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Special Mining Wardens appointed

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Tuesday 9 August 1910, The Sydney Morning Herald

Some time ago a number of special mining wardens were appointed to take charge of districts where it is impracticable for the resident police magistrates to attend to the duties of that office. The constitution of the districts in of a temporary nature, some being of considerable extent. Glen Innes, for instance, embraces Drake, Inverell, Tenterfield, Armidale, Hillgrove, and other northern mining localities. In the meantime, one of the wardens, Mr. W. Perry, will have his headquarters at Glen Innes, Mr. A. B. C. Barker, at Bathurst. Mr George James, at Cootamundra, and Mr. O. R. Williams, at Goulburn. They will commence duty in their new appointments on August 15. The scheme, if successful, will probably be further extended. So far it is experimental. Cobar and Broken Hill are not included in it, as, owing to their position, apart from other fields, it is not considered necessary to have special wardens.

Written by macalba

August 8, 2010 at 8:00 pm

More gold at Drake

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Saturday 8 January 1910, The Sydney Morning Herald



Another rich gold find is reported from Gerard’s Crook, Drake. It is a considerable distance south of the previous find.

Written by macalba

July 6, 2010 at 6:08 am

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Tablelands to Coast railway proposals

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Wednesday 26 February 1902, The Sydney Morning Herald


The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public works met yesterday, Mr J McFarlane, M.L.A. (chairman), presiding. Further consideration was given to the expediency of constructing a line of railway from Glen Innes to Inverell.

Mr Henry Deane, Engineer-in-Chief, Railway Construction Branch, concluded his evidence. He thought that the land through which the proposed railway would pass should be given to the Government free, as the value of the adjoining land would be considerably enhanced. With few exceptions, he was in favour of the principle being applied to all new lines of railway, and this he believed was the view of the Railway Commissioners. The proposed alternative line from Guyra to Inverell would pass approximately through 18 miles of alienated land and 35 miles of Crown land, whereas from Glen Innes to Inverell the line would pass through about 39 miles of alienated land and 13 miles of Crown land.

The committee then opened an inquiry into the expediency of constructing a line of railway from Tenterfield to Casino. Mr. J. Davis, Under-Secretary, Department of Public Works, was the first witness called. He said that the line was first advocated in 1883, as the result of which a survey was carried out and an estimate prepared, showing that the cost of the work would be £1,680,053 for a distance of 87 miles. The latest estimate and description supplied by the Engineer-in-Chief for Railway Construction for this proposed line was as follows :— Length, 87 miles 1.50 chains ; estimated cost, £1,094,870 or £12,583 per mile, exclusive of land and compensation.

The proposed line would begin by a junction with the Great Northern Railway at 382 miles from Newcastle, and proceed in an east-north-east direction across the Main Dividing Range near 390 miles, and down the valley of the Cataract River, thence by a tortuous course about five miles north of the township of Drake, thence down to the Clarence River, which is crossed just above Tabulam. From Tabulam the line would proceed by Tabulam Rivulet and Black’s Camp Creek to the crossing of the Richmond Range, thence by Shannon Creek to the Richmond River, which would be crossed, and the township of Casino entered, the line ending at the western side of West-street at 469 miles 40 chains from Newcastle. The works would be very heavy with very little exception. The land to be taken would be largely alienated.

The Minister (Mr. O’Sullivan), continued Mr. Davis, in July last issued instructions for the Railway Commissioners to be asked to furnish a report on the Tenterfield-Casino railway in conjunction with the proposed line from South Grafton to Guyra. Mr. O’Sullivan also requested the Commissioners to express an opinion as to which was the better line in the interests of the public for connecting the tableland of New England with the North Coast districts. To enable the Commissioners to report, the estimates and maps of the different routes had to be supplied by the Works Department, but this could not he done until the middle of November, and the Minister being anxious to submit the Tenterfield to Casino route to Parliament, the Commissioners were only able, within the limited time, to report on that proposal without any reference to the other routes. Their report dated December 10, 1901, was as follows :—

“Cost of construction : Engineer-in-Chief’s estimated cost of construction exclusive of land and compensation, £1,094,870. Estimated annual cost : Interest on cost of construction at 3 7/8 per cent, £38,320 ; maintenance, and for traffic and locomotive expenses, £11,307-£49,627. Estimated annual traffic : Live stock and merchandise, £2000 ; passengers, parcels, and mails, £6580—£8580.

“The country through which this line would pass for a distance of 50 miles is not suitable for carrying an agricultural population, being of a very mountainous character. From the Upper Clarence to Tabulam, and thence to Casino, a distance of 35 miles, while the country is better, it is in the hands of large freeholders, and at present used for grazing purposes. The only centre of population is at Drake, where mining is carried out to a limited extent, the intrinsic value of the minerals raised being estimated last year at £12,243. This locality is now served by rail by the existing line at Tenterfield, distant 35 miles.

“It will be observed that while the net visible traffic is estimated at £8530 per annum, the working expenses for a daily service are estimated at £11,307 and interest on capital at £38,320, a total of £49,627 per annum. It will therefore be apparent that there would require to be an immense and altogether improbable development to meet these united charges. In the circumstances the Commissioners are unable to recommend the favourable consideration of this proposal.”

The following estimates and descriptions, continued Mr Davis, had been supplied by the Engineer-in-Chief for Railway Construction of the other routes to be inquired into :—

1. Glen Innes to South Grafton, via Mann River. Length, of line 115 miles 58 chains ; estimated cost £1,812,903, or £15,666 per mile, exclusive of land and compensation.

This line commences by a junction with the Great Northern railway at 321 miles from Newcastle about three miles south of Glen Innes station, and proceeding easterly it crosses Beardy Water and the Mann River and commences the ascent of the Red Range passing through the northern portion of the town of Kingsgate. The line would end at South Grafton on the south side of the Clarence River at 436 miles from Newcastle. The works are generally heavy and include several tunnels and large bridges. The ruling grade is 1 in 50 both with and against the load. The sharpest curve is 10 chains radius.

Most of the land of the Glen Innes and South Grafton end of the line is alienated, but nearly all in the central portion of the line is still Crown land.

2. Glen Innes to South Grafton, via Buccarumbi. — Length, 128 miles 52 chains. Estimated cost, £1,715,053 or £13,331 per mile, exclusive of land and compensation.

The works would be practically the same as on the previous route.

3. Guyra to South Grafton, via Coffs Harbour.— Length 184 miles 17 chains. Estimated cost £1,696,826 or £9,211 per mile, exclusive of land and compensation.

The works are heavy and include a number of tunnels and the rack descent form the tableland. The steepest grades are 1 in 60 on the ordinary line, and 1 in 14 on the rack portion. The sharpest curves are 18 chains on the ordinary portion of the line and 9 chains on the rack descent. The land at the commencement and end of the line is largely alienated, but very little on the central portion thereof has been sold.

4. Guyra to South Grafton direct.—Length, 156 miles 78 chains. Estimated cost, £1,726,677, or £11,000 per mile, exclusive of land and compensation.

The works are generally heavy, and include several tunnels. The ruling gradient is 1 in 40 both with and against the load. The sharpest curve is 10 chains radius. The land at the commencement and end of the line is nearly all alienated, but very little in the centre of the line has been sold.”

Mr Davis said that a vote of £2,000,000 for the South Grafton to Glen Innes railway was taken on the 1884 loans, of which a balance of £1,985,700 remained.

The committee at this stage adjourned until 2 p.m. on Thursday, when Mr. H. Deane will be examined in respect to this proposed line.

Written by macalba

April 12, 2010 at 8:05 pm

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