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June 1925: Oil In New England.

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Glen Innes Examiner, Monday, 29 June, 1925


Company Formed.

A Company, No Liability, to be called ‘The Northern Shale and Oil Prospecting Company,’ is being formed—with a capital of £4000 divided into 200 shares of £20 each. A contract entered into on behalf of the proposed company is dated June 2, 1925, and made between William James Mulligan (of Cangai, grazier), James Henry Mulligan (of Mosman, Sydney, company director), Robert John Mulligan (of Cooney Creek, near Armidale, grazier), and Joseph John Glasser (of Brockley, near Guyra, grazier), vendors, of the one part, and Harold Joseph Price, of Grafton, articled clerk (trustee of the proposed company), of the other part, for the acquisition of the vendors’ rights over the mining properties particularised in the prospectus, and for the appointment of Mr. W. J. Mulligan as manager of the company.

The company is being formed for the purpose of prospecting and developing certain mineral lands near Wongwibinda Station, close to the surveyed route of the proposed Guyra-Dorrigo railway line. Mr. W. J. Mulligan, A.I.M.M., well known as the successful manager of Cangai copper mine, reports that the shale, and particularly the valuable deposits which occur in it, are rich in hydro-carbons, and that among the many derivative products to be secured from the deposit which is found are included motor spirit and oil, which can be extracted by low temperature distillation, and in addition there appears ground for expecting also a substantial production of gas for town gas purposes and for power production on a large scale.— “Express.”

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January 19, 2021 at 3:27 pm

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News from around Armidale, August 1865.

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The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 – 1893), Saturday 19 August 1865

District News.


GUYRA AND GARA STATIONS – This long-pending case, which had been referred to Messrs. Oliver and Greaves, has been submitted to an umpire, who, for a few days past, has taken all the evidence, which has been, as usual in cases of this kind, conflicting. The award, I hear, will shortly be made, and it may possibly end this lengthy affair, caused in the first instance, doubtless, by the different runs not having been properly described when taken possession of by the owners.

Grafton Road – A petition to the Minister for Lands is now being numerously signed, for transmission to Sydney, and it is hoped that this road, so beneficial to the interests of both this town and Grafton, will at once be placed under proper repair, at least so far as the sum voted will allow of.

Our Hospital – I am glad to report that the efforts of our collectors in town have been so far successful in the work of charity; and though not any of the lists have yet been handed in as complete, I hear that many of our townsmen have most liberally contributed to assist the funds.

Coroner’s Inquest – Mr Markham, our district coroner, held an inquest on Wednesday last, at Mr Galvin’s inn, on the remains of a shepherd who came into Armidale for medical relief. Several witnesses were examined, and the verdict was, “Died from natural causes.” The deceased was named William Weeks, and prior to his death gave over about £40 to Mr Galvin, requesting to be buried in a respectable manner. Mr. Galvin complied with his request, and the remains were consigned to the grave in a hearse and full-mounted coffin. The balance in hand will be given over to the Government, as it did not appear that he had any relations or friends near.

Our School of Arts. – We are most likely to have a boisterous meeting next Friday, which has been called for by three members and subscribers contending that the late election to the offices of president, vice-president, &c, was illegal, and not in accordance with the bye-laws of the institution. It will be, of course, an evaporation for the time being, and end in a nine days’ wonder. I do not offer any opinion as to these contests.

Rifle Corps. – This corps is likely, I hear, to be established. The preliminary meeting to propose rules, &c, was favourable to the affair, and it may be inferred that Armidale will shortly add, to other signs of advancement, a military force, consisting of many of our young men, possessed of ardour in the cause of “protection,” when needed against an aggression which at any future period may be attempted, the hon. secretary to the meeting will no doubt use his best endeavours to further the movement.

Streets. – A new culvert is nearly completed at the east end of Beardy-street; and, though these culverts are now and then complained of by a few, they seem to be well formed of the material to hand, and our municipal officers seem determined not to be in debt if possible – a praiseworthy resolution.

Our racecourse. – The appearance of the grandstand on this ground is most unsightly. We have a racing committee, and the repairs of this shed, or an improvement in its appearance, is worthy of notice, and I trust that the attention of the committee may be attracted to this scaffolding. Query, whether is be safe in its present shaky days?

Bridge in Marsh street – The tenderer for the getting and delivery of timber is to have it on the ground by the 1st September next. The sum tendered for £15.

Butchers Meat – I observed a large draft of cattle en route toward our town on Sunday last and no doubt these fetched full prices. The high price of cattle published in your and the Sydney papers, leave little doubt but that our friends of the “cleaver” will be making a good thing, consequent upon the sudden rise – I cannot say unexpected, for, with the severity of the season, no other conclusion could be arrived at.

Grafton Mail – It is impossible to state when the usual regularity of the departure and arrival of this mail will be resumed. On Sunday last, at four p.m., no mail, and due on Friday last, at six p.m. Our residents are much inconvenienced by this failure, and I trust that a fresh tended may be accepted on the 23rd instant, in order that we may have a regular transmission of correspondence.

Agricultural. – Our farmers are in good spirits at the appearance of the young crops, which is highly gratifying to those concerned, as well as generally. I hear that a large quantity of grain from the last season is still on hand, and our mills are now in full work; but fears are entertained that a rise in flour may take place, from the quotations at Sydney and elsewhere.

August 14.

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May 18, 2013 at 11:52 am

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New postal communication routes

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Wednesday 15 January 1851, The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser


WE are glad to find that the government are keeping steadily in view the desirableness of extending and improving the postal communication throughout the colony. Each year there are additions, more or less, made to the post stations in the different parts of the colony, and coach mails are being gradually substituted for horse mails.

Amongst the additions and improvements made this year, we observe several in our own division of the colony. From the 1st instant a mail direct has been established from Murrurundi to Carroll; the Tamworth and Wee Waa line has been extended on to the Barwin ; a mail has been established between Walcha and the Macdonald River; and a direct mail be tween Armidale and Grafton has been established. The whole of these extensions will afford to the settlers in the several localities great additional facilities for postal communication.

Coach mails have also this year been substituted on three of our lines for horse mails, viz, between Merriwa and Cassilis, between Murrurundi and Tamworth, and between Tamworth and Armidale. This is a great improvement, particularly on the northern line, where the mails are heavy, and the distance great. When the heavy mail bags on this line were conveyed from Murrurundi on horseback the enclosures were very liable to injury from being so much rubbed together, especially the newspapers, which not unfrequently arrived at the more distant post-offices almost entirely stripped of their envelopes. The establishment of a coach line to Armidale will secure the safer conveyance of the mails thus far, and as the bags from that place onwards are not so heavy, the residents beyond are likely to receive their papers and letters in better condition than formerly. We hope that a mail coach line will at no distant date be extended right through the northern district to Moreton Bay.

We are glad to find, also, from a notice published in the Gazette of the 7th instant, and copied into the Mercury of Saturday last, that the government are at length prepared to extend the benefits of postal communication to the residents of the coast district between Stroud and Port Macquarie. Tenders are called for to convey, from the 1st of April next, a mail once a week from and to Raymond Terrace and Port Macquarie, by way of Stroud, Gloucester, and Wingham, on the Manning River. Hitherto, the residents on the Gloucester and Manning River have been practically shut out from the benefits of postal communication, and the inhabitants of Port Macquarie have received their mails from the metropolis and elsewhere by a very circuitous route. The direct line now about to be established through the coast district will obviate both these disadvantages-much to the satisfaction and benefit, we apprehend, of all the parties interested.

Written by macalba

October 16, 2010 at 8:09 pm


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Saturday 2 August 1930, The Sydney Morning Herald

Wonderful Landscapes.


During a recent visit to Ebor I was much impressed with the possibilities of this part of the State as a tourist resort.

Ebor is 53 miles by road from Armidale, on the way to Grafton. The road is in excellent order in some parts, with the local shire council doing its best to improve the remainder, which is in fair condition; and when the council completes its work the whole trip will be most comfortable for motor driving.

Around Ebor and Guy Fawkes can be seen some of the most magnificent scenery in this State if not Australia. Through the placid little village of Ebor flows the river of the same name. It is never dry, and abounds with trout. It wends its way for about half a mile on one side of the township to the commencement of the wonderful Ebor Gorge. The two falls arc scenes of beauty, and in winter time are sometimes frozen, making a beautiful spectacle as they hang in huge icicles. The water from the Ebor eventually finds an outlet in the Clarence River. Around Ebor are various other streams-such as the Styx which are the trout fisherman’s paradise.


I had the pleasure of visiting Point Lookout, about ten miles from Ebor. As motor traffic cannot get to this beauty spot, our party did the trip by horseback on horses kindly supplied by the Turnbull family, of Kotupna station. Mr Thomas Turnbull was our guide and philosopher.

From Point Lookout, the highest peak in New England, being 5300 feet above sea level, a most expansive and wonderful panorama meets the eye. Although the day was not a particularly clear one, we were able to observe with (he naked eye the breakers rolling on to the beach at Macksville, about 40 miles away as the crow files. On a clear frosty day it is quite easy to see the boats that pass this beach.

To add to the beauty of the view, we had the mountain mist rising from one of the deep canyons on our left, while on our right the Bellinger and Nambucca rivers wended their way seawards.

The densely timbered country in the valleys below Point Lookout abound in brush turkey, lyre bird, wonga pigeons, and dingoes, to say nothing of death adders and other reptiles. In some parts there are many large cedar trees, but it is impossible to get them out to market.

The view, however, as regards expansiveness, ruggedness, and beauty, must compare more than favourably with views of a similar nature in any part of the Commonwealth. It reminded me of the Valley of the Thousand Hills, outside Durban, in South Africa. To anyone visiting Ebor or travelling from Armidale to Grafton, I unhesitatingly say, spend an hour and wander off the road to see the Ebor Falls, and if you can spare a day borrow or hire a horse and visit Point Lookout.

On the way to Ebor the tourist can also observe another wonderful view by going off the road for about a mile near Wollombi (sic) to see the famous gorge. Into this gorge the Wollombi River falls a distance of 1500 feet on one side, while on the other the Chandler River falls a similar distance.

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September 18, 2010 at 8:05 pm

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The “Red Bushranger” at large near Armidale

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Friday 14 June 1918, The Advertiser (Adelaide)

Sydney, June 13.

The bushranger who recently began his career at Rockvale, near Armidale, has eluded the vigilance of the police who have scoured the whole of the Hernani, Tyringham, and Guy Fawkes districts. It is believed that he is now making for either Glen Innes or Grafton. The man who is known as the “Red Bushranger” told a resident that when he was on one side of the Ebor Falls he plainly saw two police on the other side. He would have shot them both if the distance had not been too great.

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September 4, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Road works

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Tuesday 26 June 1866, The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser

Nearly all the works under the department of minor. roads in the Clarence and Richmond district have been arranged for. Tenders have been invited for a bridge over the Saltwater River, on the Casino Road, and it is proposed to let metalling of approaches to Casino Ford, and some clearing through Bargo Brush. On the Tenterfield Road the improvement of Currabubla Hill, and the Sandy Hill, and several small works near Fairfield and Tenterfield have been let ; also the repairs to bridges near Wyon and at Tenterfield. On the Tenterfield and Glen Innes Road, the cutting and metalling at Bolivia has been let, also some metalling near Tenterfield. On the Grafton and Armidale Road, works have been let to amount of available funds, at Blaxland’s Swamp, Urara Bridge, approaches to Blick’s River Bridge, and at Shea’s Scrub ; also, clearing and culverts between Hillgrove and Armidale. On the road from Armidale to Glen Innes, arrangements for the works are in progress. Arrangements are being made for the commencement of works on the Newton Boyd Road. In the Kempsey and Port Macquarie district all the works have been arranged for except the bridge over Hyndman’s Creek, for which no tenders have been received. On the road from Singleton to Cassilis, all the works are let and in progress, and the screwing up of Nundle Bridge has been ordered.-Herald’s Summary, June 23.

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August 26, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Hunter River District News

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Tuesday 27 May 1856, The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser

(From the Armidale Express, May 17.)

CIRCUIT COURTS,-The great inconvenience experienced by the inhabitants of the Northern districts of the colony, from the want of Circuit Courts nearer than Maitland, has a very injurious tendency, inasmuch as serious crimes have repeatedly been overlooked, solely on account of the difficulties and expense of prosecuting them, at Maitland. Maitland is 250 miles from Armidale, and persons accused of criminal offences are often sent there from a much greater distance than Armidale. It is surprising that, although the inhabitants of the Northern districts have complained of this (great grievance.for years past, the Government have remained inert, and little has been done towards removing it. New England is rapidly acquiring an extensive population. At the Rocky River diggings, alone we believe that there are from twelve to fifteen hundred people, and this number is being augmented every day. There is every prospect of such an extensive development of new gold fields in this district, that the population must largely increase. Geologists are of opinion that the greater part of New England will yet be proved a gold- producing country. With such facts before us, it requires no prophet to foretell a large accession to our population – in fact, our present numbers may be trebled within the next year. In whatever different lights, the occupation of gold digging may be viewed, there is one subject on which people generally will agree – that much greater facilities for the commission of prime are presented at diggings than in the midst of well-ordered, settled communities. A vigorous movement has been going on for some time past respecting Circuit Courts at Tamworth. We consider they are necessary there also. Tamworth is 175 miles from Maitland, and is the capital of the Liverpool Plains district. It is consequently, as the centre of a large tract of country, possessing already considerable population. Although only 75 miles from here, there is very little connection between Tamworth and Armidale. Liverpool Plains and New England are separate and distinct from each other; and we think that, instead of any jealousy existing about which should gain the establishment of Circuit Courts – thereby throwing the other out of consideration – the inhabitants of both out to combine their best efforts to obtain assizes for each.

CENSUS FOR ARMIDALE AND THE POLICE DISTRICT.-The following is a comparative statement, based upon the official census returns for the town and police district of Armidale, for which we are indebted to the courtesy of Mr. Bligh, C.P.S. :-

              1856.                   1851
Armidale. -     Males..... 499}  858     Males}  556
                Females... 359}        Females}
Remainder of
police dis-         Males 1971} 3020     Males} 2759
trict of Ar-      Females 1049}        Females}
midale ...                      ----            ----
Total population of police dis. 3878            3315 

From the above statement it will be seen that the increase in the population of this township during the past five years has been – Males, 170; females, 132; in the aggregate 302, or about 52½ per cent. In the remainder of the police district the increase has been – Males, 111; females, 150; in the aggregate 261, or nearly 9½ per cent. We think the above results are nothing more than might be expected to accrue from the influences to which the district has been subjected during the period referred to. The main deduction from these premises are that the number of persons in the township has increased in the ratio of five to one, as compared with those occupied in pastoral pursuits ; and taking into consideration the fact that the occupation of gold digging employs a considerable number of those set down for the district population, it may fairly be assumed that the pastoral interest in this district in the year 1856, employs a smaller number of people than it did in 1851.

GOODS BY THE CLARENCE LINE. – During the past week, four heavily loaded drays have passed the Express Office, from the Clarence. We have also been informed that a dray lately arrived at Hillgrove, from Grafton, bringing up supplies and a family. These are proofs, amongst many others, that the Clarence line might be made a most desirable road for the transit of goods and produce to and from New England.

THE ROADS. – We have been informed by a gentleman who had occasion to travel over the Moonbies lately that the condition of the roads about that locality was scandalous. There were nine drays waiting at the foot of the first pinch until the road should dry – two of the drays having families with them. The road at the time was so extremely bad that our informant believed fifty bullocks could not have taken up a loaded dray. He also stated that he had passed on the road about 150 men, women, and children, bound for the Rocky River diggings.

THE ROCKY RIVER. – The diggings here are going ahead greatly, and the number of fresh arrivals is astonishing. On Tuesday last I saw a specimen of gold in quartz-not one speck only, but completely encompassing the stone. It is a handsome specimen, and I suppose worth about £2. The finder declared he procured it on these diggings. Our population is increasing with extraordinary rapidity : we want population to open up the hitherto undeveloped resources of New England. It is the opinion of most persons that New England is a gold field more or less, throughout. I have heard of several parties who have struck upon fresh discoveries of the precious metal outside the limits of the diggings. All parties appear doing well, a proof of which is the extraordinary demand for buckets, ropes, shovels, calico, and all sorts of digging tools. Two or three accommodation houses have been opened-one, in particular, which deserves that liberal support its enterprising proprietor is sure to receive.

Rocky River, May 14.

Written by macalba

August 23, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Book import relief; public libraries pleased.

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Thursday 29 June 1944, The Sydney Morning Herald

The formation of public libraries in New South Wales would be greatly assisted by the permission granted to them this week to import fiction and general literature from the United States, the principal librarian at the Public Library, Mr. J. Metcalfe, said yesterday.

Mr. Metcalfe, who is also executive member of the Book Publishing Committee and the Book Sponsorship Committee, said that about a dozen new public libraries were already planned under the recent State Library Act, including libraries at Broken Hill, Inverell, Grafton, Wagga, Lismore, Jerilderie, Glen Innes, and a children’s library at Albury.

These centres could now go ahead with their plans in the knowledge that they would not be affected by the previous ban on the import of general literature from the United States.

A booksellers’ representative said that the trade was disappointed that greater freedom had not been given for the import of general literature from the United States.

“Many standard classics are unobtainable in London since bombing destroyed publishers’ stocks and proof sheets,” he said. “We are not asking for permission to import ‘Deadwood Dicks’ and cheap thrillers. Limited import of otherwise unobtainable classics and good quality general literature could be permitted from the United States.”

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May 8, 2010 at 6:05 am

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New England National Park created.

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Friday 13 October 1933, The Sydney Morning Herald


ARMIDALE, Thursday.  

The first meeting of the recently gazetted
trustees of an area of more than 42,000 acres
between the tableland and the coast, was held
at Armidale. Bylaws were adopted, and the
area named the New England National Park.
The area embraces Point Lookout, regarded
as affording one of the finest panoramic views  
in the world. The park is 25 miles from Bel-
lingen, 48 from Armidale, 10 from Dorrigo,
30 from Macksville, 40 from Kempsey, and
55 from Grafton. Steps are being taken to
develop the area, and to provide means of ac-
cess to it.

Written by macalba

April 20, 2010 at 6:06 am

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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