Archive illustrates 100+ year journey for Redcliffe Peninsula Line
Moreton Bay Regional Council has unveiled century-old newspaper clippings and historical maps detailing the Redcliffe Peninsula Line’s 100-plus year journey from idea to reality, ahead of the line’s official opening on October 4. All credit to MBRC except where stated.
The collection of maps, clippings and photographs below, some dating as far back as 1885, provide an insight into the push to connect the Redcliffe peninsula to Queensland’s rail network.
Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Allan Sutherland said staff members discovered and archived the photos and newspaper clippings to build and create a detailed history of the rail project.
Mayor Sutherland said the archive demonstrated the strong public support the rail concept had from successive generations of local residents and governments.
“From the 1885 rail committee, the push by Sandgate Town Council in 1897, to the Redcliffe City Council of the 1960s and Mr Des Frawley, the former Member for Caboolture, in 1978, it’s clear to see that across multiple generations, our community saw the need for a train line,” Mayor Sutherland said.
“The collection contains a number of draft rail maps created throughout the years, as well as newspaper articles showing how the current iteration of the Redcliffe Peninsula Line came to be.
“For example, there’s a map showing one of the original proposals for the line to come via Sandgate, while a Brisbane Courier article from 1890 estimated that any line would have cost £1785 per mile.
“These pieces provide a great snapshot into the support and journey it took to create the rail line we know today, and after reading the articles and looking at some of the maps, I have no doubt our region’s forefathers would be proud to see the Redcliffe Peninsula Line come to fruition, complete with its six new stations.
Mayor Sutherland, who has spent his entire life on the peninsula, said even as a child he could remember people talking about a Redcliffe train line.
“From my days in school and past life as an electrician to where I am now as Mayor of the Moreton Bay Region, the community has always pushed for this vital piece of transport infrastructure.
“Growing up, I remember many of my neighbours enthusiastically calling for a train line to connect them with South East Queensland as well as many visitors who wanted to catch a train to Redcliffe and spend their weekends at its iconic beaches.
“To watch the Redcliffe Peninsula Line finally transform from an idea put forward more than 100 years ago into a fully-fledged 12.6km rail line demonstrates what can be achieved when all three levels of Government work together to deliver vital infrastructure for the people of this fast-growing region.”
Council’s local history officer Kelly Ashford worked on the archiving project and said the first documented statement of a rail line to the Redcliffe Peninsula was on October 14, 1885 in The Telegraph newspaper.
“The article recounted a meeting that was held at the Exchange to consider creating a 22 mile railway from the existing Gympie line to Redcliffe,” Ms Ashford said.
“Discussions into the initial line continued into the 1890s until there was a renewed call for a Redcliffe rail line in 1897, this time proposing to extend the Sandgate Line through to the Redcliffe Peninsula.
“It’s estimated that back then a rail extension from Sandgate to Redcliffe would have cost £200,000.
Ms Ashford said the archived articles showed that throughout the early 20th century, residents and the local council continued to support increased transport infrastructure in the Peninsula, which resulted in the construction of the Hornibrook Highway in 1935.
“With both world wars, it wasn’t until the 1960s however, that Redcliffe City Council outlined provisions for rail access in its town plan.
Further studies occurred in the 1970s and a study was undertaken in 1979 by engineers to identify the land needed for a rail.
Land was secured for the rail throughout the 1980s with additional studies carried out throughout the 1990s into the early 2000s.
“In 2005, Mayor Sutherland, who was then mayor of Redcliffe City Council, and his fellow councillors moved to support a campaign to finally have the Petrie to Kippa-Ring railway built.
“By 2010 the Federal Government announced that the Kippa-Ring railway line would be fast-tracked, with the project to be complete by 2016.
“The agreement for the project was finally formalised in December, 2010 and signed by Mayor Sutherland together with the Federal and State governments.
“Mayor Sutherland’s strong support and push to get the Redcliffe Peninsula Line built means that after 100 years, residents who live in places like Kippa-Ring, Mango Hill and Kallangur will for the first time have access to a train line right at their doorsteps.
“Given the story of the Redcliffe Peninsula Line is more than 100 years old, the opening on October 4 will mark an historic occasion for the Moreton Bay Region.”
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