Unique struc­tures on rail­way line

Sign to high­light his­toric bridges

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Erica Mur­ree

A SIGN high­light­ing the Degilbo-Mun­dub­bera Rail­way Bridges built be­tween 1905-1914 now takes pride of place in Biggenden, Gayn­dah and Mun­dub­bera.

North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil mayor Rachel Cham­bers pre­sented the sign to Biggenden rep­re­sen­ta­tives, Cr Rob­bie Radel, Biggenden Cham­ber's Sue Telford and Biggenden Men's Shed Os Blacker.

Wil­liam Pa­gan, who was chief en­gi­neer Queens­land Rail­ways from 1902-1911, de­signed the all struc­tures on the Degilbo-Mun­dub­bera Rail­way bridges built dur­ing this pe­riod.

The va­ri­ety of de­signs he used for these bridges show many in­no­va­tions in­clud­ing the use of parts from pre­vi­ously con­structed bridges which re­sulted in bet­ter or less costly struc­tures.

The vari­a­tions in type and prox­im­ity to each other on the same rail­way line are unique.

The first bridge to be built was the el­e­gant Chowey Bridge, an un­re­in­forced con­crete struc­ture with a main span of 24 me­tres sup­port­ing four span­drel arches and two side arches.

It was built in nine months and opened in De­cem­ber 1905. To­tal length is 33.5 me­tres.

The next bridge along the line, the Bur­nett River Bridge, is al­most 1000 feet (294 me­tres) long and with 58 spans, this was the sec­ond long­est tim­ber tres­tle rail bridge in Queens­land.

It had sig­nif­i­cant brac­ing to help it with­stand floods but it was ex­ten­sively dam­aged in 2013.

Other bridges on the rail­way line

The Up­side Down Bridge at Ider­way is un­der­slung pin-jointed steel fish-belly truss span­ning 45 me­tres sup­port­ing lon­gi­tu­di­nal steel beams with tim­ber tres­tle ap­proaches. To­tal length 69 me­tres

Humphery No 2 (48 me­tres long) and Steep Rocky Creek (58 me­tres long) are both early ex­am­ples of re­in­forced con­crete in Aus­tralia. Each span is “dis­con­tin­u­ous” (sep­a­rate from its neigh­bours). Steep Rocky Creek has side spans of rolled steel joists.

Humphery No 1 (68 me­tres long) has two riv­eted lat­tice truss spans and rolled steel joist side spans on con­crete piers. .

Reids Creek (106 me­tres long) had four riv­eted steel Pratt Truss spans.

Badly dam­aged in 2013, only the con­crete piers re­main.

Bayn­tons Bridge is made with a riv­eted lat­tice truss main span on con­crete piers with tim­ber tres­tle ap­proaches. To­tal length 55 me­tres.

Cas­tor Oil Gully Bridge has riv­eted lat­tice truss main span with rolled steel joist spans ei­ther side on con­crete piers and tim­ber tres­tle ap­proaches. To­tal length 86 me­tres.

An­der­son’s Gully has lat­tice truss main span and rolled steel joist side spans on con­crete piers with tim­ber tres­tle ap­proaches. To­tal length 76 me­tres. Slab Creek Bridge is a two riv­eted plate girder cen­tral spans on con­crete piers with tim­ber tres­tle ap­proaches. To­tal length 66.5 me­tres.

Philpott Creek is a riv­eted plate girder cen­tral span flanked by rolled steel joist spans on con­crete piers with tim­ber tres­tle ap­proaches. It’s to­tal length is 70 me­tres.

HIGH­LIGHT­ING BRIDGES: A sign de­pict­ing rail­way bridges from Degilbo to Mun­dub­bera was pre­sented to Biggenden rep­re­sen­ta­tives, Cr Rob­bie Radel, Biggenden Cham­ber's Sue Telford and Biggenden Men's Shed Os Blacker by NBRC mayor Rachel Cham­bers.

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