Re: Timber tramway proposed near Launceston, 1855

Tony Coen

That clears that up, Greg. Thanks for that.

Sent: Saturday, January 27, 2018 12:26 AM
Subject: RE: [LRRSA] Timber tramway proposed near Launceston, 1855

The photo in Branagan’s book is of the 3’ 6” gauge Grubb’s Silver Mining Co tramway at Zeehan.

Greg Johnston

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From: mailto:LRRSA@...
Sent: Friday, 26 January 2018 11:19 PM
To: LRRSA@...
Subject: Re: [LRRSA] Timber tramway proposed near Launceston, 1855

Greetings, chaps.

For a long time, I have possessed notes on Grubb and Tyson’s Tramway and they reflect that the tramway was in operation, possibly into the early 1880s. According to my notes, the mill at Underwood closed down in 1869 and the tramway continued on spasmodically as a means of moving people and goods in and out of the respective area. It claims that the Launceston terminus of the line was at the present day site of the Mowbray Hotel. I have been to the Hollybank forestry reserve on a few occasions and have walked along the formation where it runs through the park.

I know that J.G. Branagan’s book “Bush Tramways and Private Railways of Tasmania” is not the most fallible of tomes on railway history that any of us have read, but his description of the tramway’s story is similar to my notes. Furthermore, Branagan’s grandfather was one of the men who erected the Piper’s River Mill and built the tramway, so there may be some credibility in his description of the tramway.

Branagan also has a photo. in his book that purports to show a tram in a deep cutting on the line, with credits given to the Queen Victoria Museum, Launceston. We all know that Museum people are subjective in their interpretations of such things, but I would suggest that the photo. is of some other well-built railway and not of the tramway in question. It would certainly have been built with the least amount of expense, and not have such a lavish cutting anywhere en route. The gauge does appear to be around 4’6”, though.

Since your discussions appeared in this medium, I searched around on Google and found information that might be clarification of the tramway’s operations, but such write-ups are often derived from hear-say. Have a look at

Look forward to anything further on the existence or otherwise of this interesting tramway.


    Tony Coen.

Sent: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 9:16 PM

To: LRRSA@...

Subject: Re: [LRRSA] Timber tramway proposed near Launceston, 1855


Hello David,

The reference to gauge has now been removed from the article - which I think is the right approach.

4 ft 6 in is more plausible than 3 ft 6 in,  but without documentary evidence it is just a guess.


On 17/01/2018 8:54 PM, 'David Halfpenny (Yahoo 2)' david.halfpenny@... [LRRSA] wrote:


On 17 Jan 2018, at 09:20, [LRRSA] <LRRSA@...> wrote:

The link below is to a very interesting item about a timber tramway proposed in 1855 and partly built near Launceston, Tasmania. (Not to be confused with Grubb's Tramway near Zeehan, which operated about 40 years later). There is a very detailed map. I question the statement in the Wikipedia article that this tramway was 3 ft 6 in gauge, as that gauge was almost unknown in 1855. I would like to see some evidence from the period before accepting that!

It’s been corrected to 4’ 6” Frank, which is the old Scotch gauge and very plausible for the period.

David 1/2d

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