Extension of Southern and Western
THE commission appointed to enquire into the best means of connecting the Southern and Western Railway with navigable water, met at the Colonial Secretary's office yesterday after- noon, all the members being present, with the exception of the hon. W. Miles, who has been out of town for some time.
The only witness examined was Mr. H. C.
STANLEY, chief engineer of the Southern and Western Railway, who presented a tabulated statement showing the estimated cost of the proposed schemes for connecting the railway with water frontage in Brisbane. The following figures show the totals given in each case :—
1. Oxley to River-terrace at Woolon-
gabba ... ... £85,348 2. From Woolongabba to Victoria
Bridge (extension to South Bris-
bane) ... ... 27,179 3. Extension to Bulimba from the pre-
sent terminus, with high level
line for coal shoots . 49,87(1
4. Extension of Ho. S for low level
wharf . 9,653 5. Extension from terminus to Queen's
wharf . 24,569 6. Queen's Wharf to Port Office (ex-
tension of No. 6) . 39,758 7. Further extension samo from Port
Office to Creek-street . 14,560 8. From Creek-street to present ter-
minus, vid the Custom-hnuae ... 34,767 9. Queen'B Wharf through Botanical
Gardens. 5,028 10. Tramway from present terminus to
Port Office . D,599 11. Further length tramway forming
branch from No. 10 to Petrie's
Bight vid Albert, Mary, and
' Eagle streets . 7,850 Nos. 1 and 2 (if combined) are esti-
mated to cost.112,528 Nos. 8 and 4 (if combined) ... ' ... 69,080 Nos. 6, 6, 7, and 8 (if combined) ... 118,655 These estimates are all exclusive of the cost of purchasing land and of erecting wharves or warehouses ; they include earthworks, brldgeB, permanent way, stations and contingencies. Mr. Stanley also produced plans and booka of refer- ence so that land valuations might be arrived nt if necessary ; Borne of the estimates provided for double lines part of tho way ; the tunnel near the Custom-house would bo ten chains in length, that near the Parliamentary Houses eight chains, that near the Orphanage five chains. In answer to questions from the chair- man, the witnesa stated that Mr. J. C. Griffith, who had Bent the commission a printed descrip- tion of a scheme for connecting the railway with deep water, was an officer of the Railway Engineers Department, and had published the pamphlet referred to without his (Mr. Stanley's) knowledgo or consent ; 'ho considered the action taken was moBt unwarrantable, and looked upon it as a breach of confidence, as Mr. Griffith had been employed upon this matter, and had had information at his command which ho had no authority to use ns he had done. In reference to the scheme proposed, ho (Mr. Stanley) had some months ago considered it, but thoro were several objections which prevented his referring it to tho favorable notice of the Government. Mr. Griffith had never asked permission to publish the scheme ; ho had been in tho office for twelve or eighteen months, and ranked as assistant on gineor and draftsman. Since his previous ex- amination ho (Mr. Stanley) had visited New- castle, and had spent two days in examining the arrangements for the shipment of coal at that port, and had also collected information as to tho cost of transit ; the ship- ping of coal was carried out under contract, for the Government, at 2d. per ton, the contraotor having the uso of staithB and cranes ; there was also a charge of 2£d. per ton for " trimming " in intercolonial voBaela and 3Jd. in foreign vessels, which was paid by the commissioner, but charged against the owner ; at the rates paid on the Newcastle lines for tho conveyance of coal, it might bo brought from Ipswich to Brisbane (reckoning the distance at 25 miles), at a cost of 34£d. per ton delivered in the ships, or 31Jd. where owners truckB are used ; such trucks wero subject to inspection, and must bo maintained up to a certain stan- dard ; in Newcastle, the number of truckB owned hy the coal proprietora wero, ho boliovod, quite as numerous as those belonging to the Government and employed in the coal trade. There were three modes of shipping coal in use there, viz, high lovel Btaiths, steam cranes and hydraulic cranes ; there were four stftiths belonging to the Government, and seven belonging to private companies, five of which were owned by the E. and A. Company ; there wero also seven steam cranes belonging to the Government, and four hydraulic cranes in course of construction ; in loading vessols from staithfl, the trucks wore pushed up gradients of 1 in 48 and 1 in 56, to an elevation of about 30 feet from the water, whence they were allowed to run down to the various spouts by an incline of 1 in 75 ; the empties were run off by another incline of 1 in 38 ; the spouts wero about 180 feet apart ; the Bpouts were 26 or 27 feet above the water level, the ground not being naturally suited for the purpose, aa the approaches to tho Btaiths had to be modo partly of earth embank- ment and partly of timber work. The steam cranes were placed at distances of 180 feet to 280 feet apart, on expensive foundations, and with wharves 10 feet above low-water springs, and were each capable of loading 500 tona per day ; their cost complete waa £2900 each, but the foundations were of an expensive character, necessitated by the depth of silt at that part. The hydraulic cranes were being erected on Bullock Island ; the four, with a 100 horse-power engine and boiler, capable of working eight cranes, cost £13,000 f.o.b. in London. The Btaiths were the cheapest to work ; tenders,being called by the Government at one time, it was found that lfd. per ton was asked for shipping coal by staiths, while for the steam cranes 2 jd. per ton was asked ; in each case the contractor was to find fuel and'labor, and keep the machinery in repair. It was estimated that the total capa- bility of all the coal shipping machinery at Newcastle was 11,400 tons per day ; the present output of the 10 collieries now in full work was from 24,000 to 30,000 tons per week, and the total quantity of coal produced by them last year was 1,184,888 tons ; on an average it took from two to three dayB to load a ship. Since first giving his evidence before the com- mission, he had further thought over the whole matter of connecting the railway with deep water« and from what he had seen at Newcastle, he believed that for the present requirements of the coal trade here, and until the traffic assumed larger proportions, the line taken down to the Bite of the Queen'B wharf, with one or two steam cranes erected on the wharves, would be amply sufficient to test the probable value of the coal trade ¡ in any case, the wharf would alwaya bo useful for landing Government railway plant, and if the trade developed to on important extent, a line might be constructed to Bulimba or whatever point'on the river might be deemed most desirable ;, he believed the line to tho Queen's wharf would be the most economical and the best for present requirements. At pre- sent, the coal and general trade of Newcastle were carried on at the same place, but this was found inconvenient, and he had been informed that probably the whole of the coal trade would ultimately be taken to Bullock Island ; the price of coal there waa 14s. per ton in the ships ; did not think any coal for shipment there was brought so long a distance as 50 miles ; generally the Newcastle coal waa larger than the Queensland coal, but he had seen a quantity of email coal shipped which was valuedat 7s. per ton. In answer to questions from other memborsof the commission, he said that the width of Bpace at the Queen's wharf was limited, but his recommen- dation was merely with a view of testing the trade ; there would bo about 50 feet available, exclusive of the wharf, which would be enough space for four Unes of rails ; the present road, giving access to the lower wharves, would have to be diverted to the back of the Government stores. At Bulimba there was a depth of 14feet 6 inches 50 feet out from land, at low water ; 40 feet from the Bhore near the Queen's wharf, there was a depth of 20 feet. A tramway along Stanley-street from Wooloongabba, for passenger traffic, might answer very well. It might be a little shorter from the Logan to South Brisbane direct than from the Logan to Brisbane by way of Oxley ; but the former would involve some very heavy works. 'As a rough estimate Of'the cost of running an additional line alongside the present one," from Oxley, he mentioned the sum of £50,000 or £60,000 ; there would be no difficulty in carrying out this
work, and it would "cause no interruption of
traffic. At River-terrace there would be room for six lines of rails if the whole of the spaco were used ; that would be two more than at the Queen's wharf, but that would leave nothing to Bpare for a road, 'while at tho latter place 20 feet would be available for that purpose. Two 15-ton steam cranes would be capable of shipping a thousand tonB of cool per day. The trial survey of the lino to Sandgate was completo, and this and the
Bulimba line wore identical for the first mile and a half. The line to Bulimba might be availed of to improve the locality by bringing down ma- terial to raise the low-lying land now subject to J flood at spring tides. Of course the South Bris- bane line might be availed of in the landing of railway plant. No wharves would be needed for loading coal at Wooloongabba, and at the Queen's wharf 25 or 35 feet would be sufficient with dredging.
The examination of Mr. Stanley having boon concluded, he withdrew.
The CHAIRMAN stated that ho had received a
letter from Mr. George Hardoi), requesting that he might bo oxamincd by tho commission. It
was docided that Mr. Harden bo examined.
The commission then resolved to devote somo time to privato deliberation, and the representa-
tives of the Press withdrew.