Re: Pyrmont CSR


Thanks everybody for all these revealing responses and I’ll enjoy spending time analysing them in depth!!  Also just downloaded that City of Sydney historical map and it is quite revealing.   


Quite an interesting topic as the standard gauge NSWGR aspect of the Tweed sugar cane and processed sugar  / molasses transportation shows some ‘interesting’ aspects for those LRRSA folk who study the wagons that operated on long disused rail routes. Sugar Cane wagon were listed in the 1945 version of the state wide NSWGR General Appendix to the Book of Rules and Regulations and to the Working Time-Tables - Part I. The wagon data included wheel arrangements (bogie or 4W), length over buffers / couplers as well as carrying capacity. The cane wagon of particular interest is the LCT, described as ***Old Carriage Underframe*** 24 ft 6 in, 8 Tons;  That 1945 GA is found at


But the LCT, described as ‘Old Carriage Underframe’ on that 1945 GA, are listed as four wheel in the February 1969 NSWGR state wide General Appendix to the Book of Rules and Regulations and to the Working Time-Tables - Part I, as follows; LCT 4W, 24 ft 6 in, 8 Tons;  That suggests the passenger presumably bogie gear was swapped for 4 wheel style in the cane rebuild. Maybe the passenger bogies were reused under other passenger cars.  


I am using the standard research method of ‘following the money trail’ for the Tweed sugar tramway research, by ‘shaking the money tree’ and seeing what titbits fall at my feet! The Tweed Regional Museum staff are helping me close in on this corporate money trail as they have given me access to their files including the Robb family and other sugar data. Dare I introduce a pun and say it is ‘juicy data’!! Once I started on the Robb family file for the Cudgen sugar mill / tramway enterprise, I quickly discovered it was a father and son job at Cudgen, with other offspring in other parts of the Robb business.  The father was the well John Robb, commemorated by Robb’s Monument on the Cairns Kuranda railway in north Queensland. The Tweed files revealed him as John Frederick Robb, the father, who died in 1896, so clearly not the Robb who sold the mill / tramway etc to CSR many years after his death! The third son was John Alexander Robb, who entered this chronicle as a major Cudgen executive around 1892. John Alexander Robb, the son, was born 5 September 1870, so was 21 in September 1891.  John Frederick Robb, the father, was usually listed as John Robb in the Government Gazettes and his son was usually shown as John Alexander Robb or John A  Robb in the NSW Gazettes. The museum has given me a scan of the **handwritten** (Robb Casey Julius) Cudgen Robb & Co December 1882 agreement and a copy of that PDF is now safely with the LR editors. The museum has also given me their preferred acknowledgement style.  I will not reveal too much more on the Robb corporate money trail before I submit the article to LR.


CSR Condong’s corporate history, like Robb and Co, also involved a father and son in executive positions. The father was Edward Knox, (1819–1901), and the son was Edward William Knox, (1847–1933). As the father was knighted in 1898, only three years before his death, many of the Trove references would not refer to him as Sir Edward Knox. Again, I am sorting out Condong’s money trail to see what business / financial aspects of the tramway are extracted (pun intended!!). At the moment, I am examining the standard gauge aspects of Condong as earlier published research was mostly done in the pre Trove era and Trove documents have allowed very bright spotlights on certain matters which I won’t spill here before publication.



Peter Cokley






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