Queensland - Colonial period: 1861-1900.
Additional lines constructed to the South.

As the telegraph system gained more popularity with private individuals and the private business sector, the efficiency and effectiveness of the Southern line to New South Wales was evaluated. In addition, it became increasingly important that, with the growth in telegraphic communication, there had to be multiple lines between Brisbane and Sydney.

There were two coastal stages in the development of these lines in addition to the multiple connections further west and described elsewhere - such as the 1872 extension from Warwick to Goondiwindi:

  1. a second line close to the coast;
  2. a new line to shorten the first line south via Toowoomba.
NSW 2nd line The coastal route.

In June 1975, a line running from Brisbane to the New South Wales border via Beenleigh and Nerang was opened. The line branched at or near Nerang to Southport and the Queensland component ended at Tweed Heads.

The line continued in New South Wales to Kynnumboon which is 854 km from Sydney. The township had a post office which had opened on 15 August 1868 and then a Telegraph Office was opened on 1 November 1875. That is a timely date confirming the link through to Brisbane.

On 15 April 1882, the Kynnumboon office was renamed Murwillumbah.

The line immediately continued down the coast to Lismore where a Telegraph Office had been opened at the Post Office on 1 February 1875. The Post and Telegraph services at Lismore were merged on 1 March 1875. That line was also extended to Grafton which completed the circuit to Sydney via Glen Innes. Further details of these northern NSW lines are provided elsewhere.

2. Revision of the first line.

Fasifern, to the south-west of Brisbane was a growing area with a relatively large number of people. It was therefore decided to open a line to that area. Hence, on 13 June 1877, a line from Ipswich to Fassifern was opened (near Aratula).

That began an analysis of how a shorter route could be operated from Brisbane to Tenterfield. The solution required a line to be opened between Fassifern and Warwick - a distance of 45 miles. The route went over Spicer's Gap and across the Great Dividing Range through terrain which was exceptionally difficult. Nevertheless, the line was laid and it opened on 27 May 1879.

The Fassifern to Warwick line became known as the "Via Recta" - which translated into either " the bottom way" or "the right way". Given the shortening of the distance, both are appropriate translations.

The line from Stanthorpe to the NSW border was probably later re-routed to run along the railway line - tenders being called for this construction on 6 August 1885.


The central-west lines:

An early line constructed in the central western region was that from Warwick on the main southern line to Goondiwindi (opened 10 June 1872).

Lines were subsequently constructed to open up other areas:

The far west line:

An exceptionally difficult line to construct in the far west of Queensland just below the level of Brisbane was that south from Charleville to Cunnamulla (10 August 1876). Bourke, which is due south on Cunnamulla, had opened its telegraph office in August 1873. The NSW line was therefore extended to Barringun (the telegraph office opened on 25 March 1878) and so there was another alternative route to Sydney.

In 1881, the Cunnamulla line was extended west to Eulo and then to Thargomindah.

In mid-1885, a line west from St George via Bollon to Cunnamulla was opened. It traversed 112 miles across an isolated desert terrain.
When that stretch was completed, it provided an alternative line to Roma and thus to the North as well as to Brisbane in the east.