Paralysing Effects of Different Gauges.
The disadvantages of the break of gauge are clearly illustrated by the journey from Brisbane, Queensland, to Perth, Western Australia. From
Terowee Station, South Australian Railways.
A break of gauge station (5ft. 3in. and 3ft. 6in.) on the East-West main line, South Australia. East-West Express (5ft. 3in. gauge) standing at platform.
Brisbane to Wallangara on the New South Wales border, a distance of 223 miles, we have the 3ft. 6in. gauge, thence to Albury, on the Victorian border, 891 miles, 4ft. 8 ½in. gauge; thence via Melbourne and Adelaide to Terowra, 816 miles, 5ft. 3in. gauge; Terowra to Port Augusta, 120 miles, 3ft. 6in. gauge; Port Augusta to Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, 1051 miles, 4ft. 8 ½in. gauge; thence to Perth, 375 miles, 3ft. 6 ½in. gauge, thus making six gauges in the distance of 3,476 miles.
As a result of the break of gauge rolling stock has to be maintained to meet the maximum requirements of any of the States. Whether business is brisk in one State and slack in another, whether one State is pressed to its utmost while another State has rolling stock lying idle, there can be no change of stock. The effect of this is most seriously felt in the transport of interstate goods, produce and livestock (more especially in drought times) as transhipment at the border stations causes serious delays and heavy expense.