OPENING OF THE GREAT SOUTHERN
RAILWAY TO GOULBURN.
THE Great Southern Railway to Goulburn was opened on
the 27th May by his Excellency the Earl of Belmore. It is an event which augurs well for the rapid growth, and great prosperity of the Southern districts, and one which will not be without marked advantage to Sydney. The occasion was one of gladness and popular rejoicing. The citizens of Goulburn predict a bright future for the Southern capital, now that it has been united to Sydney with iron bands, and through Sydney brought into more direct and speedy intercourse with all civilised communities. Sydney, with its one hundred thousand mouths, five or six hours' distant, ought to be a good customer to the farmors and horticulturists of the Southern districts, who, by the exercise of ordinary industry and skill may appropriate much of the trade which has hitherto gone to America and South Australia for grain, on the one hand, and to Tasmania for English fruits and jams, on the other. The country between Goulburn and Yass is well adapted to agricultural pursuits. That district is also rich in mineral deposits, though, from the operation of causes which it is not difficult to trace, those stores of underground wealth have been all but entirely neglected. The whole of the traffic of the Southern
district converges upon Goulburn. The surplus produce of the rich agricultural lands of Braidwood and Quean-
beyan will probably be sent down by the line, while
commodities to and from Boro, Binalong, Young, and Yass must also swell the railway receipts. At present, the principal traffic will consist of wool, wheat, and live stock. Since the opening of the railway to Mittagong and Marulan, a large quantity of wheat has been forwarded by rail to Sydney — wheat which, prior to the open- ing of the railway, was of little value from the fact that it could not be taken to market. A large trade in sheep and fat stock will constantly make use of the railway ; and with a view to the accommodation of this traffic, commodious yards are about to be con- structed between the Main Southern Road and the Mulwarree Ponds Viaduct. These yards are contiguous to
the railway, and they will have the great additional advantage that the stock will have immediate access to a copious supply of water. The " opening " brought an im- mense influx of visitors into Goulburn from all parts of the country for miles around. Every hotel was taxed to afford accommodation to its patrons ; every house afforded hospitable shelter. New regions, vast in extent and rich in sources of interest, are made accessible to the tourist and the invalid, who have now opportunities of recruiting their health by a visit to a part of the colony so elevated that in winter the temperature resembles that of England. The scenery along the line is not so grand as that in the vicinity of the Western Railway. After leaving the elegant suburban villas and the trim little gardens around them, brightened up by tho warm-looking colours of the chrysanthemum and other winter flowering plants, the locomotive quickly brings us to the Parramatta Junction, and then hurries us past the orangeries near the township, and the vineyards and orchards in the neighbourhood of Fairfield. A tempo- rary stoppage at Liverpool enables us to detect some in- dications of remaining vigour in what of late years has not been a very bustling township. As the train leaves Liverpool the wool-washing establishment and the paper mills come into view. Scarcely have these objects dropped away from
the range of vision, before we are abreast of Macquarie Fields ; and from there to Picton the eye is gladdened
by a series of charming rural pictures as it rests upon tha beautiful and varying aspect of thw rich undulating country. Starting from Picton, a glimpse of which is caught to the right as the train leaves the station, you enter a forest of gum trees, which stretch away for miles, and there is nothing in the landscape to re- lieve the tedious monotony of the scene until the Bargo country is reached, where you are again tempted to look out of the window, with a view to discover why the swift
flight of the locomotive has been checked, and your pro- gress through this inhospitable desert has been all but stopped. As the train moves lazily onward, you find that you are winding round the foot of a mountain, which rises rather abruptly on the right. Having passed over the head of one or two gullies, where the line is partly formed of embankments consisting of sand- stone blasted from the roadway passing through some of
the hill sides — you move onwards for about three-quarters of a mile through a corridor of rock, the jagged walls on either side being from 70 to 80 feet high. A short period of travel brings you to the Gibraltar Gap, in the Mittagong Range, the entrance to which seems to be sentinelled by a mountain on the right, whose steep and rocky front arrests attention a minute before the train rushes into the longest tunnel (539 yards) yet made on any of our lines. Here follows another dreary waste of gum trees, the line running through a tract of country in which there is nothing of interest to the tourist. At Vine Lodge, the residence of Mr. Badgery, the summit of the line is reached, the elevation here being about 2240 feet higher than at the Redfern platform. The Winge- carribee is also crossed between Bowral and Sutton Forest, where the railway passes a short distance to the right of the Governor's country residence. Grey sandstone boulders crop out along the hill sides, near Barber's Creek, which is crossed by a fine stone viaduct. Marulan, 115 miles from Sydney, is reached in five hours and a quarter. From that place to Goulburn, about 130 miles from Sydney, the line runs through a sterile tract of country, although there are a few sowings of wheat along the banks of the Wollondilly which winds about the base of the Cookbondoon Ranges. Near the junction of the Wollondilly and the Mulwarree Ponds a fine view of the Mulwarree Viaduct may be obtained, and in another minute or two the city of Goulburn comes
There are five iron bridges on Mr. Faviell's contract in the extension just opened, those over the Wollondilly, and that over the Mulwarree Ponds, being the largest. The latter has a very handsome elevation, and the former also have a very comely and symmetrical appearance. Solidity and strength are their principal characteristics.
The passenger station, which is superior to anything of the kind in the colony, is a handsome brick building, with clean rubbed freestone quoins, cornices, and facing, in the Anglo-Italian style of architecture. Tho goods warehouse and the carriage shed are brick buildings of suitable dimen- sions and appointments.
Before the opening the Engineer-in-Chief (Mr. Whitton) made a thorough examination of the line, and found it to be in first-rate order. A considerable quantity of bluestone was met with in some of the heavy cuttings on this length, and the permanent way has been ballasted with it. The station- yard will also be ballasted with the same material. For the present, foot-paths have been made with fine gravel
over the rough stones from the station-house to the street, also to the goods shed, which was used for the banquet.
The opening day was made a public holiday in Goulburn.
Tho first train to arrive at Goulburn was a special, containing the members of Parliament and a number of other gentlemen. The Hon. Minister for Works (Mr. John Sutherland, M.L.A.), was also a passenger by this train. Its arrival called forth loud cheers from the crowd of spectators on the platform.
The train by which his Excellency the Governor and suite, the Hon. John Robertson (Colonial Secretary), the Hon. William Forster (Minister for Lands), the Hon. S. Samuel (Colonial Treasurer), the Hon. J. F. Josephson, (Solicitor General), and the Hon. D. Egan (Postmaster- General), Sir Terence Aubrey Murray (the President of the Upper House), Mr. Charles Cowper, C.M.G., the Hon. Thomas Holt, M.L.C., Mr. Thomas S. Mort, Mr. O'Shanassy, Mr. John Rae (Under-secretary for Works), and many other gentlemen occupying official and other positions of influence travelled, arrived later in the day. The approach of the train to the station was the signal for great cheering, which was again renewed as his Excellency, his private Secretary (Mr. Toulmin), and the Ministers stepped on to the platlform. A guard of honour, formed by sixty or seventy of the Goulburn Volunteer Rifles, under the com- mand of Captain Finlay and Ensign Windeyer, lined the path from the platform to the carriage — the central space
being occupied by the Hon. tbe Minister for Works, the Inspector-General of Police, the Bishop of Goulburn, the Mayor of Goulburn, and the members of the Reception
The Mayor of Goulburn (Mr. F. Horn) presented to the Governor an address of welcome and congratulation, to which his Excellency replied. He said he had great plea- sure in inaugurating the ceremony, and felt assured that the opening of the railway between Sydney and Goulburn would tend to develop commercial enterprise, and promote to a con- siderable extent the agricultural and pastoral interests of that part of the colony.
In the evening there was a banquet when nearly two hundred gentlemen sat down to the feast. The chair was occupied by his Worship the Mayor of Goulburn (Mr. F. Horn). To the right of the chairman sat his Excellency the Governor (the Earl of Belmore). To the left of the chair was the Bishop of Goulburn (Dr. Thomas). The vice-chair was taken by Mr. W. P. Faithfull. A platform had been constructed for the accommodation of ladies who desired to honour the banquet with their presence. The Countess of Belmore was there. Her entrance, accom- panied by Mrs. Lambert, Mrs. Toulmin, Miss Gladstone, and Mrs. Thomas, was the signal for a general outburst of applause. "Three cheers for the Countess," called for by the hon. the Premier, were given with great enthusiasm.
The loyal toasts having been duly honoured, the CHAIR- MAN proposed "His Excellency the Earl of Belmore," the Governor of this colony.
His Excellency the Earl of BELMORE rose amid much
cheering, and delivered an eloquent and elaborate speech, reviewing somewhat in detail the rise and progress of rail- ways in New South Wales. He said, in the course of his observations : — The toast which has been entrusted to me — "Prosperity to Goulburn and the Southern districts" — is one particularly appropriate to this oc- casion, when we are met together to celebrate the completion of the first projected line of railway in the Australian colonies. Twenty-three years ago, a single line from Sydney to Goulburn was projected. The survey was entrusted to Mr. Woore, and that was com- pleted in 1848. In the first instance a company was formed, with a capital of £100,000 to begin with, upon which the Government guaranteed interest for ten years at the rate of 5 per cent. The estimated cost per mile was not to exceed £6090. The profit was calculated at 8 per cent. Mr. Cowper was elected president and manager of the company, and on the 3rd of July, 1850, the first sod was turned by the Hon. Mrs. Keith Stewart, daughter of his Excellency Sir Charles Fitzroy, then Governor of the colony. The first contract was for 4½ miles from Haslem's Creek towards Sydney, and a tender to perform the work for £10,000 was accepted in March, 1851. Those works were commenced, and they proceeded satisfactorily until the discovery of gold in the Bathurst district. This upset the calculations both of the contractor and the directors. The original contractor was ultimately relieved of his contract, the work was completed by another con- tractor, and a further length from Sydney to Ashfield undertaken by him, — Government having undertaken to im-
port 500 labourers from England, so great was the scarcity of labourers at that time. A loan of £150,000 was sanctioned by the Government in 1852, in the proportion of three-fifths public money to two-fifths subscribed by the people. In 1853 the railway labourers arrived, and the completion of the whole line from Sydney to Parramatta was placed in the contractor's (Mr. Randle's) hands. This was the last act of the directors appointed by the share- holders. A Board was then formed, partly elected by the
shareholders and partly nominated by tho Government. At their first meeting, in January 1851, it was stated that the estimate of cost, which was taken at £218,420 in 1853,
must be raised to £320,000, besides £69,000 for the Darling Harbour branch. The capital was increased by £100,000, and an additional loan from Government obtained of
£150,000, and the sum of 5 per cent. in perpetuity gua- ranteed on the subscribed capital of £200,000. The esti- mate was again raised in 1855 to £500,000. The total cost, including Darling Harbour branch, has been
£620,499 10s. 5d. ; or £44,000 a mile. It should be stated, however, that at first only a single line was contemplated between Sydney and Parramatta. In 1855 the railways were purchased by Government from the Hunter River Railway Company for the amount of its paid-up capital, and the Sydney Railway Company for the
amount of capital with a bonus of 7 per cent. The cost per mile of construction of the lines to Picton, Penrith, and Singleton was as follows : — Trunk line and branch, £44,321 ; Great Southern (increased by Menangle Bridge by £2000 a mile) amounted to £16,475; Great Western (reduced by Richmond Branch) to £9806 ; Great Northern and Branch to £14,378 — and this line may be taken as a fair average of what the lines cost. All the lines taken together, exclusive of rolling stock and machinery, cost £16,713 per mile ; all the lines, including rolling stock and machinery, £18,404. The average cost of single line to these termini may be taken at £14,000. The total ex- penditure on the railways of New South Wales to the 31st December, 1868, was £5,222,248. He also mentioned that there were open in this colony not less than 5160 miles of telegraph, which, according to his return, was a greater length than Victoria, and more than double that of Queens- land or South Australia. His Excellency concluded by proposing, "Prosperity to Goulburn and the Southern dis- tricts." He said : I trust those who respond to it will not confine themselves to wishing success to one district or one colony alone. (Applause.) For my part, I do not desire for these Australian colonies a mere showy prosperity of mushroom growth, but I desire for them that, advancing steadily and by degrees from a sure foundation, they may in time become a great nation. (Continued cheering.)
Mr. W. Davis responded. He spoke of the progress of Goulburn, and adduced facts to show what a close link there was between Goulburn present and the time when Goulburn was neither peopled nor known. Goulburn had in it elements of prosperity which would be developed by the railway, and increase so as to ensure her right to be called which she now professed to be — " The City of the South." The Hon. J. CHISHOLM, M.L.C., and Mr. THOMAS BARKER and Mr. DIGNAM, M.L.A., also re-
Mr. W. P. FAITHFULL proposed the " Army and Navy and Volunteers."'
Captain PALMER, of H.M.S., Rosario, Captain M'LERIE, and Captain FINLAY returned thanks.
The VICE-CHAIRMAN (Mr. Faithfull) proposed " Our Representative Institutions."
The Hon. PRESIDENT of the Legislative Council (Sir T. A. Murray), responded. Glancing at our representative institutions, and expressing his belief that the members of Parliament were animated by an earnest desire to do their duty in furthering the prosperity of the colony.
Mr. ALEXANDER, M.L. A., and Mr. DIGNAM, M.L A.,
also returned thanks.
The VICE-CHAIRMAN proposed " The Ministry." :
The Hon. J. ROBERTSON (Premier) rose amid continued cheering to return thanks. He said it was hardly necessary for him to say one word about the past history of the rail- way ; and even if it had been he was glad to see his dis-
tinguished friend Mr. Cowper present on this occasion. (Cheers.) He was glad to see him here, for this day was his day. (Continued cheering. This demonstration was his demonstration — it was a demonstration in favour of all those who, in the early days of railway effort, worked with him, and initiated the Southern Rail- way. (Cheers.) Standing there as the representative of the Government, responsible to the Parliament, he thought he might be permitted to call attention to the fact, that in future we need not fear comparison with our sister colony. It had been too much the practice of our people to speak dolefully of the prospects of New South Wales, as com- pared with the prospects of the other colonies. (Hear, hear.) He had never been able to understand why we should speak dolefully of our prospects, as compared with the prospects of any other of the Australian colonies. (Hear, hear, and cheers.) We found now that we had some sixty miles more railway than even Victoria pos- sessed, and that we had two thousand miles more telegraph than Victoria had. We had had to expend four mil- lions of money, or something like that, in cutting through barren and useless ridges. (Hear, hear.) They had not had to perform similar work in the other colonies.
The Hon. CHARLES COWPER (Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George) rose amidst continued cheer- ing. He gave an interesting account of his early labours in connection with railway enterprise in this colony. He hoped the Government would see their way to raise funds for carrying on the work further. In 1853, when a proposition was made by the Governor of South Australia to connect all the Australian colonies by railway, he then expressed an opinion that, whatever the cost, the colony of New South Wales should have railways in all directions. It was a matter of the deepest importance to New South Wales that railways should be carried out. He thought it was a matter of regret that we had not done long ago as Victoria had done, pass an Act for raising a few millions of money. No doubt money would be wasted. Money was wasted on all occasions in Government undertakings. But though the carrying out of undertakings such as railways has been accomplished slowly in New South Wales, as some might think, yet after all we had accomplished a great deal in a short time. Still it had taken twenty years to do what we have done. Twenty years ago no one believed we should now be cele- brating the opening of the Goulburn railway. The pro- gress since then had been rapid, and we could only hope that in the future it would continue to extend. There was a subject of more importance even than that of railways. If prosperity was to progress co-ordinate with rail- ways we ought to have a scheme of immigra- tion. The two might very well work together. Now that we had gone down from £49,000 to £10,000 per
mile for the construction of our railways, we may hope to carry them more rapidly forward than we had hitherto done. He still believed that railways were the best and cheapest roads we could have ; and he thought the Govern- ment would have no difficulty in raising money to carry them on. He thanked the company for the manner in which they had received his name, and concluded by pro- posing the toast which had been entrusted to him, namely — "Success to the Great Southern Railway, and may it not be long before it reaches Yass."
The Hon. JOHN SUTHERLAND returned thanks on behalf of the Government. He had always felt a strong interest in, and a warm desire for, the construction of railways. He was one of the first of the original shareholders of the Sydney Railway Company when it was formed. But there was one thing wanted in order to make the railways in this country a success, and that was population. (Cheers.) The debt incurred in the construction of railways was was between £5,000,000 and £6,000,000. That was a heavy debt for so small population as we had here ; but it would be nothing if there were five or six millions of people here to use the railways, So long as he held his present posi- tion he should do, as he had always done, everything in his power to advance the interests of the colony by the .con- struction of railways and other works. (Cheers.) He proposed the health of Mr. Whitton, the Engineer-in- Chief for Railways. (Cheers.) No gentleman had taken a deeper interest in railways than Mr. Whitton had done. Through evil report and good report Mr. Whitton had gone on in his own way unwavering, and had satisfactorily carried out what he had commenced. (Cheers).
Mr. JOHN WHITTON offered his warmest thanks to the company for the very kind manner in which they received his name. He congratulated the inhabitants of Goulburn on the fact that the last link of the original extension of the Sydney and Goulburn Railway had been opened.
Mr. T. S. MORT proposed — " Connection with the sister colonies by railway extension," and spoke warmly in favour
Mr. O'SHANASSY (of Melbourne) responded.
The other toasts were — " Our guests," "The Countess of Belmore and the Ladies of the colony," "Mr, Faviell, the contractor" and " The Mayor of Goulburn."
At 11 o'clock on the following morning, the Countess of Belmore planted a tree in the market reserve. A silver- plated spade was presented to Lady Belmore by the Mayor and Aldermen of the city. After the planting of the tree (an English oak), three cheers were given for the Countess, three for her Majesty the Queen, three for his Ex- cellency the Governor, and three for the Mayor. The festivities concluded with a ball, which was numerously