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Author Topic: Rail & river rates wars, C19th Australia  (Read 2411 times)

Offline Roderick Smith

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Rail & river rates wars, C19th Australia
« on: December 24, 2012, 12:01:04 PM »
Dec.12 Australian Railway History (published by Australian Railway Historical Society) contains a detailed analysis of traffic flows of NSW & Qld wool byriver & rail to Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney & Brisbane, and how the flows were distorted by predatory rates.  It is heavy slogging, and the author's interpretations are very NSW biassed.

Included are several photos from Hay Historical Society, which I have never seen before.  I enclose the two river ones.

PS Ulonga and barge passing through the swing bridge at Hay (opened by Sir Henry Parkes in 1874 and replaced in 1973) on its way down Murrumbidgee River to either Swan Hill or Echuca, where the wool bales will be unloaded onto Victorian Railways wagons for the journey to Melbourne.  Paddlesteamers featured prominently in the wool wars between the colonies of Victoria, SA and NSW; so much so that the NSW government lamented the fact that it had spent so much of the colony's resources constructing the south-western line from Junee to Hay.

Barge Ada at Hay. Ian Ronald writes: "Travelling upstream was permitted at night but going downstream it was considered too dangerous for going round a sharp bend, the barge could swing out too far and crash into an overhanging tree on the bank. The barges were towed with a large stout line and were steered by a wheel which was fastened to a narrow platform extending the width of the barge; this of course had to be raised as each successive tier of wool was loaded ...".  The large steamers carried 300-500 bales and the larger barges 1200-1500; the record is credited to PS Pevensey and barge Kulnine in Aug.1931 when they took somewhere about 1900 bales. (Hay Historical Society Proceedings No. 1 pages 17-18).

PS Ulonga was one of three identical (or very similar) vessels.  PS Pevensey (preserved today at Echuca) was another.  The other was PS Wanera, converted from barge TP.  The hull survives today.  Ada survives on the bank at Echuca, and was craned further away from the slipway in Aug.12,

I was in Hay on Tues.13.1.70, but could not have walked over that swing bridge: the train was timetabled for a stop of only 80 min; the station was at the north end of the town; the bridge was at the south end.  I may well be confusing it with Balranald (over which I did walk during an overnight stay).  By the time I was back by tour bus (~1976) and car (~1977), the new bridge had replaced the old.  From memory, it was the only swing bridge on the Murray-Darling system.  Most were the tower-type lifting bridges; a few were bascule (and only on the tributaries; none over the main Murray).

Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor
« Last Edit: December 24, 2012, 03:05:15 PM by Roderick Smith »

Offline derekwarner_decoy

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Re: Rail & river rates wars, C19th Australia
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2012, 01:26:36 PM »
Hi PD's...& Merry Christams Roderick.....

May you continue in 2013 to post some amazing images of river trade through OZ and you images for overseas too.............

It was 42 degrees C here in Adelaide yesterday & a litte light refreshment was needed  :beer...... to :s_cool everyone down..... Derek...on  :vacation
« Last Edit: December 24, 2012, 01:28:25 PM by derekwarner_decoy »
Derek Warner

Honorary Secretary [Retired]
Illawarra Live Steamers Co-op
Australia
www.ils.org.au

Offline Roderick Smith

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Re: Rail & river rates wars, C19th Australia
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2012, 08:25:31 AM »
I had this one in my collection already.  It was decoration on the wall of the bistro lounge at Strath Creek: nowhere near the Murray.  Barely discernable on the bow is the name: it is PS Pevensey, heading upstream with an empty barge on Murrumbidgee River at Hay.  It is undated.

Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor

Offline Roderick Smith

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Re: Rail & river rates wars, C19th Australia
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2021, 12:09:54 PM »
This photo of PS Ulonga was on the Australian War Memorial website.
It was carrying Japanese prisoners of war.
There was a pow camp near Cobdogla (SA), and the museum there has many photos and displays of that era.
I'm not sure if there were other river sites: others were near railways.

1940s-PS_Ulonga-Japanese.prisoners.of.war-AustralianWarMemorial.

 

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