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Australian History

Tuesday, September 12, 1854. :   Australia's first steam train makes its maiden voyage in Melbourne.

     Melbourne is the capital city of Victoria, Australia. Although it was established as a settlement in 1835 and the new township surveyed and named in 1837, Melbourne quickly grew to rival Sydney. The discovery in 1851 of the Victorian goldfields which were richer than those discovered in New South Wales spurred the city on to even greater wealth, and greater rivalry.

Victoria became the first Australian state to have a completed railway line. Although South Australia had begun operations of horse-drawn trains on 18 May 1854 between Goolwa and Port Elliot, mechanical railways were first established in Victoria in 1854, with work on the line commencing in March 1853. At first, trains were ordered from Robert Stephenson and Company of the United Kingdom, but shipping delays meant that the first trains had to be built locally. Robertson, Martin and Smith built Australia's first steam locomotive in ten weeks at a cost of 2700.

The first steam train in Australia, consisting of two first-class carriages and one second-class carriage, made its maiden voyage on 12 September 1854. It ran along the four kilometre track from Flinders Street to Sandridge, now Port Melbourne, a ten-minute journey. Aboard the first train were Lieutenant-Governor Sir Charles Hotham and Lady Hotham. Upon arriving at its destination at Station Pier, the train was met with gun-salutes by the warships HMS Electra and HMS Fantome

The following year, the locomotives ordered from the UK arrived, and were named Melbourne, Sandridge, Victoria and Yarra.


Today in History

Thought For Today
The Lord has told us what is good. What he requires of us is this: to do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God.
Micah 6:8 (c) GNB
The rule is simple. 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.'

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