Trains,Troops & Tourists
NEW ! Fully revised and expanded 6th Edition (2014)
is the only available
full history of the Queenscliff Railway.
'A4' size, 160 b/w pages. (Desktop)
Very little has been written about this Victorian branch line which junctioned from the South Western main line at South Geelong and meandered it’s way across the Bellarine Peninsula and terminated at the old seaside resort & military town of Queenscliff.
Many ‘facts’ recorded over the years are doubtful, and often contradictory.
The authors would welcome any amendments for a future edition.
Much new information has surfaced since the last edition but much remains either unknown or cannot be verified.
24 hour time is used throughout.
Russian invasion paranoia was mainly responsible for it’s birth, and more efficient forms of transport caused its death. The fact that this little branch line has risen from the ashes not once but twice is quite unique in itself.
The railway has had several distinct periods of activity throughout it’s long history.
The first period of it’s life covered the busy years between 1879 and 1930.
The service then declined until 1939 when World War Two caused the railway to operate atnear its maximum capacity at times.
Another period of sharp decline then prevailed until 1959 when the railway was closed.
Unusually for a Victorian rail line, it was reopened some months later for a single customer,this traffic in conjunction with the ever popular summer excursion passenger trains kept the line operating until 1973 when the goods service ceased for the last time. The last three years of the Victorian Railways era saw only a couple of dozen trains traverse its increasingly decrepit rails.
The inevitable closure occurred in 1976.
Again the closure was short lived. Within a few short years trains returned, though this time it was steam hauled tourist trains that pounded the track.
The remaining section of the railway between Queenscliff and Drysdale has integrated itself as a valued community asset, and an interesting part of Victoria’s history has been preserved, not as a static monument but a living, working railway, carrying far more traffic than ever before
Packed with info, it looks at the origins of the line, its effect on local travelling habits and its role in general transport and military use. It looks at the people and industries involved and its inevitable closure as a public common carrier.
Maps and track layouts are included.
Many photos, most not published before.
Its re-birth as a tourist railway in 1979 is covered and
is up to date to 2014.
A Privileged Perch-
The end of the 'good old days'
on the Railway's of Victoria .
'A4' size, 115 b/w pages, (Desktop) a personal journey through the upheaval years from 1980- 2013.
Ever wondered what it is like to be involved in the end of an era?
Witnessing over a century of tradition, procedures and everyday life vanish in front of you?
I was part of the painful transition of the late Victorian Railways(VR)from a public service common carrier to a much leaner, and very much smaller organization. I saw the end of many remaining country branch and even trunk lines, the general reduction in all types of rail services to the people of Victoria, the sometimes chaotic adoption of modern technology , the mass redundancies of tens of thousands of people , the politicizing of the VR to a degree never seen before and most profoundly, the loss of literally thousands of years of experience and skill of it's decimated workforce.
And all that happened in less than two decades,
a brief but very intense time.
This is my story of 'being around' during this turbulent era.
It is not intended as a precise historical document.
It is a human point of view of an ordinary Victorian worker (and right here I'll apologize for the occasional rude word or two!)
These are simply my memories.
There are many, many people out there with similar experiences.
**I've had a hell of a ride, I hope you enjoy these reminisces **
From the chaotic madness of Tottenham Yard to the pleasures of rattling around on a 'goods'.
Insane football crowds to late night 'prowling' around the suburban network.
From the rural countryside to Melbourne's shunting yards to the satisfaction of despatching tourist steam trains and their happy passengers, , Paul 'got around'
A Priviledged Perch is a personal look at the end of the 'good old days' and the start of a new era.
A social history of the V.R / VicRail / V-Line & MetRail in the final years of government ownership.
Many personal photo's , most never published before.