1890s cane trucks


Need a bit of background advice please regarding 2 foot gauge 1890s cane trucks and how common was the fitting of brakes and the difference between bogie trucks and what were termed in 1890s as single trucks?


The CSR line in question, Duranbah Tweed River, included a 1 in 46 grade for a continuous distance of 94 chains (1891 metres) down ‘alongside’ Cudgen Rd from its junction with Duranbah Rd, then across to the wharf near what is now Tweed Valley Way , formally the Pacific Highway. Then a 11km barge trip to CSR’s Condong sugar mill. Naturally the funiculars mentioned below were also steep, so the question of brakes is of interest. I understand the funiculars also had a brake device on the cable drum gear.


I am almost finished preparing an article for LRRSA on the 1890s Duranbah CSR tramway in the Tweed River area. The CSR Tweed Letter Book (6 July 1894) notes the trucks ordered for Duranbah were bogie trucks and Duranbah farmers wanted to swap them with what they termed in their handwritten letter as ‘single trucks, with brakes’, that were used by Caleb Marks who was one of the Terranora funicular cane tramway farmers.


The same CSR Letter Book has a letter from another Terranora funicular cane tramway farmer, Thomas Fraser, to Condong mill manager William Isaacs, dated 30 March 1895. The letter included a picture taken from what Fraser described as ‘Fowlers Catalogue’, of the type of wagon Fraser wanted. More to the point, Fraser states it is the style of truck used by Caleb Marks. The Fowler catalogue labelled the wagon as ‘Colonial Type, with bracket ends, load 20 Cwts’.


I just added a copy of the Fowler Catalogue image, sourced from Fraser’s letter, to this group’s files



Any help gratefully received. My Cudgen Robb & Co tramway article is in the next LR and the Duranbah one for LR is almost done. My other individual Tweed CSR tramway articles for LR,  (Crabbes Creek, Condong area and Terranora etc) are partly done.



Peter Cokley





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