Thanks, especially to SignalSparky, for all that information. I’m way out of date, and hadn’t known that the cable ferry was most recently used to move cane by road between the mill systems. When I lived there, it was for moving raw sugar from Fairymead mill to the port. Actually, when I was rather young (dare I mention the late 1950s), prior to bulk sugar, an earlier (smaller) version of the cable ferry brought loaded tram trucks across to Fairymead from their plantation at Strathdees. On numerous occasions I rode in the loco (the ex-Burrinjuck Kraus “Archie”) down to the ferry when it hauled cane from the ferry back to the mill. (No doubt modern regulations have curtailed those kinds of rides today.)
Yes, I can imagine a lot of expense needed for repairs to the cane rail network after the flood, so who knows when or if we’ll see a cane rail bridge across the river.
However, the following occurred to me while I was writing this message: If the bridge does happen, the cable-ferry location seems an odd choice, unless it’s specifically to take cane from the northern part of the Fairymead cane area to Millaquin. This conclusion is based on the map in the April 2013 Railway Digest article. Millaquin's new Strathdee line, mentioned in the article, and shown in the map, looks like it may specifically fit that scenario. It's not clear why else a new line would be constructed along that route, i.e. a direct line from the mill to the location of the cable ferry. If this reasoning is correct, then the plan for a bridge may still be alive, albeit delayed.