Friday, 16 May 2008

The Railways - The line that never was

The Pakenham Gazette and Berwick Shire News, from 1909-1965, is available to view at our Libraries on DVD. I came across this article from the Berwick Shire News of Wednesday, October 19th, 1910.

At a meeting of the Ferntree Gully Shire Council on Saturday, Councillor Crichton moved that Mr Keast, M.L.A be asked to approach the Government with a request to extend the Gembrook line to the New South Wales border via Wood's Point and Omeo. This motion was agreed to unanimously. Cr Crichton then went on to say that it was estimated there were over 4,000,000 acres of Crown Lands between Beenak and the New South Wales border, occupied by dingoes and wallabies only. At 3000 pounds per mile the 200 mile narrow gauge railway would cost 600,000 pounds. It was suggested that the cost of the rail would be off-set by the sale of Crown land, which should realise 625,000 pounds. The article continues If this scheme were carried out it would add 200 miles of railway to the State at practically no cost to the Government and would open up a large area of mineral country to the miner. Clearing the country would find work for the unskilled labourer all the year round and the adoption of the scheme would do away to a great extent with the necessity for buying large estates for closer settlement.

It would probably not surprise you to know that this rather ambitious railway line was never built.

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