It’s now 160 years since the fantastically expensively engineered railway from Melbourne to Bendigo (then called Sandhurst) was completed. The stunning cover photo by Dave O’Brien of the bluestone arched Malmsbury Viaduct speaks to the high standard of construction of this line. We celebrate the anniversary of its opening with a wonderful article by John Anderson who rode trains every year to Mincha, north of Pyramid, in the late 1940s and early 1950s. We also have a short article about the 1933 upgrade of the Taradale Viaduct to handle the heavier X Class locomotives, illustrated with a wonderful set of recently-discovered photographs from the late AP Taylor, a railways engineer and prolific photographer.
For several decades, the Caribbean Gardens was visited by thousands of Melburnians each year, and any number of those may have taken a scenic ride on the 610mm-gauge railway around Lake Caribbean. After closure in 2020, the railway was dismantled during 2022. Mark Cauchi presents a short history of the line and photographs of its heyday, and its demise.
Norman Houghton also presents an interesting article on the repurposing of former Melbourne trams for community use. Norman is not writing about W Class trams and the Victorian Government’s Retired Tram Strategy, but former Melbourne cable trams that found their way down to the Surf Coast way back in the 1920s and 1930s.
Our Preservation section covers the installation at Healesville of an upgraded level crossing complete with boom gates, with a great set of photographs by Andrew Blair.
And all our other regular sections are there:
- Calendar anniversaries
- General works
- Operations and sightings
- PTV service quality
- Where is it?