Light Railways is a magazine produced by the Light Railway Research
Australia (LRRSA). The subtitle is "Australia's
Industrial and Narrow Gauge Railways".
4 See also
8 External links
The LRRSA started in the 1961 to foster interest in specialty railways
such as for industry and tourism. As it originated in Victoria, much
of its focus was at first on the timber tramways and other industrial
railways of that state.
Light Railways is credited as the most
comprehensive source for research and history of timber tramways, the
sawmilling industry and other light rail-using industries for the
period 1850 to 1950, It has been credited with publishing the most
thorough research on light railways in not just Australia, but
The genesis of
Light Railways magazine dates from 1960 when the
founder of LRRSA, Frank Stamford, began printing and distributing
among a small group of friends a duplicated "Shenley Valley Railway
Quarterly Review". It gradually began to specialise in light railways,
and became the "VLRRS Quarterly Review" in 1961. In 1963, it became
"Light Railways", appearing in magazine format, but still using
duplicated printing. Offset printing came in 1968 and from 1973 it
appeared as a 6.5-by-9-inch (165 mm × 229 mm) magazine
with photographs on the front cover, continuing as a quarterly.
Up until 1977,
Light Railways contained brief news items as well as
historical articles. In November 1977, a bi-monthly news publication,
Light Railway News, was launched, containing research and site notes
and news of industrial, heritage and tourist railways. This settled
down into a simple folded
A4 format and continued for 120 issues as a
companion publication to "Light Railways" until 1997.
At this point, LRRSA Council decided upon a bold new departure to
reinvigorate the Society. It would involve combining "Light Railways"
and "Light Railway News" into a new bi-monthly "Light Railways"
A4 format and with ample use of colour. This magazine
would not only be available on subscription but would also be
distributed through newsagencies throughout Australia. A new editorial
team of Bruce Belbin, Bob McKillop and John Browning was put together
and the new format magazine began with No.139 in February 1998.
Light Railways aims to document the history of Australia's industrial
and private railways and also the government lines that were built to
a narrower gauge than that adopted as "standard" in each state. Thus
the 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) gauge lines of Victoria,
the 2 ft (610 mm) gauge Innisfail Tramway in Queensland, and
Zeehan & NE Dundas line in Tasmania have all featured. Articles
and photographs constitute a comprehensive archive of Australia's
industrial and narrow gauge railway history. Production, editorial and
research standards are high.
Coverage extends to lines in surrounding countries where Australian
economic and political influence prevailed, including Papua New
Guinea, Fiji and the phosphate islands of the Pacific.
A range of well-researched articles remains the core content of the
magazine. Industrial Railway News reports cover Australia's still
existing industrial railways and feature Queensland sugar cane
railways and the Pilbara iron ore railways as well as other remaining
lines. Heritage and Tourist reports at the end of each issue
constitute a running record of details that are otherwise difficult to
locate. Topics include museums, railways and heritage issues. Research
assists readers with historical research projects and features site
visits and tours. Letters to the Editor are a lively source of
information and discussion while Book Reviews aim to cover all
significant relevant publications from
Australia or overseas.
The LRRSA also has its meetings in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, and
Sydney notified in the magazine, as well as a range of coming events
on tourist and heritage railways. It is distributed to LRRSA members
by a Society team based in
Melbourne and to newsagents by Gordon &
A listing of past articles can be found by following the link from
"Publications" All past issues can be purchased in either hard copy
or as downloadable .pdf files from the web.
History of rail transport in Australia
List of railroad-related periodicals
^ APAIS 1994: Australian public affairs information service. National
Library Australia. 2000. p. 21. GGKEY:H33X9S4339K. Retrieved 29
Australia and New Zealand Forest Histories Short Overviews, Edited
by John Dargavel, Australian Forest History Society Inc. Occasional
Publications, No. 1 p.44
^ Griffiths, T. (1992) Secrets of the Forest: Discovering History in
Melbourne's Ash Range, Allen & Unwin, St Leonards NSW, pages
Light Railway Research Society of Australia (1977), Light railway
news, Light Railway Research Society of Australia,
^ Membership Form
October 2009 was Number 209.
April 2013 was Number 230.
Five to 500: The Light Railway Research Society of Australia's
Twenty-five Year Book and reprint of 'Light Railways' Nos 1 to 12
Light Railway News No.120, December 1997