaining to the unffication of the gauqes which the said Commission•r1 may desire to advise upon, or which may be referred to them by the Federal Executive Council.

And We appoint you, the said JoHN Jo<;El'H GARVAN, Esquire, to be the Chai1·man of the said CommisMioners.

And We direct for the purpose of taking evidence, two Commissioners shall be sufficient to con11titute a quorum, and may proceed witlL the inquiry under these Our Patent.

And We require you with as little delay as possible to report to Our Governor-General in and over Our said Commonwealth the result of your inquiries into the matters intrusted to you by these Our Letters Patent,

In testimon11 whereof we have caused 0u1' Letters to be made Patent, and the Seal of Our said Commonwealth to be affixed.

WI'l'NESS Our trusty and well beloved HENRY WrLLIA111, BARON FoRSTER, a lliember of Our Most Honora?le Privy Council, Knight Grand Cross of the }!lost Distin(lui.shed Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Governm·-General and Commander-in-Chief of the Commonwealth of Australia, thi8

eighth day of February, in the year of Lord One thousan'd nine hund·red and twenty-one, and in the eleventh year of Our ret:gn.

By Hi8 Excellency's Command, E . .J. RUSSELL.

POllSTER, GovBrnor-Gtneral.

Entered on Re<'.ord by me in Registe" of Patents No. 25, page tMs eleventh day of February, One thousand nine hundred a.nd twenty:one.-J. ULMER.

I It


To His Excellency the Right Honm·able HENRY WILLIAM, BARON FoRSTER, a Member of His MaJ·esty's Most 1lonorable Privy Council, !(night Grand Orross of the Most Distinguished of Saint Jlllichael and Sa·int Geo'rge, Goverrnor-Gener·al and C,ommander-in-Ohief in and over the Commonwealth of Australia.


We, your Commissioners, were appointed by Letters Patent dated the 8th February, 1921 , to inquire into and report upon the following matters :-1. Which railway gauge should be adopted in Australia, and the reasons for selection of the one recomn1ended ?

2. vVhat is necessary to be do:J;le in to unify the gauges of the railway systems of Australia ? .3. What will be the estimated cost of unifying the gauges of­ (i) Main trunk lines;

(ii) All lines ; including and showing separately-(a) Alterations to existing railways and structures; (b) Any new lines necessary ;

(c) Adjustments of rolling- stock 4. ·The order in which the work should be carried out and the methods by which it should be executed and 5. Whether a third rail or any mechanical device should be utilized; if so, what device,

upon what sections, and estimated cost ? and to inqniTe into and report upon a;ny other m.atter appertaining to the .unification of the gauges which we, your Commissioners, may desire to advise upon, or which may be referred to us by the :B.,ederal Executive Council.

We have carefully inquired into the subjects which were referred to us by the Letters Patent with as little delay as was possible, and now beg to submit to your Excellency our conclusions . in the form of the following Report.


In arranging the Report it has been considered desirable to present first a short concise answer to each of the questions in sequence, and to present in an Appendix ·a more extended discussion of each question. The Appendixes should be considered as being of as much importance · as the answers in the first part of the Report. The accompanying Maps,_ Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, are part of the Report. '

Question railway gauge should be adopted in Australia, and the reasons for selection of the one recommended?

The four foot eight and one-half inch (4 ft. 8! in.) gauge is recommended for adoption ·as standard. .

The important reasons for such recommendation are as follows :-(a) The 4 ft. 8-! in. and 5 ft. 3 in. gauges are the only ones now in use in Australia which are broad · enough to fulfil 'present conditions and requirements. The next broadest gauge is 3 ft. 6 in., and though there may be a gauge between

4 ft . in. and 3 ft. 6 in. which would be sufficiently broad to meet the

requirements, such a gauge has not been considered because to change to it the entire mileage in Australia would cost too mueh. Nothing would be gained by the use of a gauge greaJter than 5 ft. 3 in. Present knowledge indicates , that the wheel load used on some 4ft. Sf in. gauge railways in other countries

is the maximum permissible fo r the metal now used in the rail head and wheel tread; therefore the 4 ft. Sf in. gauge of track has not limited the wheel loads. (b) The structure gaJuge, and not the track gauge, limits the width and height of the . loading ; on some of the 4 ft. 8f in. gauge t rack in Australia broader and higher

vehicles are in use than can now be used on some of the 5 ft. 3 in. track. (c) The capital cost of installing the 4 ft. Bf in. track gauge as standard will be much less than to install the 5 ft. 3 in. gauge. (d) It will require less time to install the 4ft. 8! in. gauge than to install the 5 ft. 3 in.

gauge. .

See A. ppe:ttdix f. for detailed discussion on this question.



Question 2.--'--'-What is necessary tO be done in order to ttnijy the gauges of the railway systems of Australia?

The first thing that is necessary to be done is to decide what the is to

be. A decision on this point will remove uncertainties that have for years been --hanging over · Australian Railways. This decision being made, the next step is to appoint a Director, as outlined in the answer to Question N·o. 4. There are, of course, questions of finance, but it is the understanding of this Commission that they are not asked to consider or report on these. - .

5 ft. 3 in. Gauge of 5 ft. 3 in. gauge should be · divided sections,

the termini of each section being in such places as may be suitable for Interchange

of passengers and goods, and the work on each section of one system of tailways and on adjacent sections of adjacent syste1ns should be so co-related as to produce the least amount of transference of passengers and goods. One rail should be moved inwardly the necessary amount to give the 4 ft. 8t in. gauge, and this should be done in long sectibns at a time. order to · be able to lengthen the distance between temporary stations for transfer of goods, and so reduce

the cost of such stations, the change should be made, so far as possible, at the season when traffic is lightest and when inconvenience will be caused by d.iscbhtinuing the goods traffic for possibly 30 days on the particular which is being changed. The work on the Main Trunk Line should be carried on promptly after being started, and if All Lines ate to be converted the work on thein should progress continuously afi d vigorously

until completed.

3ft. 6 in. Gauge Lines;_:_in changing tlie 3 ft. 6 in. gauge, e,ach systmn of tlig,t gauge ought to be divided into sections, and an approximate date determined for beginning the actual change of each section. When brte section has been changed, the serviceable ort it should be transferred to sections not changed, and by the time the last of each system is changed there should be practically no stock to be scrapped. The purchase of sleepers shbuld be so, regulated that the longer bnes required for the sections td be converted earliest may be received ' As conditions permit5 the embankments, cuttings, and ballast should be ·widened '.suitably for the broader gauge.

The transfer stations on the 3ft. 6 in. gauge should be of temporary construction, but of more permanent form than those necessary in clianging from the 5 ft. 3 in. gauge, because they will be in use for a greater length of time. ·

. The responsible officers in the various departments of each system should be co..:ordina ted, and each should understand what he is to do and the time at which each operatidfi is to be completed. The work ort one should also be co .!ordinated with the work on an adjacent system, and this will be done best by the Director referred to above.

$ee Appendix II. for further discussion on this q?festion.

Question What will be the estimtited· cost of unifying the gauges of-:_;_ . (i) MaiJ?; ·fru/nk Lines; (ii) Alt Lines; including and showing sepa'1ately-

(u) Alterations to existing Railways and Structu!frJs ,; (b) Any New Lines necessary; · (c) Adjustments oj .2


. . Our understanding is that the -Main Trunk Lines are those lines· which ean be used in a throu_gh system_ connecting . the capital cities of the States on the Continent. · 'fhis system is answer t_o Questi9n 4, under the heading of" _ Main Trun¥ Lines," three routes through

being de.scnbed. Map 2 shows route and Map' No. 3 sh6ws route "B." The

estimates shown In Table I. relate to these Main Trunk Lines. a should of unifonn type of construction throughout its length, therefore,

the. estimates_ for It ralls of a weight not less than 80, and road bed., structures, and rolhng-stock 1n keeping With that weight of tail. ·


' In I. are shown the estimated costs for constructing, reconstructing, and converting the gauge of those lines making up the through systen1 between the capital cities and equipping them with rolling-stock, a part of which should be new, and the remainder be obtained by converting present rolling-stock. The estimates include the cost of providing the necessary transfer stations. They do not provide for any increases or decreases in connexion with operating costs, neither do they include any interest on loans.


(i) Main Trunk Lines.

Route " A." Route " B." Route " A modified."

£ £ £

(a) Alterations to Existing Railways and Structures .. 4,789,000 4:,217,500 5,365,000

(b) Any New pecessary . . . . . . . . 9,521,000 12,385,500 9,674,000 '

(c) Adjustments of Rolling-stock ... . . . . 3,540,000 2,980,000 3,540,000

Totals . . . . .. . . 17,850,000 19,583,000 18,579,000

. A comparison of distances between certain cities by the present route,.and by Routes" A," "B," and "A modified," is shown in Table II. TABLE II.

Mileages by Different Routes.

Present Route. Routes " A " and Route " B." " .A modified."

Fremantle to Perth . . . . . . .. .. ' 12 12 12

Fremantle to Port Augusta . . . . . . .. 1,438 1,471 1,471

Fremantle to Adelaide . . . . .. . . 1,698 1,662 1,662

Fremantle to Melbourne . . . . . . .. 2,181 2,143 2,186

Fremantle t,o Sydney . . . . . . . . . . 2,773 2,740 2,627

Fremantle to Brisbane . . . . . . . . 3,488 3,356 3,243

Adelaide to Melbourne . . . . . . . . 483 481 524

Melbourne to Sydney . . . . . . .. . . 592 597 673

Adelaide to Sydhey . . . . . . . . . . ·1,075 1,078 965

Sydney to Brisbane . . . . . . . . . . 715 616 61 6

-' . .


Providing a Main Trunk Line of 4-ft. 8!-in. gauge through South Australia and Victoria without at the same time converting all remaining 5-ft. 3-in. lines in those States will increase the difficulty in working, and add greatly to the cost of operating the railways of each of those States ; . therefore, serious consideration should be given to the question of converting all of these lines,

even though it is decided to provide only . the Main Trunk Line connecting the State capitals. If this is done, the resulting situation will be as shown on Map No.6, on which the blue lines indicate the 4-ft. 8!-in. gauge railways. .

The estimated costs for providing and equipping a Main Trunk Line, including conversion of all5-ft. 3-in. lines .in South Australia and Victoria, are as shown in Tableiii. TABLE III.

(a) Alterations to existing Railways and Structures (b) Any New Lines necessary (c) Adjustments of Rolling-stock


£9,012,000 6,873 ,000 5,715,000


For further details of the forego ing estimates see Appendix I I I. ( i).


It is considered that if all lines are to be converted, .there should be a line connecting the State capitals which shall be of uniform type of construction throughout, therefore, costs are incl:uded f_or providing such ·a having not less than 80-lb. rails, and road bed structures and rolhng-§to<;k keeping with such weight of With the e4ceptions which are necessary to


I f

II .'I


provide such a line, the estimates for converting to 4ft. St in. all lines not' now of standard gauge contain items of costs for changing gauge of track and of rolling-r.tock and changes and renewals which are made necessary thereby, including provisions for doing the work; the estimates. do not include items for improvements, betterments, deferred maintenance, and other possible or desirable expenditure which are not made necessary by conversion. .

In Table IV. are shown the estimates of the costs of converting all lines, exceptmg those in Tasmania, those lines of narrower gauge than 3 ft. 6 in., and privately-owned lines.


(ii) All Lines.

(a) Alterations to existing Railways and Structures (b) Any New Lines necessary (c) Adjustments of Rolling-stock


£48,355,000 2,596,000 6,249,000


As in the case of the estimates for Main Trunk Lines, the provision of transfer stations, where required, is included. The figures do not inClude the cost of transfer of passengers, live stock, goods, or other commodities during the conversion period, neither do they include interest on loans, the capitalization of increased annual charges, nor for any charges other than the cost of conversion. There will be additional costs for transferring live stock, goods, and other commodities, and interest on capital, which cannot now be estimated.

The estimates provide for converting all 5-ft. 3-in. rolling-stock which will be as suitable, for the respective purposes, after conversion as at present, and providing the cost of converting will not exceed a fair value for the respective rolling-stock after being converted. The 'estimates do not contemplate converting any locomotive having inside cylinders, nor do they anticipate converting any locomotives with outside cylinders 16 inches, or-less, in diameter; they do include replacement of such locomotives, which are made ,obsolete by conversion, with new locomotives of corresponding total hauling capacity. .

The estimates contain costs of new rolling-stock for those sections of the 3-ft. 6-in. systems which are included in the line connecting the Capitals, but do not contemplate the conversion of any of the present rolling-stock; the latter should be transferred from converted to unconverted sections, and as replacement becomes necessary additional sections of track should be converted and the new rolling-stock be built for 4-ft. 8!-in. track gauge, a charge being made to replacement rather than to unification of gauges.


For furth er deta1ls o.[ the foregoing estimates see Apperuiix Ill. (ii).

Question_ 4.-:-The order in which the wo'rk should be carried out and th( methods by whwh 1,t should be executed and controlled 1

It will be best to subdivide the answer to this question into four parts, namely :-(a) The order in which the work should be carried out on the Main Trunk Line; ('b) The order in which the work should be carried out on All Lines· (c) The methods by which the work should lie executed; and ' (d) The methods by which the work should be controlled.


. Maps numbered 2 3, which are part· of this Report, show two possible Main Trunk Lmes from Fremantle to Bnsbane, and these routes are referred to as Route" A" and Route "B" ; the only difference between them is in Victoria, where Route " A " is made up of

present hnes to be converted .and Route "B " is made up partly by present lines to be converted and partly by new constructiOn across the State from Dimboola to Benalla. On Figure 3 of Map 5 are the f?r. approaching Melbourne by each route.

The Mam Trunk ·vnli be considered. m the order .of the States.




Routes "A " and " B " Coincide.-The first work to be done is to arrange for a new bridge over the Swan River. At the same time arrangements should be made for new sleepers and rails, and the construction of parts and the reconstruction of other parts of the line from Fremantle to Kalgoorlie can be proceeded with. The new rolling-stock can be built, and some should be available for permanent way construction.


Routes" A" and "B" Coincide.-No track work and no new construction is necessary. The couplers on the rolling-stock can be changed and side buffers can be added at any time, but the change should be completed by the time rolling-stock is to be interchanged.



Routes "A" and "B" Coincide.-The new passenger and goods stations at Adelaide and the new line from Lochiel to Port Augusta and from Salisbury to Adelaide should be . started first. Changing the gauge of track from Lochiel to Salisbury and from Adelaide to Serviceton should be completed at a time to match up with the other work in this State and with the adjacent work in Victoria.

However, it will be unfortunate to burden the State with the additional yearly operating cost the created by such a line. It will be better to convert all 5 ft. 3 in. lines in

this State.


Route" A ".-This route is shown on Map 2. The estimated cost of converting, operating, and maintaining stations for the transfer of not only passengers but also goods and live stock from the many lines joining the present 5 ft. 3 in. gauge line between Serviceton and Melbourne, Melbourne and Albury was so large for Route "A" it was considered desirable to find a route that would cost less to operate and maintain should a Main "rrunk Line only be built.

With this in view, Route" B," which though more expensive in first cost owing to the considerable mileage of new railway required, was selected, as it involves the expenditure of far less money for operation and maintenance than is required in the case of Route "A." Route "B."-This route is shown on Map 3. It will require a new approach railway, as also passenger and goods stations in Melbourne, which should be started first. At the same time,

the new line' from Dimboola through Goornong to Benalla and from Goornong to Bendigo, and the reconstruction of the line from Bendigo to Kilmore Junction, can be proceeded with. Changing the gauge of the present 5 ft. 3 in. track from Serviceton to Dimboola, one of the present tracks from Bendigo to Melbourne, and the tracks Benalla, to Albury and the branches diverging from

Beech worth Junction, Springhurst, and Wodonga, should be done at a time to match up with the adjacent work in South Australia and with the completion of the new construction. The new rolling-stock should be on hanq when wanted, and some of it should be available for permanent way construction work. The shops at Bendigo should be used for the 4 ft. 8t in. rolling-stock.

· If only a main trunk line is to be provided of uniform gauge, this line through Victoria is preferred to Route " A " and also to Route "A modified ", which is referred to below. Route "B" has the further advantage of making a more direct connexion between South Australia and New South Wales in case an emergency should make desirable a connexion which does not pass through Melbourne. A connexion to Melbourne is provided for this route. Even though

all lines are to be converted, the new line from Dimboola to Violet Town should be considered for emergency use. Route "A Modified" .- A third route through Victoria for a main trunk line may be called Rl:mte " A modified'' and this should be given careful consideration in connexion with the

possible, or probable, conversion of all lines, or of all of the lines in Victoria. This Route " A modified" for Victoria is shown in red and in purple on Map 4. It comprises the first two years' work of the total of five years for the conversion scheme for all5 ft. 3 in. lines in this State. It will be unfortunate to burden the State with the additionai yearly operating cost and the

confusion created by adopting this route. It will be better to convert all 5 ft. 3 in. lines in this State.


Routes "A" and "B " Coincide.- The coast line by way of Newcastle, West Maitland, Macksville, Kyogle, and Richmond Gap needs a bridge at Grafton, which should be started first, but with its construction can progress the construction of new track and improvement of present track West Maitland to Richmond Gap and the tunnels through the McPherson Range. This


is a line with easier gradients, and much to be preferred, from an operating stand-point, to the present line from West Maitland to Wallangarra. However, it will be desirable to have ·an .emergency line further from the coast and independent of the Hawkesbury River bridge; such a line can easily be provided by constructing the line from Binna way to W erris Creek, which line has been approved by the State, and improving the present track conditions between Wallerawang Binnaway. Any of this work can be done at any time. This would be an emergency line, and from . Sydney the route would be through Penrith, Wallerawang, Craboon, Binnaway to Werris Creek, and thence Jby the present route to Wallangarra.

- On the coast line some new rolling-stock will be needed, and should be available the way and works part of the construction nears completion. . ·


Routes "A" and "B" Ooincide.-The new station in Brisbane and the new line from Brisbane to Richmond Gap, and the tunnels should be started promptly, and all the work carrie_d GU together. The new rolling-stock should be joint stock with New South Wales, and some of 1t be available for construction work.

. In order to provide a 4 ft. 8! in. line back from the coast, the present line from W allangarra through Toowoomba to Brisbane should be converted and, where necessary, on new alignment, unless the line from Warwick through l\1aryvale to Brisbane, which has been under consideration in Queensland, is to be constructed. If the present line by way of Toowoomba is converted,

some of the branches diverting from it should be converted and new rolling-stock be prbvided.

Vi ork can be started in all of the States at the same ti1ne.

For further discussion on this question see Appendix IV.(a).



3ft. 6 in Lines . .;..._If all lines are to be converted to the standard . gauge, the first section in this State which should be converted is that which forms a part of the main trunk line and extends from Fremantle to Kalgoorlie·, including· the new bridge over the Swan River and the deviation for it, the deviation at Midland Junction, and other deviations east of there, and the branch extending north fron1 Southern Cross. Only one of the two tracks between Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie should be converted. · ·

New relling-stock should be provided for this line, and some of it should be available for construction purposes. The old rolling-stock should be transferred to unchanged sections. After the line Fremantle to Kalgoorlie has been converted, the following sections should be commenced i:n theflrdet given :-

(1) Spencer's Brook to Albany. -(2) East Perth to Bunbury. (3) Merredin to Brunswick Junction, via N arrogin. (4) York to Bruce Rock. (5) to Mertedin, via Wyalkatchem.

(6) Goomalhng to Geraldton. .

The for commencing the -conversion of each of the above sections and the branches connecting therewith should be decided sometime previous to the commencement of the work, so tJ:at when the work of conversion is started ·a ' sufficient number of long sleepers will have been put in by way of renewals to make it unnecessary to lay in the track any material number of new sleepers. . . · - ·

The development of traffic, the cost of transferring passengers, live stock, goods, and other at junction points, and the condition of 3ft. 6 in. rolling-stock should determine the

time for converting any of these lines and branches and other of the lines and branches not specifically named.


4ft. 8! in. Lines.-N o alteration is required to ways and works. The automatic coupler can be changed any time before interchange of rolling-stock is to be effected, and the side bnffers should be put on just before such interchange is begun. ·

3ft . . 6 in. Lines.-These should not be converted until a decision is made to connect Oodnadatta and Darwin otherwise, not until traffic develops to a point justifying the expense of changing. New rolhng-stock will be required for the converted line, but it be of present 3 ft, _ 6 in. as the la;tte1: depreciates, .. ·



' 5 ft. 3 in. that· t4e main trunk line and new bridge at Murray Bridge

are provided before general conversion, the order of converting the re1naining 5 ft . . 3 in. lines should be by sections as follow :-(1) Adelaide Metropolitan Area to Roseworthy. (2) Roseworthy to Terowie ..

(3) Terovv"ie to Peterborough (14f n1iles, now 3 ft. 6 in.). ( 4) Gawler to Angaston and Truro. (5) Riverton to Spalding.

(6). Roseworthy to Morgan and Robertstown. (7) Adelaide to vVillunga. · •

(8) Mount Barker to Milang and Victor Harbor. New locombtives shpuld be purchased as required; some of the present ones should be converted, and the together with the vehicles, should be practically worn out on present gauge. Son1e of the vehicles may in condition to be converted. .

6 in. Lines.-Excepting the 14! miles o£ 3 ft. _ 6 in. track Terowie to Peterborough

none of this gauge should be converted until all of the 5 ft. 3 in. track is changed. When the work of changing the narrow gauge to the standard is undertaken, the order

should be as follows :- •


(1) Hamley Bridge to Moonta Balaklava· to Georgetown Kadina to Brinkworth. (2) Port Pirie to Cockburn

Gladstone to Georgetown Gladstone to Wilmington Peterborough to Quorn. (3) Wolseley to N aracoorte

N aracoorte to Mount Gau1bier Mount Gambier to Victorian Border .. Mount Gambier to Beachport N aracoorte to Kings to :h.

as one section.

. . as one section.

. ·J· . .

(4) Port Lincoln to Thevenard . ·l

Cummins to Kimba I .

·. ·. }-as one section.

Y eelanna to Mount Hope 1

Wandana to Penong. . . J

. . The time of changing these. narrow-gauge lines should be so arranged that, if any, not more than a few of .the necessary longer sleepers will be required at the time of changing. The rolling-stock for converted sections should new, and the present rolling-stock should be transferred from converted sections to those remaining unconverted ahd bE{ practically worn

out before being obsoleted. ·


5 ft. 3 in. Lines.-The officers of the Victorian Railways prepared a very complete mal?, showing the proposed order of conversion by years and by months of each year; this I S recommended. The yearly sections are shown by colours on Map No. 4, and a short descnption, arranged in yearly groups, is as follows :-

(1) ·The 1ine £rom Melbourne through South Brunswick to Tocumwal, all its branches, including the line from Toolamba to Echuca, and from Kilmore Junction to Bendigo, and all lines and branches north and east of the line from Melbourne to Tocum·wal. (2) The line from Thomas' Mills, north of N·ewport, through Sunshine and Ballarat to

Ararat, Ballarat to Waubra, Ballarat to Skipton, Navarre through Ararat and Hamilton to Portland, and all connecting lines and branches north and west of the last-described line. (3) All lines and branches contained between the above-described first. two yearly

sections except the line from Melbourne to Broadmeadows, the branch to Flemington Race-course, Footscray to Sunshine, and Footscray to Williamstown Pier. (4) All lines-and branches west of Melbourne and south of those lines described in (2),

together with the line Melbourne · to Broadmeadows, the branch to Flemington Race-course, Footscray to Sunshine, and Footscray to Williamstown Pier . . (5) The line from Melbourne through Epping to Whittlesea all lines outh and east thereof,

' '


· Some new locomotives 'and goods waggons will be needed, and the of the

requirements should be provided by conversion of present rolling-stock. Som.e of the new rolling­ stock should be available when the actual c.P.ange of gauge is begun. 2ft. 6 in. Lines. - It is considered that these lines should not be made .a part of the general conversion scheme. The costs of changing them are not included in the estimate. .


4 ft. 8! in. Liries.-If total conversion, aside from new construction, is decided upon, there will be no work necessary in this State. However, it will be desirable to consider the building of the line from . Binna way to W erris Creek in order to provide an emergency line independent of the Hawkesbury River bridge and to consider, also, continuing the North Coast line to Richmond Gap in order to provide a shorter route between Sydney and Brisbane.

Narrow-gauge Lines.-It is considered that these lines should not be 1nade a part of the general conversion scheme. The costs of changing them are not included in_ the estimates.


3ft. 6 in. Lines.- After a line from the New South border to Brisbane is provided, the line from Brisbane to Rockhampton and its branches should be the next to be converted. Thereafter conversion should be by sections, as follow:-* (1) Unconverted part of line Brisbane to Chinchilla and branches.

(2) Unconverted part of line Toowoomba to Wallangarra and branches, excluding Warwick to Dirranbandi. (3) Chinchilla to Muckadilla. (4) Muckadilla to Cunnamulla and Quilpie, and the Injune Creek branch. (5) Warwick to Dirranbandi. (6) Rockhampton to Longreach and branches. New rolling-stock should be provided for converted sections, and the old rolling-stock should be successively moved from converted to unconverted sections and worn out on the gauge for which it was originally built.

The other lines of this State should be converted as development· of traffic, renewal of sleepers, and wearing out of present rolling-stock makes conversion necessary or desirable. For further discussion on this question see Appendix IV. (d).

(c) THE METHODS BY WHICH Tl{E WORK SHOULD BE EXECUTED. The work should be execute.d in each State under supervision of the same officers and by the same methods as may be the practice of each. respective State at the time the work is being done.

. Provision should be made that if the work in any one State is unnecessasily delayed or progressing in an unsatisfactory manner it may be taken in hand by the Director, the appointment of whom is recommended in answer to the last part of this question . . For further discussion on this question see Appendix IV. (c).


The work should be controlled by one sole authority, in this Report referred to as the "Director," in whom large and final powers of decision should be vested. For further discusswn on this question see Appendix IV. (d).

Question 5.:._ a third rail or any mechanrical device should be utilized,· if so, · what device, upon what sections, and estimated cost ? _

A third rail or any mechanical device should not be utilized. We know of no third rail and of no 1nechanical device which is suitable for the The use of any one of the many devices suggested to us', or to is not

recommended. Some experimental work has been done with several of these devices but in no case has a been experimented with to the extent required by all conditions of and opera t1on. · ·



The , saving in expense and in time resulting from intensive concentration on the actual change of gauges instead of on third rail or mechanical devices will be so great that attention should be centered upon devices and methods of doing the actual work of changing track and rolling-stock to the standard gauge.

t '

For further disaussion on this question see Appendix V.

And to inquire into and report upon any other matter appertaining to the unification of the ·gauges which the said Commissioners may desire to advise upon, or which may be referred to them by the Federal Executive Council.

The inquiry has covered all Inatters appertaining to the unification of gauges, and the report includes all matters which it is considered by us to be necessary and desirable to present to you. ·

No matters additional to those included in the Letters Patent, cited in the preface to this Report, have been referred to us by the Federal Executive Counqil. ·

It is thedesire of the Commissioners to express·herein sincere appreciation of the energetic and faithful assistance rendered to them by the Secretary and the entire staff, and to the railway officials of the Commonwealth and of the various States, for the :assistance given in making and in presenting to us estimates and other information relating to conversion work, and the considerate manner in which all of this has been done.

In closing this Report, we have the honour to be,

Your Excellency's most obedient servants,

Oommi asionar .


Melbourne, 22rid September, 1921.




To His Excetlenrty the Right Honorable 1-lENRY -V VILLIAM, BARON FoRSTER, a Mernber of !lis Majesty's Most Honorable Privy Council, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief in and over the Commonwealth of Australia.


I desire to supplement by a few observations the Report of the Royal Commission on the matter of the Uniform Railway Gauge. - 1. When I accepted the position of Chairman of the Royal Commission it was plain to me that nearly all, if not all, the subjects of inquiry were matters for technical railway experts, upon

which matters as I did, the necessary technical knowledge, I felt that I was not competent to express opinions of value. In affixing my to the Report, therefore, I would like it to ·he understood that in all matters· involving highly-expert and special technical knowledge­ after conference, of course, with my colleagues as to the bases of such calculations and estimates­

! have perforce accepted those calculations and estimates as beyond my competence to revise in detail.

2. As Chairman, I, of course, directed generally the course of the inquiry ; I therefore t ake the entire responsibility for not having conducted our inquiries in open court. The matters submitted to us were, as I have pointed out, mainly technical questions requiring expert answers. They were not to be decided by the weight of evidence given by all and sundry in open court, but to be pronounced by gentlemen selected by Your Excellency because of their special fitness to carry out the necessary investigations. Instead of accepting -evidence, therefore, from any one thinking to tender it, and then proceeding to separate the wheat from the chaff, it was decided to obtain what information we required by specific inquiry in the quarters where we knew it would be available. -

There was, of course, in reserve the power of the Commission to enforce the giving of information which might not be given voluntarily, but, as might have been expected, the exercise of such power was not called for, all the required by the Commission being given in the most ready by those in' whose possession it was. By adopting this method of procedure, .as distinguished from the method of inquiry in court, a great economy in time and money was effected. -

,, _ ·3. The questions referred to the Royal Commission. apparently flow from a decision already

arrived at that it is expedient that some measure of unification of railway gauges shall be effected. The Commission, not 'having been asked for an expression of opinion upon the whether the railway gauges of Australia should, or should not, be unified, offers no opinion on that subj ect. I feel, that I personally would be fulfilling my whole duty if (apart from the

relation of the subject to the question of national defence, of which subject I have no knowledge) I did not raise the question the a'dvantages arising from the carrying out of the work would the expend!ture of the large of money involved at time, having

regard especially to the high cost of borroWing, and the equally exceptionally high cost of all constructional work. I have the honour to be,

Your Excellency's most obedient servant, '


lVIelbourne, 22nd September, 1921.





· Which railway gauge should. adopted in and the reasons for

selection· of the one recommended--? It is desirable that, when considering answer to questitJh, there be a clear uriderstEtiiding ·of what is meant hy the terni "railway g:iuge," or "track gauge," bebaus,e many :tfiistak:es have as a testilt of confusing this term with " load gaugi3," dr; it is technically termed in Australia, the "structure gauge," meaning the size of tunnel openings, aiid. the location of station platforms, and other structures, with respect to the tails. Few

laymen khdw tlie difference between " railway gauge " and the " structure The qUestion submitted to this CtJmmission refers td "railway gauge," · n1eaning a track gauge," but the "sttuctute is. co-related to it, ai;id will receive due consideratibn in ·this discussibh. The "railway gauge" is to be u:tidetstdod to be the horizontal distl:iiice betweeh the inside faces of, perpendicular to, the rrlhning of a railway lirle on meaning-

track. The term. is tlius limited to tangent track, because on curves, Where the buter ra1l 1s elevated, the-line of measurement is not quite horizontal, and· use it is comrrton practice to . widen the gauge for certain radii of curvli tuie. Of the railway gauges now in use in Australia, only the 5 3 in. and the 4 ft. 8! in. gauges

are sufficiently broad give·the stability and ease of riding to the rolling equipment, and ease .of of trac]f:, which ought to be available and us_ed in a countrY, of such extended area and great distances as ,is · Of railway gauges used and of than

these only the 5 ft. 6 gauge is in use on any considerable mileage, and i1e1t,her thiS ga'ng,e nor arty other oroadet gauge lias any desiraply feature; or 'accuniulation of desirable which woulc1 justify the expense of changing the 5 ft. 3 in. gauge in Australia. to any one of them. 8! in. gauge is not included in .the precydihg foi: reasbh if a gauge of 5 ft.

·3 in. or greater were selected; then the 4ft. gauge would of be clianged; ·but if the 5 ft. 3 gauge the 5 ft. 3 in. ·gauge track of ,Australia "\vouid hot need to be

changed; pherefore, principal question in conriexion the adop,timi of. a tli.ati 5 ft. 3 in. any possible improvement will the cost of changing 5 ft. 3 lii.

mileage·to it . . The ID!1Ximlim ,possible capacity; of the 5 ft. 3 in. gauge is not now ayailable for use ·in Australia on the ·railways of that gauge, and, possibly, never will be rha,de a'\:allable, whether desirable or not. In so far as concerns the availability of capacity of the raihvay gauge, the same thing tnay be said of the 4ft. 8! in. gauge railways; therefore, it is not desirable to use a

gauge greater than 5 ft. 3 in. If any advantage is to be obtained over the 5 ft. 3 in. gauge by a broader gauge the difference between the two gauges must be of considerable amount, such as might be obtained from a gauge of 6 feet or 7 feet. Such broad gauge has been advocated at various times, more recently by those who have confused track gauge with structure gauge, .and previously by those who were basing their advocacy upon conditions then prevailing, as for instance, the location of the locomotive

cylinders between the main frames, and which, in turn, are between the driving and other wheels ; under such conditions, the diameter of the cylinders, and, to a C(])nsiderable extent, the power of the locomotive, are limited by the distance between the main fran1es and, therefore, by the railway gauge. With inside cylinders it is desirable, from the stand-point of locomotive design, to have the gauge as broad as possible. At the present time, it is preferred to place the cylinders the frames and, therefore, outside the wheels, and having selected a railway gauge of suffiCient

width to give the necessary stability for speed and width and height of rolling equipment, the narrower the gauge the better, the more room there is for cy1inders between the frame on either side of the locomotive and rolling-stock on adjacent track, the station platform, the side of tunnels, and other fixed structures. It is very desirable to have the cylinders and all of the machip.ery possible located outside the frames and wheels in order to facilitate inspection and repairs,

and on account of the present great weight of main connecting rods, cylinder heads, pistons, and cross-heads, it is necessary to have the cylinders outside so as to permit handling of those parts with mechanical lifting devices. ·

Concerning the more recent remarks accredited to foreign railway officials, of more or less prominence, to the effect that if they were starting again, and had their present knowledge of what the railroad development would be, they would use a gauge wider than 4ft. 8! in., it may be said that in taking such actioo. they would be very unwise. At present there are in use in other countries

an.d on railways of 4 ft. 8! in. gauge locomotives giving a static pressure- of 35,000 lbs. between head and wheel tread, and goods waggons giving a corresponding pressure of 20,000. ;

It IS thought by metallurgical engineers that such pressures produce the maximum permissible deformation of the metal in rail head and wheel tread. If these are the maxima permissible whee] loads, then it is the quality of the metal in rail head and wheel tread that ultimately determines the of 4ft. 8! in. and of any broader gauge. The structure gauge

what _(weight per cubic unit) the loading must have in order to load the wheels ra1ls to their maXImum capacity. In .some other countries the structure gauges available With the


- 4ft. 8! in. track gauge are being operated to their capacity when the vehicles are loaded with certain commodities, and the desire would be to increase t;he structure gauges, and so permit of loading vehicles to the maximum wheel loads with a greater variety of commodities. For these reasons those who contend that they would increase the track gauge should give their attention

rather to the structure gauge. It may be of sufficient interest to note that in some countries, on 4ft. 8f in. gauge track and ·with structure gauge quite similar to the Australian structure gauge of 1905, wheat is being hauled vehicles of such capacity as to give a wheel load of 20,000 lbs.

'rhe structure gauge is the measure of the width and height of tunnels) and, in general, the minimum distance of all permanent structures horizontally .from the centre of track and from the top of rail. A similar gauge is the equipment gauge, somewhat smaller than

the structure gauge, to insure that rolling equipment not greater than the equipment gauge can be operated on the track without contact with the permanent such as station platforms, sides and. tops of tunnels, and rolling equip1nent standing, or running, on adjacent track. It is quite possible to make a structure gauge so large as to produce a continual economic loss; this is particularly so in places where tunnels and overhead structures are necessary, and the loss referred to is not measured by the interest .on capital cost to produce the gauge. At the present time, in some countries where the 4ft. 8-! in. track gauge is used and a smaller structure gauge than is possible with that track gauge, a considerable percentage of the commodities loading will produce a wheel loading which is considered a maximum desirable loading, that is, a loading per wheel which will not deform too seriously the wheel tread or the rail head ; one or the other is, or both are, deformed somewhat when there is any material load on the wheel. The theoretical contact between a cone or cylinder, whichever may be the shape of the wheel tread, and a cylinder (the top surface of the rail is made to a radius) with axis perpendicular to the axis of the wheel tread, whether cone or cylinder, is a point (without area) and the material of the rail, or of the wheel tread, will be deformed sufficiently to produce an area which will support the wheel load. The amount of the deformation in either tread or rail will depend upon the load in1posed and the kind of material in the respective bearing surfaces. This deformation progresses around the , pircumference of the wheel tread and along the rail head as the V\rheel revolves and progresses. Figure 1 shows (full size) the area of contact between a.1newly-machined wheel tread coned 1 in 40, diameter of tread 73 inches, weight on tread 19,360 lbs., and an 80-lb. rail with top surface of head

made to 12 inches radius.







+-- Gau2e side of Rail.

Slack. cenlre shows pal:ler de·srroyed.

Frau&E 1.



The impression was obtained by raising the wheel and placing on the rail head beneath it a piece of very thin paper, then letting the wheel down very slowly so that any deformation of the tread or rail would not be produced by momentum. The wheel was then raised and the paper removed. A tracing was made of the impression; the darker inner space indicates the part of the paper which was destroyed, and the outer shaded portion shows the part that was less affected; the straight line shows the approximate longitudinal centre line of rail head.

The deformation progresses around the wheel tread and along the rail hea·d as the wheel is revolved and progresses along the rail. The illustration, Figure 1, shows the effect on and by a locomotive driving wheel with a wheel load of about one-half of the amount used at present in other countries on a 4ft. 8! in. gauge. When the maximum wheelloa:d permissible for the material

used in tires or rail is obtained, nothing is gained by 1naking it possible to load the wheels heavier. · Therefore no greater wheel loads are possible with one gauge than with another, and the 4ft. 8! in. gauge will not limit the locomotive capacity. . The facts are that, with the structure gauges available at present in Australia, the 4ft. 8! in.

gauge will limit the locomotive capacity less than will the 5 ft. 3 in. gauge. It has been pointed ·out earlier in this, Appendix that the present practice is to place the locomotive cylinders and as 1nuch of the machinery ·as possible ·outside of the frames and wheels; illustrating ho\v desirable this practice is, it may be said that one main connecting rod, with none of its attached parts,

weighs about 500 lbs., and it is too much to expect of men, labouring in cramped under a locomotive, to raise and lower such a weight, if it were possible with inside cylinders to make such a rod necessary. ' The main rod for which the weight is given is in use on one of the Australia:J?. locomotives having outside cylinders.

Assuming a certain structure diagram, the use of outside cylinders for the locomotive, and the same general wheel arrangement and design of locomotive, a more locomotive is possible on the 4ft. Sf in. track gauge than is possible on the 5 ft. 3 in. track gauge; the width available for cylinders is greater by 6! inches in the former than in the latter, 3! inches on each side; the 6! inches ·is the difference in the two gauges. The conditions are illustrated in Figure .2.



BC. ferlical plane lhrough c.!llinder centre and mti:/dle o/ length or main rod bearing. . . - .... -

f . •?. • 0 •

D. E. Lower P"rr or s/ruc/tlre gauge I

Figure. 2.


Were the cyilnciers {us! de of the then the broader the track gauge the the cylinders that could be used, and the suggestions of the early engineers to make the trwck gauge as brbad as possible would be true riow, with the proviso the gauge .be limited thai.tequited to a cylinder power which may correspond closely with the maxunum possible weight oli the dnvirtg wheels. -

_ This brings the discussion to the point. of deciding between the 5 ft. 3 in. and 4ft. Sf in: railway gauge as a standard. The relative advantages and disadvantages of these gauges, in themselves, is so small thrut the decision might well be based upon the two impbttartt of cost and time necessary to get to each, but it will be desirable to consider other factors.

With the 5 ft. 3 in. gauge the centre of gravity o£ the loading, of whatever kind, ;may be higher than with the 4ft. 8! in. gauge, and have the same stability and ease of riding, that is, the loading rna y be higher. · . . .

For a certain amount of irregularity of the track crosswise of t lie track there will be, w1th the 5 ft. 3 in. gauge, less roll transmitted to the p a;ssing vehicle, of whatever ki;nd; somewhat less attention may be given to the ctbss surfacing of the 5 ft. 3 in. track without produmng more rolling effect in the passing vehicle. •

Of these two advahtages of the 5 ft. 3 in. gauge, the first-the possible higher centre of gravity-is noif. available with practically all of the commodities railed in Australia, because of -the limiti\tions of the structure gauge. The second-smoothness of riding-is a refinement which is difficult to value .

. It may be asked, and consistently so, whether it is advisable, or desirable, 'to adopt now the 5 ft. 3 in. track gauge, so that the maximum width and height possible-with tliat gauge may be obtained later, if it is desired to do so, by increasing t he structure gauge. The increased cost necessary to get gauge installed, together vvith the interest upon it tb the time when such large ·structure gauge is available, is too great present conditions to be considered 'Further than this, itjs .a good deal of a hazard whether it ever will be Economica1ly,

it is possible to have a structure gauge too larg-e; it is just as important to have length to rolling­ stock ·as it is to have width and height. The economical structure gauge is, probably, not much . larger than that adopted in 1905 in Australia, any proposed improvements in which qught to be directed to the upper and lowe:J; corners and the height. Having a gauge of such form · and size as will permit a locomotive boiler and cylinder capacity con1mensurate with the 1naximum

desirable wheel load, the question whether to penalize passengers and the heavy commodities like ore, coal, the heavier grains, &c., by the cost of providing a structure gauge which is larger, or to penalize the lighter commodities such as hay, chaff, clothing of all kinds, &c., will depend upon the relative amount of each transported. There is this difference, however- many of the lighter commodities can be condensed, pressed together, telescoped, or otherwise increased in weight per cubic foot of space occupied, and in a large nntnber of instances it is desirable to force this condensing artd compressing by penalties in the form of increased rates. The greater the weight per cubic foo t the less the cost for carting, storing, &c., and the greater the economic saving.

The structure gauge of 1905,' together with the suggested · changes which may be found later to be desirable, is considered to be sufficiently large, and not larger than is suitable, for use with the 4 ft. 8! in. track gauge. . ·

The money cost, and the time required to do the work, will be less to install the 4 ft. Sf in. gauge as standard than to install the 5 ft. 3 in. gauge. The reason for the great difference in cost is that so many less new axles and new sleepers will be required if the 4ft. Sf in. -gauge is adopted than will be required for the 5 ft. 3 in. gaug-e ; even on the 3 ft. 6 in. lines there ate 1nany sleepers

which can be left in place for the 4 ft. St in. 'track by adding a few longer sleepers at rail joints and intermediate, whereas, for the 5 ft. 3 in. -gauge, all would need to be replaced. The time necessary to get sleepers will practically control the minimum time in which the work can be done. ·

, In converting from one gauge to the other it is only necessary to move the rails of a track ... farther apart or closer together, crosswise of the track, as the case may be, and to place the wheels

on the axles at the proper spacing for the track gauge. Incidental to the change of cross spacing of track rails and of are other changes, which 1nust l;>e considered in calculating the relative costs of the two, and these will be considered now. The sleepers used with the 5 ft . 3 in. gauge are, of course, long enough for use with the 4 ft. St in. gauge, and are even longer than is necessary ; further, the cuttings, embankments, and ballast are wide enough ; therefore, no changes are necessary of sleepers, cuttings, embankments, and amount of ballast to convert the 5 ft. 3 in. gauge to 4 ft. St in. Further, the 5 ft. 3 in. gauge sleepers are not too long for the 4 ft. 8! in. gauge. Except at some of the bridges, in changing f1;om the 5 ft. 3 in. gauge to the 4ft. St in. only one rail need be moved, although at tunnels and platforms it will be necessary to slew sleepers and rails to the same track centre as at present. 1 To a great extent the sleepers used with the 4ft. St in. gauge are not long enough for the

5 ft. 3 in. gauge, and these would need to be replaced. Those sleepers which are long enough for 5 ft. 3 in. gauge, if their centre of length corresponds with the centre of track, are not long enough


to permit o:f n1oving only one rail. Some of the cuttings and embankments and widths of ballast would need to be widened to receive the longer sleepers of the broader gauge. Therefore, in so far as the track is concerned, it will cost more in 1noney, and take more time to convert, from the 4 ft. 8! in. to the 5 ft. 3 in. than to do the reverse. On the 3 ft. 6 in. lines all of the good sleepers which are 7 feet long, or longer, can he used· for the 4 ft. 8! in. gauge line by confining thmn to the less important divisions, and using with thmn about four new sle.ep.ers per .rail length; the new sleepers to be 8 feet long. · -

the rolling-stock. Converting 4 ft. 8! in. to the 5 ft. · 3 in. means th'e

lengthening of the axle$ and all of tlie' cross members of bogies, and 'cross connecting ·pieces of locomotive fran1es. Many of the axles cannot be lengthened, because there is not 1naterial enough in them to give the required strength if they were drawn out to the increased The cross members of bogies and locomotive frames could be cut in two, in a grea-t many instances, and a splicing piece secured in place to produce the additional width between frames. In on locomotives in particular, spacing casting$ would need to be renewed with wider

Converting from 5 ft. 3 in. to 4 ft. 8! in. means the shortenil).g of the axles, cross of bogies, connecting members of lo.cOlnotive fran1es,. and, in many the nar;rowipg of locomotive fire-boxes. The a,xles have material in thern, it is qfl.:le§!tion wit)l

waggo:p., carriage, locomotive and a 1arge number of driving of the surplus

material, which can be done in one of several methods. The cros.s members of bogies frames will need to be cut in two, bro-q.ght together, and secured. ·some of t}fe loeomotive spacing castings will need to be replaced. ·

On four-wheel and six-wheel waggons the " W " guards, which engage the journal boxes, will require to be changed in form or in location, of attaching to the body of the waggon, whether the change is to one gauge or to the other. Illustrating how important is the question of axles upon the cost of converting from one gauge to the other, there are listed in Table V. the numbers of each kind for each gauge that were on hand, in use, and in stock on Australian railways in April and May, 1921, and the number of axles on privately-owned stock.

Locomotive ..

Coaching vehicles .. Goods and live stock Departmental ..

Class of Rolling Equipment.

Common to goods and coaching

Total for railways


To which may be added privately-owned stock- approximately . .

Total for Australia

No. of Axles and Gauge.

5 ft. 3 in. Gauge. 7,946 10,883 49,231





No. of Axles and Gauge ,

4ft. 8,} in. Gauge. 12;759 8,467 45,762

5,454 8,612




So1ne of the axles of greatest diameter used on the 4 ft. 8-! in. gauge could be reduced in diameter by drawing out under a hammer, and so made long enough and sufficiently large in diameter to suit the lighter rolling-stock (loc01notives, carriages, and waggons) ; but all of the larger axles, those used on the larger capacity .and newer rolling-stock, would be scrapped and

replaced with axles that would be heavier, because longer. The i1nportance of the sleepers in determining the cost of conversion and the ti1ne necessary do the work will be better understood if some data are given. The total nun1ber of sleepers

now in track in Australia is about sixty n1illions, and about one-half the number are in of 3 ft. 6 in. gauge. Assuming the average life of the sleepers at about twenty years,

It 1s apparent that, under normal conditions of maintenance, there are required for replace­ ments about three 1nillion sleepers· per year. The conditions have not been normal for several years, and actually, at present and for several years in the future, about five million sleepers will. be required per year for maintenance and to make up, ·within a reasonable time, deferred maintenance. Therefore, it is of very great i1nportance to unify the gauges in such a

way a to save. the greate 't number of sleepers now in track. Seventy-five per cent. of the sleepers used in 3 ft. 6 in. gauge track in Australia are 7 ft. long ; by_ the 4ft. 8t in. gauge all of the good sleepers 7 feet long and longer can be saved by u 'lng four new. sleepers, 8 feet long, per rail length, placing one at each end o£ the rail and spaci11g

the other two 1ntermediate. \Vherever it happens that the four new sleepers displace good, short F.l4165.-2


sleepers, these sho1;t ones can be used for replacetnent of bad, short ones. Stwh track vvill be amply good for outlying lines, and wherever the wheel loads are not increased excessively. This method is not recommended for the main trunk line nor for any track requiring rails heavier than· 60 lbs. per yard. . ·

The adoption of the 4 ft. 8!in. gauge will make it possible to continue in service all of the present good 7-ft. sleepers now in track of 3 ft. 6 in. gauge. Unless this is done, it will be quite impossible to get enough sleepers within a reasonable time to begin the conversion of the 3 ft. 6 in. lines other thap. sections to be changed to make up the n1ain trunk line. ·

If the re-sleepering of the 3 ft. 6 in. track is carried out in accordanee with the suggestions made in the preceding paragraphs, {he quantity of new sleepers requi!-'ed foi· the conversion of this ·gauge to 4 ft. in. will be reduced by 12,500,000 sleepers. /

Summing up these items, it is shown that the axles, cross n1ernbers, and other details of rolling-stock, as also a large portion of sleepers, necessarv for conversion to 4ft. 8! in. are already available and, to a great extent, in use ; ·vvhereas 'a tnuch.; greater nun1ber of axles and other rolling­ stock details, and new sleepers, must be purchased if conversion is to 5 ft. 3 in. Added to this, the tirne necessary to obtain delivery of new axles and sJeepers, as also for placing the new sleepers in position in the track, will be greater, and will have a very important bearing upon the period of time required to con1plete the conversion, not only of n1ain trunk lines, but of all lines.

The foregoing factors, when combined ·with the very considerable saving in the money required to bring about a standard gauge of track in Australia, prove conclusively, it is considered, that' the 4ft. 8! in. gauge should ·be adopted as standard, in preference to any other gauge.

Canted 1 in 70 inwards -- ­ Full line normal, FLAT- -Canted 1 in 60 outwards----+------'

'' 19


, ·I

1 in ,.

Fulllme normal,CANTED 1 = =---


Canted 1 in 30





.. ..... ..... ....

- , . ...........

' - ...... ......,., ........

"" ..,

Canted 1 in 16-----


....-Gauge side of Rail.


Gauge side of Rail.

CANTED 1 in 20 . .

F ullline normal, CANT ED 1 in ...... ...._ ____



Canted 1 in 40---

Gauge side of Rail.

CANT ED 1 in 26 .-

i I



l ,f

2U '


Question 2.-What is necessary to be done in orde1· to unify the gauges of the railway ' systems of Australia ?

Regardless of the ti1ne at which the actual work of unifying the gauges n1ay be c?mn1enced, it is of the utmost importance that, if a decision to unify t he gauges is to be made, It be Inade · promptly. It is also of as much importance to decide what is to be the standard These two questions having been decided, it will be possible, and very desirable, that offic ials of th?se railway systems which are to changed begin immediately to adjust their for construction

of new lines and rolling-stock, and maintenance and repairs of old lines and rolhng-stock, so t o permit of changing ultimately to the standard gauge with least trouble and expeJ?-se. In t1:me which may elapse between deciding what the standard gauge is to be and the time of the work, so much can be accomplished in preparatory work which will reduce very matenally the ultimate cost, a prompt adoption of a standard gauge is of very great importance.

Sleepers for renewals can be purchased of the length necessary for the new gauge and spike holes bored for both present and standard gauges; in making or repairing cuttings, en1bankments, building bridges and trestles, carriages, waggons, and making heavy boiler repairs for locomotives, in the design of new rolling-stock, and in many other ways much, or little, can be done with each item to reduce the ultimate cost of unifying. ·

In order to co-ordinate even the preparatory work, to insure that the maximum amount of such work is done by each system, to receive new ideas which will occur to those doing the wo:rk, and to disseminate these and other ideas to those persons who are interested, there ought to be set up promptly the organization outlined in to Question 4, as being necessary for the proper control of the work. The appointn;wnt of the directing officer will presuppose the establishment of a fund from which to reimburse each railway system for expenses made necessary by the preparations for unifying the gauges, and to which may be paid savings resulting from the same cause. For instance, it will be inconsistent to expect a 3 ft. 6 in. system to renew its short sleepers with sleepers long enough to suit the new gauge and not charge the difference in first cost of sleepers to unification; or, not to charge to unification the additional cost of longer and narrower fire-boxes when such change is made on 5 ft. 3 in. gauge loco1notives to suit them to the narrower gauge.


From 5 ft. 3 in. to 4 ft. 8! 2n.

Of the two railway systems having 5 ft . 3 in. gauge a large mileage of one is laid with the rails canted inwardly, normally 1 in 20, a large. mileage on the other is laid with the rails canted inwardly, normally 1 in 26; and on a small mileage of each system the rail is laid flat on the sleepers at crossings and at some other places. The canting of 1 in 20 and 1 in 26 is referred to as '' normal,'' because the present conditions of the canting, determined by actual measurement, varies from 1 in 12 to 1 in 40; so that, considering that the rails at crossings are intended to be flat,the variations are fr01n 1 in infinity to 1 in 12. This condition has an important bearing upon the method to be pursued in changing from the·5 ft. 3 in. gauge to the 4ft. 8! in. gauge.· ObservatioJils were taken of rails canted 1 in 20, 1 in 26, and flat rails, and Figure 3 shows the extreme positions found to exist in prese:tat track. It shows that in some places the fiat rail was canted inwa11dly and at other places outwardly, and for the canted rail some were canted more than intended and some less than intended. ·

Discussing academically the subject of canted and flat rails, the flat rail is son1ewhat to be preferred. Practically there is a considerable preference for the flat rail, inasmuch as at crossings and elsewhere all can. be laid flat throughout, whereas when canted rails are used the rail is laid fiat at crossings, and those on trestles and bridges, in some cases, are ·also laid flat. The rail head being made to radius, is a longitudinal section of a cylinder, therefore, in either condition of the wheel tread (a section of a cone or of a cylinder) the theoretical contact of the wheel and rail is a point, having no area. The location of this ,point, within the limits of canting the rail and coning of the wheel tread, with reference to the longitudinal centre line of the rail head, is determined by the amount of the canting and of the coning, but under the present lin1its of canting and coning the variation of this distance from centre of rail head is not sufficient to affect in any way the rolling of the wheel on the rail. There can be no objection to laying both ·rails of a track bet ween the limits_ of flat rails and rails canted, normally, 1 in 20, because track to either limit is in ·successful use in Australia, and, incidentally, in other countries.



It is not known whether there is 1n use anywhere track laid normally w!th one rail canted and tlre ·other tail als'O, not known any or any practical objection to such

an arrangement. It is known t hat a large saving in time and money will result if, on the ft. 3 in: systems, the rap on one of the track can safely moved the. position

for the f ft. St In. gauge, placed flat on the sleeper and fastened, _ and the rail be left

undisturbed. It is realized that the of the railways will be diffident about

operating such an arrangement until a lengthy practical demonstration 1etermines it to be entirely safe, but the possible savi:q.g resulting from a is of magnitude ,to ]ustify

the cost Df experiments to determine the facts. To do this a fe w miles of present canted rail trade of 4ft. 8! in. gauge, over which both fast passenger and heavy goods trains are operated at frequent should at once be altereq provided with one canted one tail,

under restrictions, and results to be gradua11y relaxed uliti1 the

sch.edule speed of ordinary running is obtained. If, as is track proves as

satisfactory for working ove.r the cahteq, the length tra?k liaving one

canted an,d one shoul4 be. extended to, P,ossibly, miles, a;nd pht to a hke test fdr an appreci?tble period of ti1ne. If trial of this form of road proves as satif!fatlttfry for . wo'rking over as the t rack With ooth rails canted, then the general worlt of co±iversioi1 5£ can be arranged for on this basis, and the expenditure of an appreciable sum of ffibliey saved.

The decision need affect only amount of adzing of the sleepers in the new position, for the r ail which is to be nioved, and 1f they are to be adzed for canted rail, it will be desirable to have a :tnl?uchine so as to be :inoved readily along the track from sleeper to sleepet. It will be hecessaty to dear. tt\vay the ballast so ·as not to intetfere too much with the cutting tool. The ihachhm shbuld be tis·etl for boring th·e holes t·or the new location of the dog Whether

or not the :tail is to be cahted the p:tote!Ss to be folltl\ved after holes are bored will be the same in One great advantage of one tiiil the fUll amount of 6! inches .is that the

atlzihg and the b6rihg of holes for the lodatioJ:?- he done without dist:urbing the rail, whereas, if both rails are to be each 3! tWice the humber of spike holes will be rteeded, and

only one-llalf of the nUmber cart bored without disttirbing both rails. If only one tail is moved, the, sleepers will project beydnd the Ihoved tail beyond the othet tail, OUt this

will nbt be objectiorta.ble except from the stantl:-pbiht of appear-llhces. To incur th:e expense of moving the qther rail, or cutting t>:ff the projecting for appearatices only, would be

particUlarly objectiontlble at present time, and especially so when it is cortsidered that the only persbns who vvould :tlbtice the appearances would be those who workirtg on the track.

There should be organized as many gangs of men as there may be sections to be worked upon at the same time. work of each of these gangs ,should be to prepare, as far as for actual rnoving of the rail, and to complete the work after the rail has been placed

in new position, and fastened. for slow moverilent o.f trains over it . .. The

would consist of adzing the if. they are be boring the holes for sr.ikes,

part way, a large percentage of the inside in new a

considerable percentage of the old spikes. A quantity of new spikes will be required for use on -the first section changed ; after the first section is changed the good spikes no longer needed on a section previously changed can be transferred to the succeeding section.

When a section has been prepared for the actual work of moving the rail the permanent gang ,should be reinforced by a temporary gang, made lip o£ section hands from all over the system, ahd distributed bver the section, or part of it; that is to be changed. When the word is given to proceed, the spikes remaining oh the inner side of the old position will be withdrawn, the rails

be pushed over against the inner spikes of the new location, and a percentage ot the outside spikes driven in the new position. The fishplates and fastenings would not be disturbed. It would be the work of the permanent gang to follow along, and complete the gauging and spiking, but the traok could be used meantime by operating under slow orders. The actual work of drawing the few remaining inner spikes in the old location, pushing the rail to the new location, and driving a

a few outer spikes per rail in the new position will require only a few minutes, and, by having a 4 ft. 8! in. gauge traih to move the men forward to the 5 ft. 3 in. gauge track, and a 5 ft. 3 irt. gauge train ready to distribute over ·a corresponding length of 5 ft. 3 in. gauge track, then whatever length of ttack the gang can shift at one time can be duplicated several times during a

day. ·The distance between tertrporary transfet points for passengers ought to be determined by the possible mileage to be changed per day and the amount of inconvenience to which the travelling public ought to be put. A sin1ilar method should be followed for the goods service. The public

should he amply forewarned. It is possible to" make such a heavy reduction in cost of changing the gauge by inconveniencing the tTavelling and shipping public somewhat, that advantage should be of the opportunity. In some places, especially where alternate routes can be made available, the passenger service should be discontinued for a day ' or two, ih other places for a

I . .

longer time, and goods service should be discontinued for severai days if a convenient time is selected and proper notice given. On some of the outlying the usual goods traffic might be suspended for several weeks, and the ·emergency goods handled on mixed train service. At places no platforms will be needed for the temporary transfer of passengers or of goods; the most that will be needed ·for passengers are two adjacent tracks-one of one gauge and the other of the other gauge- and the passengers transfer themselves; at other places the passengers can transfer from one train to another on the sarne track. For transferring goods, the tracks ought to be parallel, and adjacent to ·each other. I-Iowever, it_ will be possible to discontinue goods longer than passenger service, and, therefore, the temporary provisions for transferring goods may be· placed at greater distances apart than the same arrangements for passenger service, and especially so at outlying places. Provisions for temporary transfer stations for cattle and sheep may be placed further apart than those for goods.

In places where a new rail is to be laid the process is much simpler; the new rail should be placed flat on the sleepers, gauged 4 ft. 8! in. from one rail and spiked in position, the new switch connexions made, and then the old removed. At station platforms, in tunnels, and at .similar perm'anent structures it will be necessary to slew over the rails and sleepers 3! inches, in order to

maintain present track centre. ,

From ·3 ft. 6 in. to 4ft.· 8! in.

. The procedure for converting the 3ft. 6 in. systems to 4ft. 8!·in. gauge will be son1ewhat different. It will be necessary with the narrower gauge to make rather extensive preparatjons and -to extend them over a considerable length of time. A decision should be made promptly as to what sections are to be changed first, and leave the outlying sections to be changed some years later. The sleeper renewals necessary for maintenance purposes on sections to be changed

first can be n1ade with the longer sleepers ; maintenance work at cuttings, embankments, bridges, and of ballast can be extended to provide for the broader gauge, so _that when the time arrives for more intensive preparations, there will remain a minimum number of sleepers to be laid_, and a small amount of other preparatory work to be done. In some places re-location will be necessary in order to improve gradients and curves, and such work will, necessarily, be a part of the preparation for changing .the gauge. In making the actual change of gauge the old rails may be spread apart to the new gauge in much the same manner as outlined for changing the one rail of the 5 ft. 3 in. gauge, the important difference being that both rails of the 3 ft. 6 in. gauge track should be changed one-half of the total difference in gauges, or7! inches each, and where there is not sufficient distance between track centres in the new positions to receive the wider rolling-stock, then one or the other track centres, or both of them, must be changed by slewing the sleepers and rails.

· The time for actually changing the 3 ft. 6 in. to standard gauge need not be determined by the time when all of the present sleepers are replaced by longer ones ; it will be sufficient, the 4ft. 8! in. gauge is adopted as standard, to replace about one-third of the present

7-ft. sleepers with longer ones before the gauge is changed. ·


From 5 ft. 3 in. to 4ft. St in.

Locomotives.-For those locomotives which are to be converted, the wheels ·will need to be brought closer together by 6! inches-3! inches on each side. To· do this, the main frames and cylinders must be moved in a corresponding amount, and the pieces cross-connecting the fran1es rnust be The wheels must be pressed farther on to the axles, the surplus length cut

off, and new beanngs fitted. In some cases new centre castings at the cylinders and new steam and exhaust pipes will be necessary. A small number of the locomotives have fire-boxes narrow enough to permit moving the frames; but on the remainder new fire-boxes, narrower and, if the present grate area is to be maintained, longer must be provided. The engine bogie frames must be made narrower, and in some cases the centre castings Inust be replaced; the wheels must be pressed to the axles, and the surplus length be removed. The tender bogies, and tender frarnes . when bogies are not used, must be similarly treated, but because the axles have bearings outside of the wheels, these ,axles must be upset to the required length, or the wheels pressed farther on to the axles and new bearing surfaces and collars provided outside of the wheels.

. Whenever possible this work should be done at a time when the locomotive needs general repairs, .at such ti!lle there not charged to. unification of gauge the total

f cleaning, re-assembfing, painting, and many other items which are

In whole o.r .In part, to maintenance. The locomotives having inside cylinders . are

generally In such conditiOn that they should not be converted; they should be scrapped and be replaced by locomotives with outside cylinders. ·


- 23

Carriages and W aggons .-The bodies of those carriages and waggons which· have bogies will need to be exa1nined in detail to 1nake . certain that no part of the underframe will interfere with the wheels when in the new position, and to change, in some instances, the position of body side bearings. The bogie side fra1nes must be brought closer together ,by shortening the cross pieces; the brake beams must be changed in length and the axles shortened.. The axles can be shortened in one of two ways ; either they can be heated between the sheel seats, upset in a wheel press and the surplus material machined off; or the present wheel seat can be machined 3! inches inwardly, the \< vheels pressed to the proper gauge, new bearing surface machined outside of wheel, and a new collar be provided at each end. .

The carriages and waggons not having bogies will need the " W " g11ards moved in and the wheels and axles treated as qescribed above for the bqgies. The brake beams m.ust be changed in length. _ . _ ·

From 3ft. 6 in. to 4ft. · 8! ·,tn.

No changes would be necessary to this stock because it would be worn out in service, and as new stock was required it should be arranged for the standard gauge. At the ti1ne of changing the last section of 3ft. 6 in. track there would be, probably, some 3 ft. 6 in. stock on hand and in fairly good condition, but the total value of it would be small, and ,it is impossible to estin1ate now what its value 1nay be at tnat ti1ne. ·


Contour of Wheel Treads; Guard and Check Rails.- There should be adopted a standard contour of wheel tread and standard locations of guard rails and check rails, these standards to be arranged by the interested departments in consultation. The gauge for gauging the spacing of the two wheels on . one axle should engage flanges of the wheels.

Air pressure air brake should be adopted; the vacuum brake is now used to .

some extent. In any event, one system must be adopted and used if the rolling-stock is to be interchanged between systen1s. Buffers.-The buffers on 5 ft. 3 in. and 4ft. in. stock are not located the same distance from the centre of coupling ; they should be changed on the 5 ft. 3 in. stock to correspond with the location on the 4 ft. 8! in.. rolling-stock. The sa1ne location should be used for new rolling­

stock. Air Brake Connex·ions.- There should be adopted and used a standard length and diameter of air brake hose, standard-fittings for each end of the hose, standard fitting at end of brake pipe on the rolling-stock body, and a standa:rd location for this last fitting on the end of the body.

Draw Arrangements.-The screw and link draw arrangements now in use on the stock of the two broader gauges are alike and unifying the gauges does not necessitate a change. In estimates of costs of unifying the gauges made heretofore by others, and in the original estimates for the same furnished to this Commission ·by various railway departments, there were included large sums for applying the automatic, vertical plane coupler; the use of this coupler is not 1nade

necessary by unification of the track gauges and the cost of applying it should I_lot be included in the cost of unifying the gauges. The Trans-Australian rolling-stock is equipped with such coupler, one State has applied it to a material number of their stock and expres·s the intention of extending the application of it; other States have not begun the application, one State considering that it is unnecessary. It may be desirable to use this coupler, but its use is not made necessary by unifying

the gauges. Tne State which is applying the automatic coupler has it so arranged that the link draw arrangement can be coupled with the automatic coupler, therefore their own rolling­ stock equipped with the link can be coupled with the automatic, and sinlilarly, the stock of other States having the link can be coupled with the automatic when tlie rolling-stock is interchanged.

The only change of couplers which will be made necessary by interchange of rolling-stock is to replace the couplers on the Trans-Australian stock With couplers having the hook to receive the link, of link and screw draw arrangements. The estimated cost for applying the automatic couplers has not been included by this . Commission in the esti:tnates of the cost of unifying the gauges, but the cost of changing the couplers now on the Trans-Australian stock to couplers with the hook on top has been included.

Any carriages which may be used in traffic between the States, and which may be built for maintenance of stock or on account of unification of the gauges, should be so arranged that passengers can pass from them to a station, and vice versa, whether or not there is a station platform ; with two exceptions there are no platforms at the stations of the Trans-Australian ' Railway. .

When arranging for ro11ing-stock for any of the outlying sections of 3 ft. 6. in. lines converted to standard gauge every consideration should be given to obtainmg it from standard gauge railway systems.



- ,



Question What will be the cost of unifying the ,qauges oj- ' ·

(i) Main Trunk Lines ; I; (ii) All Lines;

and showin.g

, (tt) A ltJeratiC!ns to re;Eisting Ruilways and Struotur'es ; (b) '(Jtny New Lines nedeBsf!try; (c) aif;just1nents of Rolling-stock?


For the purpose of arriving at the estimated cost of providing a Main Trunk Line of 4-ft. 8l-in. gauge, it has been assun1ed that such a line, whatever route is selected, will embrace the . means of by railway in the West and. Brisbane in the East,

via the cities of Perth, Adelaide, Melb,ourne, and Sydney, as used to-day for passenger, goods, and other traffic passing between the capital cities. . The estin1ates presented are framed on basis, with the proviso that wherever the existing


route should be in1proved by deviation of existing lines or by construction of new lines, such Vn.provement has. been provided for. The estimates cover the cost of providing a Main Trunk Line of this description in all States except Victoria, and for this State estimates are presented for each of three routes which are referred to as Routes "A," "B," and "A modified. " These routes are described in detail in Appendix: IV of . this report. in Victoria, Route _ " A modified " is the .same Route " A " shown on Map No .. 2; in this State, Rq_ute · " A " is to l{oute'

"A," except that provision is made not only North-Western Line

Serviceton and Melbourne, the North-Eastern Line between Melbourne and Wodonga, but all the branch lines with. these lines. '

Table VI, 'which fo1lows, shows how the estimates of cost for the three Routes "A," "B," and " A modified " are arrived at, the :figures therein being prepared so as to show the money requited ·for (a) alterations to existing Railways and Structures; (b) Ne-vv I,fnes netessary; (c) adjustments uf Rolling-s.tock.


Summary of Estimat'es. of Cost of ·Provi4ing 4-jt. 8!-in. Gauge Main Trunk .Lines; Routes "A," "B," and "A Modified." ' l

' (a) Alterations to (b) New Lines (,) Adiu•tmont• of I eidstiiig Railways and Structures. necessary. Rolling-stock. . r

£ £ £

(Western Australia .. 1;260,000 3,120,000 650,0QO

Routes Commonwealth . ' '. . . . . .. . . 67,000

"13 ",'and South Australia ; . . . 68:2,000 2,391,000 716,000

" A modified " New South.'W al es .. . . 500,000 857,000 ' . .

Queensland . . .. . . 1,250,000 *598,000

. {Total (excluding Yictoria) .. 2,742,000 7,618,000 2,031,000

R tit " A , , VICtoria . . . . .. 2,047,000 1,903,{)00 i,509,000 G •e , ,. · · ' Gross 'Total . . . . .. 4;789,000 9,521,000 3,54Q,OOO

.. -'


.· JT?tal Victoria) , .. 2,742,000 7,618,000 2,03])000

:Route " B " . . . . . .. 1,475,500 4,7,67,500 949,000

· I Gros:S Tdtal .. . . . . 4,217,56'6 12,385,500 2,98o,oao· ,. j! I ., { Total · (excluding Victoria) . I ' 2,742,000 7,_ 6,18,000 2,031,000 Route Victoria . . . . .. 2,623,000 2,056,000 1,509,000 '' A modifie




5,030,000 ' 67,000 3,789,000 rl,657,000


12,391,000 5,459,000


12,391,000 7,192,000


12,391,-000 6,188,000



These estimates include the cost of providing in each case rails of a weight not less than 80 lbs. · the ?f the trunk line, and improving where necessar;y _the road bed and

bridges, and of supplying rolhng-stock-part new and part converted-suitable to that weight of raiL · ·



The estimates include the construction cost of transfer stations, but do not include the cost. of transferring passenger; cattle, g0ods, ot other commodities, neither do they include, any interest oii expenditure for the construction of neW lines, any silm for maintenance of these lines, nor the cost of operating either · the nmv or converted lines.

Items vvhich in the case of South Australia an1ounb to £500,000, in the case of Viotoria to £880,000, and in the case of Queensland to £150,000; are included for providing new stations, goods, an_ q other facilities at Aqelaide, l\1elhourne, and South Brisbane; If the stations at Adelaide and Melbourne are· not to he pern1anent, owing to the conversion

of ai1 n-ft. S-in. ,gauge lines in South Australia and Victoria, much of the money included fo,r these two will not be required. . _ _ . . .

Table, VII shows details of the estimate of £21,600,000 for providing a main trunk line by the version of ail 5-ft. 3-in. gauge 1n Victoria and South Australia, and in other places following Route "A ," the 9ost of the various descriptions of work being given under headings similar to those in Table III. 1 ,



(a) .A:lteratiob:s to (b) New Lines (c) Adjustments of existing, .R\1-ilways necessary. Rolling-stock. TotaL and Structures.

£ £ £ £

Western Australia .. Route" A" . . . . i,260,000 3,120,000 650,000 5,030,000

Cmnmomveal th . . Route "A" . . . . . . .. 67 ,000 67,000

South Australia .. All 5 ft t 3 in. tines . . 1,706,000 1,646,000 1,322,000 4,67 4,000

Victoria .. . . All 5 ft. 3 in. :Yines . . 5,246,d00 . . 3,078,000 8,324,000

New South ·wales . . Route "A" . . . . 800,000 857,000 .. 1,657,000

Queensland .. . . Route " A " . . . . . . 1,250,000 598,000 1,848,000

---------- - -Gross Total .. . . . . 9)012,000 6,873,000 5,715,000 21,600,000

The estimate shown in Table YII provides for those lines in South Australia and Vict oria, which are p,arts of l\1ain Trunk Line, to be of the same standard of construction as in other patts of sucli line. Otl the remaining lines of thos·e two States there is allowed the cost of changing the gauge of the track, altering such existing rolling-stock as is suitable; a11d ptoiiidii:ig new rolling­ stock in place of that made obsolete because of change of gauge, .and such other .work as is made necessary to change the gauge.

The estimate is based on the assumption that the conversion of the 5-ft. 3-in. lines when once started will proceed without interruption until completed.

(ii) ALL L:tNES.

In Table VIII is set out the estimate of cost for converting to a gauge of 4 ft. St in. all in Australia e:x.:ceptir.t§ those in rrasmania, and those of a gauge less than 3 ft. 6 in. It

does not include privately-owned lines.

Western Australia Commonwealth South Australia Victoria ..

New South vVales Queensland ..

Gross Total · ..


(a) Alterations to · existing Rail ways and Structures.


1d,o23;ooo 2,581,000 5, 769,000 5, 246 ,000


(&) :New Li:nes n ecessary.



1,646 ,.000


I (c) A'a]u.stments of Rolling-stock.


850,000 67,000 1,322,000 3,078,000



'l'ot aJ .


11,823,000 2,648,000 8,737,000 8,324, 000

26,668, 000


As in the case of the l\1ain Trunk nothing has been included for the cost of transferring passengers, cattle, goods,_ and other commodities ; neither has an amount been included for interest n loans, maintenance of new railways, n9T cost of operating. . will be additional costs fot transferring live stock, goods, and other com.modities,

and 1nterest on capital which cannot now be estimated.


The estin1ate includes rails not less than 80 lbs. per yard, with road bed, bridges, and rolling-stock to suit, throughout the length of a Main Trunk Line fron1 Fremantle to Brisbane, 1 using the existing route in New South Wales and Queensland, with necessary re-alignment in j Queensland. It includes a new line from Midland Junction to l\1okine in Western Australia, 1 frorn Port Augusta to also the 1\iurray River bridge and deviation in South Australia . . It does not include a railway from Kyogle to Brisbane via Richmond Gap.

The estimate provides for converting all 5-ft. 3-in. ·rolling-stock which will be as suitable . for the respective purposeB after conversion as at present, and provided the cost of converting will not exceed a fair value for the respective rolling-stock after being converted. It does not contemplate converting any locomotive having inside cylinders, nor does it anticipate converting any locomotive with outside cylinders 16 inches or less in dian1eter; it includes replacement of .locomotives which are made obsolete by conversion with new locomotives of corresponding

total hauling capacity. It contains costs of new rolling-stock for those sections of the 3-ft. 6-in. systems which are included in the lines connecting the Capitals, but does not contemplate the conversion of any of the present rolling-stock; the should be transferred from converted t o unconverted sections, and as replacement becomes necessary additional sections of track should be converted, and the new rolling-stock be built for 4-ft. 8!-in. track gauge, and a charge made to replacement rather than to unification of gauges.


In order that the estimates given in Table VIII may be compared with those first received from the States and Commonwealth Railways, a table, with explanations, is presented for each. TABLE IX.

Weste1'n Australia,.


(a) Alterations to existing Railways and Structures (b) Any New Lines necessary .. (c) Adjustments of Rolling-stock


* Increase.

Estim at e of

State. Commiss.ion.

£ £


896,354 950,000

10,297,194 850,000

35,669,092 11,823,000

Explanation of Differences.

Difference .


14,452,544: *53,646


·The estimate of £35,669,092 submitted in the first instance by the State was made up of £25,371,898 for ways and works, and £10,297,194 for new rolling-stock and adjustments of rolling-stock, the existing rolling-stock to be scr_ apped. The amount of £25,371,898 for ways and works included the whole cost of making a new line of 4ft. 8! in. between Fremantle and Kalgoorlie, the provision and laying of 80-lb. rails throughout the State system, the supply of sufficient new broad-gauge sleepers to completely

re-sleeper all lines, and generally speaking the total cost of bringing the whole of the railways in the State to a 4 ft. ·8! in. gauge railway of high standard. The State, by request, prepared and submitted . a revised estimate, amounting' to £17,537,402 in respect of ways and works, to cover the cost of providing an 80-lb. rail with road bed and structures in keeping with that weight of rail on certain sections, · viz. :-

].,remantle-Kalgoorlie; Spencer's Brook-Albany ; Perth- Bunbury. It provided for the use of recovered 60-lb. and the purchase of 60-lb. material to .

the balance of the work, credit being rgiven for the lighter material placed out of

COillmiSSIOn. .

As work included in this revised estimate appeared to be more than was warranted, another estimate was requested from the State, and this for ways and works amounted to £14,96·4,141. This estimate provided for a railway with 80-lb. rails for the sections Fremantle­ Kalgoorlie, Spencer's Brook- Albany, and Perth-Bunbury, using the recovered 60-lb. material

as.far _as and otherwise the present material in the road, credit being given for lighter matenal displaced.

7 83


This estimate was reduced by the Commission to £10,973,000, on the following basis, viz. :­ The provision of-( a) A road with rails w_ eighing 80-lbs. to the yard for the section Fremantle-Kalgoorlie only, and at a greater cost than was allowed in the State estimate;

(b) All new sleepers on the sections Fremantle-Kalgoorlie, Spencer's Brook- Albany, and Perth-Bunbury. . .

(c) Use of the 60-lb. material recovered on the section Fremantle-Kalgoorlie, other­ wise using material already in road, with credit for lighter material released. (d) Four new long sleepers to every 30-ft. rail, on sections other than Fren1antle­ Kalgoorlie, Spencer's Brook-Albany, and Perth-Bunbury. (e) 10 per cent. for ·supervision and contingencies for new construction work, and

15 per cent. for conversion of existing railways. (f) £253,000 for bridge over the Swan River at Fremantle as against £681,078 . . (g) Deviations between Mokine and Coolgardie to obtain, better alignment. The Commission's estimate a sum of £850,000 for adjustments· of rolling-stock. New rolling-stock, 4-ft. 8!-in. gauge, should be provided for the first section to be converted, namely, Fremantle to Kalgoorlie, equipment larger than that available is needed on this line, and the narrow-gauge stock now in use is needed on other sections. The Commission estimate includes 60 per cent. of the cost of this ·new equipment for the first section converted and the

remaining 40 per cent. should be charged to renewals. In addition to the 60 per cent. referred to, there are included costs for changing workshops and other items. None of the 3-ft. 6-in. rolling-stock should be converted, it should be worn out before all narrow gauge track is converted.

When additional rolling-stock is needed on unconverted sections, it should be built for standard-gauge · track and additional mileage of narrow-gauge track be converted to receive it. rrhe cost of this standard-gauge rolling-stock will then be chargeable to renewals and not to Standard-gauge rolling-stock can be purchased at practi.cally the san1e cost per. unit

of hauling or carrying capacity as can narrow-gauge rolling-stock.


Commonwealth Railways. '.

- Estima te of

- Differrnce.

Commonwealth. Commission. ---

£ £ £

(a) Alterations to existing Railways _ and Structures . . .. '!"7 ,104,347 2,581,000 4,523,347

(b) Any New Lines necessary . . • .. . . . . 0 0 • 0 • 0

( ) Ad. f R n· k J 4 ft 81. in . . . . .. 66,500 67,000 c ]Ustments o. o mg-stoc l 3 ft: 6 2in. · . . .. . . 150,057 .. 150,057 Total .. . . . . . . . . . . 7,320,904 2,648,000 4,672,904:

'fl 3·ft. 6-in. gauge. t Increase.

Explanation of Differences.

Neither estimate provides for any change in the ways and works of the 4-ft. 8!-in. systen1 For the conversion of the 3-ft. 6-in. gauge system the Commonwealth Railways submitted two . estimates, one amounting to £7,254,404, which included the provision and laying of 80-lb. rails throughout, the supply of a very large percentage of new broad-gauge sleepers,

and, generally speaking, to bring up the system to a 4-ft. 8!-in. road of high standard of construction: the other, amounting to £3,450,437, allowed for -the use of existing rails and fastenings, the alteration of structures to take the wider gauge, the provision of a very large percentage of new broad-gauge sleepers throughout, those in use being too short for the standard gauge.

The Commission's estimate, amounting to £2,581,000, is on the lines of the second estimate of the Commonwealth, the difference being due to reductions in the esti:rna,ted costs of certain items such as those for .earthworks, ballasting and sleepers, as also a reduction in the percentage allowed for supervision and contingencies. -

The estimate of £67,000 adjustments of rolling-stock includes the cost of changing the a_utomatic couplers so as to couple with link and screw arrangements, and for the provision of s1de buffers on the standard broad-gauge stock. Nothing is included for the supply of new rolling-stock nor for the conversion of existing rolling-stock on 3-ft. 6-in. gauge lines; the present stock should be worn out on successive unconverted sections and finally scrapped. When worn

out, it should be replaced with stock of standard gauge. Standard gauge stock of corresponding capacity can be purchased at practically the same cost per hauling, or carrying, unit as the narrow-gauge


South Austmlict.

Estimate of


State. Commission.


£ £ £

(a) Alterations to Existing Raihvays and Structures (b) Any New ! Jines necessary . . . .

(c) Adjustments of Rolling-i>tock . . . .

. . . . 10,917,322 5,169,000 5,1.48,322

. . . . 1,928,564 1,646,000 282,564

. . . . 3,936,601 1,322,000 2,614 .601

- - --·-·-

Total . . .. 16,782,487 8,781,000 8,045,487

Expldnat'ion of Diffet ences .

The estimate of submitted in the first instan ce by the State was made up of

£12 ,845,886 for ways and works, and £3,936,601 for new and adjustments of existing rolling-stock.

. ..

The amount of £12,845,886 fot ways ahd works provided fo r a minimum standard. of 60-lb. tails throughout; fot the provision of. a new bridge over the rivet at Murray Br1dge, and 1 deviation in connexion therewith. It also provided :for interest on capital expended on new lines and fo r the maintenance of newly constructed railways for a prel:lcribed period after opening.

The Stat e, by request; submitted a further estimate providing for ways and works an amount of £8,497,700. This estimate provided for the use of existing rails and fastenings, much of which is of lighter weight, instead of the purchase of new 60-lb. tails and fastenings as provided in the previous estimate. This estimate did not i11clude a bridge over the Murray River nor deviation m connexwn therewith.

The ways and works l'istimate as revised by the Commission amounts to £7,415 ,000, and provides for-( a) A road wit h rails weig:hitig 80-lb . to the yard for the section P ort Augusta- Lochiel­ Adelaide-to Serviceton ;

(b) The use of 60"lb. material recovered on the section wliere 80-lb. material Is provided ; thereafter using material alrea.dy in road -vvith credit fbr lighter material released. (c) A new bridge over the river at Murray Bridge, and deviation in connexion therewith. (d) Replacing 10 per cent. of the sleepers on the broad-gauge lines. (e) New sleepers throughout for the 3-ft. 6-in. lines, the existing sleepers being too

short for the 4-ft. 8-!-in . gauge. (j) A reduced sum fo r temporaty bteak of gauge stations at Adelaide and elsewhere. (g) Nothing in respect to the cost of transhipment of live stock, goods or other commodities. · ·

(h) Reductions in the estimated cost of other items of work, and also in the percentage for and contingencies.

The estimate of £1,322,000 fo t the adjustment of rolling-stock as revised, provides for­

(a) The conversion o£ Classes F, 1, and R x lo comotives. (b) The replacement, on a ttactive powet basis, of setvicMble locomotiVes which be converted and which will necessarily be scrapped . • (c) The conve:ts i<;m of practica_lly all other broad-gauge i'bllii1g-stock instead of scrapping

. a of these vehicles as ptbposed by the State. .

(d) No allowance fot application Of 'vertical plahe, auto!rtatic coupler. (e) Reduction in t he cost and contingencies for gauge of oati'iage and waggon stock, and contingencies for converting locomotives.


No provision is made for rolling•stook expenditure in connexion with the 3-ft 6-'in, gttuge system. present stock should worn out on unconverted sections and finally scrapped. worn It be replaced With stock of standard gauge; su?h stock bf a capacity

the_ narrow-gauge stock can be pu:tchasgd at the same cost per

haulmg, or carrymg, umt.


2 !)



. . . .

. . . .

j(a) Alterations to Existing Railways and Structures il(b} A.ny New Lines necessary . . . .

ll(c) Adjustments of Rolling stock . . . . . . . .

Total . . . .

Estimate of

. State. Comm iss ion.

£ £

8,860,669 5,246,000

. . . .

5, 937,853 3,078,000

14,798,522 I


Difference .





The estimate of £14,798,522, as submitted in the first instanc;e 1y the State, was made up of £8,860,669 for ways and works and £5,937,853 in respect to the provision of new and adjustments of existing rolling- stock. . .

The amount of £8,860,669 for ways and works made the ver3r liberal provision for t he renewal of 33 per cent. of sleepers in the roads. The estimate of the Commission provides for replacement of 10 per cent. of the sleepers. This item accounts for a reduction of over £1 ,000 ,000 in the State estimate.

The State estimate also made liberal provision for transfer stations and yards. This item has been reduced by more than £500,000. The State estimate made provision for a sum of approximately £1,500 ,000 for the cost of transferring passengers, live. stock, goods and other commodities during conversion. As mentioned elsewhere, the estimate of the Commission does not make any such provision.

The State included 20 per cent. for supervision and contingencies ; this has been reduced to 15 per cent. The foregoing are the, principal reductions made by the Commission in the State estimate for alterations to existing raihvays and structures.

The estimate of £3;078 ,000 for the adjustment of rolling-stock, as revised by the Commission, provides for-( a) The conversion of all broad-gauge lo comotives, excepting those with inside cylinders, and those with outside cylinders of 16 inches, and smaller, m


(b) The replacement, on a tractive power basis, of the serviceable locomotives which are not converted ; (c) The conversion of practically all other broad-gauge rolling-stock; (d) Smaller additions to workshops and machinery.

(e) No allowance for vertical plane, automatic coupler.

New South W(des.

All of the broad-gauge lines are to a gauge of 4 ft. 8t in. Therefore, no estimates for this State are required. · TABLE XIII.

. Queensland.

(a) Alterations to Existing Railways and Structures .. . .


(b) Any New Lines necessary.. . . . .

(c) Adjustments of Rolling-stock . . . .

'J'otal · .. ..

. .

. .

. .

- ·

. .

Estimate of


State. Commission.

- --

£ £ £

42 ,080,368 24,736,000 17,344,368

. . . . . .

11 ,251 ,660 932,000 10,319,660

53,332,028 25,668,000 27,664,028

The est1mate of £53,332,028, as subm1tted m the first mstance by the State, was made up of £42,080,368 for ways and works and £11 ,25 1,660 for new and adjustments of existing rolling­ stock. 'rhe amount of £42,080,368 for 1vay · and works included the conversion of private lines,

and provided for the laying of 80-lb. rails throughout the State system, the supply of sufficient new completely re-sleeper all roads, and generally speaking the total

cost ?f brmgmg all the lmes m the State to a 4ft. 8t in. gauge railway of high standard. It also a sum o! £3,500,000 to cover the cost of relo cating railways now on alignment

for conversiOn to t he broad-gauge, reducing gradients, flattening curves and other

works lllCldentat, and £500,000 for workshops accommodation for the broad-gauge stock

7 85

' '


1 1he State prepared, by request, a further estimate amounting t o £31,784,012 (exdudtn§ private lines). This estimate provided for making a standard 80-lb. road for the section BrisbaniJl to wr allangarra, for re-sleepering all lines, and strengthening bridges to carry increased loads, as also' for the £3,500,000 and £500,000 referred to in the preceding paragraph.

The estimate of the.Commission for ways and works, amounting to £24,736,000, provideE: for- · '

- (a) An 80-lb. road for the section Wallangarra- Brisbane. (b) The use of 60-lb. material recovered from the section WaJlangarra-, otherwise using material already in the road, with credit for lighter mater'iall released. (c) All new 8-ft. sleepers on the

Brisbane- W allangarra ; Brisbane- Rockhampton ; lpswich- Cunnamulla; Warwick- Dirran bandi. (d) On other sections, five new 8-ft. sleepers to every :-30-ft. rail. (e) The strengthening of bridges to standard on sections Brisbane- W all angarra,.

Brisbane- Rockhampton, and suburban sections around Brisbane, and widening bridges throughout the whole system. (f) An amolmt of £3,500,000 for altering alignment of roads, reducing grades, ancl flattening curves, &c., to make them suitable for 4 ft. 8! in. gauge lines.

(.r;) 15 per cent. instead of 22i" per cent. for supervision and contingencies.

New rolling-stock, 4ft. in. gauge, should be provided for the first section to be converted, namely, Brisbane to Wallangarra, because equipment larger than that available is needed on thit:> line, and the narrow-gauge stock now in use there is required on other sections. The Commission estimate includes 60 per cent. of the cost of this new equipment for the first section converted, and the remaining 40 per cent. should be charged to renewals. In addition to t he 60 per cent. referred to, there are included costs for changing workshops and other items.

None of the 3 ft. 6 in. rolling-stock should be converted; it should be worn out before all narrow-gauge track is converted. \Vhen additim1al rolling-stock is needed on unconverted sections, it should be built for standard gauge track and additional mileage of narrow-gauge track be converted to receive it. The eost of this standard-gauge rolling-stock will then be chargeable to renewals and not t o unification. Standard-gauge rolling-stock can be purchased at practically the same cost per of hauling or carrying capacity as can narrow-gauge rolling-stock.

7 87



Question 4.-The order in which the wade sho,uld be carried out, and the methods by whic/t it should be executed and controlled \ (a) MAIN TRUNK LINE; ORDER IN WHICH THE WORK SHOULD BE CARlUED OUT.

Map No. 1 shows the present railways in Australia, and the colouring of each system on the map indicates the gauge of track. · Maps Nos. 2 and 3 show the present through route from Fremantle to Brisbane and t he new routes which are discussed in this Report . The present route is shown by a broad black line, which is a full line in such places as the present rm1te forms a part of the proposed main trunk line, routes " A " and " B," and is a broken line where the proposed main trunk line, routes " A " and " B," deviate from it.

Route " A " and the present route are shown on Map 2 by a broad full line throughout, which is black where present lines form parts of it and is red where new construction is necessary and, or, where present lines are located, but not used on the present through route. The profile of each route is shown beneath the map, and the explanatory notes bracketed beneath the profile indicate clearly the improvements· in gradients which are to be obtained by route" A."

Route "B" and the present route are shown on Map 3, and the distinctive indications of each are the same as for route "A." Routes "A" and "B " are different in Victoria only, route " A " passes through Melbourne, whereas by route " B " Melbourne is connected with the across-State line, Dimboola to Violet and Benalla, by a line from Goornong to Melbourne.

· Map No. 5 shows the terminal arrangements necessa ry at Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane, if only the Main Trunk Line is provided. The new station arrangements proposed for Adelaide involve the use of certain park lands.

The site suggested for the terminal station at Melbourne is at present practically all open low-]ying ground, a certain portion of which has been set aside for railways required to connect the goods marshalling yard now under construction at Tottenham with Melb ourne goods yard, the extension of the docks, and the new locomotive depot of the Victorian Railways.

The terminal station, including the necessary locomotive, carriage, and good s accommodation, can, however, be so arranged on this land that the works referred to can still be arranged for subject to the re-arrangement of the scheme as at present laid down by the railway department. These routes will be discussed in the order of the railway systems, beginning at Fremantle.

Main Trunk Lines-Routes in Detail.

W estem Australia.-Only one route is considered for this State. .

There should be a bridge over the Swan River, and this should not be built on the site of the present bridge. The construction of this bridge will require a longer time than any of the other work and, therefore, should be given attention first. Its location will require a deviation from the present line.

The present line from Midland Junction 'to Clackline is not located suitably for a main trunk line of 4 ft. 8! in. gauge ; therefore, a deviation should be built where more favorable curves and gradients can be provided. The profile of this deviation shows that the maximum altitude is not much changed, but by increasing the distance the gradient is reduced. From Clackline to Coolgardie a new line should be constructed, generally adjacent to the present line, the few deviations being less in amount than the deviation between Midland Junction to Clacldine. These deviations have not been surveyed. From Coolgardie to Kalgo<;>rlie one of the-present lines should

be reconstructed to the standard gauge. .

The line from Perth to Kalgoorlie can be proceeded wit h at once and operated as soon as completed. The line extending north from So uthern Cross to Bullfinch should be converted when t he new main line is completed, and the present track from lVIerredin to Coolgardie should be removed and the material used in suitable places elsewhere. '

New rolling-stock should be provided for this line, and the present rolling-stock be confined to other lines of 3 ft. 6 in. gauge where, it is understood, it is needed. The new rolling-stock should be av:;tilable when the line requires it.

Commonwealth-Trans-Australian Railway.-No change to the ways and works is necessary . . The change of automatiq couplers can be made at any time previous to the time of inter­ changing rolling-stock, and the side buffers should be

applied a short time before such interchange

of becomes possible.



· The passenger an'd goods stations in Adelaide should be placed under construction as so?n as decision to do the work is made, and the new 4ft. 8! in. track adjacent to the present 5 ft. 3In. track· from Salisbury to Adelaide should be proceeded with. If the present 5 ft. ·3 in. line from Lochiel to Salisbury is converted to 4ft. 8! in. gauge by the ti1ne the, new construction north of is. completed, then the break of

gauge can be 1nade at Salisbury instead of at Le>chiel. , -

This new line from Port Augusta to, Adelaide in1proves the gradients very as will be understood fron1 an examination of the profiles on Maps Nos. 2 and 3; by the present route there is a place at each side of Terowi.e with an altitude of 2<000 feet, whereas by the pror>ased n1ain tru:nk line the 1naximun1 is about 400 feet, . while at Port and .Adelaide the altitude is practically sea-level. · , . · · . . . .

The line from Adelaide to Serviceton, together with the branches extending north from Balhannah and Monarto South respectively, should be changed from 5 ft. 3 in. to the standard at a time to correspond with the, work in Victoria. T..o n1ake the line ·froll?- / to Serviceton correspond in quality ,with the remainder of the line, there should '9e at Murray Bridge a new bridge in a new location; making necessary a short deviation from · the present line. The construction of this bridge and the deviation will require ·considerable tin1e, and should be put under construction promptly. Whatever part of the line between' Ade1aide and Serviceton is laid with rai}s of less weight than 80 lbs._ per yard, should be relaid with 80-lb. rails.

If the structural clearances on the line from Port Augusta to Adelaide are n1ade suitable for it, the carriage stock now on the Trans-Australian Railway will be sufficient to h:andle the through passenger service' as at present provided. The Trans-Australian Railway h:as, also, enough locomotives, if the bridges are made heavy enough to receive them. There. will need po he provided some carriage stock for local traffic, and a sufficient number can he converted. from the present

5 ft. 3 in. stock. When the line from Adelaide to Serviceton, and the two short branches referred to are converted, there will be needed some new rolling-stock, and so1ne of the present -stock should be converted.

Such a main trunk line will produce a very unsatisfactory state of affairs, and should not be considered commercially. To convert the whole of the 5 ft. 3 in. gauge system will teost an additional £885,000; therefore it is our opinion, taking into consideration the extra. cost per ;year of tr.ansllipping passengers, goods, and live stock, and the_ complications that will arise in of the general working of the railway, it wiU be better to convert the whole of the 5 ft. 3 in. gauge lines.

V schen1es have been 'Considered for providing -a Inain tr'UI.nk 1-ine through. this State without converting all 5 ft. 3 in. lines in the State, and three ,a£ the most promising .ones al"e described in the following , paragraphs; howev-er, it is thought that th·e conditions in this State jastify the recoinroendation, even though the·. desire is to provid-e •only a main trunk line connec;ting eapitals, that all 5 ft. 3 in. lines ,shou1d b-e converted to 4: ft .. 8! in. Th-e thr-ee schemes are inrQ.icated as Roates "A," "B," and " A n1:odified. ' ?

Route " A route contemplates changing froni ·5 3' in. to 4 ft. Si in. , ga.uge the

present route from Serviceton to Melbourne, and Melbourne tD Aibury, and n:ot -converting any of the lines connecting therewith. Were surch a line provicil:ed, and to he used re>r -s'on:te years before total conversion is undertaken, a 'new at Melbourrre 'with an apprcrach 'line to it provid-ed. This 11-ew station. for · pasS

and n·evr rolling-stock before chang-e ())f ti·ack is undertaken. ,

-of sUJch -a line would he very ·U.nsatislf.aGtory,, b.oth .a serv]ee-.and :a cost

point of view. ·

· R&uve "J3 " . Ttbiis line templates conv-tmsiou •o£ the present 5 ft. ,;» .i11 . ,tr-a.c:k £r(]}n1 Service ton to Dinnboola; the oGnstruetion of a new line fron1D.irnbo9Ja through I{orong ,Goorn,ong, and Violet Town to Benalla, and located adjacent to present ta; 10olhiuabbiru. .t.o East, and Town to Benalla; conversion of the present line from Benalla to Albury, and the therefr01n at Beech worth, SpringhUl'St; and Wodonga ·; the ·cons·truction

of a new hne, ad.J' t:he co.Nv ersie.m ·of ooe line of the double track line fn:nn Bell'digo, thl1 GWgh Castienaa,iilW; to :Su;nslh.ine, at;t;cl. a ·skort n:ew 11iifilfe into a new passenger and goods st ation in J\1elbourne. It contemplatoo, , }ll;'lso, improving :tfhe



present line from Bendigo, through Heathcote, to Kilmore Junction, in order to restore the equivalent of one of the tracks of the double-track line from Bendigo to Melbourne. There are advantages and disadvantages to be expected from such a line, but the sum of its first cost, and ·its operating cost, will be less than a similar total cost for any other location found. The location

of the east and west portion is north of the range of hills between it and l\'Ielb ourne. Only the north and south portion passes the hills. It brings an additional 150,000· acres of land within a . distance of 10 miles frmn a railway. Surveys of the new lines have n ot been made, and the estin1ates are therefore approximate only.

That part of this route which is between Dimboola, and Violet should be carefully considered as an ernergency line through Victoria; as an en1ergency line it has advant age of giving access to Melbourne without passing through that city, as do Routes "A " and { A modified ''. ·

The construction of the new passenger and goods station in :Melbourne, and the short line to them from Sunshine, the construction of the nevv line Dimboola to Benalla, and G-o ornong t o Bendigo, and the improvement of .the line from Bendigo through I-!eathcote to I{ilnlore Junction, should be proceeded with promptly. The conversion of the present line f:rmn Serviceton to Dimboola, one of the present lines fron1 Bendigo, through Castlemaine to Sunshine, and Be!1alla to

W odonga and branches, should be co-ordinated with the new construction. in Victoria, and the conversion of the adjacent line in South Australia. The sJ:tops at Bendigo should be used entirely for the 4 ft. 8! in. rolling-stock. Some new rolling-stock will be and smne of the present rolling-stock should be converted ; all of the present carriage-stock, O\N11ed jointly by Victoria and South Australia, should be converted, and some carriage-stock, owned jointly by Victoria and New South Wales, should' be provided. Some of the standard gauge stock should. be ayailable for use in construct ion

of new track. ·

Rmtte '{A 1nodijied."-The officers of the Victorian Railways developed a cornprehensive scheme for converting all of the 5 ft. 3 in. lines in that State in a period of five years from the date of beginning the change of track gauge, and in this scheme the work to be done the first year included the line from lVI:elbourne to Albury and the branches connecting therewith ; the

work_ for the second year included the line from lVIelbourne to Serviceton and the c-onnecting branches. The first year's work is shown in red, and the second year's work in purple, on Map 4. The conversion of these two sections would provide a desirable main trunk line through' Victoria, and it has the advantage that, if tot al conversion is decided upon after providing the main trunk • line, it will work in very nicely in total conversion. It has the same disadvantage as Routes

"A" and "B ", that if it is to be used for any material length of time before total conversion is done a new station t erm.inal, and a short line connecting therewith, should be provided in Melbourne. As cornpared v.rith Route" B " it has the disadvantage of passing through Melbourne, and therefore does not provide such an emergency line as does Route " B."

When the question of providing a rnain trunk line through this State is under consideration there should be kept in m.ind the possibility, as also the desirability, of converting all the 5 ft. 3 in. lines and the particular route which fits in best with total conversion is Route " A m.odi:fied " . The estimated cost of this route is s01ne £2 ,000,000 less than that for the conversion of all5 ft. 3 in. lines in the State, and.if the additional money is available total conversion is to be preferred.

After total conversion has been completed, that part of Route " B " between Dimboola and Violet should be given due consideration in the light of a short er connexion between South Australia and New South Wales, and also as an emergency line:

New South lVales.-Routes "A " and " B" coincide through this State. The rout e from. Albury to Sydney and t hence to ·west Maitland corresponds with the present route. At W est l\1aitland it extends northward by the North Coast line through l\1acksville and QTafton t o Kyogle) much of which line is in use at present, and other portions are either under construction or are

proposed ; sorne portions which are now in place will need improvements t o permit running the heavier rolling-stock, and some other portions will need to be constructed; both the reconstruction and new construction can be done without interfering with present operation. The bridge at Grafton, as also the tunnels on the Kyogle-Richrr10nd Gap Section, should be proceeded with promptly. .

The new construction from Kyogle to Richn1ond Gap ought to progress in unison vvith the work in Queensland, so that 1noney spent in con truction will not be unproductive for t oo long a time. The profile of this line is very superior to that of the present line by way of \Vallangarra,

as wi1l be seen by referring to the profile on either Map No . 2 or No . 3 ; the greatest elevation by the new route is about 800 feet above sea-level, whereas by the present route the greatest elevation is about 4,450 feet. The objections to thiQ portion of the new route are that it is near ·to the coast and is dependent upon the Hawkesbury River bridge. To overcome these objections, an

emergency route should be provided by constructing the line which was approved several years ago by the Stat-e, and which· exwnds from Binnaway to \Verris Creek, and also improving tF 14165.-3




line frmn vVall erawang to Bi naway. This emergency line would be from Sydney, through Penrith, \Va]lerawang, Craboon, Binnaway, and Werris Creek, and thence by the present route to W allangarra. Such a line would require converting the ·present line in Queensland from Wadlangarra through Toowoomba to Brisbane, or from Wallangarra through Warwick and Maryvale and thence over a new line to Brisbane. The line by way of Kyogle is recom.mended, and·t he emergency line to be provided later.

Some additional goods and carriage stock and locomotives will be required for the line by way of Kyogle, but in general the present locornotive and carriage stock used in the present through business by way of vVallangarra can be transferred to the new line. There should not be a t rain terminal at the border between the two States, nor should there be a loc01notive terminal there. of t he rolling-stock should be jointly owned by the two States and operated by

New South Wales.

Queensland.- Rout es "A" and "B coincide through this St ate. The new station in South Brisbane, and t he new line from this st ation to Rich1nond Gap, should be completed in time to connect up with the line in New 'Vales. The work on the t unnels should be put in hand p ron1pt ly. A detailed survey of this route has not been n1ade, and the estimate is therefore approximat e on]y. .

Concerning the emergency line from W allangarra t o Brisbane, the Queensland officials have been trying for some years to get a suitaBle location for a line from l\1aryvale to Brisbane direct, if suc-h a line can be located, even though a helper-engine gradient is necessary it will be 1nore desirable than the present line by way of Toowoornba, because it will be n1uch shorter.

J;he only new rolling-stock needed by this State for operating the proposed r11ain trunk line will be that required for the local and suburban traffic within Queensland. The ·simplest method would be to have New South Wales opBrate the line from R ichr.nond Gap to Brisbane, furnish the ­ rolling-stock and n1aintain the same in its own workshops, and Queensland would not need new workshops and shop equipment for the standard gauge. A preliminary understanding between the two States would be necessary. .

Jl!lain Trunk Line in General.

Considering this line as a whole, it n1ay be pointed out that the sect ion between Terowie and Port Augusta, South Australia, is the most undesirable section of the Trans-Continental line ; it is 3 ft. 6 in. gauge, 120 miles in length, with sharp . _purvature and steep gradients, and connects two broad-gauge lines, each of considerable length, one of which is· 4 ft. 8! in. and the other 5 ft. 3 in. gauge. This section can be avoided, and, in addition, a break-of-gauge station be, elin1inated and, the distance shortened by building a 4 ft. St in. line fron1 Port Augusta to Lochiel, and convert ing the 5 ft. 3 in. line from Lochiel t o Salisbury, thus making the break ·of gauge at Salisbury. The Trans-Aust ralian railway should operate such a line with equipment which they now have. This would not place an addit ional gauge in South Australia, because the 4 ft . St in. gauge is now in that State although this gauge is, and would be, operated independently of the State. The result would simply ext end the Trans-Australian railway to Salisbury. The rolling-stock should be 1naintained in the P ort Augusta workshops, aJ;ld the State would. not be bothered with it. This suggestion relates only to the idea of elim.inating the undesirable section between Terowie and Port August a, and one break-of-gauge station.

At present, through passengers n1ust change trains three times in South Australia, at Adelaide, Terowie, and Port Augusta, ana t he mails express and baggage are changed at two of t hose places and generally at the third also;. these three changes would be replaced by one which . would be at Salisbury. The Trans-Australian railway now have in 25 n1iles, of the necessary 110 miles, of 80-lb. rails, sleepers, and fast enings, and sleepers for an addit iqnal 25 m.iles, and sufficient rolling-st ock t o n1eet the present den1ands of such a · line. The rolling-stock now used fro1n l\1elbourne to Adelaide in the Trans-Cont inental service would merely be continued 12i m.iles further to Salisbury, and the corresponding trains for Melbourne, now · starting fron1 Adelaide, would be started frbn1 Salisbury. The 5 ft. 3 in. rolling-stock would be cleaned, repaired, &c., in Islington and Adelaide where sirnilar work is done now. ·

This change will produce the

great est improvement fo r the least expenditure ; it eliminates

one break of gauge and two changes of trains. The location of t he particular break of gauge which is impressed upon the rninds of the greatest number of Australians, is the one between Victoria and New South ·wales at Albury, and this is because the amount of passenger and goods traffic interchanged there is greater than is corresponding traffi cs interchanged at any other break-of-gauge station; therefore, it is of much importance t o eliminate it. Under present 1nethods of operating the train service, Melbourne is the equivalent of a break-of-gauge st ation, in so far as through passenger traffic is concerned, because it is necessary t o change from .one train to another in Melbourne. This is not true of goods traffic. If t hat part of the main trunk line route " B " · Albury, through Benalla, Goornong, and Bendigo t o Melbourne is prov · ded, the passengers or goods fro111 Melbourne t o places east of



Albury, or vice versa, will not need to change, or be transferred, at Albury. If the desire is to eliminate only the break of gauge at Albury, this method is favoured because it will work in better, later, when the entire route " B " is provided, and also because it makes available the Bendigo shops for maintaining the 4 ft. 8! in. and therefore separates entirely this stock

from 5 ft. 3 in. rolling-stock. An alternative scheme of converting the present main line from Melbourne to 1Albury w-ould· cost too rriuch to obtain and to operate . . , The break-of-gauge between New South Wales and Queensland, at Wallangarra, can best be eliminated by way of the New South Wales North Coast line and the new construction in

Queensland, the entire line from Sydney to Brisbane to be operated by New South Wales. . ·

If the entire main trunk line is not to be proceeded with at one time, it will be desirable to leave until t he last the necessary reconstruction and· new construction in Western Australia, because what is to be gained there is out of proportion with similar gains and costs in the other places.

There are some objections to providing only the main trunk line and not continuing with the standardizing of other lines, but a very large portion of the cost necessary to provide it will reduce, by the same large portion, the cost of ultimate total conversion, and another large portion will appear as improvement, or addition, when total_ conversion is completed.

· In Queensland, the new line construction from Richmond Gap to Brisbane will be an additiqn to present facilities, and the cost of the new station in Brisbane may be a loss which shoulq be kept to a n1inimum by using a type of construction commensurate with the estimated length of time during which _it will be in use.

The ·work in New South Wales will become an addition and a betterment. The work in Victoria, on route " R," will be an addition in so far as it places railroad facilities within 10 miles of about 150,000 acres of land not now within that limit, and will assist development of the central portion of the State; but it will be an improvement in so far as concerns trans-continental movement of passengers and goods. Any expenditure on route " A modified " will be so much toward total conversion of all 5 ft. 3 in. lines in this State.

The new station Melbourne, and the short line connecting therewith, which will be a necessity for either routes " A," " B," or " A modifi ed," will be a loss; otherwise, any expenditures on either of these routes in this State will be quite as useful, after total of all lines, as before ·

conve:r:sion of all lines. Any expenditure for a new station in Melbourne and the short line connecting t herewith made necessary by the construction of only a main trunk line of 4 ft. 8! in. gauge, will be a loss, and should be made as small as p9ssible. ·-In South Australia the providing of on:ly the main trunk line will add considerable confusion

by adding one more gauge of track to the two gauges now operated by that State. The lines fron1 Balhannah and Monarto should be converted when the main trunk line ·s arranged. It will be found to be desirable, soon after providing the main trunk line, to convert those lines extending east and north of Tailem Bend. Whether the line from Mount Barker Junction south should be changed will depend upon whether the movement of goods originating on that line is to be to Adelaide or to Southern Coast. That part of the main trunk line from Lochiel to Port Augusta will be an addition to present facilities and an important improvement over the present route ; the new station at Adelaide will be a loss, and should be made as small as possible.

In Western Australia, the main trunk line _ will be, to some extent, ·an improvement over conditions, but these improvements are considered to be necessary to provide a suitable

hne. The work will form a part of total conversion of all lines ; and the confusion resulting from the introduction of a second gauge in that considered to be well offset by the advantage1 to be obtained from the improved line. ·


. · . It is desirable to consider this subject by States, it being understood that wherever the hnes In one State connect with lines in another State the adjoining section in each should be converted at the same time. ·

. W estern Australia._:_The lines are all 3 ft. 6 in. gauge. The first line to be converted in this State should be the one from Fremantle to Kalgoorlie, because it is a part of the main east west Trans-Continental system. · Included in this work are the new bridge over the Swan

R1ver and the :deviation for it, together with the other deviations which are necessary; also the extending north fron1 Southern Cross. Excepting the branch from Southern Cross, this

should of substantial construction, with 80-lb. rails, and otherwise in keeping with such

we1ght of rail . . The suitable track material, rails, fastenings, and sleepers, removed from this , be used improving, or in maintaining, other lines in the State. The rolling-stock released from 1t should be transferred to other lines which remain 3 ft. 6 in. gauge. · F.l4165.-4:



• 1

. This State should discontinue promptly the purchase of 7-ft. sleepers for such lines as thosEi . from Spencer's Brook to Albany and East Perth to Bunbury and make th~ renewals ?n.t~ese line~ with 8-ft. sleepers. The new sleepers should be placed, as far as possible, at rail Jomts, an , alternately with the present sleepers between rail joints. The new sleepers-should be adzed 1 iu 20 for 3 ft. 6 in. gauge, and should be adzed flat for the 4 ft. Sf in. position of .the rails, because when the rails are spread .to the standard ·gauge they sh.ould be placed flat on the sleepers. The estimates made by this Commission provide for all new sleepers on the above-mentioned lines, buill . if there remain in the track at the time of conversion -7-ft. sleepers amounting to as many as 2 · per cent. of the total, and these are well distributed, such condition will not be objectionable .. After the above-mentioned lines are well supplied with 8-ft. sleepers, the remaining lines should be similarly treated; that is, several years ,before a line is to be converted to standard gauge th renewal sleepers for it should be 8 feet long, and when placing· them in the track they should b > alternated with tlie old &leepers. 1 •

The :rolling-st~ck should not · be converted to the standard gauge; no new rolling-stock: of 3 ft. 6-in. gauge should be purchased. Any new rolling-stock purchased should be of standard gauge, and the old rolling-stock,. of 3 ft.· 6 ·in. gauge be successively transferred from convertecl , lines to unconverted lines. '

' After completing the conversion of those lines referred to above there should follow the eections :-. ' (1) M'erredin to Brunswick Junction, via N arrogin. (2) York to Bruce Rock. · ·

(3) Northam to Merredin, and Goomalling to ~eraldton. . , The time of converting the rem.aining lines and branches should be det~rmined after due consideration of the cost of changing the gauge compared with the cost of transferring goods and the quantity and condition of available 3 ft. 6 in. rolling-stock.· At the time of converting the last section of the narrow-gauge track there will remain some narrow-gauge rolling-stock, of little

value, to be sold, or to be scrapped. · · , .

In the ordinary ~ourse of maintaining ways and works of 3 ft. 6 in. gauge lines it will frequently happen that not much additional expense will result if construc~ion and reconstruction are made suitable for the standard gauge; advantage should be taken in each such instance with the object in view of reducing~ as much as possible, the ultimate cost of total conversion.

The privafatly-owned .Midland Railway has not been considered. ·

· Comrnonwealth.-4 ft. 8! in. · Lines.-:-No change will be necessary to ways and works of these lines. - · " ·

The rolling-stock is equipped with the vertical plane, automatic coupler, but jt has no hook in which to receive -.he 'link-draw arrangement used by the five States, and, inasmuch as our estimates do not include the cost of applying the automatic coupler to rolling-stock of other systems, it will be necessary to replace the coupler used by the Trans-Australian with one having this hook. The change may be made at any time previous to the time of interchanging rolling-stock. For a similar reason it will be necessary to apply side buffers to the rolling-stock[, and this should be done as short a time as is possible before the interchange of rolling-stock is to take place.

, 3 ft. 6 -in. Lines.-Any part of these lines which may form a pa.rt of a north and south

through line should he converted to standard gauge previous fo beginning construction of the through . line ; otherwise, the conversion of !them should be determined by traffic developments. In any event, as soon as the desirability, or necessity, of converting all or any part of them is foreseen, the purchase of 6 ft; 6 in. sleepers sh'ould be discontinued, and only sleepers for the standard gauge be purchased and used for renewals. .

In the ordinary course of maintenance, the new construction and the reconstruction of _bridges and trestles should be to designs suitable for the standard gauge. New rolling-stock will be required when the lines are converted, and as the time for converting to standard gauge approaches, the narrow-gauge rolling-stock should be allowed to depreciate as

much as is consistent. . . : . ·

South Australia.-5 ft. 3 in. Lines.- When the conversion of all of the 5 ft. 3 in. lines in this State is once started, it should be carried to completion as rapidly as possible. The new bridge. at Murray Bridge and the necessary detour ·to it should be started first. The officers of this State prefer to begin conversion in the Adelaide metropolitan area and to Roseworthy; ·and, in preparation of the actual change of gauge of these tracks, to lay a third rail alongside of one ·

of the present rails and standard gauge distant · from the other rail except at switches and crossings, and when the actual conversion is done to merely change the switch connexions to the 4 f.t. ~-! in. g3:uge rails, and then remove the unnecessary rails. This method will not be obJect_10nable, masmuch as the removed rail can he used elsewhere. A very large percentage of the m.Ileage sho-q.]d be converted by merely moving one rail inwardly the necessary 6! inches. _




The first line . which should be converted is that from Lochiel through Adelaide to Serviceton, and this should be available when the new line from Port Augusta to Lochiel is completed. The branches extending north from Bal)lannah and Monarto should be converted when the main line through those places is converted.

Following the completion of the line from Lochiel through Adelaide to Serviceton, the order of conversion should be by sections as follows :- ·· U) Roseworthy to Terowie, and the 14! miles of 3 ft. 6 in. track from Terowie to . Peterborough;

(2) Gawler to Angaston and Truro; (3) Riverton to Spalding ; (4) Roseworthy to Morgan and Robertstown ;· (5) Adelaide to Willunga ;

(6) Mount Barker Junction to Victor Harbor and Milang ; (7) Tailem Bend to Pinnaroo; and (8) Murray lands lines.

' Some new locomoillves will be required for the 4ft. s.;; gauge, but a considerable number of the present locomotives, all of the carriage, goods, and live stock vehicles should be converted. Some of the new locomotives ·should be available when the first sections of track are converted and the remaining ones should be ready as required. The carriage, goods, and live stock vehicles to be converted should be ready as required.

· 3ft. 6 in. Lines.-Nohe of these. lines should be converted until the conversion of the entire 5 ft. 3 in. system is c,ompleted. .

The narrow-gauge lines should be considered in· sections and be converted in the order of their importance. The following indicates a desirable grouping into sections, and the section numbers indicate the order of what, at present, is their relative importance:-


(1) Hamley Bridge to Balakla va to Georgetown ; ICadina to Brinkworth ; (2) Port Pirie to Cockburn ;

Gladstone to Georgetown ; Gladstone to Wilmington ; Peterborough to Quorn; (3) W olseley to N aracoorte ;

Naracoorte to Mt. Gambier; Mt. Gambier to Victorian border ; Mt. Gambier to Beachport; N aracoorte to Kingston ;

( 4) Port Lincoln to Thevenard; Cummins to Kimba; Yeelanna to Mt. Hope; .. , W adana to Penong;

::} as one seetion.

. . .. r·. as one section .

. ') ..

as one section.

: : f as one seetio n.

The sleepers used on all of these lines are 6 ft. 6 in. long and are not suitable for 4 ft. 8! in. gauge. After deciding to convert these lines the purchase of 6 ft. 6 in. sleepers for

renewal on sections 1 and 2 should be discontinued, and only sleepers of 8 feet length should be used on them for renewals. The cuttings and embankments should be widened where necessary, and at such time as may be most convenient and whenever possible whilst ·maintenance work is being done. Bridges and trestles should be made of suitable width for the standard gauge when rebuilt, or when heavy renewals are made. Such procedure will reduce the work to be done when attention is finally centred upon the preparations for changing the gauge, and will reduce very materially the -ultimate cost.

Traffic and conditions on these sections and cost of transferring goods, &c., , should determine/largely the actual time of converting them. Very _little, if any, new rolling stock of narrow gauge should be purchased. The rolling stock released from converted sections should be transferred sections which unconverted.

A considerable amount of material recoverable from obsolete 5 ft. 3 in. rolling stock can be used in maint aining the 3 ft. 6 in. rolling-stock. The lines listed in section 3 above should be treated in the same manner as outlined for sections 1 and 2. It is apparent that section 4-the Eyre Peninsula lines-should remain as they

are for a time, which, a.t present, is very indefinite. · · _ _

.,· '1

I I,


c - Victoria. - 5ft. 3 in. lines.- It 'Yill be very undesirable any unavoidable gap between

conversions of different sections in this State after total conversiOn Is once started; the work should be prosecuted vigorously from the t ime of beginning until the total5 ft. 3 in. J?lileage is The order in which t he work should be done has been suggested by t he railway offiCials of this State, and is a very desirable one. It provides for a period ?f five years froJ?l 'Ghe of beginning the change of the firs t sec tion to t he completion of t,he entire I.t considered, however, that a of three years to betwe.en the .time of dec1dmg t o Jm.ak.e t he change

and the time of begmnmg to change the :first sect1on, winch penod they recommena, IS unreasonable and that a more reasonable preparatory period is one year. It is important t o complet e the w?rk as as possible the decision to do it is made, because the traffic to be transferred dunng the progress of the work will probably increase each year, and so add t o t he total cost . Total conversion should be completed six years after the decision to begin is . .

There are indicated in colours on map No. 4 the order of convertmg these h nes periods and amounting, roughly, t o about 1,200 mil es per year. 'rhe arrangement fo r beginning each yearly section at the greatest distance from Melbourne and workmg toward Melbourne.

Some new locomotives will be reguired to those which are not suitable_ for and a number of them should be available a short tlme before the actual changmg ot gauge IS begun. The work of changing those locomotives which are suitable should proceed as and, wherever possible, t he conversion to standard gauge should be done when general repau s are being made.

The carriage and goods st ock should be changed as required. • Some new goods waggons may be desirable. '

2ft. 6 in. Lines.-It is considered that these- lines should not be made a part of the general conversion scheme. The costs of them are not included in the estimates.

New South Wales.- 4 ft. St in. Lines.-No conversion work is necessary in connexion with these lines. The suggested new line to Brisbane, via Kyogle, is very desirable from an operating stand-point, and because it is so much ·shorter than the present line. If it is decided to build this line, the first work to be done should be that between Macksville and Richmond

Gap. The new bridge at Grafton and the work north of Kyogle should be arranged for promptly. It will be very desirable to have the emergency line from Sydney through Penrith, Wallerawang, Craboon, Binnaway, and Wen·is Creek to Wallangarra, and this can be provided by building the line from Binnaway to Werris Creek and improving some of the present line south

of Binna way. The present route between Sydney and Brisbane is dependent upon the Hawkesbury River bridge, and if anything happens to make this bridge unsafe for use the entire north-east section of New South Wales will be cut off from railway communicat ion with Sydney. The· bridge is of such length that it would require a lpng time to ,replace it. Provision should 'be made to reduce the importance of this bridge, and this can be done by completing the line from Binnaway to Werris Creek and improving the line south of Binnaway.

· Lines.- It is considered that these lines should not be made a part of the

general conversion scheme. The costs of changing then,1 are not included in the estimates.

5 ft. 3 in . .Line.-This line is privately owned, and the changing of it has not been considered.

Queensland.-These lines are all3 ft. 6 in. gauge.- If the new line from Richmond Gap to Brisbane and the new station in South Brisbane are to be constructed these should be the first works undertaken. At about the same time the present lines extending into south-east Queensland from Brisbane should be converted. . . - . . ·

. If t:P.e new line via Richmond Gap is not to be built, the first line that should be converted IS the from Wallangarra to Brisbane. After a connexion to Brisbane is provided, the line

from Bnsbane to Rockhampton and its branches should be converted, the idea being that a line from New South Wales border to Brisbane is of first importance, and the one from Brisbane to Rockha!-llpton is second in importance. After these two lines are converted, the order of . conversiOn should be by sections, as follows :-

(1) Unconverted part of line Brisbane to Chinchilla and branches; · (2) Unconverted part of line Toowoomba to Wallangarra and branches, excluding Warwick to Dirranbandi; (3) Chinchilla to Muckadilla ; .

( 4) Muckadilla to Cunnamulla and Quilpie and the In june Creek branch ; (5) Warwick to Dirranbandi; . .

(6) Rockhampton to Longre;wh and branches.



The remaining lines should be considered at an appropriate time for each section, but unless conditions, unforeseen at present, develop , attention for changing the gauge should be centred upon the lines in the Brisbane and R ockhampton sections of the State. The sleepers now used are 7 feet long, and a large percentage of them can be used with the 4 ft. St in. gauge. The tunnels should be increased in width and height, the cuttings

and embankments widened, and, in some places, the aligmrient changed to suit the standard gauge. The renewal of the sleepers with longer ones and the enlargement of tunnels, cuttings, embankments, and the making of new alignments should be done as favorable opportunities are presented, even before conversion is to be undertaken actively. On any of the· lines where t raffic

is light, it will not be necessary to replace all of the 7-ft. sleepers with longer ones before t he gauge is broadened; the condition of the short sleepers and the time of converting any section of track should be so co-related that it will not be necessary to remove from the track any 7-ft .- sleepers which are in serviceable condition. On the light lines as many as 66 per cent. of good 7-ft. sleeper s

may be left in the track when the gauge is actually changed. The condition of sleepers, the necessity of enlarging tunnels, cuttings, and embankments, necessity of new alignment and condition of bridges and the progress made in t hese works in the course of ordinary maintenance should be considered in connexion with traffic development in determining when any section, other than those from the New South Wales borde r t o Brisbane, Brisbane to Rockhampton and branches, and Brisbane to' Chinchilla and branches, should be changed. The co,ndition of rolling-stock also will have some bearing on the subj ect, but, in

general, the 3 ft. 6 in. rolling-stock should be worn out by being transferred successively from a converted section to those not converted. As the 4 ft. St in. gauge is extended new rolling-stock of that gauge should be purchased. The work of conversion should progress at such a rate t hat no new 3 ft. 6 in. rolling stock need be purchased and none of the present stock be changed to

the gauge.

However, on the coastal lines and on those extending back from the coast through the mountain ranges, the progress made in the neeessary changes to the ways and works to suit t he standard gauge should determine the rate of progress of conversion, and the condition of rolling­ stock be considered of secondary importance.


The work to be done in any State should be executed by the same methods as may be in use by the State for similar-work at the time the unification of the gauges is in progress. Whatever t he present practice may be in each of the States in connexion with the construction of new railway, the maintenance of ways and works and construction and maintenance of rolling-stock should

be follo wed in carrying out the unification of gauges . Under this metho d there will be supervision in 'each State by officers who are familiar with the respective conditions in each State, a:rid who will know just how to organize the necessary forces and to proceed promptly and expeditiously. Provision should be made, however, under which, if the work seems to be unnecessarily delayed in any place, or is being done by too expensive methods, it can be taken iri hand by the Director.

It will 'be unfortunate if large expenditure is made in one place, and the advantages obtainable therefrom cannot be utilized because of delay in some other place. One of the important reasons why the expenditures should be under the control of a general officer is to prevent such a possibility.

There should be used in the new construction work such mechanical concrete-mixing machines, steam shovels, track-laying equipments, and similar devices with which the constructing engineers of Australia are familiar. In renewing ' sleepers, and in moving the rails to standard gaugeii.ouip!esent lines,irio special machinery is needed.

(d) THE METHODS BY WHICH THE WoRK SHOULD BE CONTRO LLED. In the first;place, the work which is to be:done should be agreed upon in such detail as may be possible. ·

In order to co-relate properly the work to be done by the Commonwealth and the individual States, to ,supervise in a general way the work that is to be done to .unify the gauges and to standardize and check the accounting, there should be appointed a general officer, invested with full control. Without wishing to suggest a designation for this general officer, it is desirable, for convenience in writing this Report, to use some particular designation, and it is elected t o use

the term " Director. " '

The Director should be assisted by a civil engineer who is familiar with track construction and maintenance, a mechanical engineer who is familiar with designs a;nd construction of rolling­ stock, and an accountant who is familiar with railway accounts. E ach of these three departments should have the necessary inspectors and other assistants to keep closely iu touch with t he vvork


being done, collect from, and distribute to, those men who will be ih stl'pervising charge for each State and the Commonwealth desirable information about ways and means, and to distinguish between-(1) improvements in new construction which is made necessary by unification of the gauges; (2) new construction which is not made necessary by unification of the gauges, but which it m·ay be desirable to undertake while unification work is being done; (3) maintenance and repair work which would be necessary even though unification· of the gauges were not undertaken; and · ( 4) actual conversion costs. •

The expenses of the Director and his staff should be charged to unification of gauges. Experience · teaches that it will be desirable to place in the control of the Director all expenditure necessary for unification, because the costs will be in inverse ratio to the degree of authority conferred upon hin1. In many instances it will be found to be desirable to make renewals and to do new work, when changing gauge of track and of rolling-stock, and to do these respectively with the same rnachines and men as used for changing the gauge; such renewals and new work as is referred to would not, consistently, be chargeable to unification of gauges, and it would be the work of the Director to distinguish between such costs, and to voucher for that part of each which ought to be charged to unification. As bet·ween States and as between the

Commonwealth and any State, or States, he should be in the judicial position of sole and final arbiter. In many instances it will be so difficult to distinguish the labour and material actually . needed for change of gauge from that labour and material which can, and, no doubt, will, be used

to good advantage and at the same time for maintenance and improvements that distinctions should be made by a disinterested and independent Director, clothed with arbitral powers as above mentioned; particularly so, since the work done by the Commonwealth is of interest to each of · · the five States, and that done by any State is of interest to each of the . other States and to the

Commonwealth. In this connexion it must be recognised that these questions are inevitable, apd, when they arise, must be definitely decided by some authority. vVe are firmly convinced that it is in the interest of ali parties that such questions should be promptly settled once and for all by such a highly competent and completely informed expert as the Director niust necessarily be. The only alternative would be costly and dilatory litigation, and, in the end, the decisions are less likely to be satisfactory than his·. ·

It will be very desirable to place in the control of such a Director the purchasing of all material and rolling-stock made necessary by unification, so as to get advantage of lower pr:ices in purchasing in large quantities. With respect to rolling-:-stock, the various kinds would be alike in most instances, and the Director would determine the standard for each and make alike as many as possible.

,The first duty of the Director should be to get on order such material as will be needed and will require the longest time to obtain. Whether or not the main trunk line is to be provided, such material will be sleepers, rails and fastenings for them, bridges, locomotives, carriages, and waggons. The main trunk line suggested in this Report, whatever alternative route is selected, will require, in addition to new railways, a new station at Adelaide, at Melbourne, and, at Brisbane, and the designs and their costs should be agreed upon and the work on them put in process. It has been necessary for this Commission to' include in its estimates a cost for the construction of

each of these stations, and the amounts are included in Appendix IlL ; but, obviously, these items may be too small or too large, this depending upon whether one of the main trunk lines suggested is to be built and all other lines left as they are; whether the main trunk line is to be built first and the other lines unified after, and how soon after; or whether all lines are to be unified and a main trunk line not provided. In other words, whether the stations will be built and, if so, what length of time they may be in use, and how permanent the construction should be. The Director would determine these questions, and t he design and cost of each of these stations should be in accord with the decisions.

The Director should co-ordinate the' kind standard · of the work to be done by the Commonwealth and by each State, and the times at or within which each should do, or complete, different kinds of work in connexion with unification. The foregoing sentence expresses in a concise manner a very important feature of the work to be done by the Director, and the manner

in which such of his duties are executed will determine, to a considerable extent, the ultimate costs of the work. It may be pointed out here the fact that the estimates presented by this Commission are based upon present conditions of labour and material; no attempt has been made to forecast the possible direction of change in either condition. In the opinion of this Commission, if the work is started promptly, executed vigorously, and controlled as suggested, the ultimate cost should be less than the estimates by a material amount.

The Director shoulQ. see that the value of all track and rolling-stock equip1nent which is made obsolete by unification is correctly depreciated, and that only that part of the value which is destroyed, or the reduction in value which is produced, by unification, is charged to unification


·\ j ,




79 7

of the gauges. He should see that the changing of gauges of track and of rolling-stock is in so far as possible, at most appropriate tin1e. For instance, it will be desirable to discontinue, for a considerable period of tirne, trafll.c on outlying sect ions while the actual work of moving the rail, or rails, is being done (this applies expecially to goods and live stock traffic), so as to reduce the number of transfer stations to be constructed and, therefore, the eost. The inconvenience to the travelling public and the shippers will be inconsiderable when set off against the possible saving in cost. Also, each. unit of rolling-stock should be changed when maintenance general repairs are made. This will be not always possible, but it is a desirable objective to keep always in view and applied whenever practicable. .

In connexion with 3 ft. 6 in. lines in particular, the Director should be ap.vised of any extensive expenditures in connexion with proposed i1nprovements or maintenance of bridges, · trestles, tunnels, cuttings, embankments, and of rolling-stock, so that whenever consistent to do so he can include work in c01inexion with unification of gauges. The Director should determine the

extent of sections to be standardized and the tin1e when the work is to be done, being guided, quite ·properly, by 'the conditions of track and of rolling-stock and the development of traffic passing through the transfer stations which (being more or less temporary .stations) will be made necessary by process of converting those systems in sections with a considerable period of time between the conversion of the adjoining sections.

At a suitab.le time previous to converting the final sections of the narrow-gauge lines, ·an investigation should be made to determine whether the rolling-stock in use upon them is to be scrapped or to be sold for use elsewhere; and if it is to be scrapped it should be allowed to depreciate as much as is consistent, with a fair margin of safety, so that the value scrapped may be as small as possible. •

The foregoing descriptive account of the methods by which the work should be controlled is given in more concise form in the following:-(a) A Director should be appointed and given entire control of the work to be done. (b) He should know what work is to be undertaken and at what times, and in what

amounts funds are to be available. (c) He should have control of expenditure in connexion with ·an work entrusted to him, and determine the time and am_ ou.nt of each payment. (d) He should be authorized to prescribe standards of permanent way, tunnels, and

other sJcructures, grades, curvature of lines, and . methods to be adopted ; the specifications to be observed in building new lines and altering existing lines; the standards and types of all new rolling-stock and the conversion of existing rolling-stock in so far as each of these items relates, ·or any of the items relate, to the work which is to be done. (e') He should appoint a necessary staff and set up an organization suitable for , the , /

proper control and accounting of the work intrusted to him. -{/) He should prescribe the terms and conditions under which any work is to be undertaken. ·

(g) He should study particularly the probable length of time that new terminal and transfer stations are to be used, and determine what expenditure is to be made on each. (h) In so far as concerns expenditure to be charged to unification, his approval of

estimates should be required before any new construction work, such as building new lines of railway, new station buildings, transfer stations and yards, or · rolling-stock is concerned. ( i) lie shonld determine what moneys contained in . any estimate submitted are a

charge against unification. (J') The authority of the Director to proceed with work should be issued in some prescribed form. (k) He should prescribe the methods and the manner in which the expenditure shall be

recorded and returned to him. (l) He should co-ordinate the work as a whole, and also in adjacent States, and, in doing so, should regulate the time at which adjoining sections should be com.pleted. .

(m) He should decide the extent of the v;ork to be proceeded with yearly by each State and the Commonwealth. · (n) He should decide the order in which the work i to be carried out and the time in. which it is to be completed. ·

(o) Upon completion of any new line of railway the Director should cerlify the fact to the particular State interested, and turn it over to the State for operating. (p) The decision of the Director should be final and binding upon all parties


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Question 5.- Wheihe1· a thi1·d mil or any mechanical device should be utihzed; 1j so, what df?vice, 1tpon what sections, and estimated cost? ·

This Commission has read the Report addressed to the Right Honorable the Prime· Minister, ·dated Melbourne, 16th August, 1918, by the Board of Experts, Railway Engineers, on break-of­ gauge devices, and approve of the conditions prescribed by that Board, and, with one exception, accept t heir decisions with respect to devices examined by them . . The one exception relates to a

device which has also been examined by this Commission, and the decision against it is based solely npon our own investigation. This Commission has examined a number of devices which were not presented to the Board of Experts in 1918, and in each instance has decided adversely to the device. In some cases a few questions addressed to the person presenting the device have been sufficient to impress · him that the device was not suitable for the conditions.

In very few cases had the inventor, or designer, any extended knowledge of railway conditions; none had looked at the problem in its broadest aspect, and very few had more than a most hazy idea of what the ultimate cost in time and money might be if his partjcular device were to be used.

At some break-of-gauge stations at the present time there are in use short sections of third rail installations to permit waggons of two different gauges being placed at the same cattle race, or similar location ; and, no doubt, similar short sections may be found necessary, or desirable, in the future, until unification of is completed. Such installations are approved. They are very simple affairs compared with the use of third-rail construction over a material mileage of railway. .

Persons suggesting . these third-rail and mechanical devices usually refer to them as " intermediate steps to the :6.nal unification of gauges," and have not estimated whether the intermediate step will cost more, or cost less, than the immediate step to unification. Even were some device workable, it would not matter much whether its cost were greater or less than that of unifying the gauges, because whatever it might cost would be just that much more expense in money,

and cause an unreasonable time delay for unification. Any t.ime or money spent on third rail or mechanical devices will be wasted. It is recommended that none of these devices be used, and that attention be centred directly upon the unification of gauges.


Prmted &nd Published l'or the GOVERNMENT of the COMMONW!lAJ,TH of AUSTRALIA by ALBER'r J. MULLJI)TT Government P1·inter for the State of Victoria. '


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