John Robb RockPrint Page Print this page

The plaque commemorates the naming of the rock after the contractor John Robb and serves as a memorial to the railway workers, many of whom were Italian or Irish descent.

On January 21st 1887, John Robb’s tender of $580,188 was accepted for section two of the Kuranda Railway . He and his men tackled the jungle and mountains with hand tools, dynamite, buckets and bare hands. Great escarpments were removed from the mountains above the line and every loose rock and overhanging tree had to be removed by hand. It was during this type of work that the first fatal accident occurred. At Beard’s Cutting, a man named Gavin Hamilton stood on the wrong side of a log as it was being rolled into a fire, and was killed.

Earthworks proved particularly difficult. The deep cuttings and extensive embankments that were removed totalled a volume of just over 2.3 million cubic metres of earthworks. The Barron Valley earth was especially treacherous. Slopes averaged 45 degrees and the entire surface was covered with a 4.6 m – 7.60m layer of disjointed rock, rotting vegetation, mould and soil.



Address:Kuranda Railway, Barron Falls, Kuranda, 4872
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -16.8425
Long: 145.643333
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Technology
Source: ADB, MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au