Railway From Wagga To Canberra League Formed

Adelong Argus, Tumut and Gundagai Advertiser

 13 August 1925

Interest at Wagga in the proposal mooted at Tumut for a cross-country railway to connect the Federal Capital territory with the Main Southern Line at Wagga was advanced a further stage in a public meeting on Monday night, at which a Wagga Canberra Railway League was formed.

The meeting was convened by the Mayor, Aid. D. T. Byrnes. He opened the meeting by pointing out that there appeared to be some prospect of a line being constructed to give the Federal Capital a more direct service with the Southern States, and it appealed to him that Wagga as a centre had a very great deal to gain in such a line branching off from here. Mr. J. F. O'Regan, M.L.C., agreed with the Mayor that if there was any prospect of such a line coming this way Wagga business men should get behind the movement and help it in any way they could. Already Wagga was a big stock centre and railway connection through the Tumut country would build it up still further. 'Personally,' said Mr. O'Regan, 'I believe this line will be built much sooner than most of us anticipate.'

Continuing, Mr. O'Regan pointed out that the proposal was not a new one. Many would remember an agitation in years past for a line from the Southern railway in the Riverina through Queanbeyan and Jervis Bay. Since Canberra was chosen as the Federal Capital it was thought to connect it with a branch railway from Yass. But later feeling was to provide a more direct service south, and at the same time open up new country.

Members of the Federal Parliament, from Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, and Victoria, would not relish having to travel all the way round via Goulburn to reach Canberra, and therefore if a scheme were opened up for the direct route through Wagga, he believed that within five years of the opening of Federal Parliament at Canberra this line would become an established fact. He agreed it was unnecessary to discuss routes at this stage, but that action be taken to impress on the authorities the advantages of this southern project.

The matter of cost and the country most suitable to receive the line would come later when the good prospect of those trials being   undertaken in the near future. Mr. O'Regan then formally moved 'That this meeting form itself into a Wagga-Canberra Railway League, with power to add to the number.'  Mr. L. S. Middlemis, a Vice-President of the Greater Wagga League in seconding the motion, pointed out that already this town was a big distributing centre and he instanced that recently Messrs. Hardy's Ltd. timber mills had contracted to supply timber for 150 cottages at Canberra. The motion was carried.