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THE BEAUDESERT RAILWAY.
The opening of the railway to Beaudesert was celebrated yesterday by an excursion to that place, and by a public banquet, at which the Premier and the Commissioner for Railways were present. The length of the extension from Logan Village to Beaudesert is twenty miles, and the line has been constructed at a cost of £57,762. The contract was entered into on 28th June, 1886, and the line was to have been completod on 28th December, 1887 ; but in consequence of the heavy rains and floods which ocourrcd laat year the time had to be extended, and the work was further de- layed by the unfavourable weather experienced in the early part of the present year. Mr. William Mason was the contractor, and the operations were carried on under the superin- tendence and direction of Mr. Lloyd Hassell. In the construction of the railway few engineering difficulties had to be surmounted, the line passing through a comparatively flat country. The steepest gradient is 1 in 50, and the radius of the greatest curve ten chains. For the building of the bridges, of which there are several, long reaches of the country through which the line runs have been well-nigh denuded of timber. In only one instance has steel or iron been employed in the bridge work, and that is at Water's Creek, close to the Logan River, about one and a-half mile from Beaudesert. At por- tions of the route ballast was difficult to obtain, and it had to be brought, in some cases, a distance of nearly twenty miles. The work has been completed to the satisfaction of the railway authorities ; and the extension of the line will prove a great convenience and advantage to the numerous settlers on the rich
agricultural lands of the Upper Logan.
The special excursion train left Stanley-street Station at 10.10 a.m., and among the company who travelled by it to Beaudesert were Sir S. W. Griffith, Mr. Curnow (Commissioner for Railways), Mr. Thallon (traffic manager), Mr. Browett (chief clerk in tho office of the Commissioner for Ruilways), Mr. Woolcook
(the Premier's private secretary), Alderman Kennedy, of South Brisbane, and a num- ber of ladies and gentlemen. At the various stations on the route, especially at Logan, many excursionists joined the train. Beaudesert was reached at a quarter to 1 o'clock. The township was en fête, the occasion being recognised as a public holiday, and many of the residents in the district had come long distances to be present at the banquet to do honour to the Premier and the other visitors from the metropolis, and to signalise in a fitting manner an event so important to the community. A crowd of several hundred persons uwaited the arrival of the train, and extonded to the Promioe a cordial, if not demonstrative, welcome. Numerous banquets woro omployod in tho doooratioii of tho ono stroot of tho village, and tho Assombly-room, in whioh tho banquot took lillico, was tastefully sot oil' with flags), flowers, and buutiug of various kinds. Ovor the ontrauco was tho word " AVolcomo" in white wool, and on eithor BUIO ol' tho doorway a scroll' in red and whito cloth boaring thomottoos " Advance Australia" and " Advance Beaudesert." About 200 ladies mid gentlonion woro present ni the banquet, and apologies for ¡ibsouco woro intimalod Irom tho Postmustoi'-Gonor.'il, and tho lion. B. D. More- head, M.L.A. Mr, Walker, chairman of the local divisional board, presided, and proposed the toust« of " Tho Queen" and "Ilia Excellency tho Govornor," which woro loyally pledged. Hu thou gavo "Tho Parliament of Queens- land," coupled with the names of Sir Suuiuel GritHth and Mr. E. J. Stevens, M.L.A.
Sir S. AV. GRIITITII, who was received with oheers, said ho quite ngrood with what tho chairman had stated, that on nu ocoasiou uko tho opening of a railway political topics should hu avoided. Thoy wore nssombled to eolobralo tho oponing of a lino of railway which ho bcliovod would bo of vory great advantage to that part of the colony. It had not boon his good fortuno beforo to bo so far south iu that direction. Ho had ofton hoard of the Upper Logan, and of tho hospitality of tho prospoi'ous farmors Bottlod upon the land ; but ho had alwiiys felt that so long us thoy had no direct communication with the metropolis, nor au oasier market for thoir pro- duce, tho land could not hu put to its best use. Ho had now to congrafulato thom on having tho railway brought to within easy distauco ol' thoir farms, and on gutting a chunco to put thoir land to a bolter uso than they had had Iii Miarlo. (Applaiiso.) It would bo to tho in- terest of tho Railway Department, and the Minister who proiiidud over it, vvhoovoi' ho might bo, in tho futuro, to seo that facilities wero given for tho ourringo of produce, so that tho land might no longer hu kopt for fooding shcop and cattle, but used to próvido for tho maintenance of a much larger number of
peoplo. Ho hud lo express the hope that ho might again havo tho opportunity of coming thero and of seeing moio than ho hud boen ablo to seo that day of tho magnificent oouutry lying on tho noulhorn bolder of tho colony. (Applaubo.) It might bo well that ho bhould say u word or two regarding what had boou dono in tho way of railway construction. Including tho lino just completed, thoro weit- now 1805 milos of railway opened for truilio in QucouBland. They all ¿now that thoro had been a ported of btagnation in tho colony, vvliioh was of ooursu to bo Micceedud by a portod of progrosuand prosperity. (Laughter.) Unfortunately, that stagnation had prevailed all over Australia, in ooiiHcquoitoo of the sovoro drought. In Queensland, at any rate, thero had boon no stagnât ion so fur as the construction of public works was couoc-riiod. When tho Government carno into otliee, there woro 1038 milos of i ail way, so that vvithinfotu* years and a-half 827 additional miles had been constructed and opened for traffic. (Applunse.) That waa at tho rate of 181 nulos per annum, a rato never exceeded or oven equalled in any of the Australian colonies within the »amo period. Ho did not think it was right to construct public work« morely for the sako of giving employment to mon in a period ol' depression ; but ho thought every impartial person would admit that tho prosecu- tion of theso vvorlvB during tho time the Liberal Government hud hold oüico had dono muoh to prevent disticss in the colony. (Appluuso ) iloould not, howovor, bo expected that tho sumo (ratio in tho constriiotion of railways could bo kopt up. AVitb tho moauB of commu- nication now open to the rich land availablo in the colony, thero was no reiison why tho popu- lation should not increaso at a greater ratio than it had dono inthopiiet. Duringtho sixteen years ho had beou in public life tho population of tho colony hod doubled, and thoro was no reabon why Queensland should not yot become tho most important of tho Australian colonies in tho matter uf peoplo and wealth, its well as area. (Applause.) Ho ugain congratulated the residonts in that district on tho oponing up of the lund, and trusted that the means of com- munication the railway afforded might bo equal to what any person in any part of tho colony could desire.
Mr. STEVES» trusted and hoped and believed that tho next Pariiument of Queensland would ho equally as good as, if not better than, any provious ono, and would do their utmost to promoto tho interests of the colony generally. (Appluuso.) He had visitod tho Upper Logan on moro than one former occasion, but until this trip he bud nover had any idea of tho vast amount of really flrbt-class land iu that portion ol tho colony, nis efiorts in Parliament-and ho was in great moasuro indebted to bia friends around Beaudesert for his unopposed return to tho Legislativo Assembly-would bo dircoted towards developing still further tho fino lands
which his constituents owned. Ho was suro tho noxt Parliament would not bo backward in pubhing forward tho construction of railways in the agricultural districts, and ho could assure thom that ho would not bo behind in urging, tho claims of tho farmers from his place in the IIouso. (Applause.)
Mr. MACDONNELL, of Bromelton, vico chairman, proposed " The Coutruotor," to which Mr. AVALTEH MASON responded.
Mr. J. F. SMYTH gavo tho toast of "The Officials of tho Railway Depaitincnt," coupled with tho namo of Mr. Curnow.
Mr. Cimxow, in acknowledging the toast, said that the oflico of Commissioner for Rail- ways was a difficult ono to fill, and tho duties of the oiSco wero not generally oarried on io tho satisfaction of all concerned. (Laughter.) AB a matter of faot, when the Commissioner, attempted to Dlcase one seotion, of; the commu«
nity, ho ycry often placed himself in direct opposition to another sootion of the public. The only thing the gentlouiiin who filled tlio position could do was to act in a straightforward manner, and do his work to the best of his ability. (Applause.) A great deal of talk was hoard about managing railways On oommeroial and political principles. If railways were to be managed on commercial jirinciples ho thought they should be built on oommeroial principles. Ho did not think it was right to manage railways to make them pay, when probably thoy were never built with tho idea that thoy would pay. (Applause.) Queensland had three times as many milos of railway in proportion to tho population a.s any other colony. Thero were four and a-half milea to ovory thousand of the population ; tho other colonies had only about ono mile and a-hulf. (Applauso.) Thoy had also the most difficult railways to manage, so fur as geo- graphical situation was concernod. Whon they considered that in Victoria and Now South WaleB the Commissioner for Railways could btop from his office into tho train and visit every part of tho railway line without leaving that train, they could recognise tho difficult tusk which tho Commissioner in Queensland had to perforai, with seven separate railway lines, each of which had in connection with it threo or four different departments. Roughly speaking, tlio twenty milos of railway just completed and oponed to the public cost £4000 per milo. He behoved in branoh railways being foeders of the main lines and not suokers. (Applause.) He did not think the Beaudesert line would bo a sucker, and it was quite possible that at some future timo it might cease to bo a branch railway and open a straight courso to Njäw South Wales. (Ap- plause.) Ho thought that branch railways into agricultural distriots should bo built for less than £4000 per milo, and if in the pre- sent advanced Blute of engineering a way could not bo found for constructing theso lines at a less cost, ho was afraid the colony would have to do with fewer railways than otherwise they would. The cheapest line in constructing was that of Clermont, whioh cost £2700 a mile, and tho most expensive branoh that of Sandgate, which was, howover, the best paying. He thanked them for the hearty way in vvhioli the toast had been received
and the warm welcome which bud been ex-
tended to the otBoiala of the Railway Depart-
Mr. DELPRATT gave "Tho contracting en- gineer," to which Mr. HASSALL responded.
Soveral other toasts followed, and the pro- ceedings terminated with tho singing of the National Anthem by the company. A quadrille band was in attendance and played ii selection of popular airs. The train left on tho return journey at half-past 3, and arrived at Stunley titreet Station at half-past 6.