• Correspondence of Robert Ballard, 5 Sept 1884

  • Telegram from R Ballard to the Commissioner for Railways, Brisbane, regarding a report by Amos on a preliminary survey and the length of time needed to complete the trial survey.

    This document was ranked #72 in the Top 150 exhibition.

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Correspondence of Robert Ballard

After qualifying as a civil engineer in England, Robert Ballard went on to play an important role in Queensland’s early railway construction. While in the employ of the railway contracting firm of Peto, Brassey & Betts, Ballard was sent to New South Wales in 1859 to construct the Maitland-Singleton railway. After entering government service he supervised the construction of a rail extension from Picton to Goulburn before rejoining his old firm in 1865 when Peto, Brassey & Betts was awarded the contract to build Queensland’s first railway from Ipswich to Toowoomba. Ballard was appointed Resident Engineer on the complex Main Range section of the line, and although the general construction work was severely criticised, Ballard was singled out for praise. After leaving his old firm once again, Ballard was appointed Government Mining Surveyor on the Gympie goldfield. In 1872 he returned to railway construction and served as Chief Engineer of the central railway from Westwood, near Rockhampton, to the Dawson Bridge. Six years later Ballard was appointed Chief Engineer of the Central and Northern Railway. In 1886 he left Queensland to report successfully on railway construction in South Australia, though he retained links to the northern colony through his appointment as Consulting Engineer for the Mount Morgan Gold Mining Company. Ballard also carried out mining work in Western Australia before returning to England where he died in 1912.


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