Page 375
Previous/Next Page
Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 6

I Construction During The Settlement Years

II The Use Of Timber As A Structural Material

III Structural Steel

IV Concrete Technology

V Housing

VI Industrialised Pre-cast Concrete Housing

VII Ports And Harbours

VIII Roads

IX Heavy Foundations

X Bridges

XI Sewerage

XII Water Engineering

XIII Railways
i Factors Impeding Developments
ii Railway Sleepers
iii Rail Tracks
iv Some Interesting Railway Projects
v Tarcoola-Alice Springs Railway
vi The Conversion to Standard Gauge
vii Railways in the Pilbara
viii Railways in the Coal Fields of Queensland
ix The Melbourne Underground Railway Loop

XIV Major Buildings

XV Airports

XVI Thermal Power Stations

XVII Materials Handling

XVIII Oil Industry

XIX The Snowy Mountains Scheme

XX The Sydney Opera House

XXI The Sydney Harbour Bridge

XXII Hamersley Iron

XXIII North West Shelf

Sources and References


Contact us

Factors Impeding Developments

There were several factors mitigating against the orderly economic development of a high quality integrated national railway system. These were:
  1. The need by private enterprise to build low cost local railways.

  2. The lack of vision by governments of the day which, in the establishment years of the 1850s, could not visualise the need for either inter-city passenger or freight services. This lack of vision and independent attitudes of governments were responsible for three different gauges (1067 mm, 1435 mm & 1600 mm) being adopted in different parts of the country. This not only resulted in confusion, inconvenience, and high operating costs, but ultimately very high costs of conversion to the standard gauge trans-national system.

  3. Australia's remoteness from the fabricating shops of Europe.

  4. The rugged nature of the country, with difficult grades, significant chasms and wide rivers.

  5. The limited availability of skilled labour which, particularly in the middle of last century, was attracted more by the lure of gold than the back-breaking work of track laying.

  6. Following the failure of some of the private companies with low cost, low quality systems, governments took over and the pendulum of quality swung completely. Indeed on some of the lower volume lines, there was often a situation of overcapitalisation.

People in Bright Sparcs - Connell, J. W.

Previous Page Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering Next Page

© 1988 Print Edition page 375, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher