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Chapter Sixteen


EXPANSION, FEDERATION AND THE ROYAL VISIT


Mathieson lamented the drought affected grain crop that reduced revenue in 1897-98,[1] but it was not the only setback to Victoria’s emergence from depression. In November 1897 Melbourne experienced a fire that wiped out nearly a whole city block, only to be followed three months later by the worst bushfires yet experienced in the colony. In the wee hours of Sunday, 21st November 1897, a fire started in Craig, Williamson and Thomas’s five-story drapery emporium in Elizabeth Street and by Sunday evening nearly the whole block bounded by Elizabeth St, Flinders St, Swanson St and Flinders Lane was a smouldering ruin, despite the efforts of 191 firemen, ten steam pumping engines and two ladder carriers. It remains the biggest city fire in Australian history, its flying embers igniting fires four times in the Flinders Street station opposite, each being extinguished by vigilant railwaymen. Insurance companies were liable for about £700,000, but the total cost was more like £1,000,000. About 2,000 people were left without work.[2]

It was a cost the struggling economy could ill afford, but on ‘Red Tuesday’, 1st February 1898 a fire started at Somerville, on the Mornington Peninsula, and quickly spread 20 miles towards Cranbourne on a front 12 miles wide. Another bore down on Warragul, crossing the branch railway to Neerim South, burning sleepers and telegraph poles and setting a bridge alight. During the fight to save the town the whistle of the afternoon train from Neerim South alerted locals to the impending danger, but the smoke was so thick the driver did not see the frantic hand signals given by a man trying to avert a disaster. The train had slowed, but was on the burning bridge before the driver noticed. With flames licking at the wheels he had no option but to keep going, and mercifully he got the train across to safety.

In the next few days fresh fires broke out all over Gippsland, at Traralgon, Neerim South, Warragul, Drouin, Mirboo North, Leongatha, and Korumburra. At Foster a rescue train was sent from Port Albert to evacuate residents, and on the coal fields at Jumbunna the fire was stopped close to the pit-head.[3] In the Western District bushfires were burning each side of the railway for about eight miles near Stonyford, but the driver of the up Port Fairy express took his train through. Smoke from the fires was so thick that the Cape Otway lighthouse fired 900 rockets over four days to warn ships, as its light was obscured. It was one of the hottest summers yet experienced, and more fires broke out near Warrnambool, the Grampians, and in the North-East.

The Great Fire of Melbourne and Red Tuesday
The Great Fire of Melbourne and Red Tuesday: Victoria’s twin catastrophes in the summer of 1897-98. ‘Biggest fire in the history of Melbourne’ by Charlie Hammond, SLV FL15881263 and ‘Gippsland Sunday Night February 20th, 1898’ by John Longstaff, NGV.

The Red Tuesday fires burnt out 640,000 acres in South Gippsland alone, destroying over 2,000 buildings and killing twelve people.[4] The railways later assessed their damage at £1,500 and claimed delays had been minimal, but the overall cost to the colony must have been enormous. (The Red Tuesday fires were more extensive than the Ash Wednesday fires of 1983).[5]

The Central Station deferred

In September 1898 Mathieson made a bid for over £200,000 to fund a new Central Station at Flinders Street as an ‘urgent necessity that… should be at once proceeded with’. Plans and estimates were complete and work would start immediately approval was given. Furthermore, when that job was finished, ‘steps should be taken to provide new buildings for the accommodation of the intercolonial and country traffic at Spencer-street, [which] are in such a state of dilapidation and decay that their speedy removal is necessary.’ [6] He was going to have to wait a few more years for the former, and his grandchildren would be getting old before anything happened at Spencer Street![7]

Efforts to provide proper city terminals had been made over the previous fifteen years, but with the new viaduct funnelling suburban services from the west and north into Flinders Street, and the impeding direct line linking to the northern suburbs, congestion was a real issue and all could see something had to be done. The extension of the railway from Collingwood to Prince’s Bridge was the completion of the ‘Inner Circle’ and was approved for a cool £250,000.[8] This at a time when Treasury funds were seriously depleted, with only £300,000 to £400,000 to its credit.[9] The Premier and Treasurer had little choice but to buy time with the creation of another Railway Standing Committee to further review the plans.[10] Meeting in early 1899, they scotched the previous plan and had Mathieson, Norman and Fitzpatrick come up with a proposal for an even more expensive but ultimately more workable solution.[11] But provision of funds would have to wait.

Correcting deferred maintenance

Mathieson had expressed the sanguine hope that the Department was on the ‘upgrade’ in 1897,[12] but the setbacks due to fires and a poor harvest had once more depressed revenue. The report he presented in September 1898 revealed a disappointing deficit of £454,427, and a corresponding jump in the operating ratio (working expenses to revenue) from 59.8 to 63.1.[13] Expenses had increased with the restoration of wages and salaries and urgent efforts to make up some of the maintenance that had been deferred since 1892. But with the cumulative deficit over the previous four years at £1,794,000 the Commissioner was again under attack in parliament. Mr. Vale, member for Ballarat West, called for an Inquiry, claiming ‘Parliament acted in a manner not to its credit when it relegated to a well-paid and perfectly irresponsible body the work honorable members were returned to this Chamber to perform.’ [14]

Strengthening the Permanent Way

In his report to Parliament that September, Mathieson submitted a shopping list for £734,984, one of the biggest items being for the relaying 185 miles of mainline at a cost £1,000 per mile. At this some Honourable Members baulked! Mr. Cameron protested:-

‘At the present time we have estimates for constructing new railways for £1,400 or £1,500 per mile, but here we are asked to spend £1,005 per mile merely for renewals.’ [15]

Charles E. Norman, Victorian Railways
Charles E. Norman, C.E., Victorian Railways Engineer for Existing Lines and later Commissioner. The Weekly Times, 26th June 1909, p.24.

It was indicative of Mathieson’s stature that Williams, the Minister of Railways and Turner, the Premier, were utterly convinced, and carried the proposal. And not before time. During the depths of the depression the Acting Commissioners had little choice but to order retrenchments and defer maintenance. But rust and rot never sleep, so there comes a day of reckoning. Iron rails laid down in the 1860’s and 1870’s were more prone to wear than steel rails, and the growing traffic volume was hastening their deterioration. Sleepers laid down on light lines were of inadequate cross section for heavy traffic, and often cut from wood of inferior quality. They were also laid on an inadequate depth of ballast for heavy traffic. This cocktail of light iron rails, thin sleepers of poor quality, and too little ballast, caused a headache for Charles Norman, the Engineer for Existing Lines. He was also concerned that the 66 lb. steel rails laid on mainlines were too light for the heavier locomotives being introduced, and although not worn out, could be better used on new branch lines, or ‘cockspurs’ as they were often called.[16]

Charles Ernest Norman was ‘almost an Australian’, having emigrated from Southampton as a six year old. He had joined the Railways as a 15 year old engineering pupil on 2nd February 1870, working in Thomas Higinbotham’s office at Spencer Street. He was given the job in recognition of his father, Captain W.H. Norman, who had died in England two months previously, before he could command the delivery voyage of H.M.V.S Cerberus, flagship of Victoria’s Navy. In 1872 Charles became an assistant to the District Engineers building the North Eastern mainline, and remained up country on surveys and new railway construction, returning to Melbourne in January 1887, having been promoted to District Engineer under Robert Watson and later George Darbyshire. By 1893 he had overseen construction of 500 miles of new railway, and was appointed Engineer for Existing Lines in June 1893 in lieu of Woodroffe, who had accepted the dual responsibilities of an Acting Commissioner and Chief Mechanical Engineer.[17] So, like Rennick and Woodroffe, Norman had witnessed the trauma of Thomas Higinbotham’s demise, the Robert Gray Ford saga, the campaign against Richard Speight and Allison Smith, and the political meddling of men like Francis Longmore, John Woods, Thomas Bent and Richard Richardson. He had watched the pendulum swing back and forth from heavy to light lines twice, and had become a very able civil engineer. The three of them would oversee the passing of the first era of Victoria’s railways.

Norman had been hamstrung as track deteriorated during the early years of the depression. While the tracks were theoretically capable of supporting the Kitson standard engines, it was only possible with stepped up maintenance. But maintenance was being deferred. Even the 66lb. steel rails laid on the mainlines were not beefy enough to spread the weight of passing express trains over several sleepers, most of which were cut from the cheap and plentiful messmate varieties of eucalyptus. With an average life of 11 years, these sleepers were prone to breaking under the stress of heavy engines. Inadequately supported rails were also being damaged. Norman therefore pressed for a crash program to resleeper with the best quality red gum, red ironbark or yellow box sleepers cut to more liberal dimensions. Along with this, the 66 lb. steel rails in mainlines, most just 10 to 25 years old and not worn out, were to be reused on branch lines and replaced by 80 lb. steel rails, or 100 lb. on suburban lines. The heavier rails reduced maintenance costs by up to 50 percent. Mathieson was in agreement, and had full confidence in his Engineer for Existing Lines, saying ‘all he had to do was to express official approval.’ [18] Speight had been ridiculed for expressing the same confidence in his engineers. The former Chairman of Commissioners was building a new career in Western Australia. In 1899 he assisted the Royal Commission into the administration of the Locomotive Branch,[19] and after being elected to the Legislative Assembly as Member for North Perth in April 1901, had been offered the Railway portfolio, but declined due to ill health.[20]

Victorian Railways Rail & Sleeper Replacement
Victorian Railways rail and sleeper replacements 1891-1901.

With the relaying program well underway, the 44 year old Norman decided to get married. His bride was Emily Brown, daughter of Frederick Brown, M.L.C. for Northern Province. Their glittering wedding with a rustic touch was held at Beechworth on 18th January 1899 – the train of Emmie’s gown was six yards long![21] Some months later Mathieson gained Cabinet approval for Norman to make an inspection tour of America, Britain and Europe. He and his wife departed on the S.S. Mariposa on 8th June,[22] but their return was delayed by the birth of their first child in London, on Christmas Day.[23] A six month absence extended to nine months, but they saved a few days by leaving their ship in Adelaide and catching the Melbourne Express. Norman’s standing with his colleagues was marked by the commissioner, all the branch heads and many other senior officers welcoming him on the platform at Spencer Street Station.[24]

Funding New Locomotives and Rolling Stock

In addition £113,000 was approved for rolling stock projects, including building ten new heavy express engines and 15 heavy goods engines, finishing the 60 vestibule cars for intercolonial and country express trains, building 100 additional corridor cars with lavatories for long distance branch lines, purchase of 350 steel medium sized open wagons, 50 steel 2,000 gallon water tank trucks and 150 louvred vans, and continuing the fitting of Westinghouse brakes.[25] It was just a continuation of the much criticised policies of Richard Speight and Allison Smith, but The Age didn’t notice.

By 1898 the need for heavier locomotives was being demonstrated by the NSW railways, which since 1891 had placed in service 90 engines that weighed over 100 tons.[26] The twenty NSW T class ‘Consolidation’ engines exerted a tractive force of 28,800 lbs, twice that of the VR’s biggest locomotive, the Y class, at 14,040 lbs.[27] Bigger engines would eliminate the need for double heading, or the running of two trains that a more powerful engine could manage on its own. The Kitson engines were the VR’s heaviest: the New A class 4-4-0’s had an axle load of 14¾ tons and the Y class 14? tons, but no other class exceeded 14 tons. The NSW T class had an axle load of 15½ tons, and while the Engineer for Existing Lines made an exception for the New A and Y, he was not prepared to sanction more heavy engines without relaying the mainlines in 80 lb. rails and sleepers of increased profile.

The First VR Narrow Gauge Line

The first narrow gauge line of the Victorian Railways was opened on 14th March 1899, a train running to and from Wangaratta ‘with a few passengers’ and a complete absence of fanfare.[28] But six days earlier a special train had run about half way down the new line from Wangaratta to Moyhu for the King Valley annual races. The two passenger carriages and five steel goods trucks were thronged with punters, and drawn by an ‘American Baldwin’ engine, which the VR had classed NA (all narrow gauge equipment classifications were prefixed with ‘N’). They covered the seventeen miles in 58 minutes with ‘the utmost smoothness, and not the least vibration.’ A journalist was enthusiastic, noting the engine was ‘more powerful than one half of the engines on the broad gauge lines’ .[29]

He was confusing tractive effort with power. Because the NA was geared down with very small driving wheels, its tractive effort was about 12,100 lbs, which was indeed greater than about 57 percent of the broad gauge engines. But its boiler was very small, and that is where a steam locomotive’s power is generated. With the exception of the two ‘motor’ engines built by Phoenix at Kibble’s encouragement, every broad gauge locomotive on the Victorian Railways had much larger boilers than the little narrow gauge Baldwin’s. Sixty percent of them had boilers twice the size or more.[30] The Herald noted the new narrow gauge engines ‘can take heavy loads up severe grades, but they are not fast’. [31] At maximum steam demand, as on a long gradient with anything like a decent load, the NA would simply run out of puff. On test one hauled load of 108 tons up a1 in 30 gradient, but in general service they were limited to 90 tons.[32]

VR and NZR Baldwin tank engines compared.
Victorian Railways 2’6” gauge Baldwin NA class (top) compared with the similar New Zealand Railways 3’6” gauge Baldwin ‘Wb’ class. PROV H1082 and Upper Hutt City Library, 2015_04_29_18_54_14_001017.

But the little 2-6-2 tank engine was indeed a giant among 2’6” gauge locomotives. Contemporary with its supply, Baldwin made very similar 3’6” gauge versions for the Natal Government Railways and the New Zealand Railways. The NGR engine was smaller than the NA, while the NZR’s were marginally larger.[33] Baldwin were masters at quickly adapting their designs to customer’s specifications, and produced the NA by taking a 3’6” gauge design and placing the wheels inside the frames and reducing the size of the boiler.[34]

By convincing the Railway Standing Committee that the gauge of the Whitfield line should be widened by six inches, Rennick achieved a coup. Unnoticed, he had specified bridges to carry 35 tons, on much the same plan as those on broad gauge lines.[35] The increase in gauge made little difference to the earthworks, so construction costs remained about the same. But the wider gauge and the use of second hand 60 lb. rails previously laid on mainlines enabled much heavier and more powerful locomotives to be used than a Decauville railway.

The order for the locomotives was placed in May 1898 with the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia. They were favoured because their quote was £300 lower than English or German manufacturers, and most significantly, Baldwin could deliver in approximately four months, against 15 months for the European makers. Nevertheless, the decision still had to be defended against the protectionists, it being explained that apart from the speed and cost factors, there was no narrow gauge locomotive in the colony to provide a pattern for local builders, and rails could not be laid until a locomotive was available to haul a ballast train. The two Baldwin’s arrived in early September 1898 and one was assembled while the other was taken to pieces so Newport could copy the parts for subsequent local manufacture.[36]

Woodroofe gets his Consolidation

In August 1898 the Premier gave an assurance that all the new locomotives being sought would be made locally, with the exception of a single Consolidation type 2-8-0 being imported for use as a pattern engine for 14 to follow from Victorian builders.[37] A few months later, approval was given to order a single Consolidation engine from Baldwin. Woodroffe had wanted to order two, one with a compound engine, the other a single expansion version. This had been done with the narrow gauge NA class, but funds were tight and the Consolidation type was much more expensive, so only one was allowed, but with duplicate parts.[38]

Victorian Railways Baldwin Consolidation
Victorian Railways Baldwin V class Consolidation contrasts with a New R class 0-6-0 at Fern Tree Gully circa 1904. PBPS Archives and Victorian Steam Locomotive Co.V499 Project.

The big Consolidation was unloaded from the S.S. Tolosa at the Railway Pier, Williamstown, on 9th May 1900, having left New York on 2nd March. It was taken to the Newport Workshops and assembled in ten days, emerging as V499. It ran tests in early June, including one on the Bendigo line, where its appearance impressed a local journalist, who found it ‘very imposing and …a striking example of the engineering art.’ [39] Woodroffe must have been pleased: he had been advocating the use of Consolidation locomotives for at least seven years. Not as big as the NSW T class, he had specified its axle load be light enough to run on the South Gippsland line. During testing, No.499 managed a 400 ton goods train with ease on the mainline to Bendigo, where 270 tons was the full load for the largest 0-6-0’s. It also lifted nearly three times the load from the Outtrim and Jumbunna mines as any previous engine, and on a special test with the Dynagraph car attached behind the tender it managed a ‘mammoth’ 780 ton coal train from Nyora to Melbourne.[40] (The Dynagraph car was an initiative of Woodroffe’s and marked the beginning of scientific testing and a new era in the VR’s locomotive design capability. In 1896 an old four-wheeled carriage was converted to a test car, incorporating a dynagraph to measure the force exerted by a locomotive).[41]

The Vauclain Compounds

While No.499 was still on the high seas, Newport outshopped its first narrow gauge locomotive, copied from one imported from Baldwin. As the need for additional narrow gauge engines was urgent, and Phoenix was busy building ten express engines, Newport grabbed the opportunity. It was only the second locomotive made there, the first being Z526, the small 0-6-0T ‘motor’ engine built seven years earlier, before the depression. Three more of the NA class followed in quick succession with all four in service by June 1900. Baldwin had delivered its big Consolidation and a small NA class with compound cylinders: the first VR locomotives to use this system. Baldwin engineer Samuel Vauclain had patented a method of using steam twice: high pressure steam from the boiler was directed first to a small cylinder, then its low pressure exhaust was directed into a larger cylinder directly beneath it, instead of straight up the chimney. (The VR versions reversed this configuration of cylinders to provide clearance at station platforms). The Vauclain system also provided a valve that enabled high pressure steam to flow into both cylinders when starting a train, the extra force applied to the pistons enabling heavier loads to be got under way.[42] On No.499, this trick increased the tractive effort from 22,500 lbs to 26,430 lbs, but the boiler could only supply steam to both cylinders at high pressure for a short period. Nevertheless, the initial load tests with a train of 50 trucks on 2nd September 1900 looked encouraging, but experience soon showed the heavier loads came at the price of higher maintenance costs.[43] All the V class and the two compound NA class engines were later converted to simple expansion, like all its other locomotives.

Victorian Railways V499 Nyora c1900
Baldwin Consolidation V499 with a coal train at Nyora in 1900. Note the large low pressure cylinder immediately above the smaller low pressure cylinder. PBPS Archives and Victorian Steam Locomotive Co.V499 Project.

The AA Express Locomotive

During 1898 and early 1899 Woodroofe’s draftsmen were developing plans for the new heavy express engine, and buoyed by the success of the higher pressure boiler fitted to New A class No.398, they went a step further when fixing a high pressure boiler to another New A, No.422, and also gave it a new cylinder block, cast with piston valves in place of the slide valves hitherto used. It was a turning point, with all subsequent broad gauge steam locomotives receiving high pressure boilers and piston valves.[44]

Tenders for the improved New A were called in March 1899, the order going to Ballarat’s Phoenix Foundry, which had barely survived in the lean years since their last locomotive was delivered in 1893.[45] But construction was delayed by the difficulty of sourcing some material due to ironworks having to prioritise military contracts for the South African war.[46] It was over a year later, on 25th June 1900, when Phoenix delivered No.530, the first of the new 4-4-0 express engines, which became the AA class.[47] It was similar in appearance with the New A and continued the practice of using many parts standard with the Kitson designs. It was the largest 4-4-0 in Australia and a tentative step by VR engineers at honing their design skills. But like their predecessors, these AA class engines were unsuitable for long non-stop runs, being joined to a small six-wheeled tender.[48] It showed the unfamiliarity and unease with which Woodroffe’s team regarded the large capacity bogie tender, especially when running fast. This despite such tenders being standard on high speed American railroads for years past.[49] The NSW railways had exhibited the same British conservativism in the design of the P class express 4-6-0, but had adopted the bogie tender for their second batch of P class engines which were being built at the same time as the AA class.[50]

Victorian Railways Sydney Express 1900
Victorian Railways reboilered ‘New A’ class No.398 double heading an old ‘B’ class 2-4-0 climbing Olivers Bank near Oak Park with the Sydney Express circa 1900. PROV H1150.

Initially rostered on the Bendigo line, No.530 made its debut on the Sydney Express on 27th August, taking the train right through to the border, but with a number of stops to replenish its water supply. It was the largest 4-4-0 in Australia, and along with the New A’s was making some spirited running: speeds of 65 mph were daily occurrences, even 70 mph if a driver was keen to make up lost time.[51] The AA and V class locomotives paid off, eliminating the need for double heading by 68 percent in two years.[52]

Following preparations of the AA design, Woodroffe had his draftsmen redesign the M class suburban 4-4-0T tank engines, to support the larger coal bunker and bigger water tanks needed for working the longer suburban lines. The frames were lengthened and an additional pair of carrying wheels placed beneath the bunker, altering the configuration to a 4-4-2T. As the leading Bissel bogie had proved unsatisfactory, it was replaced with an outside framed, centre pivoted bogie similar to those on the Kitson D and New A classes. The boiler pressure was raised and larger cylinders provided, giving more or less equivalent power and range to the Kitson E class. All 22 locomotives of the M class were so rebuilt at the Newport Workshops between 1901 and 1905. Reclassified ME, they were the most substantial locomotive rebuilds yet undertaken by the VR. At the same time Newport was building new narrow gauge NA class locomotives to the Baldwin design.[53]

The Giant Coal Hoppers

Korumburra mining interests were pressing for tariff protection from low cost imported NSW coal, but with Federation looming, colonial tariff barriers were about to be swept away. The Victorian mines were therefore dependant on an artificially low railway rate of ½d. (halfpenny) per ton mile, which was a ¼d. (farthing) below the rate the VR was charging for Newcastle coal.[54] As this situation was unlikely to change, Mathieson had to find ways of reducing the cost of coal haulage from the South Gippsland mines. The Baldwin Consolidation would reduce locomotive costs per ton mile, but another tactic was to introduce higher capacity wagons, thereby increasing the load to tare ratio of each train, and lower rolling stock maintenance. To this effect, Woodroffe had an enormous open wagon designed and built at Newport in 1898. Classed ‘OO’, it was of all steel construction, mounted on six-wheeled bogies, and could carry 40 tons of coal: four times the load of the typical open truck. Coal at each end could be unloaded by opening double doors, and coal in the centre bottom discharged through doors in the floor, between the bogies.

Victorian Railways ‘OO’ class coal hopper 1898.
The prototype ‘OO’ class 40 ton coal wagon of 1898. PROV H4531.

A bold experiment, it was not immediately repeated, but it demonstrated a renewed confidence by the Locomotive, Carriage and Waggon Branch.[55] In the last 18 months of the century, Newport had returned to full swing, turning out new wagons at a rate better than one per working day, and new corridor carriages at close to one per week.[56]

Imports versus Local Manufacture

The success of V499 led to specifications and plans being prepared by Woodroffe’s draftsmen for the local manufacture of similar locomotives. Refused permission to purchase two of the big Consolidations, Woodroffe nevertheless made a liberal interpretation of the ‘spare parts’ to accompany No.499. The order amounted to US$22,000,[57] or approximately £4,400 at the exchange rate of the day, so the ‘spares’ equated to about one third of a new locomotive![58] These parts and drawings supplied by Baldwin were used to develop plans for more to be built locally, as there was no intention to use No.499 as a pattern engine to be pulled down and copied. It was needed to help carry the upcoming grain harvest,[59] and then haul South Gippsland coal. Tenders were called in September 1900 for six compound and eight simple expansion versions of the V class. When received the quote from Phoenix was the lowest, but still too high at £70,396 against the Baldwin quote of £48,900. Even when the savage 30 percent duty was added the Baldwin quote was still a low £62,730. In addition, Baldwin would deliver the first engine in six months, and the whole order within nine months, whereas Phoenix would need twice the time to deliver. Woodroffe strongly urged acceptance of the Baldwin tender.[60] But with protectionist sentiments still strong, negotiations were arranged in January 1901 between Woodroffe and Richard Middleton, Managing Director of the Phoenix Foundry. These resulted in a compromise, where the Ballarat company lowered its price in return for making 15, rather than 14 locomotives, all to be Vauclain compounds.[61]

But regardless of where they were built, the Consolidation engines were non-standard with the 167 locomotives built since 1888, and the ten new 4-4-0’s being built at Ballarat, a fact not missed by some critics. ‘Starting Lever’, (almost certainly an engineman), writing for The North Melbourne Courier and West Melbourne Advertiser warned that ‘if this type is adopted, or partially so even, it will sweep away all that Mr. Speight ever did in the matter of standardisation’.[62]

Victorian Railways DD 560 Lilydale 1902
The prototype DD No.560 at Lilydale soon after it was finished in October 1902. PROV H4389.

Woodroffe’s Maid of all Work

During this time Woodroffe’s draftsmen were working on a much bigger project: a locomotive that would have the power of the V class and its ability to work heavy goods trains on light as well as mainlines, but with the added capacity to run at 60 mph with heavy passenger trains. Starting with the Kitson D class light lines 4-4-0, they stretched the design by adding another pair of driving wheels of the same diameter (5’0”) and a longer, higher pressure boiler with a Belpaire firebox, giving about a 40 percent greater steam generation capacity:  Belpaire fireboxes became standard on VR locomotives for the next fifty years.    The leading bogie was redesigned with inside bearings to clear the cylinders, which were larger and placed outside the frames.   It was given a large bogie tender based on that of the Baldwin V class, with minor alterations.   A prototype of this new 4-6-0 design was manufactured at Newport and was outshopped in October 1902, tipping the scales at 87 tons, which was 25 percent heavier than the D class engine.   Nevertheless, the new 4-6-0 spread its weight over an extra pair of wheels, making it lighter on its feet.   Numbered 560, it was classed DD, and shared many of the standard parts of the Kitson designs, bearing a strong family resemblance to them. [63]

Federation and Railway Co-Operation

In designing the DD class 4-6-0, Woodroffe’s officers would have had some assistance from Interstate. The six Australian colonies became a federation on 1st January 1901, and New Zealand was given the right to join at any time. Federation was the overriding issue of the previous decade, and many organisations were caught up in the desire to work together across colonial boundaries. Churches, labor unions, professional associations and sporting organisations were all affected, as were the colonial railways. The first tentative meeting of Railway Commissioners was held in Melbourne in August 1897, with just the three broad gauge systems involved. In September of the following year, the commissioners of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland met in Sydney for the inaugural Railway Commissioners Conference.[64] The following year the Commissioners Conference was preceded by the first annual Heads of Branches conference.[65] Woodroffe would have sat with Thomas Roberts and William Thow, his opposite numbers in South Australia and New South Wales, both of whom had over a decade of experience with 4-6-0 locomotives of similar size to the DD.

One of the first achievements of the A&NZR Commissioners Conference was an agreement on the unification of accounting practices and presentation of accounts, so that comparisons between the systems would henceforth be on a meaningful basis. This was to stay in place for over 70 years. A move to standardise the classification of goods was also begun, and efforts commenced to prepare for the standardisation of rail gauges.   Woodroffe asked Victor Siepen to revise the AA design so it could be easily converted to 4’8½” gauge, but he found this could only be done by cramping the space for the wheel bearings, making the locomotive more expensive to maintain. As they considered no gauge standardisation would occur during the life of the AA class, no change was made.[66]

Flinders Street Station Approved

Norman’s delayed return held up the award of the prize for the design of the new Flinders Street station building. But the judges decided to wait, as one of Norman’s briefs had been to examine railway stations throughout America and Europe, and his contribution to the final selection was needed.[67] The judges comprised the Engineer-in-Chiefs of the Victorian, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australian Railways, together with the Chairman of the Victorian Institute of Architects. Norman assisted in an advisory capacity, and their report was given to Mathieson, who released their verdict. The winning design and the £500 first prize went to James Fawcett and H. P. Ashworth, architects in the Railway Department. The Railways Standing Committee was furious!

Victorian Railways Flinders St Station Winning Design
Fawcett & Ashworth’s winning design for Flinders Street Station. The Australasian, 2nd June 1900, p.31.

The Turner government had authorised the competition and prize on the recommendation of the Committee, but the Premier had been forced to resign some months earlier by a revolt by some of his colleagues.[68] The Committee expected Mathieson would forward it the recommendations of the judges in a sealed envelope, so they might make the final decision. The Commissioner, while inspecting lines in the Mallee, notified the Committee that some details had leaked out, and that in the circumstances it was best to publish the results before newspapers pre-empted the matter! Gazumped, a very indignant Committee met on 1st June and indulged in ‘some very plain talk in condemnation of the Railway department’s methods’.[69] But Mathieson was already steaming away aboard the R.M.S. Orizaba, en route for Britain and North America, and Parliament was in recession.

Insisting on their rights, the miffed Committee called for all the plans,[70] but Norman mollified them at an interview in August, explaining that American stations were ‘far in advance’ of any in Australia. Only Brisbane had erected a decent terminal, ‘Sydney’s was very poor, and Melbourne’s was the worst of all — in fact, he had seen no such wretched accommodation anywhere for dealing with large traffic.’ The winning design was also the cheapest of those conforming to specifications. [71] Cooled down, the Committee gave their approval to the Fawcett and Ashworth design seven weeks later.[72]

To the Last Corner

The Chaffey Brothers pioneered an irrigation scheme at Mildura in 1886, then the most distant and remote corner of Victoria. The newly arrived Canadian engineers were ignorant of Australian unwillingness to support large privately sponsored public works. The president of the Victorian Engineers Association remarked in 1888 that successive governments had tended to disparage engineers, Australia being ‘the only country, so far as he knew, where professional departments of the public service were presided over by clerical officers’ to the subordination of the engineers.[73] Despite 3,300 settlers moving to Mildura by 1890, plus another 1,100 further down river at Renmark, the Chaffey’s Mildura Irrigation Company was a casualty of the depression and was liquidated in 1894, its functions being taken over by the Mildura Irrigation Trust.[74]

Despite being about 110 miles from the nearest railhead at Swan Hill (as the crow flies), or 335 miles by the circuitous windings of the Murray River, the settlement survived and prompted continuous calls for railway access. In 1892 John Woods visited the area with the Railways Standing Committee. He was a strong advocate of a railway to Mildura, but died two months later.[75] Four times the Committee visited the district, braving the endless mallee scrub; on one occasion getting bushed. On the last of these visits in autumn 1900, Billy Trenwith, then Minister of Railways, badly injured his thumb while making camp for the night. He was holding a tent peg being hammered by a colleague. It was two days before the party reached a town with a doctor.[76] To return to Melbourne from Mildura, they had to travel by the paddle steamer Gem 350 river miles to Morgan, then by train to Adelaide to connect with the Melbourne Express.[77] Mildura was remote!

Paddle Steamer 'Gem' Murray River c1900
Paddle Steamer ‘Gem’, largest on the Murray River – 2½ days Mildura to Morgan. SLSA PRG 1258/1/1213.

The Committee recommended construction of a railway extending from Woomelang via Ouyen to Mildura and Yelta in August 1900, much to the chagrin of settlers further east, a route via Ultima having earlier been recommended.[78] Parliament quickly adopted the recommendation, and the line was approved in October, much to the surprise of Rennick, who informed the politicians that 70 miles of the line had not been surveyed, and some of the country not even explored! [79] A delay ensued while the survey and plans were completed, and the turning of the ‘first sod’ ceremony took place at Mildura in November 1901.[80]

Mathieson’s ‘Flying Visit’ to North America

Victoria’s grain production increased as railways extended into the Mallee district, but the traditional methods of storing and moving the harvest were proving inadequate. All grain was bagged, with few if any mechanical aids. Strong men ‘lumped’ one bushel bags (27 kilograms) from drays to huge wheat stacks at rail sidings, later loading them into rail trucks for movement to the seaboard. But by 1900 bulk handing of grain was common in North America, so the government was persuaded to send Mathieson on a ‘flying visit’ to the USA and Canada to investigate. Departing on 29th May, he was accompanied by his wife and two of his daughters, but they remained in London while he crossed the Atlantic alone, visiting ‘New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Chicago, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle, along the Canadian Pacific to Winnipeg, down through Minneapolis and back to Chicago; then he proceeded to St. Louis, Buffalo and Montreal, and afterwards returned to Liverpool.’ [81] It was no junket, but returning via Great Britain he was made an offer he could not refuse by the Midland Railway Company: an invitation to be their General Manager on a salary of £4,500 per annum.[82]

His eldest daughter Sarah, ‘a tall, dark, graceful girl’, had married the son of a leading Brisbane merchant at a ‘very pretty wedding’ at St. Kilda in May 1898. Soon afterwards the couple migrated to London. [83] Mathieson’s wife no doubt relished the opportunity to join them. Mathieson too was tiring of the interference of politicians with narrow interests. Colonial historian H.G. Turner observed that half a dozen obsequious politicians, ‘nervously mindful of the railway vote’ were ever ready to champion the cause of any dissatisfied employee. ‘He was finally glad to return to England…where he could exercise an unchallenged authority.’ [84]

Mathieson returned on the RMS Ormuz with his wife and two daughters, disembarking at Largs Bay in Adelaide, along with the mails for the eastern colonies. As happened when the mail steamers arrived too late to connect with the Melbourne Express, a special mail train was put on, this time leaving Adelaide at 8.05pm with a boudoir car attached for the Mathiesons.[85] Three months later he announced his resignation, the government granting him leave to depart before his term officially ended on 30th June 1901.[86]

Federation and the Royal Visit

Before Mathieson left Victoria, there were two functions he would not miss. The first was the meeting of the ANZ Railway Commissioners, which he had helped establish. It was held at the Administrative Offices in Spencer Street from Thursday 2nd to Monday 6th May, and was preceded by an Officers Conference, with Woodroffe elected Chairman. There was a new realisation that now the colonies were federated, there was a need to unify systems as a precursor to further co-operation.[87]

Three days after the Commissioners dispersed, the Duke of Cornwall and York, the future King George V, opened the first Commonwealth Parliament at a gala ceremony in Melbourne’s Exhibition Building.[88] The visit of the Duke and Duchess in Victoria required a Royal Train for country visits, and Mathieson was busy with his heads of branches galvanising resources to guarantee a flawless and highly impressive operation. He was also aware that a chastened Victoria would look askance at extravagance, and sought to use existing rolling stock where possible.

After the introduction of the new vestibuled train of ‘V’ class carriages on the Sydney Express, the two large boudoir cars designed by Allison Smith and his staff became surplus: they had been used as first class sitting cars on the Sydney Express since their removal from the Portland line in 1892. In 1899 these cars were extensively altered internally, ‘Perseverance’ becoming the ‘Inspection’ car for the Commissioners tour train (replacing the ‘Victoria’ car), and ‘Enterprise’ becoming a new State car for the use of the Governor.[89] Anticipating a Royal Visit, the two short State cars designed in 1880 by Mirls were joined on a bogie underframe and named ‘Edinburgh’. A cosmetic makeover was sufficient for these cars, and also the old Governor’s car, which had been made at Newport in for Lord Hopetoun in 1894. It was renamed ‘York’ for the Duke’s visit.[90]

But something even better was needed for the King’s son and his wife. Lord Hopetoun had returned as Governor General of Australia in December 1900, and was followed a few weeks later by Lady Hopetoun, who had contracted malaria in India. Still quite sick, she endured an uncomfortable journey from Adelaide to Melbourne and Albury in the South Australian State car, en route to Sydney to join her husband.[91] Lord Hopetoun was supervising all arrangements for the Royal Visit, and his wife’s experience is the likely reason Victoria was encouraged to provide purpose designed State cars for the Duke and Duchess.[92] Although time was running short, Mathieson had Woodroffe and his team at Newport design and build two State cars, one for the Duke, and a matching one for the Duchess. To save money, two of the 50 ft. ABL corridor cars then being built were used as a basis, but with totally redesigned bodies. The Age reported that Newport had not been provoked ‘to indulge in reckless extravagance’, with costs expected to be half that of Allison Smith’s much larger boudoir cars of 1889. The manager of the Carriage Shop at Newport was Giles Dobney, who thirty years earlier had been selected by Solomon Mirls to travel to New York and England to learn car building skills. He supervised three shifts of men working day and night and had the two cars outshopped on 1st May,[93] just five days before the Duke and Duchess arrived at St Kilda Pier aboard the Royal Yacht ‘Ophir’.[94] While not large, the cars were superbly finished and furnished, with carved motifs over the doors, silk trimmings, fine carpets and upholstery. Externally they were painted mauve with yellow lining and embellished with the royal coat of arms. Two cars were provided because on occasion two Royal Trains would be required. The Victoria car, which included a small buffet, was also refurbished to be part of the second train, which was provided with two DD brake vans fitted with vestibule connections.

Mathieson’s Farewells

Prior to his departure on the RMS Orizba on 14th May, Mathieson was given the most prolonged and heartfelt farewells yet accorded to a VR Commissioner. Send-offs were given on Saturday the 11th May at Scott’s Hotel by the Amalgamated Society of Railway Employes, and later that evening at the same venue by the heads and sub-heads of branches. The following Monday Fitzpatrick, now Deputy Commissioner, presented an illuminated address from the whole service and a diamond ring for Mrs. Mathieson, and the Chief Accountant and Secretary gave group photographs of their staff. That afternoon the Locomotive Engine Drivers’ and Firemen’s Association entertained him at Finley’s Hotel. A most extraordinary banquet was then held on Monday evening at the Melbourne Town Hall, hosted by the Mayor of Melbourne, with many leading dignitaries attending, not least the Lieutenant Governor, Sir John Madden. In his speech, Madden remarked that Mathieson

‘…had come when things were looking very hopeless for the railways of Victoria. He had undertaken to rescue us from our difficulties, and be had succeeded.… Mr. Mathieson’s administration had been so clean that even the breath of rumour – the lying jade that was never absent from our midst – had been unable for a moment to suggest anything against him or to his discredit. There were some who believed that the railways could be managed on some other principles than those followed by Mr. Mathieson, but he (Sir John) hoped that they would never be given a trial’.[95]

Mathieson’s last official duty was earlier that day when he accompanied the Governor-General, Lord Hopetoun, on an inspection of the Royal Train. His Excellency was ‘extremely well pleased with its appointments’ and a few minutes later presented Mathieson to the Duke and Duchess before they boarded for their trip to Ballarat. Next day, after all the farewells and before boarding the Orizba, he made a final visit to the Railways offices to say good-bye, ‘not only to the heads of branches, but to all he could find, even to the veriest junior…he seemed to be very much affected.’ [96]

Orient Line RMS Orizba
Orient Line RMS Orizba – painting by William Lionel Wyllie, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

Mathieson was accompanied by his wife, two sons and four daughters.[97] All of them had grown up in Brisbane and Melbourne, as the family had been in the colonies nearly twelve years.[98] Aboard their ship was the General Manager of the Western Australian Railways, returning from an ANZR Commissioners conference in Melbourne. The ship berthed at Fremantle for four days, during which Mathieson may well have met Richard Speight, who was already unwell, and was to die four months later.[99] Speight had once turned down an offer from the Midland Railway Company to return as their General Manager, but it is evidence of the high regard that that the Midland held for the Victorian Railways that for a second time they sought their man from Melbourne.

Despite protestations to the contrary, the railway preparations for the Royal Visit were both extensive and expensive. A year before, the VR possessed five special carriages, including two State cars, a Ministerial car and two Inspection cars, plus the two AV cars with sumptuous ‘drawing room’ compartments. But in 1901 the British Empire was at the apex of its Imperial might, Melbourne was the seat of the new Commonwealth parliament for the foreseeable future, and they were hosting the future King and Queen. Something spectacular was imperative!

In the week after the opening of the Commonwealth Parliament, the Duke and Duchess made four trips by Royal Train. The first on Monday 13th was to Ballarat, when they travelled together. The following day, the Duke made an overnight trip to Sale for a private shooting party next day. His train was augmented with a Boudoir car, and aboard were Deputy Commissioner Fitzpatrick and several railway heads of branches. On the Wednesday, while her husband was enjoying himself blasting away at quail, parrots and an unfortunate copperhead snake,[100] the Duchess travelled in her State car to Healesville, with Lochhead in the Victoria car to ensure all went smoothly: he had taken over from Fitzpatrick as Acting Chief Traffic Manager.[101]

The Royal Train

At Mathieson’s farewell banquet in the Town Hall, Senator O’Connor, harking back to the first intercolonial link at Albury in 1883, remarked that the

‘…railways of Australia had made federation possible. It was to them, more than to any one other cause, that we owed that intimate relationship of business, and those very links which had drawn the states together, which formed the basis of federation, and which made that basis firm, solid, and enduring.’ [102]

The very next day the truth of O’Connor’s speech was starkly demonstrated. The arrangements for the next stage of the Royal Visit were is disarray, and the railways came to the rescue.

The Duke and Duchess were to leave Victoria and sail to Brisbane aboard the ‘Ophir’, but an outbreak of plague had closed the Port of Brisbane. In four days the Victorian, NSW and Queensland railways had to hurriedly mobilise their resources to provide three Royal Trains (one for each track gauge), . On Saturday 18th May, Their Royal Highnesses left Government House and made their way to Port Melbourne to board the Royal Train, which an E class tank engine took to Flinders Street. While it detached the splendidly turned out AA538 quickly coupled to the other end and drew them away, across the viaduct to Spencer Street, where after a brief stop they departed for Albury.

As the train accelerated away from Spencer Street it made a fine sight, with fireman Kilmartin hard at it shovelling coal in preparation for the climb from North Melbourne to Essendon, and driver Fitzgibbon, wearing white gloves that matched his beard, watching the railway photographer. At Seymour the engine was changed for another AA class for Albury. There were also two pilot engines and two stand-by engines rostered.

Victorian Railways Royal Train 18th May 1901.
Victorian Railways AA class 4-4-0 No.538 leaving Spencer Street with the Royal Train for Albury, Saturday 18th May 1901. PROV H 1407.

Despite a pilot engine proceeding 15 minutes ahead of the Royal Train to ensure the line was safe, some 630 men had been deployed along the route, each about a quarter mile from the other, to guarantee no interference with the track. In New South Wales, 2,300 men were deployed at short notice for the same purpose as their Royal Train made its way from the Victorian to the Queensland border![103] A few days earlier when the Duke had travelled overnight to Sale for a day’s shooting, the way was marked by the camp-fires of lonely platelayers posted as pickets every quarter mile. [104]

When it was all over, the VR had a fleet of three State cars, the Governor’s car York and old Ministerial car ‘Edinburgh’, plus two Commissioner’s Inspection cars. But with two governments now in Melbourne, it was expected these special cars would see more use. The Governor-General had taken up residence in Government House in the Domain (with a ball room larger than that in Buckingham Palace), requiring the Victorian Governor to move to ‘Stonnington’, a lesser mansion in Malvern.[105] The Commonwealth parliament took over Parliament House at the top of Bourke Street, the Victorian parliament being exiled to the Exhibition Buildings. Canberra was still a sheep paddock, and would remain so for several decades. Victoria retained control of its railways, as did the other States.



endnotes



  1. Victorian Railways Annual Report 30 June 1898, p.4.
  2. The Argus, Monday 22 November 1897, p.7; Tuesday 23 November 1897, p.5.
    Also:
    The Age, Monday 22 November 1897, p.6.
  3. The Argus, Wednesday 2 February 1898, p.5.
    Also:
    The Age, Tuesday 1 February 1898, p.5; Monday 21 February 1898, p.5.
    Also:
    The Bendigo Independent, Thursday 3 February 1898, p.3.
    Also:
    The Advocate, Saturday 5 February 1898, p.7-8.
    Also:
    The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday 3 February 1898, p.5; Friday 4 February 1898, p.5; Saturday 5 February 1898, p.8; Monday 7 February 1898, p.5.; Tuesday 8 February 1898, p.5; Thursday 10 February 1898, p.5; Thursday 17 February 1898, p.5; Thursday 24 February 1898, p.5. The reports in the SMH are a good precis of the situation.
    Also:
    The Australasian, Saturday 5 March 1898, p.11. Mentions the term ‘Red Tuesday’.
  4. Stephen J. Pyne. Burning Bush: a fire history of Australia. p.240-244.
  5. Ash Wednesday 1983/
  6. Victorian Railways Annual Report 30 June 1898, p.10.
  7. A new terminal was not completed at Spencer Street until 1962.
  8. V.P.D., 1898, Vol. 90, p.3781, 3811. 15th December. The Bill was passed by the Legislative Council that evening.
  9. V.P.D., 1898, Vol. 90, p.1884, 3792. 15th December. Mr. Wynne.
  10. V.P.D., 1898, Vol. 89, p.1884, 1788. 22nd September.
  11. The Argus, Tuesday 31 January 1899, p.7.
  12. Victorian Railways Annual Report 30 June 1897, p.4.
  13. Victorian Railways Annual Report 30 June 1898, p.6.
  14. V.P.D., 1898, Vol.90, p.3827-28.
  15. V.P.D., 1898, Vol. 89, p.1780. 22nd September. Speaking in debate on the Railway Loan Application Bill.
  16. Victorian Railways Annual Report 30 June 1898, Appendix 2, p.16.
  17. The Herald, Saturday 11 September 1920, p.19.
  18. The Herald, Saturday 4 May 1901, p.3.
  19. Report of Royal Commission, Loco. Branch, 1899. November, 1899.
  20. The Western Mail, Saturday 27 April 1901, p.27.
    Also:
    The Advertiser, Friday 20 September 1901, p.5.
  21. The Ovens and Murray Advertiser, Saturday 21 January 1899, p.2.
  22. The Age, Thursday 25 May 1899, p.6., Thursday 8 June 1899, p.6.
  23. The Australasian, Saturday 6 January 1900, p.55.
  24. The Herald, Friday 6 April 1900, p.4.
  25. Victorian Railways Annual Report 30 June 1898, p.6-8.
  26. The Department of Railways New South Wales. A Century Plus of Locomotives 1955-1965. (ARHS, Sydney). 1965. p.67, 70, 74.
    Also:
    The Department of Railways New South Wales. New South Wales Steam Locomotive Data. Revised Edition.1970. p.19-20, 24-25, 32-33. These were the 20 J483 class 2-8-0’s, delivered in 1891, 50 P6 class 4-6 0’s delivered 1892-93, and 20 T524 class 2-8-0’s delivered in 1896-98.
  27. The Department of Railways New South Wales. A Century Plus of Locomotives 1955-1965. (ARHS, Sydney). 1965. p.74.
    Also:
    Norman Cave, John Buckland and David Beardsell, Op.Cit. p.146.
  28. The Ovens and Murray Advertiser, Saturday 18 March 1899, p.4.
  29. The Weekly Times, Saturday 18 March 1899, p.2.
  30. Norman Cave, John Buckland and David Beardsell, Op.Cit. Specifications for each class of locomotive are given throughout the book. Boiler size is assessed on heating surface.
  31. The Herald, Friday 9 September 1898, p.4.
  32. The Age, Friday 29 June 1900, p.4. The test was on the Gembrook line.
    Also:
    Edward A. Downs, Speed Limit 20, ARHS Vic Division, 1963, p.94.
  33. Natal Government Railways I class https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NGR_Class_I_2-6-2T New Zealand Railways Wb class https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NZR_WB_class
  34. The rebuilding of standard gauge locomotives for narrow gauge by placing the wheels inside the frames was most famously adopted by the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad in their big 3’0” gauge K-37 class 2-8-2. More recently, there has been a widespread regauging of standard gauge diesel locomotives to work the Queensland 2’0” gauge sugar tramways.
  35. Victorian Parliamentary Debates, Vol.88 1898, p.122-123. Legislative Assembly. 6 July 1898. Minister of Railways’ explanation.
  36. The Age, Wednesday 18 May 1898, p.4., Thursday 19 May 1898, p.4.
    Also:
    The Leader, Saturday 17 September 1898, p.36.
    Also:
    The Herald, Friday 9 September 1898, p.4.
  37. The Bendigo Advertiser, Wednesday 17 August 1898, p.3.
  38. Norman Cave, John Buckland and David Beardsell. Op. Cit., p.183, 189, 195. The 2-8-0’s costs are estimated from Baldwin’s quote for a second batch.
  39. The Sunbury News and Bulla and Melton Advertiser, Saturday 16 June 1900, p.3.
  40. The Great Southern Advocate, Thursday 30 August 1900, p.3.
    Also:
    The Weekly Times, Saturday 6 October 1900, p.14
    Also:
    The Argus, Tuesday 28 August 1900, p.6.
  41. LINK
  42. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vauclain_compound
  43. Robert Butrims and David Macartney. The Phoenix Foundry: Locomotive Builders of Ballarat. (ARHS, Williamstown, Victoria). 2013. p.123.
    Also:
    The caption of another photo in the Madden collection of the test train as illustrated at Nyora gives the date and size of train. SLV B20961.
  44. M.H.W. Clark and J.C.M. Rolland, Op. Cit., Sheet 15 (No.398, re-entered service with new boiler 27 July 1898) and Sheet 17 ( No.422 re-entered service on 27 February 1899).
    Also:
    Norman Cave, John Buckland and David Beardsell, Op.Cit. p.142, 196 – piston valves on No.422.
  45. Robert Butrims and David Macartney, Op. Cit., p.122.
    Also:
    The Age, Thursday 30 March 1899, p.4.
  46. The Age, Wednesday 9 May 1900, p.4.
  47. The Herald, Monday 25 June 1900, p.4. The official date is given by the VR is 10 August 1900. See: Norman Cave, John Buckland and David Beardsell. Op. Cit., p.182.
  48. Norman Cave, John Buckland and David Beardsell. Op. Cit., p.188, 177-182.
  49. The Illawarra Mercury, Tuesday 27 June 1893, p.1. This refers to a claimed world record speed by the New York Central Railroad ‘Empire State Express’ in 1893, ostensibly 95 mph. Unproven, whatever its actual speeds was, it was still very fast and engine No.999 had a bogie tender.
  50. The Department of Railways New South Wales. A Century Plus of Locomotives 1955-1965. (ARHS, Sydney). 1965. p.71.
    Also:
    The Department of Railways New South Wales. New South Wales Steam Locomotive Data. Revised Edition.1970. p.25.
  51. The Argus, Tuesday 28 August 1900, p.6.
  52. Victorian Railways Annual Report 30 June 1902, Appendix 3, p.19. Double headed (coupled) mileage was 146,727 in 1900, reduced to 46,329 in 1902.
  53. Norman Cave, John Buckland and David Beardsell, Op.Cit. p.98-99,102.
    Also:
    M.H.W. Clark and J.C.M. Rolland, Op. Cit., Sheet 7. M226 was the first to rebuilt, re-entering service on 28 June 1901. Boiler pressure was raised from 130 to 150 psi, new 18” diameter cylinders in lieu of original 17” diameter cylinders, Tractive effort accordingly increased 12,096 lbs from 10, 018 lbs.
  54. The Australasian, Saturday 4 June 1898, p.35.
    Also:
    The Age, Tuesday 26 December 1899, p.4.
  55. https://www.pjv101.net/cd/pages/c210m.htm Victorian Railways photo and data via Peter Vincent’s website. The delay in building five more ‘OO’ wagons was probably due to the need to provide suitable unloading facilities.
  56. The Age, Tuesday 26 December 1899, p.4. Reporting a return by Woodroofe showing a total of 511 wagons had been built in the 18 months June 1898 to December 1899, plus 65 bogie carriages and eight vans.
  57. The Argus, Tuesday 8 May 1900, p.4.
    Also:
    https://www.exchangerates.org.uk/articles/1325/the-200-year-pound-to-dollar-exchange-rate-history-from-5-in-1800s-to-todays.html
  58. Norman Cave, John Buckland and David Beardsell. Steam Locomotives of the Victorian Railways Volume 1: The First Fifty Years. (Melbourne, 2002). p.189. The Baldwin quote being £8,000 below Phoenix’s initial quote of £3,989×14, the Baldwin price per locomotive must have been about £3,400.
  59. The Geelong Advertiser, Tuesday 5 June 1900, p.2
  60. Victorian Railways Memorandum to the Commissioner from the Chief Mechanical Engineer, 8 December 1900. ‘Report re tenders for 14 Locomotive Goods Engines, Contract No.9413, authorised under Act 1563, Item 38’. p.3.
  61. Norman Cave, John Buckland and David Beardsell. Steam Locomotives of the Victorian Railways Volume 1: The First Fifty Years. (Melbourne, 2002). p.189.
    Also:
    Robert Butrims and David Macartney. The Phoenix Foundry: Locomotive Builders of Ballarat. (ARHS, Williamstown, Victoria). 2013. p.119, 123.
  62. The North Melbourne Courier and West Melbourne Advertiser, Friday 15 June 1900, p.3.
  63. Norman Cave, John Buckland and David Beardsell. Steam Locomotives of the Victorian Railways Volume 1: The First Fifty Years. (Melbourne, 2002). p.146, 199, 201.
    Also:
    M.H.W. Clark and J.C.M. Rolland, Op. Cit., Sheet 12. The D class boiler pressure is given as 140 psi.
  64. The Daily Telegraph (Sydney), Tuesday 24 August 1897, p.5.
    Also:
    The Argus, Monday 12 September 1898, p.6.
  65. Victorian Railways Annual Report 30 June 1901, p.9.
  66. The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday 24 March 1900, p.9.
    Also:
    Victorian Railways Chief Mechanical Engineer’s Office. Correspondence between Woodroffe and Siepen in October 1898, held in the Philip Dunn Collection.
  67. The Age, Tuesday 13 February 1900, p.5.
  68. John Rickard “Allan McLean”, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol.10, M.U.P., 1986.
  69. The Herald, Friday 1 June 1900, p.4.
    Also:
    The Age, Monday 4 June 1900, p.4.
  70. The Argus, Tuesday 10 July 1900, p.4.
  71. The Leader, Saturday 11 August 1900, p.23.
  72. The Age, Tuesday 2 October 1900, p.5
  73. The Age, Thursday 2 February 1888, p.5.
  74. Peter Westcott “George Chaffey”, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol.7, M.U.P., 1979.
  75. The Argus, Monday 4 April 1892, p.5.
  76. The Mildura Cultivator, Saturday 26 May 1900, p.3., Saturday 9 June 1900, p.6.
    Also:
    The South Australian Register, Saturday 2 June 1900, p.6. Reports a further Parliamentary visit.
    Also:
    The Bendigo Advertiser, Monday 8 October 1900, p.2. (‘Bushed’ means lost).
  77. The Age, Thursday 14 June 1900, p.5.
  78. The Age, Wednesday 1 August 1900, p.6.
    Also:
    The Bendigo Advertiser, Monday 8 October 1900, p.2.
  79. The Ballarat Star, Friday 12 October 1900, p.5.
  80. The Mildura Cultivator, Saturday 9 November 1901
  81. The Age, Tuesday 20 November 1900, p.5.
  82. The Australasian, Saturday 10 August 1901, p.36.
  83. Table Talk, Friday 13 May 1898, p.13, Friday 20 May 1898, p.9 and 14.
  84. H.G. Turner. A History of the Colony of Victoria, Volume II, 1854-1900 (London, 1904), p.349-50.
  85. The Advertiser, Tuesday 20 November 1900, p.9.
    Also:
    The Age, Tuesday 20 November 1900, p.5.
  86. The Australasian, Saturday 2 March 1901, p.24. He announced his resignation on 27th April.
  87. The Register (Adelaide), Saturday 13 April 1901, p.6.
    Also:
    The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday 16 April 1901, p.5.
    Also:
    The Advertiser (Adelaide), Wednesday 1 May 1901, p.6.
  88. OPENING DAY
  89. Victorian Railways Annual Report 30 June 1900, Appendix 2, p.33.
  90. Reference needed for Edinburgh and York.
  91. The Australasian, Saturday 8 December 1900, p.36. Lord Hopetoun arrives and goes to Sydney by sea.
    Also:
    The Argus, Wednesday 26 December 1900, p.5. Lady Hopetoun arrives in Adelaide and goes to Sydney by train..
    Also:
    The Argus, Wednesday 19 September 1900, p.7. Announcement of the Royal Visit.
    Also:
    The Herald, Friday 15 March 1901, p.4. Reporting that the decision to prepare a Royal Train was made soon after the Royal Visit was announced, but the fact of the two new State cars being made by night and day shifts indicates approval was unlikely until January 1901 at the earliest.
  92. The Argus, Tuesday 14 May 1901, p.9. Lord Hopetoun supervised all arrangements for the Royal Visit.
  93. The Age, Saturday 30 March 1901, p.10, Friday 19 April 1901, p.6., Monday 20 May 1901, p.6.
    Also:
    The Argus, Monday 20 May 1901, p.5.
  94. Royal Visit
  95. The Argus, Tuesday 14 May 1901, p.9.
  96. The Ballarat Star, Tuesday 14 May 1901, p.1.
    Also:
    The Bendigo Advertiser, Wednesday 15 May 1901, p.4.
  97. The Argus, Wednesday 15 May 1901, p.4. Mr & Mrs Mathieson, William, John Jnr, Maggie, Jean, Nancy and Lucy. Sarah, the oldest, was already married and living in London.
  98. The South Australian Register, Monday 22 July 1889, p.6.
  99. The West Australian, Tuesday 21 May 1901, p.4.
    Also:
    The Adelaide Observer, Saturday 25 May 1901, p.12. Date of the RMS Orizba’s sailing.
    Also:
    The Age, Tuesday 28 May 1901, p.6. Railway portfolio.
    Also:
    The Sun (Kalgoorlie), Sunday 26 May 1901, p.4. Speight unwell.
    Also:
    The West Australian, Friday 20 September 1901, p.6. Speight died on 19th September 1901.
  100. The Gippsland Times, Thursday 16 May 1901, p.3.
  101. The Age, Saturday 18 May 1901, p.11. After Mathieson’s departure, Fitzpatrick became Deputy Commissioner and Lochhead Acting Chief Traffic Manager.
  102. The Argus, Tuesday 14 May 1901, p.9.
  103. The Argus, Monday 20 May 1901, p.5.
  104. The Argus, Wednesday 15 May 1901, p.5., Monday 20 May 1901, p.5.
  105. https://www.governor.vic.gov.au/government-house/government-house-through-years