Re: Proposed VR Narrow Gauge Lines

Michael J

Is this article available as a download on the LRRSA site?


----- Original Message -----
From: Bill Hanks []
Sent: 30/06/2008 10:05:04 AM
Subject: RE: [LRRSA] Re:Proposed VR Narrow Gauge Lines

About 15 years I wrote an article that appeared in Light Railways called
"The Narrow Gauge Question". In it I mentioned a number of the
proposals investigated by the parliamentary standing committee on
railways. All my information at the time came from the Victorian
Railways Annual Reports, but there was also one report on the question
of whether to build narrow gauge or not.

The first line built was surveyed and planned as 2ft gauge, but changed
to 2ft 6in at the 11th hour. The plan and section books all have the
"6in" added in pencil to the plan headings.

It is worthwhile pondering the fact that we may well have had Krauss
locos on the VR NG if it was 2ft. Whilst the track gauge was widened by
6", the opportunity was not taken to widen the rolling stock, which is
still more appropriate for 2ft gauge.

For the lines from Ballarat to Ararat and Ballarat to Maryborough, 3ft
6in gauge was originally proposed.


Bill Hanks.


From: [] On
Behalf Of John Cleverdon
Sent: Sunday, 29 June 2008 10:06 AM
Subject: [LRRSA] Re:Proposed VR Narrow Gauge Lines

Hello all,
My father has a copy of an Arthur Winzenried facsimile reprinting of the

1896 Parliamentary report, and the following areas are mentioned:
* Wandin and Warburton (this became the broad-gauge Warburton line - the

report comments "No district visited by the Committee presents better
prospects for a payable railway")
* King River (rejecting a broad gauge line from Glenrowan to Edi; this
became the Whitfield line, and an extension from Whitfield to Tolmie was

* Gembrook. (this became the Gembrook line)
* Beech Forest. (this became the Beech Forest-Crowes line; there was
also discussion of extending the broad-gauge line from Forrest along the


and the following as possible areas:
* McDonalds Track / Poowong East (described as "one of the best after
those selected for the trial lines"; but then look how long the
Strezelecki line lasted ... Other surveys were made looking at links
from Thorpdale/Mirboo North)
* Carrajung (looking at a line from Traralgon to Alberton)
* Orbost / Snowy River (discussing a line from Cunninghame [Lakes
Entrance] to Orbost)
* Upper Murray / Mitta Mitta River (considering both a spur from
Bethanga to Walwa as well as through Cudgewa to Corryong and Towong.
Also considered was a line from Tallangatta to Eskdale/Mitta Mitta)
* Moondarra / Walhalla (this became the Walhalla line)
* Tolmie (from Mansfield to Tolmie)

Also listed as being visited were:
* Gunbower and Cohuna (which became the broad-gauge Cohuna line)
* Bass Valley (which became the broad-gauge Wonthaggi line)
The recommendations for these two locations were low-cost broad-gauge

For those who can provide advice, my father is hoping to get a copy of
the Parliamentary report into a proposed-but-never-built line to Dromana

(on the Mornington Peninsula, south of Melbourne). What makes this of
interest is that the station site was to be where our house now is!

John Cleverdon
Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

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