What happened to the Cairns –Mulgrave Tramway —-Should it be started again——–23 Dec 1899 – THE CAIRNS-MULGRAVE TRAMWAY. (Illustrated.)—————The honour of possessing the first public tramway in Australia to be constructed and worked by a local authority belongs to Queensland, the line being that from Cairns to Aloomba, seventeen mlies in length.
The honour of possessing the first public tramway in Australia to be constructed and worked by a local authority belongs to Queensland, the line being that from Cairns to Aloomba, seventeen mlies in length. The Mulgrave tramway is in reality a railway, being of .the same gauge as the. Queensland Government railway! (Ift. tin.) and using tbejMune rail*, and all rolHng-itock Is Inter chang«at>le—indeed, the flret engfne^aad car riages were poronaeed from the Qorern noent, and GoTernment carriages ire fre-
quently hired -when th« rush of passenger traffic overtaxes the tramway’s resources. The fact that the Mulgrave tramway carried 54,966 passengers and 71,688 tons of goods in the twelve months ended on 30th Jane last Indicates that the line li a much appreciated public convenience ; and tt it satisfactory to learn that out of the earn ings of the year the board was able <to pay £1712 interest, and to repay £892 of the loan obtained from the Government for con struction. The year’s receipts amounted to £9589, anfd the working expenses to £4199,
leaving a net revenue of £3300, or £6 18s.per cent on capital expended. The balance,after paying interest and redemption atabove stated, It £786—« very creditableresult indeed. Prom ihe official reports oftbe officer In Charge, Mr. J. J. O’Learjr, wetake the following account of the estafolishment and working of the tramway, which,taken In conjunction with the llluitratlona,will give reader* an idea of the successthat has been achieved by this commendable«iKerprise.The formation in November, 1898, of the■Mulgrave Central Mill Company, Limited,under the provisions of the Sugar WorksGuarantee Act of 1898, gave rise to the ideathat a tramway on a gauge of 2ft. should beconstructed by the board from Cairns to tbeMulgrave River —fourteen miles. ‘Ihe millcompany was registered on the 20th April,1886. In May. Mr O. Phillips, at tbe request of the board, Inspected the proposedroute and reported upon the proposal. Hisrecommendation that the normal railwaygauge of the colony should be adopted wasagreed to, and it was decided to re. tin hisservices as consulting engineer for the parpoßes of the tramway. Towards the end ofMay the survey was commenced, following,wherever practicable, the roads of the division. In July the survey was completed tothe Xulgrave, the minimum curve beingten chains radius, and the steepest gradient1 In 82%.Tbe board having complied with tbe regulations and provisions of’the various LocalGovernment Acts, and having arranged fora loan from the Government, tenders wereinvited for the construction, of the line tothe Mulgrave, and that of Messrs. KirkBrothers and Frew C£ 15,319 13a.) was accepted by the board, and the work was satisfactorily completed towards the end of April,1897. The line is entirely unfeneed ; inother respects the usual railway practiceof the colony has been followed, except thatthe formation is only 12ft. wide, whilst soilballast has been chiefly used. Several of