Presentation on theme: "Click to enter. Before 1862 the gold coming from Ballarat, Bendigo and surrounding areas had to be bought to Melbourne by horse drawn coach. The trip."— Presentation transcript:
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Before 1862 the gold coming from Ballarat, Bendigo and surrounding areas had to be bought to Melbourne by horse drawn coach. The trip from the gold fields to Melbourne was a slow a dangerous one with the threat of bush rangers ever present it became necessary to have a faster, safer form of transport to and from the goldfields. The railways were the fastest and the safest form of transport during the gold rush and were also the most economical form of transport. Select one of the below links for more information. NOTE: that because all images are either black and white or sepia the links may be in different positions. Before the Railways The Ballarat Line The Sandhurst Line The types of trains used Photos of trains used during the gold rush The Dangers of Train Travel in the 1800s Bibliography
Before the Railways Before the railways came travel to and from the gold fields was mostly by Cob & Co coach. The travel was slow and dangerous with weather, bushrangers and general mishaps. Travel from Melbourne to the Ballarat or Bendigo would take around 1 day by coach. It generally also took a long time for goods to reach people. A standard Cob & Co coach looked something like this. A gold shipment would have guards on hoarse back and on the coach. Gold would be carried in a safe or locked bag. Home
The Ballarat Line The Ballarat line was first built via North Geelong. It was started in 1857 when the railway to Geelong was opened. By 1862 the line from North Geelong to Ballarat via Gheringhap and Warrenheip was opened and trains were running to Ballarat. A train would head south to North Geelong and then service (Get coal and water from the loco servicing area) then head north to Ballarat. The line via Ballan was built from both ends and was completed in The Ballarat station standing today is the second building built. The first had better lighting according to the first station master to use the current building. Part of the reason this railway was built was for the transportation of gold from the gold fields. Home
The Sandhurst Line The Railway to Sandhurst (Bendigo) was opened in 1862 and almost sent the state of Victoria broke with its grand bluestone buildings, large viaducts, and long tunnels. In fact the company that originally started the railway (The Melbourne, Mount Alexander & Murray River Railway Company) went broke and sold out to the government. The line cost £35,000 per mile. All up it cost £3,356,937 to built the 97 miles and 3 chains (156.1km) line. This makes it the most expensive railway ever built in Australia. Unfortunately I cant find any conversions of this amount into today's amounts. Part of the reason this railway was built was for the transportation of gold from the gold fields. Home
The Types of Trains The type of trains used during the late 1800s were goods, passenger and mixed trains. Most trains would travel at around 10-15mph although there were no speedometers on the locomotives. Most loco crews would travel by time and not speed. If any gold was to be carried it was carried on a passenger or mixed train. The following links explain the different types of trains. Passenger trains Goods Trains Mixed trains Home
Passenger Trains Types of trains Passenger trains generally consisted of a small tender loco, a 1 st class 6 wheel carriage, a 1 st & 2 nd class carriage, a 2 nd class and and a composite 2 nd class carriage with a guards compartment. Some trains had bogey (4 wheels at each end) carriages but these didnt come into mass use until the late 1890s. Most locomotives were built in either England (By Beyer Peacock & Co, Kitson & Co, Slaughter Grunning of Bristol, Robert Stephenson & Co and a few other companies) or Australia (By the Pheonix Foundry in Ballarat, The Newport Railway workshops, Williamstown Railway workshops and a few others). Most passenger carriages were built by the railways at their Newport workshops. Some were imported from England. A mixed train or a passenger train would have more likely carried gold as there was more room for a police guard.
Goods Trains Types of trains The goods trains during the late 1800s that travelled to the goldfields would normally consist of a small 6 wheeled tender loco, some general goods vans, some explosives vans with empty flat wagons between them and other general goods wagons, some open wagons (For carrying fuel, machinery, tools and so on), some live stock wagons and a guards van. Gold generally would not have been carried on a goods train as there would not have been enough room for a police guard.
Mixed Trains Types of trains Mixed trains (As the name suggests) carried both passengers and goods. They were mostly used on small branch lines but sometimes ran on mainlines. They would have either a goods or a passenger locomotive and would have the goods wagons towards the front and the passenger carriage towards the back with the guards van behind (Sometime a composite passenger and guards carriage would be used). A mixed train or a passenger train would have more likely carried gold as there was more room for a police guard.
The Dangers of Train Travel in the 1800s Train travel, of coarse, had its own dangers. Many a time brakes failed, axle boxes melted, boilers exploded, rails broke, bridges collapsed and floods occurred. These images show some of the effects. HOME
Bibliography Books: Locomotives of Australia: By Leon Oberg A Pictorial History of Australia: By Rex & Thea Rienits Australian Railway Disasters: By Kenn Pearce Internet: Various websites including: The Peter J Vincent website: Museum Victoria website, VR 150 th anniversary section: Railpage Australia: Front page