The Sandgate Road and Railway Line

One hundred and fifty years ago the only road to the Village of Sandgate at the mouth of Cabbage Tree Creek was via German Station (now Nunda) and Bald Hills. A circuitous journey of 14 miles (about 20 KM), and this was by coach – including Cobb and Co Coaches at the cost of 5 shillings return fare. The return fare from the city took 9 1/2 hours.

The old Sandgate Road ran along what is now know as Bonney Ave, down Jackson St at Eagle Junction to Kalinga Park, fording the creek at Bage St and continuing along the present route of Sandgate Rd. Because of flooding problems of the very steep ascent and decent at Bage St, it was decided in the 1870s to reroute the Sandgate Rd through Clayfield on higher less flood prone land. The road was never meant to become a main access road to the Bruce Highway and Redcliffe or to the present airport. Hence, there are often problems with traffic congestion and slow progress in peak times through this winding, looping section of the Sandgate Road.

The Sandgate Railway Line was proposed in 1879s, the route chosen costing £66,102.00. The line was completed in April 1882, ending at Curlew Street, Sandgate. In 1881, the site of the Sandgate Station moved back to its present location, near Sandgate Village. Eight trains began service in May 1882, and provided 8 daily services – a vast improvement on one service a day by coach. Notable engineering feats achieved were cuttings through from Albion to Wooloowin and at Nundah, and bridges built over Breakfast Creek at Albion. Cabbage Tree Creek at Boondall Nth, in its heyday, the Sandgate trains carried thousands of day trippers each weekend to Sandgate to enjoy a seaside outing or go sailing on Morton Bay. This was when Sandgate was the closest seaside town to Brisbane, and before the Gold Coast became popular in the 1950s. Sandgate still attracts weekend visitors to enjoy picnicking, sailboarding, promenading along the foreshore, concerts in the parks or the old town hall, and swimming in a magnificent water park on Flinders Parade.

 

When the Sandgate Line opened, there were 3 stations adjacent: Hudson Road, Dickson St and Eagle Junction – Lutwyche Station Thorold town Station and Eagle Junction Lutwyche Station was at the end of Chalk St opposite Lisson Grove.
Thorold Station was opposite Thorold St (off Dickson St) and Eagle Junction in its present location. In 1888, a poll of passenger numbers revealed Thorold Town only attracted 2% so this station was closed and by 1890, Lutwyche Station was moved 300 yards north to its present location and renamed Wooloowin.