Queensland Government Railways

by John Hinson

Interior of Brisbane Mayne box
Photograph from the collection of Dr J W F Scrimgeour

The two-platform station at Mayne (Brisbane) is pretty insignificant when compared to Brisbane Central, but the track layout and associated signalling far outweighs that!

Coming from Central direction, the line emerges from a tunnel (upper right on the signalman's diagram) and almost immediately forms a triangular junction with the Exhibition Line to Roma Street (lower right) and the North Coast line to Cairns. The station and the locomotive sheds are at the point where the curve from the Exhibition line joins the North Coast line, but things get more complicated here. The Ferney Grove branch diverges left, as does the delightfully-named Balloon Loop which allows empty passenger trains to make a huge circuit round the back of the locomotive sheds to reach the carriage sidings and depot. There are outlets from both onto the Exhibition line, too.

This layout was originally controlled by two mechanical boxes. Cabin "A" closed in October 1928, when this new box opened with its McKenzie & Holland "Style A" frame of 110 levers. Cabin "B" closed closed a month later.

Bracket signal at Brisbane Mayne
Photograph from the collection of Dr J W F Scrimgeour

Most of the signals at Mayne were semaphores, worked by pneumatic pressure. This view shows a handsome lattice bracket signal which controlled trains on the good lines behind the station and controlled the junction for Central (left) or Normanby and Roma Street (right). Facing the opposite direction is a "bow-tie" arm for wrong-road movements, and a disc.

The 1928 signal cabin, in the vee of the junction, can be seen towering above an approaching passenger train. It closed in August 1979 when a new power box, known as Mayne Control Centre, took over the control of the Brisbane area.

Additional notes by Phil Barker and Steven Robertson

Comments about this article should be addressed to John Hinson