Re: Powelltown tramway : why 3' gauge?

Michael J

----- Original Message -----
From: Frank Stamford []

There were very few 2 ft 6 in gauge timber tramways in Victoria.
There was a cluster around Collins Siding on the Walhalla Railway -
see this website: for
my theories on why these were not 3 ft gauge.

Thanks for your comments, and your interesting article on the PB website. I can understand the theory behind your comments. There was an old engineering maxim, I believe, that rolling stock should not be more than 3 times the width of the gauge on stability grounds.

However there were not only the 2'6" lines on the Walhalla line, there were 2' gauge logging lines in other parts of the state. Do we have any evidence that on steel railed, loco-hauled lines the gauge caused significant, practical, difficulties for the tramways concerned?

As a side thought, I noted the date for the first 2'6" gauge lines at Collins siding was 1912, correct? Of course the Long Tunnel mine at Walhalla closed at this time. That mine had extensive firewood tramways constructed to 2'6" gauge. Could it be these lines were constructed to this gauge so as to use second hand equipment from these tramways, ie wheelsets?


Michael J

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