Re: Mainbeach Burleigh Tramway


Last time I mentioned this Southport Burleigh Heads tramway I supplied a 1938 map to show the route of the road built in the mid-1920s with the aid of a tramway, including a steam locomotive.

I now have a 1929 map which would be more accurate as it is closer to the construction period, as well as a 1917 map, to show the before and after situation. Links provided below.

This 2 ft / 610 mm gauge tramway hauled quarried rock from Harper's Wharf for the building of the first road from the 1925 built Jubilee Bridge at Main Beach to Burleigh Heads via Elston, renamed Surfers Paradise in 1933.

Harper's Wharf was located near the junction of the Nerang River and Little Tallebudgera Creek in Broadbeach, marked as R57 on both the 1929 and 1917 maps. Harper's name is on his property which adjoins the wharf reserve on the southern side on the 1917 map but that was changed to a new owner on the 1929 map. Harper died 1896 and was buried in what later became the Cascades Gardens picnic area on Little Tallebudgera Creek.

A comparison of the 1917 and 1929 maps will show road changes, some of which were due to the Southport Burleigh tramway. It also will show the changes to the Southport Spit in that period.

All this material is just in time for any railway historians who may visit the Gold Coast over Easter.

The 1929 map, shows the route of the 1920s Southport Burleigh main road and therefore the route of the construction tramway

The 1917 map, shows the roads before the building of the 1920s Southport Burleigh main road

Benowa Central Sugar Mill tramway from the 1917 map, which shows its proximity to the Burleigh Southport tramway

Any pencil marks were on the map before it was sealed in plastic years ago in the QSA.

Peter Cokley

--- In, "Peter" <yahoomail@> wrote:
Those who read John Browning's "The Southport-Burleigh road construction tramway",may be interested in 3 Sept 1938 maps of the area from Southport to Broadbeach. It shows the Pacific Highway route as it was in that era which may be possibly close to the original route that was constructed with the tramway.

John's article is in Light Railways,issue 213 June 2010.This is available for purchase as a downloadable PDF from

Peter Cokley

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