Lockyer Creek Rail Bridge (1885)
Off Mahons Road
This bridge is National Heritage listed.
Completed in 1885, this is one of Queensland's three oldest remaining metal truss bridges. It took the railway line from Lowood over Lockyer Creek at Clarendon enroute to Coominya and Esk.
Engineering excellence survives 125 years
In September 1885 The Brisbane Courier described the project: "This bridge will be 304ft (92m) in length and will consist of a central span of 100ft, four of 26ft length and five of 20ft length. For the principal span steel girders are being used and their erection has been already commenced."
Designed by Henry Stanley, built by Henry Brigg
The bridge was designed by Henry Charles Stanley, Chief Engineer for Queensland's Southern and Western Railways. The contractor for the 34 km section from Lowood to the new terminus at Esk was Henry Albert Brigg. He had constructed suburban tramways in Sydney and in 1879 built Dubbo Railway Station.
His successful tender for constructing the Lowood-Esk section comprising "21 miles 76 chains and 78 links" was 57,920 pounds 16 shillings and 11 pence. (Brigg died in Sydney in 1950 aged 102, and left an estate valued at over 100,000 pounds.)
Brigg established "Main Camps" at Lowood and Clarendon where he stockpiled rails, sleepers and other supplies, cut timber and recruited workers. He also built a rail siding at Lowood to load ballast extracted from the Brisbane River.
There was an urgent need to finish the bridge so trains could deliver rails, ballast, sleepers (over 50,000 were used) and workers along the line as it expanded towards Esk.
Timber and steel construction
The bridge's main 30.5m truss span has half-through metal lattice trusses, with rails supported on transoms on timber stringers and metal cross-girders. The approaches are timber girders and the original piers were also timber.
This magnificent monument to the engineers and builders of the Brisbane Valley Railway can be accessed on the Lowood-Coominya section of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail .