Re: Brisbane Grafton data


G’day Peter.

Thanks for your email.

The length quoted for the 35 class would be the overall length, and NOT the wheelbase length.   According to “Steam Locomotive Data” (PTC of NSW, 7/1974), the wheelbase length of a 35 class is “only” 53ft 9¾in., well short enough to be turned on a 60-ft turntable.

A 36 class is 59ft 1in.   There were apparently “short 60-ft” and  “long 60-ft” turntables – so it obviously relies on the skill of the enginemen as to whether it would be necessary to split the 36 class for turning.  Armidale had a 60-ft turntable and 36 class off the North Mail were regularly turned there without splitting.

Another matter to consider when turning an engine which is longer than the turntable itself is whether there are any obstructions around the turntable perimeter.   This was found to be the case when a 36 class was first turned on the 60-ft ‘table at Kiama.   Luckily, the local Bridge Gang were working nearby and were able to attend with their oxy-gear to remove the offending item.



Peter Neve OAM 


From: LRRSA@... [mailto:LRRSA@...]
Sent: Sunday, 18 March 2018 10:25 AM
To: LRRSA@...
Subject: RE: [LRRSA] Brisbane Grafton data



Hi Pete and all,

Like you Peter, I was very curious and posted some of the following on another email group yesterday and it is similar to your questions.

The 1917 plan with all those locomotive facilities, especially two 75 ft turntables, does suggest someone in Sydney considered the proposed standard gauge right through to Brisbane traffic volumes would need two roundhouses in Casino. The other initial alternative to Brisbane was transhipping at Tweed Heads and that might not require two roundhouses for NSW locos as the QLD side would be QR locomotives, thus less NSW locos. The only other alternative was someone in Sydney thought the local NSW traffic, and any new lines as the Casino Tenterfield one, would expand to need two roundhouses with 75 ft turntables. For the record, the NSW 35 class were 62 ft 10 in and introduced in 1914 before the 1917 date of this plan, so the 75 ft might suggest eventual use of the 35 class or larger locos in the district. Byways of Steam 18 shows NSW 32 class express passenger locos first arrived Lismore 1927 and the standard goods 50 class arrived Lismore Depot 1930 for Brisbane run. Also, in 1917, as people are aware, the line Grafton to Sydney was not finished with the last missing section south of Grafton being the Macksville Urunga section which opened in December 1923, although the trunk route also included the rail ferry across the Clarence River at Grafton until the 1932 bridge.


I read somewhere, but can’t recall exactly where, the decision to build a standard gauge loco depot in Brisbane changed the planning for the size of the Casino one, remembering Casino opened in 1933. The initial QLD standard gauge loco depot was proposed but never built at Park Rd, 2.6km from South Brisbane. I traced the files at QLD State Archives on the standard gauge Park Rd loco depot with the item ID on the following URL which is extracted from that QSA file. I used my camera to obtain these



Peter Cokley


From: LRRSA@...
Sent: Saturday, 17 March 2018 7:25 PM
To: LRRSA@...
Subject: RE: [LRRSA] Brisbane Grafton data


This was a grand plan, including a massive carriage shed and “standard” ramped coal stage.      Considering that the through line to South Brisbane did not eventuate until 1930, one must assume that this facility was intended to replace the facilities at Lismore – which were okay when Lismore was the nerve centre of the Tweed Railway, but certainly not so as the line expanded southwards to Grafton.

It would be of interest to be able to read the Report for which this plan was prepared … what were the operating intentions planned?


From: LRRSA@... [mailto:LRRSA@...]
Sent: Saturday, 17 March 2018 12:59 PM
Subject: RE: [LRRSA] Brisbane Grafton data


A generous person just sent a copy of the NSWR 1917 plan for Casino's double roundhouse arrangement, ie two full size roundhouses, both with 75 ft turntables. What did eventuate was one 75ft turntable, with covering on the southern side only, which opened December 1933, replacing Lismore as main depot for area. Mileage from Grafton. The plan shows the present station which opened 22.9.1930 with the Sth Brisbane standard gauge line, as well as the original 1903 platform and triangle on the Lismore line. The links in my earlier post give other regional data. Cheers Peter Cokley


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