Victorian Railways Timeline.

I intend to provide a link from most entries on this page to further explain and illustrate the event. Any help with dates for notable events/corrections/suggestions etc. please email me When sending corrections please indicate your source. Line opening dates are coloured green and are mainly sourced from Des Jowett and "VR to '62".

Line closure dates are sourced from VR annual reports and a Newsrail article in the Sept. 1993, as well as other sources, are colured red and are usually not as exact, line closure can be the date that the last train ran or when the administration decided to take it off the books. Sometimes trains ran after the official closure date.

The right hand column shows the type of government in office, red for labor, blue for conservative.

From 1919 to 1924 a retired VR driver, George Brown, put on paper his memories of the very early days (1860's)
on the VR, these articles appeared in "The Footplate" the newsletter for the enginemens union.

1903 Instructions for the Guidance of Licensed Luggage Porters

1918 Names of Victorian station names

1927 Melbourne Electric Railway system

1937 Scholars Club newsletters  ***NEW***

1938 Scholars Club newsletters***NEW***

1939 Scholars Club newsletters***NEW***

1940 Scholars Club newsletters***NEW***

1949 Sidelights on the Victorian Railways

1950 Behind the Scenes 

1950 Operation Phoenix

1952 Phoenix Pauses

1954 Power Parade

1954 VR Centenary

1955 New Look

1959 Essential Potential

1960 Going Ahead

1960 Spirit of Progress

1960 Year of Achievement

1962 Through in 62

1963 Can your Railways pay?

1963 Transport Specialists 

1965 Mileposts in VR history

1971 Bland report 

1981 Power Parade

1985 Pocket History of Railways in Victoria 

1851 July 1 Colony of Victoria established Govt.
1852 June Melbourne, Mount Alexander and Murray River Railway Co formed
August  Melbourne & Hobsons Bay Railway Company formed
August Prospectus appears for the Geelong and Melbourne Railway Company
1853 Sept. 23 Turning of the first sod for the railway line at Geelong.
1854 Sept. 12 Flinders St. to Port Melbourne line opened by Hobsons Bay railway co.
This was the first steam railway to operate in Australia.
1856 Mar. 19 Victorian Railways department of the Victorian government created
1857 May 13 St Kilda Junction to St. Kilda opened
June Melbourne & Suburban Railway Co. was formed to build lines from Princes Bridge to Hawthorn and Brighton.
June 25 Greenwich (Newport) to Geelong line opened, (38.51 miles) by the Geelong & Melbourne Railway Co.
1858 Williamstown workshops opened
1859 Jan. 13 Spencer St. (Batman's Hill) station opened (Williamstown and Sunbury lines formally opened)
Jan. 17 Footscray to Williamstown Pier opened, 5.87 miles
Feb. Princes Bridge station opened
Feb. 8 Princes Bridge to Richmond opened
Feb. 10 Melbourne to Sunbury opened (23.95 miles)
Dec. 12 Richmond to Cremorne opened
Dec. 19 St Kilda to Chapel Street (Windsor) opened, (closed Oct. 1 1862)
Dec. 19 Windsor to North Brighton opened
1860 Sep. 3 Geelong and Melbourne Railway Coy purchased by government.
  Oct. 21 Essendon Junction to Essendon opened, 3.5 miles (Melbourne & Essendon Railway Coy.)
Sept. 24 Richmond to Picnic opened
1861 First "race trains" operated to Flemington racecourse.
Apr. 13 Picnic to Hawthorn opened
July 8 Sunbury to Woodend opened (24.7 miles)
Dec. 21 North Brighton to Brighton Beach opened
1862 April 11 North Geelong to Ballarat opened, 54.18 miles
April 25 Woodend to Kyneton opened (8.32 miles)
Oct. 21 Kyneton to Bendigo opened (43.92 miles)
1864 July 1 Melbourne and Essendon Ralway Co. closed their 4 year old line.
Sept. 19 Bendigo to Echuca opened (56.37 miles)
1865 June 30 Melbourne & Hobson's Bay United Railway Co. formed by amalgamating the Hobson's Bay and Melbourne Railway companies.
Sept 1 Hobsons Bay United Railway company assumed control of the St Kilda and Brighton company for £99,500
1867 July 4 The Deniliquin and Moama Railway Co. line opened and connected to Echuca
Nov. 30 Newmarket Junction to Flemington racecourse opened, 1.5 miles
1871 Flat bottom rail introduced
1872 April 18 Essendon to Schoolhouse lane (near Dysart) opened, 54 miles
Aug. 26 Schoolhouse Lane (near Dysart) to Seymour opened, 2.29 miles
Nov. 20 Seymour to Longwood opened, 23.38 miles
1873 March 20 Longwood to Violet Town opened, 20.54 miles
Aug. 18 Violet Town to Benalla opened, 16.14 miles
Oct. 28 Benalla to Wangaratta opened, 24.04 miles
Nov. 21 Wangaratta to Wodonga opened, 41.6 miles
1874 First interlocking of points and signals, in Victoria, at Swan St Richmond, controlling the junction of Hawthorn and Brighton lines, by Melbourne & Hobsons Bay United Railway Co. (Saxby & Farmer frame) See photo
July 7 Castelmaine to Maryborough opened, 33.02 miles
July 7 Ballarat to Creswick opened, 11.05 miles
Aug. 11 Ballarat to Beaufort opened, 28.65 miles
Oct. 6 Maryborough to Dunolly opened, 13.82 miles.
Nov. 16 Creswick to Clunes opened, 11.19 miles
1875 Feb. 2 Clunes to Maryborough opened, 19.49 miles
April 4 Beaufort to Ararat opened, 28.64 miles
July 7 Beechworth Junction, later Bowser, to Everton line opened, 12.05 miles
1876 Feb. 15 Ararat to Scallan's Hill (1 mile east of Stawell) opened, 17.85 miles
April 14 Scallan's Hill to Stawell opened, 1 mile
June 11 First VR interlocking, Essendon Junction, near present day "Moonee Ponds Creek Junction" (McKenzie & Holland frame)
July 4 Deniliquin to Moama opened by private company. (44.06 miles) Taken over by VR on Dec. 1 1923
July 4 Moama to Echuca opened (1.06 miles)
Sept. 19 Bendigo to Bridgewater opened, 24.49 miles
Sept. 30 Everton to Beechworth line opened, 10.21 miles
Oct. 21 Maryborough to Avoca opened, 14.93 miles
Nov. 18 Bridgewater to Inglewood opened, 4.44 miles
Nov. 25 Geelong to Winchelsea opened, 25.64 miles
1877 March 13 Winchelsea to Birregurra opened, 12.79 miles
April 24 Ararat to Dunkeld opened, 47.02 miles
May 28 Sale to Morwell opened
July 27 Birregurra to Colac opened, 11.81 miles
Oct. 8 Oakleigh to Bunyip opened
Oct. 29 Dunkeld to Hamilton opened, 19.04 miles
Dec. 1 Moe to Morwell opened
Dec. 19 Hamilton to Portland opened, 53.82 miles
1878 Telegraph branch established
Feb. 1 Geelong Racecourse branch opened, 1.96 miles (closed May 28 1909)
March 1 Moe to Bunyip opened
July 1 Government purchase of Melbourne & Hobson's Bay United Railway Co. authorised
Sept. 3 Dunnoly to Bealiba opened, 12.16 miles.
Dec. 17 Stawell to Murtoa opened, 35.44 miles
Dec. 23 Bealiba to St Arnaud opened, 20.85 miles.
  VR Annual Report 1878
1879 Jan. 29 Springhurst to Wahgunyah line opened (13.95 miles)
Feb. 5 Murtoa to Horsham opened, 18 miles
April 2 Sth Yarra to Oakleigh opened
May 7 Warrenheip to Gordons (Gordon) opened, 12.87 miles
May 21 Geelong (Queenscliff Junction) to Queenscliff opened, 20.72 miles
Dec. 20 Flinders St. to Spencer St. connected via a road level tramway in consequence of VR's purchase of Melbourne & Hobsons Bay United Railway Co's lines radiating from Flinders St. (Replaced by viaduct Nov. 23 1891)
  VR Annual Report 1879
1880 Jan 13 Mangalore to Shepparton opened
Jan. 13 Toolamba to Tatura opened
Feb. 16 Carlshrue to Trentham line opened, 10.82 miles. (closed July 3 1978)
March 21 Spencer Street No. 1 box commissioned.
March 17 Trentham to Daylesford line opened, 11.73 miles. (closed July 3 1978)
1881 June 7 Lancefield Junction (later Clarkefield) to Lancefield line opened. (14.5 miles) (closed August 13 1956)
Aug. 11 Waubra Junction to Ballarat Racecourse branch opened, 2.1 miles
Sept. 1 Shepparton to Numurkah opened
Dec. 19 Caulfield to Mordialoc opened
1882 Jan. 26 St Arnaud to Cope Cope opened, 16.33 miles.
Feb. 23 Stawell - Grampians, first train with stone from quarry, 15.84 miles Constructed by public works dept. inherited by VR commissioners under terms of VR commissioners act which stated that they own and operate all government railways in Victoria. (closed March 29 1949)
April 3 Hawthorn to Camberwell opened
April 15 Inglewood to Korong Vale opened, 20.2 miles
April 22 Cope Cope to Donald opened, 7.53 miles
July 1 Horsham to Dimboola opened, 21.46 miles
Aug. 1 Mordialoc to Frankston opened
Dec. 1 Camberwell to Lilydale opened
Dec. 15 Eaglehawk to Raywood opened, 13.42 miles
1883 April 20 Korong Vale to Charlton opened, 22.62 miles
June 14 Wodonga to River Murray opened, 1.94 miles. First connection with New South Wales Government Railways made at Albury
June 21 Raywood to Mitiamo opened, 22.44 miles
July 2 Korong Vale to Boort opened, 17.75 miles
July 2 Colac to Camperdown opened, 28.11 miles
Aug. 1 Scarsdale Junction to Scarsdale opened, 13.12 miles
Sept. 3 Benalla to St. James line opened, 20.33 miles
Oct. 1 Charlton to Wycheproof opened, 16.48 miles
Nov. 13 Traralgon to Heyfield opened
Nov. 16 Tallarook to Yea line opened, 23.69 miles (Nov. 8 1978)
Dec. 17 Everton to Myrtleford line opened, 16.56 miles
1884 Comparative tests of continuous train brakes
Jan. 6 Flinders St. to St Kilda Junction opened
Feb. 12 Mitiamo to Pyramid Hill opened, 12.59 miles
Feb. 15 Branxholme to Henty opened, 23.19 miles
April 2 Sunshine to Melton line opened, 15.65 miles
June 16 Castlemaine (Maldon Junction) to Maldon opened, 10.24 miles
Sept. 1 Henty to Casterton opened, 8.9 miles
Sept. 9 North Melbourne to Coburg opened, 5.07 miles
Oct. 25 Pyramid Hill to Kerang opened, 24.54 miles
1885 April 6 Williamstown Racecourse (first site) opened extended on Nov. 26 1887 to final site, 0.69 miles
April 10 Morwell to Boolarra opened
Sept. 8 Boolarra to Darlimurla opened
1886 Jan. 1 Lal Lal Racecourse branch opened
Jan. 7 Darlimurla to Mirboo North
Feb. 1 Clifton Hill to Alphington gas tram service commenced
April 1 Melton to Pawan opened, 6 miles
May 6 St. James to Yarrawonga line opened, 19.86 miles
May 12 Murtoa to Warracknabeal opened, 31.2 miles
Nov. 15 Ballarat cattle yards branch opened, 2.92 miles
Dec. 22 Gordons (Gordon) to Ballan opened, 7.38 miles
  VR Annual Report 1886
1887 Jan. 10 "Adelaide Express" commenced running via Geelong - Ballarat
Jan. 19 Dimboola to Serviceton opened, 63.22 miles
Jan. 19 North Creswick to Rocky Lead opened, 12.65 miles (Newlyn to Rocky Lead closed July 28 1953
Feb. 16 Parwan to Bacchus Marsh opened, 2.54 miles
March 18 Heyfield to Maffra opened
April 21 Wedderburn Junction to Wedderburn opened, 4.86 miles
April 23 Camperdown to Terang opened, 13.87 miles
May 11 Crash at Windsor kills 6
June 1 Rocky Lead to Daylesford Junction opened, 10.46 miles. (closed July 28 1953
June 1 Lubeck to Rupanyup opened, 9.77 miles
Aug. 19 Tatura to Echuca opened
Aug. 25 Horsham to Noradjuha opened, 19.95 miles
Sept. 2 Brighton Beach to Sandringham opened
Sept. 24 Newport to Sunshine line opened (Brooklyn Loop line) 4.29 miles.
Nov. 8 Maffra to Stratford opened
Dec. 19 Kew junction to Kew (closed May 13 1957)
  VR Annual Report 1887
1888 Newport workshops completed
May 8 Royal Park Junction (Royal Park) to Clifton Hill to Collingwood
May 8 Nicholson Street to Fitzroy opened, 0.89 miles
May 8 Clifton Hill to Heidleberg opened (Alphington gas tram ceased previous day)
May 8 Moe to Thorpdale opened
May 8 Sale to Stratford Junction opened
May 8 Stratford to Bairnsdale opened
May 15 Lilydale to Yarra Glen opened (closed March 15 1981)
Oct. 1 Numurkah to Nathalia opened
Oct. 1 Shepparton to Dookie opened
Oct. 1 Numurkah to Cobram opened
Oct. 1 Pisgah Junction (Waubra Junction) to Waubra opened, 13.74 miles
Oct. 1 Bendigo to Heathcote line opened, 27.64 miles. (closed Dec. 3 1958)
Oct. 1 Dandenong (Great Southern Junction) to Tooradin opened
Oct. 1 Kilmore Junction, later Heathcote Junction, to Kilmore opened, 9.51 miles (last train Nov 9 1968)
Oct. 1 Frankston to Baxter opened
Nov. 20 Inglewood to Dunnoly opened, 24.24 miles
Nov. 20 Hamilton (Coleraine Junction) to Coleraine opened, 23.01 miles
  VR Annual Report 1888
1889 Mar. 1 Yarra Glen to Healsville opened (closed March 15 1981)
Aug. 7 Maffra to Briagolong opened
Aug. 7 Irrewarra to Beeac opened, 8.7 miles. (closed Nov. 18 1953)
Sept. 10 Wodonga to Huon Lane opened, 14.07 miles
Sept. 10 Baxter to Hastings opened (13 miles)
Sept. 10 Baxter to Mornington opened, 12.3 miles (closed June 15 1981)
Sept. 12 Ballarat East to Buninyong opened, 6.84 miles (closed Feb. 28 1947)
Oct. 8 Whittlesea Junction to Preston - Reservoir (renamed Resevoir Dec 1 1909) opened, 4.78 miles
Oct. 8 Coburg to Somerton opened, 7.16 miles
Oct Footwarmers first used, on the Melbourne - Adelaide service. (footwarmers aboilished 1980.) 
Nov. 12 Yea to Molesworth line opened, 10.68 miles (closed Nov. 8 1978)
Dec. 3 Heathcote to Tooborac line opened, 10.56 miles. (last train Nov. 9 1968)
Dec. 4 Ringwood to Upper Ferntree Gully opened
Dec. 4 Bacchus Marsh to Ballan opened, 17.54 miles
Dec. 17 Hastings to Stony Point opened (9.5 miles)
Dec. 23 Preston - Reservoir (renamed Resevoir Dec 1 1909) to Whittlesea opened
  VR Annual Report 1889
1890 Feb. 4 Terang to Mortlake opened, 12.16 miles
Feb. 4 Terang to Port Fairy opened, 49.25 miles
March 17 Mount Moriac to Wensleydale opened, 10.92 miles. (closed Oct. 20 1948)
March 24 Burnley to Oakleigh opened
May 12 Warragul to Rokeby opened
May 30 Kerang to Swan Hill opened, 35.16 miles
May 30 Camberwell to Waverley Road opened
June 17 Molesworth to Cathkin line opened, 2.74 miles (Nov. 8 1978)
July 18 Huon Lane to Bolga line opened (6.61 miles)
Aug 10 Hawthorn to Kew junction opened (closed May 13 1957)
Aug 22 Kilmore to Tooborac line opened, 20.11 miles. (last train Nov. 9 1968)
Aug. 22 Dunkeld to Koroit opened, 48.99 miles.
(Dunkeld to Penshurst closed March 24 1891)
Aug. 22 Hamilton to Penshurst opened, 18.1 miles
Sept. 1 Murchison East to Rushworth opened
Sept. 10 Cathkin to Alexandra Road, later Koriella, opened, 4.41 miles (Nov. 8 1978)
Oct. 10 Scarsdale to Linton opened, 7.97 miles
Oct. 17 Myrtleford to Bright line opened (18.54 miles)
Nov. 10 Cathkin to Merton line opened, 15.47 miles (Nov. 8 1978)
Nov. 11 Tooradin to Loch opened
Nov. 18 Ararat to Avoca opened, 39.04 miles
  VR Annual Report 1890
1891 Jan. 15 Redesdale Junction to Redesdale opened, 16.25 miles (closed Sept. 26 1954)
March 24 Fairfield Park to Riversdale opened
March 24 Maldon (Laanecoorie Junction) to Shelbourne opened, 9.89 miles
March 24 Penshurst to Dunkeld line closed
May 7 Merton to Maindample opened
June 2 Loch to Korumburra opened
June 5 Birregurra to Forrest opened, 19.85 miles. (closed March 4 1957)
July 23 Beechworth to Yackandandah line opened, 12.84 miles, (closed July 2 1954)
July 24 Bolga to Tallangatta line opened (5.03 miles)
Oct. 6 Maindample to Mansfield opened
Nov. 23 First Flinders St. to Spencer St. viaduct opened (double track)
Dec. 17 Korumburra to Leongatha opened
  VR Annual Report 1891
1892 Jan. 13 Leongatha to Port Albert opened
March 18 Rokeby to Neerim South opened
April 5 Curdie's River Junction (later Timboon Junction) to Timboon opened, 22.32 miles (closed Dec. 8 1986)
April 6 Lancefield to Kilmore line opened, 18.1 miles (closed June 30 1904)
June 30 Total miles of lines open 2,903
Oct. 28 Korumburra to Coal Creek opened
Nov. 22 Dookie to Katamatite opened
  VR Annual Report 1892
1893 Jan. 5 Warracknabeal to Beulah opened, 21.92 miles
Jan. 30 VR head office completed at 67 Spencer Street 3rd floor added 1912, 4th floor added 1922. (vacated in 1988) converted to Grand Central hotel.
March 28 Donald to Birchip opened, 32.3 miles
April 12 Fairfield Park - Riversdale closed. Fairfield Park-Deepdene reopened for spoil trains during construction of Flinders St - Collingwood line during 1900
April 12 Canterbury Loop closed
. VR Annual Report 1893
1894 March 6 Beulah to Hopetoun opened, 16.01 miles (construction started as a private line by E.H.Lascelles then taken over and completed by VR)
May 7 Jumbunna Junction to Jumbunna opened (closed Oct 1 1953)
May 14 Bendigo cattle yards line opened
June 1 Strezlecki Junction (Coal Creek line) to Strezlecki opened
June 19 Dimboola to Jeparit opened, 21.59 miles
July 31 East Natimuk to Goroke opened, 28.64 miles
July First issue of the "Weekly Notice"
August 7 Boort to Quambatook opened, 21.96 miles
  VR Annual Report 1894
1895 March 8 Wycheproof to Sea Lake opened, 47.89 miles
June 30 From the annual report:
3,120 miles of track open.
40,210,733 passengers conveyed
2,435,857 tons of goods and livestock conveyed
Dec. 9 Darling to Waverley Road closed
Dec. 9 Camberwell to Ashburton closed, (re-opened July 4 1898)
  VR Annual Report 1895
1896 Feb. 5 Jumbunna to Outtrim opened
Dec. 15 Nathalia to Picola opened
  VR Annual Report 1896
1897 June 1 Lancefield - Kilmore closed. Commissioners agree to run an as required train between Lancefield and Goldie for a minimum load of 40 tons. One train ran in Sept 1897 (at least)
Dec 10 Up side station building at Woodend destroyed by fire
  VR Annual Report 1897
1898 July 4 Camberwell to Ashburton re-opened
  VR Annual Report 1898
1899 March 14 First narrow gauge line opened Wangaratta-Whitfield, 30.49 miles, (closed Oct. 12 1953)
Sept. 18 Birchip to Woomelang opened, 26.45 miles
Nov. 2 Jeparit to Rainbow opened, 18.47 miles
  VR Annual Report 1899
1900 March 1 Quambatook to Ultima opened, 30.23 miles
Feb. 6 Lancefield to Kilmore re-opened
May 14 Reiversdale to Deepdene re-opened
Dec. 18 Upper Ferntree Gully to Belgrave opened, narrow gauge. (reopened as broad gauge Feb. 19 1962
Dec. 18 Belgrave to Gembrook opened, narrow gauge
Dec. 26 Bungaree Racecourse branch opened, 1.53 miles. (closed Sept. 4 1951)
  VR Annual Report 1900
Oct. 21 Melbourne (Princes Bridge) to Collingwood (later renamed Victoria Park) opened
Nov. 13 Lilydale to Warburton opened
  VR Annual Report 1901
1902 March 1 Colac to Beech Forest (narrow gauge) opened, 29.66 miles (closed June 30 1962)
June 5 Heidelberg to Eltham opened
1903 Jan. 15 Woomelang to Hattah opened, 68.79 miles
May 8.

An ultimatum from the State Government forbidding the affiliation of the Enginemenís Association with the Victorian Trades Hall Council prompts a strike lasting one week. It is the first strike by state employees in Victoria and follows a year of tension between public servants and the conservative government. A minimal rail service is maintained by Railway officers, community volunteers and a few non striking enginemen. Union is defeated. Members of the executive are dismissed and pension rights of others are reduced although some are restored after litigation.

May 25 Hattah to Nowingi opened, 11.94 miles
July 13 Coburg to Somerton closed .
July 15 Lancefield to Kilmore closed. Commissioners agree to run a load of eight trucks as required between Lancefield and Goldie until 1-11-1903 .
Sept. 30 Nowingi to Yatpool opened, 16.19 miles
Oct. 27 Yatpool to Mildura opened, 13.23 miles
Dec. 21 North Geelong loop opened
  VR Annual Report 1903
1904 Jan. 1 Burrembeet Racecourse branch opened, 1.14 miles. (closed July 1 1948)
Feb 7 Springvale to Springvale Cemetery opened, 2.3 miles (closed Dec 19 1951)
Dec. 5 Northcote loop opened (direct connection from Merri to Rushall)
  VR Annual Report 1904
1905 Feb. 28 Strathmerton to Tocumwal opened (temporary terminus south bank of river)
June 26 Welshpool to Welshpool Jetty opened
Dec. 1 Prahran to Malvern steam bus service began, reputedly the first Victorian use of self propelled vehicles for public passenger traffic. Service was abandoned June 17 1906
  VR Annual Report 1905
1906 May 7 St. Kilda to Middle Brighton tram service commenced
Nov. Coburg to Fawkner Park (Fawkner) reopened for Cemetery trains.
Dec. 22 Middle Brighton to Brighton Beach VR tram line opened
  VR Annual Report 1906
1907 March 7 Fire at Elwood tram depot destroys entire VR tram fleet (17 cars)
Dec. 2 First A2 class steam locos in service. They would eventually number 185 and were VR's main passenger loco until the arrival of the diesel electric B class in 1952.
  VR Annual Report 1907
1908 April 20 Crash at Sunshine killed 44 passengers, up Bendigo passenger train ran into the rear of a up Ballarat passenger train. VR's worst accident.
July 9 Tocumwal temporary terminus to Tocumwal opened
  VR Annual Report 1908
1909 Nov. 22 Mining commenced at State Coal mines, Wonthaggi, as a result of a prolonged coal strike in New South where VR had previously obtained all their coal.
June 15 Rupanyup to Marnoo opened, 15.33 miles
July 1 Ultima to Chillingollah opened, 20.17 miles
Oct. 28 Alexandra Road to Alexandra opened
  VR Annual Report 1909
1910 Present day Flinders Street station building completed.
Feb. 22 Wonthaggi coal mine shipped first train load of coal
May 3 Moe to Walhalla opened (narrow gauge)
May 9 Nyora to Powlett Coalfields (Wonthaggi) opened
July 4 Mildura to Merbein opened, 6.92 miles
July18 Crash at Richmond killed 9, injured 500, up Elsternwick pass. rear ended up Brighton pass.
Nov VR WHB commitee decreed that standpipes be dispensed with and hosebags and cocks to be fitted directly to headstocks, this program was largely completed by 1914 (P Dunn)
Dec. 1 Beeac to Cressy opened, 10.95 miles. (closed Nov. 18 1953)
  VR Annual Report 1910
1911 June 20 Beech Forest to Crowes (narrow gauge) line opened, 14.11 miles.
(Weeaproinah to Crowes closed Dec. 10 1954.)
(Beech Forest to Weeaproinah closed June 30 1962)

GEELONG, Wednesday. Visits of inspection were made to-day by the Railways Commissioners. They spent most of the time on the Wensleydale line which is now only used for one wood train per week. Mr. Fitzpatrick said that the commis-
sioners would spend no more on the line than was necessary for the safe running of slow wood trains.

Sept. 25 Cressy to Newtown opened, 24 miles. (closed Nov. 18 1953)
  VR Annual Report 1911
1912 May 13 2 McKeen cars went into service, Ballarat-Maryborough and Hamilton-Warrnambool
Electrification of Melbourne suburban area authorised
June 25 Eltham to Hurstbridge opened
June 25 Ouyen to Murrayville opened, 67.83 miles
August 26 First installation of Miniature Electric Staff, Dobie to Ararat and Buangor
Sept. 24 Noradjuha to Toolondo opened, 11.24 miles
Dec. 10 Jeparit to Lorquon opened, 13.68 miles
  VR Annual Report 1912
1913 All suburban platforms standardised to 425 feet long.
Aug. 8 Gheringhap to Maroona opened, 99.76 miles
Oct. 20 Kilmany Park steam tramway, 2miles 23 chains, (closed June 6 1919)
  VR Annual Report 1913
1914 Jan. 28 Chillingollah to Manangatang opened, 18.46 miles
May 28 Ben Nevis to Navarre opened, 22.87 miles, (closed Feb. 24 1954)
June 26 Rainbow to Yaapeet opened, 10.59 miles
June 29 Sea Lake to Nandally opened, 17.68 miles
June 30 Benalla to Tatong line opened, 18 miles, (closed July 1 1947)
July 6 Crib Point to Naval Base, 1.7 miles (June 22 1981)
Aug. 26 Rushworth to Colbinabbin opened
August Declaration of World War I (The Great War)
  VR Annual Report 1914
1915 2nd Flinders St. to Spencer st. viaduct opened
May 27 Swan Hill to Piangil opened, 27.39 miles
July 29 Murrayville to Pinnaroo opened
Oct. 3 3 position signals introduced. (South Yarra to Hawksburn, Prahran, Richmond)
Nov. 1 Hamilton to Cavendish opened, 14.26 miles
Nov. 10 Elmore to Cohuna opened, 57.09 miles
  VR Annual Report 1915
1916 Jan. 17 Linton to Skipton opened, 12.75 miles
April 10 Bairnsdale to Orbost opened
June 13 Tallangatta to Shelley opened, 22.86 miles
June 20 Heywood to Dartmoor opened, 25.71 miles
June 27 Lorquon to Yanac opened, 18.38 miles
  VR Annual Report 1916
1917 Jolimont workshops opened
March 27 Neerim South to Nayook opened
April Ballarat workshops opened
May New Geelong loco depot opened. Only 360 degree roundhouse on VR
May 15 Rushworth to Girgarre opened
November Bendigo workshops opened
Nov. 28 Dartmoor to Mount Gambier opened
Dec. 17 Toolondo to Kanagulk opened, 10.55 miles
  VR Annual Report 1917
1918 Sept. 9 North Geelong to Fyansford opened, 2.93 miles
Nov. 11 End of World War I
  VR Annual Report 1918
1919 March 10 Sandringham to Black Rock tram opened (closed Nov 1956)
April 10 Shelley to Beetomba line opened (9.73 miles)
April 28 Nayook to Noojee opened (closed Oct 1 1958)
May 28 First electric service operated Sandringham - Essendon and Flemington racecourse
May 28 Nandally to Mittyack opened, 11.07 miles
June 16 Kanagulk to Balmoral opened, 8.16 miles
Aug 31 Electric train services commenced from Flinders St to St Kilda
Oct. 26 Electric train services commenced from Flinders St to Port Melbourne
May VR carried 39,947 tons of coal. 51,443 tons of firewood. 544,605 bags of wheat were loaded at country stations. 2,027,570 bags of wheat and 291,881 bags of flour were handled at Williamstown.
June VR carried 34,522 tons of coal. 64,396 tons of firewood. 269,094 bags of wheat were loaded at country stations 1,696,353 bags of wheat and 129,766 bags of flour were handled at Williamstown.
  VR Annual Report 1919
1920 March 24 Piangil to Kooloonong opened, 15.87 miles
June 16 Mittyack to Kulwin opened, 8.61 miles
July 31 Electric train services commenced from Princes Bridge to North Carlton
July 31 Electric train services commenced from Clifton Hill to Reservoir
July 31 Electric train services commenced from Clifton Hill to Heidelberg
Aug 27 Electric train services commenced from Flinders St to Williamstown
Nov. 19 Cavendish to Balmoral opened, 25.03 miles
Dec 2 Electric train services commenced from Flinders St to Fawkner
  VR Annual Report 1920
1921 Parcels Coach's commenced running, (last parcels coach ran Jan. 7 1986)
Feb. 8 Alberton to Yarram opened
March First shipment of bagged wheat from Portland.
March 8 Manangatang to Annuello opened, 14.44 miles
May 5 Beetomba to Cudgewa line opened (9.74 miles)
Sep 4 Electric train services commenced from Essendon to Broadmeadows
Oct 2 Electric train services commenced from Footscray to St Albans
Dec. 2 Bittern to Red Hill opened, 15.9 miles (closed July 1 1953)
Dec. 16 Yarram to Won Wron opened
  VR Annual Report 1921
1922 Jan. 11 Hernes Oak to Yallourn opened
March 5 Electric train services commenced from Flinders St to Oakleigh
March 5 Electric train services commenced from Caulfield to Glenhuntly
June 6 Electric train services commenced from Glenhuntly to Mordialloc
Aug 27 Electric train services commenced from Mordialloc to Frankston
June 29 Koo Wee Rup to Strzlecki opened
Dec 11 Electric train services commenced from Oakleigh to Dandenong
Dec 11 Electric train services commenced from Springvale to Springvale Cemetary
Dec 17 Electric train services commenced from Flinders St to Box Hill
Dec 17 Electric train services commenced from Hawthorn to Kew
Dec 17 Electric train services commenced from Burnley to Darling
  VR Annual Report 1922
1923 Jan 30 Electric train services commenced from Box Hill to Ringwood
April 15 Electric train services commenced from Heidelberg to Eltham
June 21 Colac to Alvie opened, 9.65 miles. (closed Dec. 18 1954)
June 22 Won Wron to Woodside opened
July 20 Electric locomotives introduced (steeple cabs numbered 1100 and 1101)
Aug 1 Melbourne bound "Adelaide Express" derails at Glenorchy due to floodwaters.
August 22 First "wig-wag" level crossing signal installed at Ames St. North Carlton. Last wig-wag at Tylden (Daylesford line) removed from service in 1971
Dec. 1 Deniliquin to Moama railway taken over by VR
  VR Annual Report 1923
1924 Jan. Victorian Railways Magazine first published. Some news from the first year:
  • St Kilda was Melbourne's busiest suburban station with 4 1/2 million journeys the previous financial year. Footscray was second with almost 4 million, followed by Elsternwick, Ascot Vale, Essendon and Balaclava
  • 210,000 passed through Flinders Street per weekday
April 11 Red Cliffs to Werrimul opened, 35.4 miles
June 5 Annuello to Robinvale opened, 19.65 miles
Aug. 27 Train Control System introduced; first section Dandenong to Nyora
Oct. 1 VR took over Williamstown Race Course to Altona, 1.85 miles. Originally opened 1888 by Altona Bay Company
Oct 12 Electric train services commenced from Ringwood to Upper Ferntree Gully
Oct 13 Better Farming Train introduced (discontinued 1936)
Oct 30 Electric train services commenced from Camberwell to Ashburton
Nov 28 Electric train services commenced from Ringwood to Croyden
Dec. 20 Kerang to Murrabit opened, 16.11 miles
    1924 VR Magazines
  VR Annual Report 1924
1925 Feb 11 Deepdene to East Kew re-opened for goods
May 6 Hopetoun to Patchewollock opened, 26.96 miles
June 27 Merbein to Yelta opened, 5.87 miles
Aug. 16 First remotely controlled signal location, Goulburn Junction, (controlled from Seymour "A box") see photo
Oct. 30 Werrimul to Meringur opened, 15.23 miles
Nov 30 Electric train services commenced from Croydon to Lilydale
  1925 VR Magazines
  VR Annual Report 1925
1926 Spotswood workshops opened
March 26 Barnes to Balranald line opened, 119.62 miles
March 29 Kooloonong to Yungera opened, 6.71 miles. (closed Aug 6 1957)
April 9 Dimboola to Rainbow railmotor discontinued, replaced by a mixed train service.
April 26 Up electric train from Upper Ferntree Gully collides with "motor van" at Boronia, 9 killed.
May 3 "Geelong Flier" commenced running, (1st named trained on VR)
. "Train Control" system commenced operating.
June Adelaide Express renamed "The Overland"
May Provide electric headlights on locomotives.
August First use of automatic staff exchangers, Mangalore to Barnawartha.
Aug 2 Electric train services commenced from Eltham to Hurstbridge
Sept. 1 Black Rock to Beaumaris tramline opened
Oct 2 Electric train services commenced from Newport to Altona
  1926 VR Magazines
  VR Annual Report 1926
1927 May 3 Goroke to Carpolac opened, 9.05 miles
July 25 Marnoo to Boloangum opened, 6.4 miles
Oct. 31 Bowser to Peechelba opened, 12.32 miles
  1927 VR Magazines
  VR Annual Report 1927
1928 March PERM 55 entered service (later called DERMs after conversion from petrol to diesel engines in 1951 - 1953)
March 5 Fawkner to Somerton (dead end) reopened.
March 16 Murrabit to Stony Crossing opened, 38.59 miles
June 18 New country timetable published, CLICK HERE to view it
Sep 14 Electric train services commenced from Mcleod to Mont Park
Oct 21 South Kensington to West Footscray opened (goods lines via Bunbury St tunnel)
  Nov 12 Mildura to Merbein railmotor service discontinued
  1928 VR Magazines
  VR Annual Report 1928
1929 Feb. 3 Darling to East Malvern opened with electric train services
July 1 Albion to Broadmedows double track line opened (8.58 miles) Up line converted to standard gauge 1962.
Dec 16 Electric train services commenced from Reservoir to Thomastown
  1929 VR Magazines
  VR Annual Report 1929
1930 Port Melbourne to Port Melbourne pier platform opened (closed 1965)
May 5 East Malvern to Glen Waverley opened with electric train services
Sep. 30 70 mph running first authorised for S class steam locos for selected sections.
Oct. 20 Linton to Skipton passenger service ends
Oct. 21 Wangaratta to Whitfield passenger service ends (a postal motor passenger service replaced regular passenger service)
Nov. 17 Maffra to Briagolong passenger service ends
Nov. 22 Triholm to Strezlecki closed
Nov. 24 Ballarat to Buninyong passenger service ends
  1930 VR Magazines
  VR Annual Report 1930
1931 Feb, 26 Funeral train for Dame Nellie Melba operates from Melbourne to Lilydale.
June 16 Meringur to Morkalla opened, 9.64 miles
  VR Annual Report 1931
  1931 VR News Letters
1932 March 16 First flashing light signal (for road traffic) installed at Mentone (Moorrabin Road)
    Yelta car goods service discontinued
  VR Annual Report 1932
. 1932 VR News Letters
1933 Nov. 11 First Searchlight signal installed on VR at Caulfield (post 23)
  1933 VR News Letters
  VR Annual Report 1933
1934 Feb, 3 First test of bulk wheat loading at Geelong (Corio Quay) into the ship Dalryan
April 10 Electric train services commenced from Port Melbourne to Port Melbourne Pier
  VR Annual Report 1934
.   1934 VR News Letters
1935 Introduction of 70 MPH as maximum speed.
  Sep 9 Mildura - Merebin passenger service discontinued
July 15 Warrnambool to Hamilton, passenger service withdrawn (Rail Motor)
Dec. 23 First air-conditioned carriage in British Empire, 36 AE, began running on Albury train.
  VR Annual Report 1935
. 1935 VR News Letters
March 7 The "Boat Train" commenced running, (discontinued Oct. 1939)
Sep Flash butt rail welding machine installed at Spotswood.
Oct VR newsletter reports: First application of new suburban train colour scheme, red and moonstone grey. First cars in Overland service painted green.
Oct VR newsletter reports that new station colour scheme of Ivory and green will be adopted as standard.
  VR Annual Report 1936
  1936 VR News Letters
1937 Nov 23 "Spirit Of Progress" commenced running, a streamlined, all air conditioned train between Melbourne and Albury.
  VR Annual Report 1937
  1937 VR News Letters
1938 Sleeper plates, (between the rail and the sleeper) first used. 90 lb rail welded into 225 foot lengths (introduction of welded rail) all in conjunction with the relaying of the Geelong line.
Aug. 15 Yarrawonga to Oaklands line opened, (38.2 miles)
  VR Annual Report 1938
  1938 VR News Letters
1939 VR Annual Report 1939
. 1939 VR News Letters
1940 VR Annual Report 1940
  1940 VR News Letters
1941 H 220 "Heavy Harry" enters service, VR's biggest steam locomotive.
Jan. 1 Welshpool to Welshpool Jetty line closed, 3.23 miles
Sep 7 Yannathan to Triholm line closed, 14 miles
  VR Annual Report 1941
  1941 VR News Letters
1942 May 12 Nowingi towards Millewa South, 15.69 miles (VR took line over from Construction Branch and last six miles dismantled back to Raak Plain gypsum loading site and line rented to Brunswick Plaster Mills, later CSR Ltd)
  VR Annual Report 1942
  1942 VR News Letters
1943 May 8 Victoria's (and Australia's) worst rail-road crash. A2 863 hits a bus carrying soldiers at Tallangatta Road, Wodonga. 25 people die in this appalling collision.
A few statistics from the 1943 annual report:
  • 25,450 employees
  • 577 steam locos and 12 electric locos on register
  • 19,823 goods wagons on register
  • 1,499 passenger cars
  • 4,758 route miles open for traffic
  • 195,830,057 number of passenger journeys
  • 8,017,601 tonnage of goods & livestock conveyed
  • £782,609 surplus
  VR Annual Report 1943
  1943 VR News Letters
1944 April 1 Platina to Walhalla line closed
    VR Annual Report 1944
1944 VR News Letters
1945 Oct. 29 Cathkin to Alexandra passenger (mixed train) service ends.
Nov Labor government elected .
  VR Annual Report 1945  
. 1945 VR News Letters .
 1946 VR Annual Report 1946  
. 1946 VR News Letters .
1947 Feb. 28 Eureka to Buninyong line closed .
July Last new installation of interlocked gates, Carrum. .
July 1

Benalla (MP 122 1/4) to Tatong line closed, 17.04 miles

Nov 8 Liberal/Country party coalition government elected .
  VR Annual Report 1947  
  1947 VR News Letters  
. .
1948 June 2 Naval Base loop opened .
June 28 Ashburton to Alamein re-opened .
July 1 Burrumbeet Racecourse Junction to Burrumbeet Racecourse line closed, 1.13 miles .
 July 3 Princes Bridge to Nth Fitzroy & Nth Carlton pass service discontinued (WTT 2020/48 July 3 1948)  
Aug. 9 Rushworth to Colbinabbin passenger service ends
Oct. 20 Moriac to Wensleydale line closed, 10.92 miles .
  1948 VR News Letters  
  VR Annual Report 1948  
. .
1949 Feb. 14 Alberton to Port Albert line closed, 4.2 miles .
March 29 Stawell to Grampians line closed, 15.84 miles .
  VR Annual Report 1949  
  1949 VR News Letters  
   Notes from Commissioner's tour of inspection: Orbost to Morwell, Yallourn to Warragul, Drouin to Dandenong.  
. .
1950 "Operation Phoenix" plan unveiled; £80,000,000 to be spent over 10 years:
  • Traralgon electrification/partial duplication/regrading
  • Electrification of Geelong line (never carried out)
  • R, J & N class steam locos and B class diesel electrics
  • Harris trains
  • Walker railmotors
  • Approx 3,000 new wagons
  • New line from Moe to Yallourn
  • Richmond station rebuilding
April 15 Bayles to Yannathan line closed, 6.5 miles .
May 13 Liberal and Country party government elected .
May 22 Williamstown Racecourse line closed .
Oct. 15

The longest railway strike in Victoria commences halting all services for 55 days. Several unions combine in this dispute over the issue of passive time and the payment of overtime after eight hours. Reactions to industrial unrest in Australia at this time prevent cooperation between parties to overcome deficiencies in the Arbitration system and the unions call off the strike. Resumption of full rail services is slow further assisting alternative transport modes competing with rail. Later amendments to the Arbitration system attempt to overcome deficiencies highlighted in this dispute. Obvious tensions within the labour movement culminate in the 1955 ALP split.

  VR Annual Report 1950
  1950 VR News Letters
. .
1951 Jan Newport "A" power station taken over by the State Electricity Commision. (Newport "A" was built by the VR and went into operation in 1918 to generate power for the newly electrified suburban system.) .
Jan. 15 Dunnolly to Inglewood passenger service ends
May 10 Black Diamond Junction to Black Diamond line closed, 1.52 miles .
Aug. 20 Horsham to Balmoral passenger service ends .
Sep. 4 Jumbunna to Outtrim line closed, 2.4 miles .
Sep. 4 Bungaree Junction to Racecourse Reserve line closed, 1.53 miles .
Sep. 7 Up and Down "Overlands" crash head on at Serviceton, one (fireman) dies.
Dec. 19 Springvale Cemetery line closed, 1.6 miles .
  VR Annual Report 1951  
  1951 VR News Letters  
  Notes from Commissioner's tour of inspection: Mirboo Nth to Hazlewood, Glengarry to Hillside, Orbost to Bairnsdale, Montgomery to Rosedale, Flynn to Warragul, David to Thorpdale, Noojee to Lillico, Drouin to Hallam  
. .
1952 Jan. 14 Gheringhap to Maroona passenger service ends .
Feb. 1 Kerang to Koondrook (VR take line over from Kerang Shire Council, opened 1889) 14 miles .
April 30 Birregurra to Forrest passenger service ends .
June 11 Wangaratta to Bright passenger service ends .
July 14 Mainline dieselisation of VR commences with delivery of B 60 .
July 16 Maffra to Briagolong line closed, 11.79 miles .
July 28 Hamilton to Coleraine passenger service ends (mixed train) .
July 29 North Creswick to Daylesford passenger service ends.
July 30 Rushworth to Girgarre passenger service ends .
Aug. 15 Hawthorn to Kew passenger service ends .
Oct. 1 Erica to Platina (narrow gauge) line closed. .
Dec Labor state government elected .
  VR Annual Report 1952  
  1952 VR News Letters  
. .
1953 April 10 Everton to Beechworth passenger (mixed) service ends .
April 29 Shepparton to Katamatite passenger service (Diesel Rail Car) ends .
May 25 Yarram to Woodside line closed, 18.1 miles .
June 29 Bittern to Red Hill passenger service ends .
July 1 Bittern to Red Hill line closed, 9.91 miles .
July 28 Daylesford to Newlyn line closed, 14.25 miles .
Sept. 6 Moe to Yallourn opened (direct line) .
Oct. 1 Korumburra (Jumbunna Junction) to Jumbunna line closed, 3.74 miles .
Oct. 12 Wangaratta to Whitfield (narrow gauge) line closed, 30.49 miles (postal motor passenger service finished Oct. 10 1953) .
Oct 13 B class haul "The Overland" for first time. .
Nov. 18 Irrewarra - Cressy - Newtown line closed, 43.65 miles .
  VR Annual Report 1953 .
  1953 VR News Letters  
  Notes from Commissioner's tour of inspection: Noojee to Texas Oil Co. Siding, Darnum to Moe and Thorpdale, Gooding to Erica, Hazelwood to Mirboo Nth, Morwell to Tinamba, Maffra to Orbost, Montgomery to Herne's Oak and Yallourn, Warragul to Hallam  
1954 .
Jan. 30 Dimboola to Rainbow passenger service ends (Diesel Railcar) .
Feb. 24 Ben Nevis to Navarre line closed, 22.87 miles .
March Queen Elizabeth II tours Victoria by train, the first time a reigning monarch had travelled on the VR.. Trips included: Sale to Melbourne, Melbourne to Goorambat, Tatura - Echuca - Bendigo - Maryborough - Ballarat - Geelong - Melbourne, Melbourne to Warburton and return. .
March 27 Nayook to Noojee line closed .
April 30 Upper Ferntree Gully to Belgrave (narrow gauge) line closed. (Last train ran Feb. 23 1954) Re-opened as Broad gauge and electrified Feb 18 1962) .
April 30 Emerald to Gembrook passenger service ends .
April 30 Lakeside to Gembrook (narrow gauge) line closed, 6.68 miles (re-opened by Puffing Billy Railway, Oct. 18 1998) .
June 25 Moe to Erica (narrow gauge) line closed, 18.49 miles (pass service Moe to Platina closed June 24 1954) .
June 29 Redesdale Junction to Redesdale line closed, 16.25 miles (last train ran June 28 1954) .
July 2 Beechworth to Yackandandah line closed, 12.84 miles (last train ran July 1) .
July 22 Warrugul electrification opened, first mainline electrification in Australia .
July 22 Melbourne to Bairnsdale passenger train named "The Gippslander"
July 30 Numurkah to Picola passenger service (Leyland railmotor) ends .
Sept. 3 Piangil to Yungera passenger service ends .
Dec. 9 Ferguson to Crowes passenger service ends .
Dec. 10 Weeaproinah to Crowes (narrow gauge) line closed, 9.9 miles .
Dec. 17 J 559 enters service, VR's last steam locomotive. (scrapped April 1975)
Dec. 18 Colac (Alvie Junction) to Alvie line closed, 8.76 miles .
VR Annual Report 1954 .
1954 VR News Letters  
Notes from Commissioner's tour of inspection: Yarram to Leongatha, Ruby to Nyora, Woodleigh to Wonthaggi, Lang Lang to Lyndhurst.  
Notes from Commissioner's tour of inspection: Orbost to Stratford, Stratford Jct to Sale, Powerscourt siding to Traralgon, Maryvale, Sale to Traralgon, Mirboo North to Morwell, Herne's Oak to Yallourn, Moe to Thorpdale, Trafalgar to Warragul and Nayook, Drouin to Hallam.    
. .
1955 Jan. 13 Colac to Ferguson passenger service ends .
March 9 Hamilton to Balmoral pasenger service ends
June Liberal/National state government elected .
  VR Annual Report 1955  
  1955 VR News Letters  
. .
1956 Jan. 14 Murchison East to Rushworth passenger service ends
Feb. 6 First automatically operated "boom gates" in service at Toorak Road Tooronga. .
March 14 First electric passenger train between Melbourne and Traralgon, hauled by L1150 .
March 15 "Harris" suburban trains commenced running .
March 26 The "Intercapital Daylight" commenced running Melb - Albury (last Broad Gauge run on April 16 1962) .
May 5 Fawkner to Somerton (dead end) closed
July 31 Branxholme to Casterton passenger service ends (Diesel Railcar) .
Aug. 11 Clarkefield to Lancefield passenger service ends
Aug. 13 Clarkefield to Lancefield line closed, 14.5 miles (last train ran Aug 11 1956) .
Nov. 5 Sandrigham to Black Rock VR "electric street railway" closed, 2.42 miles .
  VR Annual Report 1956  
  1956 VR News Letters  
. .
1957 Jan. 1 Park Street to Brighton Beach VR "electric street railway" closed .
Jan. 1 The term "Porter" is dropped and replaced with "Station Assistant"
March 4 Birregurra to Forrest line closed, 19.8 miles .
March 31 Hernes Oak to Yallourn line closed, 2.45 miles, (due to track upgrading/re-location) .
May 4 Maryborough to Ararat passenger service ends
May 13 Hawthorn to Kew line closed .
July 1 Elwood to Park Street VR "electric street railway" closed .
Aug. 5 Kooloonong to Yungera line closed, 6.71 miles (last train ran Aug. 5 1957) .
Sept. 3 "Mildura Sunlight" commences running introducing air-conditioned saloon type (AZ, BZ) carriages to country services.  
Nov. 4 Construction of Melb-Albury standard gauge line commences.  
  VR Annual Report 1957  
  1957 VR News Letters  
  Notes from Commissioner's tour of inspection: Orbost to Munro, Stratford Jct to Sale, Stratford to Maffra, Traralgon and Morwell, Fulham to Flynn, Hearne's Oak to Yallourn, Moe to Warragul and Nayook, Hazlewood to Mirboo North, Drouin to Hallam.  
. .
1958 March First run of "Train of Knowledge" (Macleod High School chartered a train that took 200 students Melbourne - Warrnambool - Hamilton - Portland - Stawell - Bendigo - Echuca - Kyabram - Melbourne) .
Sep. 7 First installation of Centralised Traffic Control, CTC (East Malvern to Glen Waverley) .
Sep. 14 One class suburban travel introduced, (previous to this there were 1st and 2nd class cars)  
Oct. 1 Warragul to Nayook line closed. .
Dec. 3 Heathcote to Ranglea (Freezing Co's siding) line closed. .
Dec. 4 Moe (Thorpdale Junction) to Thorpdale line closed, 10.67 miles .
VR Annual Report 1958  
1958 VR News Letters  
Notes from Commissioner's tour of inspection: Yarram to Leongatha, Ruby to Nyora, Woodleigh to Wonthaggi, Lang Lang to Lyndhurst.  
Notes from Commissioner's tour of inspection: Orbost to Maffra, Maffra - Traralgon - Sale - Morwell, Moe to Warragul and Nayook, Yallourn, Yinnar to Mirboo North, Thorpdale to Moe.  
Notes from Commissioner's tour of inspection: Drouin to Hallam.  
. .
1959 Feb. 4 Koo Wee Rup to Bayles closed, 4.5 miles .
Feb 28 St Kilda to Elwood VR "electric street railway" closed .
April 15 Korumburra to Coal Creek line closed .
July 8 Avoca to Ararat line closed (re-opened Oct. 29 1966) 39 miles .
July 19 Somerton to Fords siding reopened
Aug. 17 Fawkner to Upfield reopened
Nov. 28 Epping to Whittlesea passenger service ends .
Nov. 29 Lalor to Whittlesea line closed, (Lalor to Epping later re-opened and electrified) 13.7 miles .
November First section of Standard Gauge laid, Wangaratta - Bowser .
December Commercial production of briquettes begins at Morwell .
  VR Annual Report 1959  
  1959 VR News Letters  
  Notes from Commissioner's tour of inspection: Orbost to Sale, Maffra to Traralgon, Morwell to Hallam.  
  Notes from Commissioner's tour of inspection: Yarram to Leongatha, Ruby to Nyora, Woodleigh to Wonthaggi, Lang Lang to Lyndhurst.  
  Notes from Commissioner's tour of inspection: Kooloonong to Bendigo Bendigo Workshops Golden Square to Castlemaine Muckleford to Maldon Chewton to Syenham  
. .
1960 VR Annual Report 1960  
  1960 VR News Letters  
  Notes from Commissioner's tour of inspection:Yarram to Leongatha, Ruby to Nyora, Woodleigh to Wonthaggi, Lang Lang to Lyndhurst.  
1961 July 2 Diesel shop at South Dynon in full operation
Sept 26 Flexi-Van service begins between Melbourne and Adelaide .
Sept. 30 Wodonga to Tallangatta passenger (Diesel Rail Car) service ends .
A few facts & figures from the annual report for year ending June 30 1961
  • 1,901,966 tons of wheat carried
  • 10,685,002 total tonnage of goods carried
  • 29,324 staff employed, in addition, 1,312 engaged on SG project.
  • £1,333,620 operating profit.

VR Annual Report 1961
1961 VR News Letters
Notes from Commissioner's tour of inspection: Orbost to Sale Maffra to Traralgon Morwell to HallamFulham to Flynn Yallourn
. .
1962 Jan. 3 First S.G. freight arrived Dynon, first S.G. freight departed Dynon .
Feb. 13 Provide bell communication between driver and guard on Tait trains .
Feb 18 Upper Ferntree Gully to Belgrave re-opened .
April 13 Springhurst to Wahgunyah (car goods) passenger service ends
April 16 Last B.G. run of "Spirit of Progress" .
April 16 First S.G. run of "Spirit of Progress" SOP (last run, August 3 1986) .
April 16 First run of "Intercapital Daylight" .
April 16 First run of "Southern Aurora" (last run, August 3 1986) .
  July 1 Colac to Weeaproinah (narrow gauge) line closed, 33.8 miles .
    VR Annual Report 1962  
    1962 VR News Letters  
1963 Jan 21 First section of CTC was brought into use on the North East standard gauge line between Alumatta loop and Wodonga loop.  
  April 7 ATC introduced Bacchus Marsh - Ballan (Bank Box loop opened) .
April 8 Dynon bogie exchange centre opened .
  1963 VR News Letters  
  VR Annual Report 1963  
  Notes from Commissioner's tour of inspection: Orbost to Sale, Maffra to Traralgon, Morwell to Hallam Kilmany and Rosedale, Yinnar to Mirboo North, Yallourn  
. .
1964 Feb. 5 Kerang to Stony Crossing line closed, 54.7 miles .
March 19 Meringur to Morkalla line closed .
June 28 East Malvern to Glen Waverley duplication completed
April 10 Waurn Ponds cement works and sidings opened.
June 30 Macleod to Mont Park line closed .
Nov 4 Extension of electrification to Epping. Passenger service re-commenced nov. 30 1964  
Dec. 13 Lilydale to Warburton passenger service ends .
  VR Annual Report 1964  
  1964 VR News Letters .
1965 Jan. 20 North Melbourne steam locomotive depot demolished. .
April 16 Horsham to Goroke passenger service ends .
May 2 North Fitzroy to Rushall line closed .
May 21 North Fitzroy to Northcote Loop line closed .
June 20 Heathcote Jct to Heathcote passenger service withdrawn
July 29 Lilydale to Warburton line closed .
  A few statistics from the 1965 annual report:
  • 27,952 employees
  • 220 steam locos, 35 electric locos, 161 diesel-electric locos and 30 diesel-hydraulic locos on register
  • 22,809 goods wagons on register
  • 1,797 passenger cars
  • 4,211 route miles open for traffic
  • 144,846,129 suburban passenger journeys
  • 4,907,057 country passenger journeys
  • 12,595,661 tonnage of goods & livestock conveyed
  • £193,727 surplus
  1965 VR News Letters  
  VR Annual Report 1965  
  Notes from Commissioner's tour of inspection: Kilmany and Rosedale, Orbost to Sale, Stratford to Maryvale via Maffra, Morwell to Mirboo Nth, Yallourn Hernes Oak to Hallam  
  1966 VR News Letters  
  VR Annual Report 1966  
July 17 Mini Buffet service commences on Melbourne to Albury trains using "MBS" cars
  Program commenced to replace wooden shunters steps on wagons to steel grate type steps.
  VR Annual Report 1967
  1967 VR News Letters
1968 Jan. 8 Last train ran from Maldon to Shelbourne, line damaged by bushfires.
Jan. 31 Ballarat Racecourse platform, MP 81 50Ch to Waubra line closed .
May 6 Portland North to Portland line closed. (Portland North re-named Portland at this time) .
Sept 7 Morwell to Mirboo North passenger service ends .
Nov. 1 Ouyen to Pinaroo passenger service ends
Nov. 9 Last train Heathcote Junction to Heathcote (line officially closed Nov. 7) .
Dec. 28 Wonthaggi to Kirrak line closed .
  VR Annual Report 1968  
  1968 VR News Letters  
. .
1969 Feb 7 "Southern Aurora" crash at Violet town, 8 killed. Link to coroners inquiry report. Link to VR enquiry report. .
March 3 Last morse code transmission from Mildura to Melbourne, bringing to an end 103 years of morse code use on the VR. At one stage it was estimated that half of Victorian Railway stations had morse code equipment. .
Apr. 2 Barry Beach line opened, closed June 30 1992 .
Apr. 29 Long Island Junction to Long Island opened (3.9 miles) .
Dec. 20 Mining ended at State coal mines, Wonthaggi, mining had commenced in 1909. .
  VR Annual Report 1969  
. 1969 VR News Letters .
1970 Jan. 1 Shelbourne Junction to Shelbourne line closed .
April 17 Waubra Junction to Ballarat Racecourse line closed ..
April "Second class" renamed "economy class" .
Nov. 2 Club car introdued on "The Overland"
Dec 9 Melbourne hump yard commisioned (last used Sept. 1987) .
  Instructions issued to change wagon lettering from 5" to 7", wagons to be painted "bright red" and GY's to be painted "Hansa yellow", stirrup steps and handhold on sides of bogie wagons.  
  VR Annual Report 1970  
. 1970 VR News Letters .
1971 The Bland report is issued. A very important parliamentary document in the history of the Victorian Railways as it outlines the de-regulation of road transport and presages the ultimate demise of the Victorian Railways as it was known. It also has an extensive list of when passenger services were withdrwan. Well worth a read!  
  Jan. 20 Spotswood to Newport Power House line closed (last train Jan 29 1971) .
Feb. 22 Cafeteria car introduced on "The Overland"
May 30 Upfield line loses its Sunday passenger service
June 22 Construction commenced, Melbourne Underground Loop .
May First Diesel Rail Car (DRC 41) in service .
Aug 30 Down Overland spectacularly derails at Bungaree. (cause was a bogie defect on S 311)  
Sept. 1 First electronic weighbridge installed at Dynon
  VR Annual Report 1971
. 1971 VR News Letters .
1972 March VR newsletter reports first use of "giant-signs" big VR logos on goods wagons.  
March 6 Last mail motor service (in Australia)between Piangil and Kooloonong ends.  
  August 8 Melbourne to Mildura overnight sleeping train named "The Vinelander" (last run Sept. 1993) .
Nov. 27 Platforms 1 & 2 at North Melbourne are taken out of service to allow for underground loop construction. (reinstated after loop works completed)
Dec. 24 Silver (Hitachi) suburban trains commenced operating .
VR reports a $36,484,888 defecit for the 1971 - 1972 financial year
VR Annual Report 1972
1972 VR News Letters  .
 Notes from Commissioner's tour of inspection: Hallam to Drouin, Darnum to Trafalgar  
1973 May 8 Victorian Railways commisioners became Victorian Railways board with 7 members. .
July 1 Motorail service began between Melbourne and Sydney on the "Southern Aurora"
July 1 Metric system adopted on Victorian Railways
Sept. 10 First run of C.A.E "Arts Train" 42 day tour of Western Victoria
A few statistics from the 1973 - 1974 annual report:
  • 25,243 employees
  • 4,153 route miles open for traffic, (6,685 kilometres)
  • 110,140,832 number of metropolitan passenger journeys
  • 3,880,492 number of country passenger journeys
  • 11,370,162 tonnage of goods & livestock conveyed
  • $86,086,361 defecit
VR Annual Report 1973
. 1973 VR News Letters .
1974 Jan. 26 Farewell day of swing door suburban train operation. (last regular service Dec. 1973) .
April 12 VicRail name adpoted as trading name .
June 27 Last train from Morwell to Mirboo North, Y 130. (line officially closed June 24) .
  VR Annual Report 1974  
. 1974 VR News Letters .
1975 Jan. 20 Extension of suburban train service from Dandenong to Pakenham .
March 1 Stanhope to Gigarre line closed .
June 10 The driver of B 69 on an up, loaded steel train loses control approaching Frankston colliding with a Silver train at the platform. (27M is destroyed) .
Sept. 8 Kananook station opens
Oct. 27 Royal train provided for Princess Margaret, L 1150 to Moe and return
Nov. 10 Echuca to Balranald passenger service ends
  VR Annual Report 1975
. 1975 VR newletters .
  Notes from Commissioner's tour of inspection: Warragul, Darnum to Maffra, Orbost to Montgomery, Sale - Morwell - Moe, Yallourn, Moe to Nar Nar Goon  
1976 July 3 Last run of Murtoa to Hopetoun railmotor service (58RM).  
  July 20 Laverton derailment, last VR passenger fatality, 1 killed .
Sept. 20 Apex quarry train commenced operation.
Nov. 6 Cheetham siding to Queenscliff line closed .
Dec. 1 Allendale to Newlyn line closed .
Dec. 3 Castelmaine (Maldon Junction) to Maldon line closed .
Dec. 17 Ballart to Skipton passenger service withdrawn (Rail Motor)
Dec. 30 Everton to Beechworth line closed .
  VR Annual Report 1976  
. 1976 VR News Letters .
  Notes from Commissioner's tour of inspection: Warragul to Sale, Orbost to Bairnsdale, Hillside to Maffra andMorwell, Moe to Yallourn, Drouin to Nar Nar Goon  
1977 May 7 Last Bendigo to Sea Lake railmotor service operated .
May 27 Last Mansfield to Melbourne railmotor service (RM 91) .
July 8 Collision between pilot (Y 145) and goods train (X 42) at Ararat results in the death of the fireman on the pilot .
July 9 Last Traralgon to Maffra railmotor service operated (RM 28) .
July 9 Last Castlemaine to Maryborough railmotor service operated (RM 24) .
Aug. 25 Last Bendigo to Cohuna railmotor service operated .
Sep. 10 Last Port Fairy to Warrnambool passenger service operated (B 75 on pass.) .
Sep. 12 Dennington to Port Fairy and Koroit to Hamilton (Coleraine Junction) lines closed .
Sep. 12 Coleraine Junction to Coleraine line closed .
Sep. 12 Branxholme to Casterton line closed .
Sep. 23 Last Woodend to Daylesford railmotor service operated .
Oct. 29 VR hands over operation of "Puffing Billy" to Emerald Tourist Railway Board .
Dec. 4 Last Nyora to Wonthaggi railmotor service operated .
  VR Annual Report 1977  
. 1977 VR News Letters .
1978 March 1 ANR takes over operation of all non metropolitan services in South Australia
June 3 Last Bendigo to Robinvale passenger (railmotor) service
July 3 Carlshrue to Daylesford line closed .
Aug. 1 Terang (Mortlake Junction) to Mortlake line closed .
Nov. 6 Motorail service introduced on "The Overland"
Nov. 8 Tallarook to Mansfield and Alexandra lines closed .
Nov. 21 Nyora to Wonthaggi line closed .
Dec. 2 Horsham to Serviceton last day of operation of Diesel Rail Car
Dec. 11 3rd Flinders St. to Spencer St. viaduct opened (now a total of 6 tracks) .
  VR Annual Report 1978  
. 1978 VR News Letters .
1979 VR adopts National 4 letter codes for freight wagons .
??? South Geelong to Cheetham siding closed .
Jan 11 Last Echuca to Deniliquin railmotor service .
July 1 Noradjuha to Hamilton line closed .
Aug. 3 Test of through working of locos between Melbourne and Adelaide, C 505 and C 506, 1755 tonnes ran a down jet from capital to capital. .
  VR Annual Report 1979  
. 1979 VR News Letters .
1980 VR Annual Report 1980  
1981 Jan. 24 Underground loop opens (Burnley tunnel) along with Museum station .
March 1 Bandiana to Cudgewa line closed .
March 1 Diggora West to Cohuna line closed .
March 1 Kerang to Koondrook line closed .
March 15 Coldstream to Healesville line closed .
June 15 Baxter to Mornington line closed .
July 31 Royal Park to Fitzroy line closed .
Sept 12 Withdrawl of passenger service between Ararat and Portland.  
Sept 28 Comeng suburban trains enter revenue service .
Sept First "N" set (country passenger carriages) enters service. .
Sept. Duplication of Melbourne to Geelong line completed .
  VR Annual Report 1981  
. .
1982 Feb 15 Through working of C class diesel locos began between Melbourne and Adelaide. Previously VR locos were detached from their trains at the state borders. .
April Labor state government elected .
June 17 S 317, on an up standard gauge goods runs into the back of the up Spirit of Progress at Barnawartha, killing both crewmembers on the goods train. .
  VR Annual Report 1982  
. .
1983 July 1 VR became State Transport Authority with V/Line and The Met as its operations .
Oct. 28 Lubeck to Bolangum line closed .
Nov. 30 Myrtleford to Bright line closed .
Dec. 16 Sale Wharf line closed .
. .
1984 November Last Tait suburban trains withdrawn from service .
. .
1985 Jan. 20 Altona to Westona opened .
April 11 Westona to Laverton opened .
Nov. 11 First two man freight train, Ararat to Portland freight, (guards van and guard abolished) .
. .
1986 Jan. 7 Last suburban parcels coaches ran .
Withdrawl from service of last wooden bodied passenger cars .
Aug. 3 Last run of "Spirit of Progress" and "Southern Aurora" replaced by Melbourne and Sydney Express
October Livestock traffic ceases .
Dec. 8 Timboon Junction to Timboon line closed .
Dec. 8 Hopetoun to Patchewollock line closed .
Dec. 8 North Creswick to Allendale line closed .
Dec. 8 Jeparit to Yanac line closed .
Dec. 8 East Natimuk to Carpolac line closed .
Dec. 8 East Natimuk to Noradjuha closed .
Dec. 8 Moulamein to Balranald line (services suspended) .
Dec. 8 Wedderburn Jct to Wedderburn line closed .
Dec. 8 Elmore to Diggora West line closed .
Dec. 8 Piangil to Kooloonong line closed .
Dec. 8 Dookie to Katamatite line closed .
Dec. 8 Numurkah to Picola line closed .
Dec. 8 Bowser to Peechelba East line closed .
Dec. 8 Moe to Yallourn line closed .
Dec. 8 Traralgon to Cowwarr line closed .
. .
1987 Feb. 15 Extension of sparks from Pakenham to Warragul (last spark to Warragul Dec. 5 1998) .
March 25 Williamstown to Williamstown Pier line closed .
April 13 Bowser to Myrtleford line closed .
June 15 Electrification de-commisioned Warragul - Traralgon  
Aug. 1 Flinders St to St Kilda line closed, (later converted to tram line) .
Aug. 21 Bairnsdale to Orbost line closed .
Aug. 31 Cowwarr to Maffra line closed .
Sept. Melbourne yard hump last used. .
Oct. 11 Flinders St to Port Melbourne line closed, (later converted to tram line) .
Oct. 12 Murchison East to Colbinabbin line closed .
Oct. 12 Rushworth to Stanhope line closed .
Oct. 26 Welshpool to Yarram line closed .
. .
1988 Feb. 17 Linton Junction to Skipton line closed .
June 16 Harris suburban trains withdrawn from service .
Sep. 14 Nowingi towards Millewa South line closed .
Oct. Horsham to East Natimuk line closed .
Dec. Red Cliffs to Meringur line closed .
. .
1989 Guards removed from passenger trains .
July 1 Metropolitan Transit Authority and State Transport Authority amalgamated to form "Public Transport Corporation" .
Nov. G 543 enters service, last new locomotive purchase before privatisation. .
. .
1991 May 17 Last day of DERM operations .
. .
1992 June 30 Leongatha to Welshpool line closed. .
June 30 Barry Beach Jct to Barry Beach line closed .
Sep. 21 Springhurst to Wahgunyah line (services suspended) .
Oct Lib/Nat state government elected .
. .
1993 June Driver only suburban trains commenced running (Newport to Williamstown) .
Sept. 3 Last passenger service to Mildura, (last up service departed Mildura Sept. 5) .
. .
1994 May 27 Last Ballarat to Ararat passenger service (reopened July 10 2004) .
Dec. 15 Nyora to Leongatha line closed .
1995 March 9 Maffra to Stratford Jct line closed .
March 25 Dandenong to Cranbourne electrification brought into service.
April 11 Heywood to Mount Gambier line (services suspended) .
April 14 Linton Jct to Ararat line closed, (re-opened for passenger traffic July 10 2004) .
May Melbourne to Adelaide Standard Gauge line opened. (converted from existing broad gauge line) .
Nov. V/Line introduces its maroon and blue scheme replacing the V/Line tangerine scheme .
Nov. 22 Last suburban train crewed by a guard (all suburban trains "driver only" from this date) .
. .
1997 Sept. 7 V/Line split into V/Line pass and V/Line freight .
. .
1998 July 1 Bayside Trains, Hillside Trains and V/Line Passenger split off from P.T.C. .
. .
1999 May 1 V/line (Freight) sold to Rail America, known as Freight Victoria (end of government ownership) .
Oct National Express takes over Bayside Trains; Connex takes over Hillside Trains .
Oct. Labor government elected .
. .
2000 March 1 Freight Victoria changes name to Freight Australia .
. .
2002 Jan. 27 St Albans to Sydenham electrification brought into service. .
Dec. National Express "walks away" from M>Train and V/Line Pass.
2004 Feb. 29 Last upper quadrant semaphore signals removed from service. (Middle Brighton) .
April 18 Connex assumes control of entire suburban network. Franchise ends Nov. 30 2009 .
April Overhead catenary system removed between Pakenham and Warragul .
May 3 Sale to Bairnsdale reopened to passenger traffic .
July 10 Ballarat to Ararat re-opened to passenger traffic .
Sept. 1 Pacific National assumed control of Freight Australia .
. .
2005 Dec Spencer Street station renamed Southern Cross station .
2006 April 28 VLocity railcar collides with truck at level crossing near Trawalla while running a Ararat to Melbourne service resulting in 2 passengers deaths. .
August 160 km/h running introduced with new VLocity timetable .
2007 June 5 Truck collides with up Swan Hill passenger train near Kerang resulting in 11 passenger deaths.
Sept 30 Broadmeadows to Craigieburn electrification brought into service.
2008 Dec 1 Broad Gauge line from Seymour to Wodonga closed and handed over from V/Line to ARTC in preparation for conversion to standard gauge. (Last train was a 1655 Wodonga Coal siding to North Shore log train from Wodonga on Nov. 27)
2009 Nov 30 Connex franchise ends, suburban system now operated by "Metro"
2012 April 22 Epping to South Morang re-opened and electrified.
2012 Nov. 18 Sydenham to Sunbury electrification brought into service.
2018 Aug 26 South Morang to Mernda re-opened and electrified.

 Notes from Commissioner's tour of inspection:


page last updatedTue, 3 Nov 2015