A Papuan Railway.
Mr. O. L. Amos, inspecting surveyor of the Queensland railways, who was commissioned by the Federal Govern- ment to inspect and report upon the construction of a railway from Port Moresby to Sapphire Creek, has sub- mitted his report to the Minister for External Affairs.
Although the proposed railway to Sapphire Creek is not through excep- tionally difficult country, any exten-
sion of the line will be so. Any gauge wider than 3ft. 6in. Mr. Amos considers out of the question. The plantations of the sisal hemp and rubber, in port Moresby district, appear to be more or less in the experimental stage, and are judt becoming repro- ductive, it is understood that should the railway be built it is the inten-
tion of the owners of sisal hemp plantations to amalgamate and have one central mill on the line, of suffi- cient capacity to treat all hemp at present likely to be grown along the route.
The railway will probably run through three of the plantationd, and the proposal is to feed it from port- able tramways. In that case it would be of distinct advantage, Mr. Amos suggests, to have the railway and tramways of the same gauge, say 2ft., with fairly heavy rails- 35lbs. or thereabouts per lineal yard. Such a line, through being more flexible, would be much less costly, of more service to the country than a wider gauge, and have a better prospect of becoming a paying proposition in the near future.
- Two ttwus an nQtMl One, tauum as the Jia Beach, starts at fort Moreeby, about 10 ehatrn wast of the Government Vflmit through the Olanlatlone of the l,aIokl River, 16% miles, and terminates at Sapphire Creek, about is tnllee distant The other is Identical watt tb» Bla Beach for (be first quarter ot a.mile.
A line on a 3ft 6in gauge is esti- mated to cost £74,000, and on the 2ft. gauge £44,000. The estimates provide for everything except the cost of resumptions, rolling stock, and workshops, and is baaed on the cost of labor and rails being the same in Papua as in North Queensland. The probable traffic would be copper ore, sisal hemp, tobacco, maize, and rub-
Since receiving the report the de- partment has had tbe assurance that ample supplies of good sleepers can be obtained locally. Mr. Amos cal- culated on sleepers being imported from Australia.