Laheys’ Canungra Tramway (BOOK)
Canungra is 65 km south of Brisbane. Here in the rugged foothills of the McPherson Ranges the Lahey brothers developed a large timber milling enterprise, starting in the 1880s. Transport of the logs became a major problem as distances to be travelled became too great for bullock teams to handle economically.
The Lahey brothers met the challenge by building a steeply graded timber tramway along the Coomera River valley, with branches along Prices Creek and Flying Fox Creek. Although built for log transport, everyday adults and school children travelled on the line, often riding on the logs. On special occasions picnic trains were run, and the tramway had a T Ford railcar. The scenery was magnificent.
The tramway included an 90 metre long tunnel through sandstone. It was operated by one Climax and three Shay geared steam locomotives, which were designed to cope with the steep grades and sharp curves. In its lifetime the timber mill produced almost 130 million super feet of timber. The tramway was dismantled in the early 1930s, but many of the earthworks, and the tunnel, survive.