Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Melbourne, Mount Alexander and Murray River Railway Co

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1852 Company incorporated.

The first thirteen sections of the line were constructed by contractors Cornish and Bruce

The Company made almost no progress on the construction of the railway due to an inability to raise sufficient funds

1856 It was purchased by the Victorian Government.

The route and structures were the work of the Victorian Railways, under the supervision of Engineer in Chief George Christian Darbyshire, and completed under Thomas Higinbotham

Starting at Spencer Street Railway Station, the line reached Sunbury in 1859.

By 1861 it had reached Woodend and Kyneton

1862 Constructed to Castlemaine

1862 October 20th The whole line was formally opened at Bendigo by the Governor of Victoria, Sir Henry Barkly. There are substantial wrought iron and masonry viaducts at Sunbury, Malmsbury and Taradale, as well as two tunnels at Elphinstone and Big Hill.

By 1864 the line had been extended, as originally intended, to the Murray River at Echuca.

1876 Extended across the Murray River into New South Wales to connect with the private Deniliquin and Moama Railway Company from Moama to Barnes and Deniliquin.

The Swan Hill line was extended north from Eaglehawk (just north of Bendigo on the line to Inglewood) in 1882, reaching Swan Hill in 1890.

1923 The company was taken over by the Victorian Railways

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