7 corrections, most recently by anonymous - Show corrections
THE SOUTHPORT RAILWAY.
THE OPENING CEREMONIES.
Tho formal opening for traffic of the railway extension to Southport, which has just been completed, took place yesterday, and was the occasion of a very large number of people visiting this pretty seaside resort. Two special trains left Stanley-street station during the morning, and though both were unusually long ones, they were crowded with passengers. Many persons availed themselves of the oppor- tunity to spend a holiday, and picnickers formed the majority of the excursionists. A special train, conveying the Minister for Rail- ways and a number of railway officials and membors of Parliament, left tho Roma-street station at 9.40 a.m., and reached Southport at a quarter to 1, the other trains having arrived previously. Amongst those who travelled by
the Ministerial train were tho Hon. HM. Nelson, Minister for Railways ; the Hon. A. J. Thynne, Minister of Justice ; Mr. HC. Stan- ley, Chief Engineer; Mr. J. F. Thallon, Traffic Manager; E. Deighton, the Hon. J. C. Heuss- ler, M.L.C., Messrs. Wm. Stephens, Paul, Agnew, Gannon, Crombie, Towers, Glassey, Battersby, North, G. Grimes, Plunkett, and Watson, M.M.L.A., the Mayor of Brisbano, Mr. R. Southall, Alderman Hipwood, and a number of other gontlemeb, including; Messrs. C. H. .Buzacott and the Rev. G. Woolnough. Mr. Luya, M.L.A., travelled by one of tho earlier trains, and Mr. Allan, M.L. A., who is at present residing at Southport, formod one of the party whilst there. Major Lyster was also one of tho party which met the Ministers at Southport. Tho trip down was very much enjoyed, though the weather was terribly hot, and the various costly works on tho now lino from Beenleigh to Southport were inspectod with interest. Upon arrival at Southport there wero several hundred people waiting to welcome tho Ministerial party, but the majority of the visitors, of whom there could not have been less than 500 or 600, spread themselves out along tho various reaches and other resorts, and employed themaolvos in picnicking.
Tho station was extensively decorated with flags and green bushes, and over the main entrance to the station-yard was an arch of green bushes, with a cross of flags, and sur- mounted by many-coloured bunting, bearing the word "Welcome" displayed on canvas.
Mr. W. C. WELSH, chairman of tho South- port Divisional Board, read a short address to tho Minister on tho railway platform, thanking him on behalf of the district for countenancing the opening of their railway, and expressing the hope that he would find that everything had been carried out to his
satisfaction. He then asked Mr. Nelson to
formally declare the railway open for traffic.
Mr. Nelson, in reply, said that it gave him very great pleasure to be present, as having been so long- connected with Southport it was very appropriate that it should be his duty to bo present on this very auspicious occasion. It pleased him very much to be able to say that the railway was in that forward state that it would be opened for public traffic on the fol- lowing day. Ho thanked them heartily for the address they had presented him with, and he jolnod with them in the anticipation they had formed with regard to tho amount of benefit the line would do to the district. After a few more words, Mr. Nelson stated that he had much pleasure in declaring' this new line of railway open for public traffic.
The announcement was receivod with cheers, and three cheers were also given for the Minis- ter. Tho Headquarters Band, which was present, struck up tho National Anthem, and tho Southport contingent of tho Defence Forco, under Captain Lather and Lieutenant Bailey, formed a guard of honour as tho Minister left the station yard. The Ministerial party were then driven round Southport, aud shown some of the principal objeots of interest in the place ; and at 2 o'clock they wero entertainod at a banquet in the School of Arts.
Tho attondance was large, and rathor taxed the resources of the hall. Mr. W. C. YVolsh, as chairman of the Southport Divisional Board, and chairman of tho local committee which had tho arrangement of the ceremonies, occupiod
the chair, having on his right hand tho Hon,
H. M. Nelson, and on his left the Hon. A. J. Thynne. Full justice having been done to the excellent repast provided,
Tho usual loyal toasts wero drunk.
Mr. P. J. M'NAMARA then proposed the toast of tho " Ministry." (Cheers.) He said he was sorry to see so few members of the Ministry present. He would havo been glad to see tho whole of tho Ministry present, as it was the intention of tho residents to have unfolded a little programme of local requirements. (Laughter.) However, he was very glad to see the Minister for Railways present on this occasion, becauso the railway policy was a matter of material interest to every colonist, and one affecting the prosperity of tho whole colony. One of the particular features of the polioy of the present Government wa what he would call a reform in railway policy, and their central idea, so far as he c0uld make out, was to free tho railways from political iufiuonce and carry them on on strictly commercial principles. That was the proper way, he considered, to look at the question. It ' was the system of log-rolling and constructing political railways that had brought the lines of the colony into their present con- dition. Howevor, referring to the particular line the opening of which they had come down to celebrato, he thought that it would not stop at Southport, but would bo carried on to the Tweed River, and secure a considerable amount of trade from that portion of New South Wales. It was time that an agitation was going on in that district for separation from New South Wales and junction to Queensland, in order that the residents might have the benefit of this railway. That showed that there were more than purely local interests con- nected with this railway. There was also another aspect of the matter. By a little expenditure of money and a littlo engineering skill they could shorten the distance by sea to Brisbane by eight or nine hours. The construction of a breakwater, to enable large steamers to come into Southport, would be an engineering feat that would not be regarded as one of any serious difficulty ; and thoro wns an excellent natural channel, which could bo dredged and always kept clear by the tide. Instead, then, of having a train como in occasionally with a do/on or two passengers, Southport would bo a port of entry, and havo all the shipping trade. Tho Government might, too, bo called upon to mnko a double Uno to Southport. (Cheers.) J lo hoped, in conclusion, that tho attempt tho Government were making to work tho railways on commercial principles would bo successful to onnble tho resources of the country to bo developed, which was tho primaiy object of every railway. ' It was a great misfortune in the past that instead of making tho railways as national highways, answering tho samo purpose as rivers, Sea., thoy had boon looked upon as a distant means of obtaining revenue (Cheers.)
The toast was drunk with musical honours and loud cheers.
Mr. NI'.LSON, on rising to respond, was received with loud cheers. Ho rolurned timuka for tho kind expression of opinion willoh had Leen given in favour of tho present Ministry, and said that ho felt as Minister for Railways that thoro was n very hoavy responsibility placed
on his shoulders. Thoro wns no doubt that tho
Railway Department was a very important part of tho administration of the couutrj-, and ho fully appreciated tho gravorosponsibility which rested on his shoulders in having chartro of this most important department. Ho had on doavourod whilo in office to conduct tho busi- ness of his department ho that it would conduce to the benofit of the wholo country, and not to that of any particular portion of tho com- munity. (Cheers.) It gave him great pleasure to be in what ho looked upon as bound to bo a most important centro of population. Ile could claim for himself that ho was one of tho finit to appreciate the merits that the locality possocsed as a s-easido resort. It was about tvvclvo years ago that ho had first visited Southport, and lie had been a frequent visitor ever eiuco. It therefore gave him great pleasure to bo there to open a railway willoh . ten or twelve yours ago no one hud dreamed of. . Thonow railway, as thoy know, was ono of the best in the colony. (Heari hear.) It waa constructed from Beou i«:,.t tn Southport as a fitst-class line, and
there was not a l>otter-con8truRtod railway in any part of tho colony. ] t had been laid down in the host, style adopted up to tho prORont, ballntjtcd up to tho full amount, and laid with tho heaviest rails they had on any railway in tho colony. (Hoar, hear.) Thi-j lind been done in view of the largo passenger traffic from this future centre of population. Where tho pas- senger traffic was likely to be the main source of rovonuo, «pood becamo an important clement.» Without a woll-constructed lino speed was not possible. Ho regretted that tho liuo from Beenleigh to Brisbano had not boeii constructed with tho view of carryiug tho amount o £ traffic it appeared that it would now bo íoquired to carry. Ho had no doubt, however, thal as tho tratlic dovclopod, tho line would bo constructed as a first-class ono from Beenleigh right through to Brisbane. (Cheers.) A great many complaints had been mudo as to tho timo which had been laid out on the time-table for the trains to travel from Hrisbimclo South- port, but ho begged thom all to remember that tho line waa only a now one, and it required some timo to bo properly tested. Tho liuo had not bsou properly tested yet by any heavy amount of traffic, and if they would place themselves in his position, or in that of tho Chief Engineer, thoy would ngreo that it would not bo wise to start at the very outside with tho highoât upeed that could bo attained. ¡(Hoar, hoar.) When tho lino had been properly consolidated ho could bold out hopos that tho time would be vory much reduced. (Choers.) With regard to tho faros, tho fares on ovory railway in the colony were regulated on ouo uniform basis, with certain exceptions. Thoso oxooptions wero on the railways that Hurrouudod tho metropolis, and were oxtondod to Ipswich, Sandgate, and Beenleigh. So far as Boonleigh wasconcernod, thoy had au advantago that no ono in tho other distraits of tho colony had, aud thoso who lived out in tho Western portion of tho colony had to pay much higher faros than thoy would bo called on to pay to go to Brisbane from Southport. Thoy lind tho advantago of an exceptional faro to Beenleigh, and if the trafilo would warrant it, ho could say that in a short timo the Govornmont would' bo ablo to make a induction in respect to fares right through. (Cheers.) Ho would ask thom to oousidor, as residents of Southport, property-holdors, and caterers for tho public, that they must not oxpoct tho Go- vernment lo do everything ; the Government could only do a cortaiu amount, and the people must bostii' themsolves and make the placo attractive lo the public. If thoy would do that ho had not tho slightest doubt that South- port would be one o£ the most popu- lous places in the colony. (Hoar, hear.) It was not only tho Brisbauo poopla thoy would get, but thoso from the
Western district», as thoy would como down in ' tho winter months, when it was too cold in tho high rogioni to bo comfortable. If thoy would do that, and maleo tho chui'go of living such that artisans and persons of small income oould como down without, oxoeodiug theil» ordinary expondituro, thoy would largely in- crease tho number of vi'iitora, and ho could assuro thom that tho Railway Department would bo only too happy to back them up (choors)-by putting the fares as low as thoy possibly could. (Choors.) Ho had boon askod by a great many people whoro the terminus of this line was to bo, and tho most important deputation he had had, comprising residents from tho wholo of tho district, h|td waited upon him in raferenco to tho_ subject. IIo had promised to examino into the mattor, and that ho had dono. Ho had promised aftor wards that ho would rocomtnond tho matter to his colleagues, and that ho had dono. Quite lately ho had lind tho opportunity
of rooominouding io tho Cabinet tho extension
of tho South Const Railway to Melbourno street, and ho was happy to announce that the Cabinet lind unanimously agreed with his re- commendation. (Loud cheers.) Thoy might now consider this oxtonsion as being part of tho Govornmont rail woy polioy, audit only remained for tho work to bo Banctiouod by Parliament. A groat many considerations had induood him to maleo this recommendation. Ho beliovod it should bo dono for the benefit of tho wholo colony, not only for that of tho district, mid ono of his principal reasons was that tho amount of oconomy thoy would exorcise by making that extension, would bo sufficient boforo very long to pay tho interest on tho money required for its construc- tion. It would also conduco to tho safoty of tho public, as tho present dangerous crossings at Woolloongabba would bo dono away with. Tho prosont oramped-up terminus at Stanley-street, not permitting of any oxtensiou nt all, would also bo got rid of, and whou the Olovoland line was opoued, moro aocoinmodntion would bo absolutely nooossary. Ho was thoroughly con- vinced that the time was ripo whon tho exten- sion would havo to bo carried out. (Cheers.) Ho had purposoly confined himself to railway matters, but as thoro wero several other impor- tant questions before tho Government affecting Southport, ho thought thoy would accept a word or two from his colloaguo, Mr. Thynne.
Mr. TnYNXB (who was received with loud applause) returned thanks for himsolf and his absent oolloaguos. It was not from want of interest in tho progress ol' tho southern part of the colony thatthey weroiiotpresont. At prosont tho Ministers having ohartre of what ho might oall tho activo departments had to devoto a ¿rront doal of timo to tho details of their work. Two of thom wore now gono, ono to represent the colony on tho Federal Council-(hour, hear) -and another to ropresont tho colony on tho Postal Conforoneo in Melbourne. À third had gono to inspect certain works and lauds which oomo under his department, and it was not roasonablo to suppose that thoy could attend. Ho thought "thoy would reoojrniso the iuiporhuioo of removing;
the railways entiroly from political control. (Hoar, hear.) They had now in operation a very success!'ul system of local government, and he could only say that tho romoval of the rail- ways from politioal control or influence would bo practically a continuation of tho same prin oiplo under whioh tho divisional board system was inti'odncod into tho colony. (Hear, hear.) It would tend vory muoh to tho purity of political ¡ifo, and also to. tho cultivation amongst the poople of tho colony of a know- ledge of tho principles of self-government, and if both theBo issues wero well looked to, tho affairs of tho colony generally wore not likoly to fall into nofrleot. Referring to a remark made by Mr. M'Namarn, ho considered that members of Parliament would bo olooted in futuro, not for their capacity in getting roads, bridgea, or railways, but for thoir ability and talent in being ablo lo doal with questions affecting the general policy of tho wholo colony -(cheers)-and tho policy of tho wholo of tho Australian colonies combinod. (Renowod ohcors.) Theso wore tho qnostions to which members of Parliament, aud thoso who elected thom, would havo to dovoto thoir attention in futuro. A question which had boon left him by his colleaguo to say something about was tho ono relating to fisheries, whioh was a vory important one, and ono that had been a great deal noglected. Some attention had been paid to it, but from a want of knowledge on tho part of tho general body of the peoplo, tho question had not received tho atten- tion it should havo done, no thought ho might say that the Government had had tho question under consideration for somo littlo timo, and had boon in communication with a capital man, a specialist on tho subjeot of fisheries, with a view to getting him to study tho fishories of tho colony, following to homo oxtontiti tho footsteps of tho United Statos. (Cheers.) Ho looked forward to a vory impor- tant improvement in the iTshories of tho colony. Ho nguiu returned thanks, and sat down
Mr. R. J. CoTm.r. proposed tho toast of "ThoParliament," which was drunk enthusias- tically, and responded to by Mr. Pr.usicnrr, M.L.A. for tho district, and Mr. IIKUSSLKK, M.L.C. Tho toast of " Tho Opposition," pro- pose«! byMr. W. Dow.vs, andresponded to by Mr. S. Cnnr.ES, M.L.A., was also drunk, as well as that of "Tho Commercial and Agricultural Interests," to which Mr. R. T. JOHSSTOH rei-ponded.
The Headquarters Band playod several selec- tions during the ditiucr, which terminated
beforo 1 o'clock.
Tho return journey was begun hy tho Ministerial train at -1.40 p.m., followed by the first of tho two public trains at 4.50, and the other at ."i.ö p.m. All wero well filled with passengers. The first of the public trains was
delayed somewhat, through the action of some misohiovoua or thoughtless person who had turned on one of tho brakes in the train. Tho train stopped two miles from Southport, and again at the Southport and Nqrang Junotion. The guard on each occasion wont buck with tho danger signal to stop the following train, until nu engine could bo brought foriviird to assist tho delayed trnin. The second timo the train stopped tho cause of tho interruption was ascertained aud removed. At Coombabah Station tho first publio train aguin stopped for water, and the second again carno in Bight, but after this tho journey was continued without further difficulty, and the trahis both readied Woolloongabba within a few minutes of the time arrangod.