I have written the following as a summary of the QR Tweed Heads aspect of the 1919 influenza epidemic.
The following gives an idea of how the Tweed Heads Coolangatta rail staff managed the traffic during the 1919 influenza epidemic. The first and main Coolangatta border closure event was from 12:30 pm Wednesday 29 January 1919. The Brisbane Courier Saturday 1 February 1919 P.5 http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/20260242
Travellers could cross into NSW as it was QLD that closed the border due to fear of the epidemic. Only foodstuffs were allowed north provided no human contact. Passengers to NSW left the train at Coolangatta and carried their luggage into NSW. Mail bags from the train also crossed southwards into NSW. Source; The Brisbane Courier Tuesday 4 February 1919 P.8 http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/20268618
Tweed remained the freight terminus for southbound cross border transfer of the rail freight traffic which was achieved without any contact between rail employees. No northbound freight except food items for local distribution. [Longhurst, Robert. 1996 P.138]
Coolangatta was the QR rail **passenger** terminus in this period and freight terminus for northbound freight from QLD sources only.
Border reopened Friday 23 May 1919. The Coolangatta quarantine camp time at Rainbow Bay, called Shark Bay in 1919, was a week if OK, then free to enter the rest of QLD as normal. The regulation influenza epidemic safeguard distance was 10 feet apart. This following article notes the wagons were shunted by the loco crew who would not leave the loco so remaining the regulation 10 feet apart from the shunters and others. The Trove URLs gives the actual newspaper pages which shows other effects of the influenza epidemic on hospitals, schools etc around QLD including the Townsville quarantine camp for shipping arrivals with the influenza amongst passengers.
BORDER RAILWAY STAFF The Brisbane Courier Tuesday 13 May 1919 P.7 http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/20363563
On Saturday the Railway Commissioner visited Coolangatta for the purpose of re-arranging the railway staff at the border. Standing the regulation 10 feet apart he had a conversation with the station master at Tweed Heads and subsequently arranged to withdraw six men from the Tweed Heads side. Men on the Coolangatta side will shunt and push the wagons over the border and draw them back into Queensland. The engine drivers and fireman
will not leave the engine. The shunters will remain on the other side. Arrangements will be made for the six men who were withdrawn at Tweed Heads to undergo quarantine and return to Queensland.
…… The border was reopened the next week, Friday 23 May 1919, having been closed since 12:30 pm Wednesday 29 January 1919.
BORDER CONTROL The Brisbane Courier Saturday 24 May 1919 P.5 http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/20365428
Practically the State quarantine restrictions have now gone by the board, having been replaced by the Federal quarantine arrangements, which come into operation on Monday. People leaving Sydney by rail have to get permits to travel, in accordance with the interstate quarantine regulations. These passengers can come into Queensland at Wallangarra in the ordinary way. If any of them should reach the border at Tweed Heads or other places they are allowed to pass on presenting the permits, but ordinary residents presumably can cross the border at will.
POLICE PATROL WITHDRAWN The Brisbane Courier Saturday 24 May 1919 P.5 http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/20365428
The [influenza epidemic ] police patrols at Coolangatta and at other places along the border between New South Wales and Queensland are being withdrawn from yesterday. This should relieve large numbers of the force for duty elsewhere.
As no human contact was allowed across the border, some ingenious means to ensure the exchange of goods and services were devised. These mainly involved usage of the elevated wooden pedestrian trestles over the stock proof 10 meter wide cattle tick buffer zone, fenced both sides, which ran along the state border. One bank conducted business by exchanging bank books and cash placed in a cigar box drawn back and forth across the border trestle by a string. Milk was delivered by the customers placing their containers on the edge of the trestle for the milkman to fill once the customers had retreated a short distance
[Caption; The Coolangatta QGR stock yards, seen in this image, were opposite the Grande Hotel on Griffith St. The 1919 flu epidemic milk delivery system is seen in this image]https://docs.google.com/file/d/0ByB-ppGeDyvwb2NhMzc2dnNFNTA/edit
The many side effects included QLD Education Dept being forced to inaugurate Coolangatta State School as the locals could no longer attend the Tweed Heads Public school in Stuart St.
QLD was not the only state to block the borders over this influenza epidemic. NSW blocked its border with Victoria http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/15822653