Coolangatta airport tramway 1939


 A mile and a third of narrow gauge line tramway with tractor haulage was used to transport gravel for the construction of the runways for Coolangatta Aerodrome in 1939. The quarry is suspected to be the Miles St quarry now the site of the electrical substation. This is right on the state border. My only source of data so far is this trove report.

Tweed Daily (Murwillumbah, NSW: 1914 - 1949), Thursday 18 May 1939, page 7


The metalling of the three runways Mr. Jeffrey estimated, will take about 12 months. 

Metal Carried On Miniature 'Trains.. 

The metal — yellow-coloured C grade stone, which will crush under a roller and constant use to a smooth powder like surface — is being transported by trolley from a quarry at the foot of the north-west side of Mt Murraba. Most of the 20 men employed on the job are working at the quarry, filling the tip-trucks. There are two sets of five trucks, which form two small trains. These are drawn alternately to the aerodrome along a mile and a third of narrow-gauge line by a tractor. The average time taken on a return trip is half an hour. While many men are engaged in filling the trucks, only two are required to spread the metal to a thickness of about three inches between the times of arrival of the train. Mr. Jeffrey said he had met with great difficulty in building the trolley line over the swampy country between the quarry and the aerodrome. The line kept on sinking, he said, and if all the metal he had used for filling the swamp had been used on the aerodrome he would be much further ahead than he was. 


Peter Cokley



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