Thanks for this impressive piece of work – hopefully it may become an article in ‘Light Railways’ in due time.
The failure to put through sufficient cane was the difficulty that led to the closure of Nerang Mill and a huge loss to the taxpayer.
There were four mills under direct Queensland Government control in 1910 (because they were in severe financial straits) and this is what they crushed.
1910 was a relatively good year for Nerang according to the few figures I have collected, and the performance was officially described as ‘promising’.
Even through the mill’s crushing capacity was at least 20,000 tons, this did not make it large in relation to mills north of Brisbane. However, it was by far the biggest of the south coast mills which included the small privately owned Eagleby, Alberton, The Junction, Rocky Point & Steiglitz mills, all in the Beenleigh area and operated by German settlers. None of these was in a position to receive cane by tramway or QR at this stage.
By contrast, cane was consigned to Nerang via QR from Stapylton, Ormeau and Pimpama.
Most farmers up and down the Nerang River and along the South Coast railway must have had better uses for their land than to grow sugar cane on it.