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Chapter Sixteen


John 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.

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: 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 congestion had become a real issue and all could see something had to be done. The new viaduct had begun funnelling suburban services from the west and north into Flinders Street, and the impeding direct line link to the northern suburbs would make matters worse. The extension of the railway the 2¼ miles 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, Charles Norman and William 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.

The False Dawn of Profitability

Mathieson had expressed the sanguine hope that the Department was on the ‘upgrade’ in 1897,[12] but the setbacks due to the 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 together with urgent efforts catch up on maintenance deferred since 1892. With the cumulative deficit over the previous four years at £1,794,000 the Commissioner was again under attack in parliament. Mr. Vale, the 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]

Charles Norman Strengthens the Permanent Way

During 1897 a new policy was made, whereby mainlines and busy suburban lines would be relaid in heavier rail. The object, said Mathieson, was to provide ‘for the heavier rolling stock now generally used…’ [15] Richard Speight and Allison Smith had promoted this policy too, and were castigated for doing so. But Mathieson did not have The Age baying at his heels.

Rail salvaged from main lines had helped lower the cost per mile of some new branch lines then being built. An example was the 47 miles of the Dimboola to Serviceton line, which was relaid by June 1897, only ten years after the line’s opening. Originally laid with 60 lb steel rails, it was not up to the requirements of intercolonial traffic, and was being relaid with 80 lb steel rails.[16]

In his report to parliament in September 1898, Mathieson submitted a shopping list for £734,984, one of the biggest items being the relaying of 185 miles of main line at a cost £1,000 per mile.[17] 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.’ [18]

It was indicative of Mathieson’s stature that Henry Williams, the Minister of Railways and George 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, skinny sleepers of the wrong wood and minimal ballast was giving Norman a headache! Then the Engineer for Existing Lines, he was also concerned that the 66 lb steel rails laid on main lines were too light for the heavier locomotives being introduced. Not yet worn out, he knew they could be better used on new branch lines, or ‘cockspurs’ as they were often called.

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

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.[19]

In 1872 Charles became an assistant to the District Engineers building the North Eastern main line, 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 Norman had overseen construction of 500 miles of new railway, and was appointed Engineer for Existing Lines in June 1893 in lieu of Thomas Woodroffe, who had accepted the dual responsibilities of an Acting Commissioner and Chief Mechanical Engineer.[20]

So, like Francis Rennick and Woodroffe, Norman had witnessed the trauma of Higinbotham’s demise, the R.G. Ford saga, the campaign against 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. With Rennick and Woodroffe, he 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. In theory the tracks were capable of supporting the Kitson standard engines. Their weight was initially born by the rails, then transferred to the supporting sleepers, and dissipated into the ballast and subgrade. This resilient formula worked well provided all the elements were regularly maintained. But maintenance was being deferred.

Even the 66 lb steel rails laid on the main lines were not beefy enough to spread the weight of passing express trains over several sleepers. Ballast was inadequate and without the support of good sleepers and ballast, rails were being damaged. Most of the sleepers had been 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.

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. As the 66 lb steel rails laid on the main lines were mostly just 10 to 25 years old and not worn out, they would be reused on lightly trafficked branch lines. The main lines were to be relaid with 80 lb steel rails, or 100 lb rails on suburban lines.

The heavier rails reduced maintenance costs by up to 50 percent. [21] 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.’ [22] 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,[23] 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.[24]

With the relaying program well underway, the 44-year-old Norman decided to get married. His bride was Emily Brown, daughter of Frederick Brown, MLC for Northern Province. Their glittering wedding with a rustic touch was held at Beechworth on 18th January 1899. The train of Emmie’s wedding gown was six yards long![25] 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,[26] but their return was delayed by the birth of their first child in London, on Christmas Day.[27] 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 Heads of Branches and many other senior officers welcoming him on the platform at Spencer Street Station.[28]

Funding New Locomotives and Rolling Stock

An addition £113,000 was approved in 1898 for rolling stock projects. These included 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 wagons; 150 louvred vans, and continuing the fitting of Westinghouse brakes.[29] It was just a continuation of the much criticised policies of 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.[30] The twenty NSW T class ‘Consolidation’ engines exerted a tractive force of 28,800 lbs, twice that of the biggest locomotive in Victoria, the Y class at 14,040 lbs.[31] 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 standard engines were the heaviest on the Victorian Railways. The New A class 4-4-0s had an axle load of 14¾ tons and the Y class 14⅓ tons, but no other class exceeded 14 tons. The NSW T class Consolidation had an axle load of 15½ tons. 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 main lines in 80 lb rails and sleepers of increased profile.

The First 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.[32] 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 ‘seated trucks’ were thronged with punters, and drawn by an ‘American Baldwin’ engine, which had been 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’ [33] He was confusing tractive effort (or pulling force) with power. Because the NA was geared down with very small driving wheels, its tractive effort was about 12,100 lbs. This 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. Sixty percent of them had boilers twice the size or more.[34] The Herald noted the new narrow gauge engines ‘can take heavy loads up severe grades, but they are not fast’. [35] 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 a 1 in 30 gradient, but in general service they were limited to 90 tons.[36]

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 engine for Natal was smaller than the NA, while those for New Zealand were marginally larger.[37] 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.[38]

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.

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.[39] 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 main lines enabled much heavier and more powerful locomotives to be used than a Decauville railway.

The order for the narrow gauge 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. Baldwin could also deliver in approximately four months, against 15 months for the European makers. Nevertheless, the decision still had to be defended against the protectionists.

It was 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 narrow gauge 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.[40]

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.[41] A few months later, approval was given to order a single Consolidation locomotive 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.[42]

A V class Consolidation contrasts with a New R class 0-6-0 at Fern Tree Gully. 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 V 499. 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.’ [43] Woodroffe must have been pleased for he had been advocating the use of Consolidation locomotives for at least seven years.

It was not as big as the T class of the NSW Railways, as Woodroffe 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 main line to Bendigo, where 270 tons was the full load for the largest 0-6-0s. It also lifted nearly three times the load from the Outtrim and Jumbunna mines as any previous engine.

On a special test with the Dynagraph car attached behind the tender it managed a ‘mammoth’ 780 ton coal train from Nyora to Melbourne.[44] The Dynagraph car was an initiative of Woodroffe’s. In 1896 an old four-wheeled carriage was converted to a test car, incorporating a dynagraph to measure the force exerted by a locomotive.[45] It marked the beginning of scientific testing and a new era in the locomotive design capability of the Victorian Railways.

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 Z 526, the small 0-6-0T ‘motor’ engine built seven years earlier at the onset of the depression.

Newport finished three more NA class engines 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. They were the first Victorian Railways 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.

Baldwin altered this configuration of cylinders for the Victorian engines, placing the small high pressure cylinder below the larger low pressure cylinder to provide clearance at station platforms. (American railroads stations were not provided with platforms). The Vauclain system 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.[46]

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. Later experience soon showed the heavier loads came at the price of higher maintenance costs. [47] All the V class and the two compound NA class engines were eventually converted to simple expansion, like all the other locomotives.

Baldwin Consolidation V499 with a coal train at Nyora in 1900. Note the large low pressure cylinder immediately above the smaller high 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. They gave it a new cylinder block, cast with piston valves in place of the slide valves hitherto used, as piston valves were better able to cope with high pressure steam. It was a turning point, with all subsequent broad gauge steam locomotives receiving high pressure boilers and piston valves.[48]

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.[49] But construction was delayed by the difficulty of sourcing some material due to ironworks having to prioritise military contracts for the South African war.[50]

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.[51] 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 Victorian Railways 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.[52]

It demonstrated 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.[53] The NSW Railways had exhibited the same British conservativism in the design of the P class express 4-6-0, the first ones being delivered in 1892 with six-wheeled tenders. But the second batch of P class engines adopted the bogie tender and were being built at the same time as the AA class.[54]

New A class No. 398 with its new high pressure boiler double heading an old B class 2-4-0 on the all vestibule Sydney Express climbing Oliver’s Bank circa 1900. PROV H1150.

Initially rostered on the Bendigo line, No. 530 made its debut on the Sydney Express on 27th August 1900, taking the train right through to the border but with a number of stops to replenish its water supply. Along with the New A’s Woodroffe’s new engine 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.[55] The AA and V class locomotives paid off, eliminating the need for double heading by 68 percent in two years.[56]

Following preparations of the AA design, Woodroffe had his draftsmen redesign the M class suburban 4-4-0T tank engines, to support a larger coal bunker and bigger water tanks. With some suburban runs now 20 miles or more, increased fuel and water capacity was essential. The engine frames were lengthened and an additional pair of carrying wheels placed beneath the bunker, altering the configuration to a 4-4-2 tank.

As the leading Bissel bogie of the M class engines 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 increased and larger cylinders provided, giving more or less equivalent power and range to the Kitson E class 2-4-2 tank engines. All 22 locomotives of the M class were rebuilt at the Newport Workshops between 1901 and 1905. Reclassified ME, they were the most substantial locomotive rebuilds yet undertaken in Victoria. As mentioned above, at the same time Newport was building new narrow gauge NA class locomotives to the Baldwin design.[57]

The Giant Coal Hoppers

Korumburra mining interests were pressing for tariff protection from low cost imported NSW coal, but with Federation looming the colonial tariff barriers were about to be swept away. The Victorian mines were therefore dependant on an artificially low railway rate of ½d. (a halfpenny) per ton mile, which was a ¼d. (a farthing) below the rate the Victorian Railways charged Newcastle coal.[58] 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. This was four times the load of a typical open wagon. Coal at each end was unloaded by opening double doors, and coal in the centre was bottom discharged through hopper doors in the floor, between the bogies.

The prototype ‘OO’ class 40 ton coal hopper at Newport, 1898. PROV H4531.

A bold experiment, the OO design was not immediately repeated, but it demonstrated a renewed confidence by the Locomotive, Carriage and Waggon Branch.[59] 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.[60]

Imports Versus Local Manufacture

The success of the big Consolidation engine V 499 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,[61] or approximately £4,400 at the exchange rate of the day, so the ‘spares’ equated to about one third of a new locomotive! [62]

The spare 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 urgently needed to help carry the upcoming grain harvest,[63] and then haul South Gippsland coal. So tenders were called in September 1900 for six compound and eight simple expansion versions of the V class.

The tender quote from Phoenix was the lowest, but it was 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.[64] 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.[65]

But regardless of where they were built, the Consolidation engines were non-standard with the 167 locomotives built since 1888, plus the ten new 4-4-0s being built at Ballarat. This did not escape 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’.[66]

Woodroffe’s Maid of all Work

During this time Woodroffe’s draftsmen were working on a much bigger project. This was a locomotive that would have the power of the V class and its ability to work heavy goods trains on light as well as main lines, 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 but retained the standard components. They added another pair of driving wheels of the same diameter (5’0”) and provided a longer, higher pressure boiler with a Belpaire firebox, giving about a 40 percent greater steam generation capacity.

Belpaire fireboxes became standard on Victorian Railways locomotives for the next fifty years. Invented by a Belgian engineer, they provided more surface area for steam generation, but were more difficult to make. The leading bogie was redesigned with inside bearings to clear the large cylinders, which were placed outside the frames like an American Ten Wheeler. It was given a large bogie tender based on that of the Baldwin V class, with minor alterations.

A prototype of this new locomotive 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. [67]

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

Federation and Railway Co-operation

In designing the DD class 4-6-0, Woodroffe’s officers would have had some assistance from Interstate. Six of the seven Australasian colonies federated on 1st January 1901, with New Zealand 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. Soon after. the Western Australian and New Zealand commissioners joined the conference. [68]

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.

In 1899 the Commissioners Conference was preceded by the first annual Heads of Branches conference.[69] At that conference 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.

Efforts were initiated to prepare for the standardisation of rail gauges. Woodroffe asked Victor Siepen to modify the AA design to suit it for conversion to 4’8½” gauge, but it was found this would cramp the space for wheel bearings. So considering gauge standardisation would not occur during the life of the AA class, no change was made.[70]

Flinders Street Station Approved

Norman’s delayed return from London 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.[71] 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. But the Turner government had authorised the competition and prize on the final recommendation of the Railways Standing Committee. Now being gazumped they were furious!

Fawcett & Ashworth’s winning design of May 1900. The design was altered to include a fourth storey, and the train shed over the platforms was never built. Culture Victoria H87-61-8-LTAD81.

Turner had been forced to resign some months earlier during a revolt by some of his colleagues.[72] Nevertheless, the Committee expected Mathieson would forward the recommendations of the judges in a sealed envelope, so they might make the final decision. But the Commissioner was inspecting lines in the Mallee and notified the Committee that some details had leaked out. In the circumstances he thought it best to publish the results before newspapers pre-empted the matter!

A very indignant Committee met on 1st June and indulged in ‘some very plain talk in condemnation of the Railway department’s methods’.[73] But Mathieson was already steaming away aboard the R.M.S. Orizaba, enroute for Britain and North America, and parliament was in recession. Insisting on their rights, the miffed Committee called for all the plans,[74] but Norman mollified them.

At an interview in August, he explained that American stations were ‘far in advance’ of any in Australia. Only Brisbane and Perth had erected decent terminals, ‘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. [75] Cooled down, the Committee gave their approval to the Fawcett and Ashworth design seven weeks later.[76]

To the Last Corner

The Chaffey Brothers pioneered an irrigation scheme at Mildura in 1886, 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.[77]

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 were taken over by the Mildura Irrigation Trust.[78] 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.[79] 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, was badly injured.

While making camp for the night Trenwith was holding a tent peg being hammered by a colleague. But it was his thumb and not the peg that took the blow! It was two days before the party reached a town with a doctor.[80] 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.[81] Mildura was remote!

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.[82] Parliament quickly adopted the recommendation, and the line was approved in October. The speed of this decision took Rennick by surprise. He informed the politicians that 70 miles of the line had not been surveyed, and some of the country not even explored! [83] 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.[84]

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 1900, he was accompanied by his wife and two of his daughters. 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.’ [85] It was no junket, but returning via Great Britain he was made an offer he could not refuse by the Midland Railway Company. They offered him a salary of £4,500 per annum to become their General Manager.[86]

Mathieson returned to Australia aboard the RMS Ormuz with his wife and two daughters. They disembarked at Largs Bay near 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 8.05 pm with a Boudoir car attached for the Mathiesons.[87] Three months later he announced his resignation, the government granting him leave to depart before his term officially ended on 30th June 1901.[88]

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. [89] 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.’ [90]

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 1901, 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.[91]

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.[92] The visit of the Duke and Duchess to Victoria required a Royal Train for their country visits, and Mathieson was busy with his Heads of Branches galvanising resources to guarantee a flawless and highly impressive operation.

Mathieson was 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 use by the Governor.[93] 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 for Lord Hopetoun in 1894. It was renamed ‘York’ for the Duke’s visit.[94]

But something better than these renovated cars 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, enroute to Sydney to join her husband.[95]

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.[96] 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.

Dobney supervised three shifts of men working day and night and had the two cars outshopped on 1st May,[97] just five days before the Duke and Duchess arrived at St Kilda Pier aboard the Royal Yacht ‘Ophir’.[98] While not large, the cars were superbly finished and furnished, with carved motifs over the doors, silk trimmings, fine carpets and upholstery.

Externally the two matching cars 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 specially altered to provide 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 Victorian Railways 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 of Branches and their deputies.

The following Monday Fitzpatrick, now Deputy Commissioner, presented an illuminated address from the whole service and a diamond ring for Mrs. Mathieson. The Chief Accountant and Secretary gave group photographs of their staff. That afternoon the Locomotive Engine Drivers’ and Firemen’s Association entertained Mathieson at Finley’s Hotel. Finally, 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 made some perceptive remarks about Mathieson’s administration.

‘[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’. [99]

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, Mathieson 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.’ [100]

RMS Orizba by William Lionel Wyllie, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

Mathieson was accompanied by his wife, two sons and four daughters.[101] All of them had grown up in Brisbane and Melbourne, as the family had been in the colonies nearly twelve years.[102] 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.[103] 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.

The Royal Train

Despite protestations to the contrary, the railway preparations for the Royal Visit were both extensive and expensive. 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 the State was hosting the future King and Queen. In the week after the opening of the Commonwealth Parliament, the Duke and Duchess were to make made four trips by Royal Train, and Lord Hopetoun did his best to ensure their accommodation would be exemplary.

On Monday 13th the Duke and Duchess travelled together to Ballarat. Next day the Duke made an overnight trip to Sale for a private shooting party to be held on Wednesday. His train was augmented with a Boudoir car, and aboard were Deputy Commissioner Fitzpatrick and several railway Heads of Branches. While her husband was enjoying himself blasting away at quail, parrots and an unfortunate copperhead snake,[104] the Duchess travelled in her State car to Healesville, with Robert Lochhead in the Victoria car to ensure all went smoothly. He had taken over from Fitzpatrick as Acting Chief Traffic Manager.[105]

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.’ [106]

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 AA 538 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 while driver Fitzgibbon, wearing white gloves that matched his beard, watched 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.

AA 538 leaving Spencer Street with the Royal Train for Albury. PROV H1407.

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![107] 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. [108]

When it was all over, the Victorian Railways had a fleet of seven special carriages, including three State cars, two Ministerial cars and two Inspection cars.[109] The Victorian Railways now had to provide accommodation for both Commonwealth and Victorian V.I.P’s, including both the governors of the Commonwealth and Victoria. 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.[110] 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. Despite Federation, Victoria retained control of its railways, as did the other States.

High resolution versions of some of the photographs in this chapter may be found on Smugmug


End Notes

  1. Report of the Victorian railways Commissioners for the year ending 30 June 1898, VPP 1898, No. 36, p. 4.
  2. Argus, 22 November 1897, p. 7; 23 November 1897, p. 5.
    Age, 22 November 1897, p. 6.
  3. Argus, 2 February 1898, p. 5.
    Age, 1 February 1898, p. 5; Monday 21 February 1898, p. 5.
    Bendigo Independent, 3 February 1898, p. 3.
    Advocate, 5 February 1898, pp. 7-8.
    Sydney Morning Herald, 3 February 1898, p. 5; 4 February 1898, p. 5; 5 February 1898, p. 8; 7 February 1898, p. 5.; 8 February 1898, p. 5; 10 February 1898, p. 5; 17 February 1898, p. 5; 24 February 1898, p. 5. The reports in the SMH are a good precis of the situation.
    Australasian, 5 March 1898, p. 11. Mentions the term ‘Red Tuesday’.
  4. Stephen J. Pyne, Burning Bush: a fire history of Australia, New York, 1991, pp. 240-244.
  5. See:- Ash Wednesday Bushfires 1983/
  6. Victorian Railways: Report…30 June 1898, VPP 1898, No. 36, p. 10.
  7. A new terminal was not completed at Spencer Street until 1962.
  8. Victorian Parliamentary Debates (VPD), 1898, Vol. 90, pp. 3781, 3811. 15th December. The Bill was passed by the Legislative Council that evening.
  9. VPD, 1898, Vol. 90, pp. 1884, 3792. 15th December. Mr. Wynne.
  10. VPD, 1898, Vol. 89, pp. 1884, 1788. 22nd September.
  11. Argus, 31 January 1899, p. 7.
  12. Victorian Railways: Report…30 June 1897, VPP 1897, No. 39, p. 4.
  13. Victorian Railways: Report…30 June 1898, VPP 1898, No. 36, p. 6.
  14. VPD, 1898, Vol. 90, pp. 3827-28.
  15. Victorian Railways: Report…30 June 1897, VPP 1897, No. 39, p. 8 and Appendix 2, p. 19.
  16. ibid, p. 8.
  17. Victorian Railways: Report…30 June 1898, VPP 1898, No. 36, p. 7 and Appendix 2, p. 19.
  18. VPD, 1898, Vol. 89, p. 1780. 22nd September. Speaking in debate on the Railway Loan Application Bill.
  19. Herald, 11 September 1920, p. 19.
  20. ibid.
  21. Victorian Railways: Report…30 June 1898, VPP 1898, No. 36, Appendix 2, p. 16.
  22. Herald, 4 May 1901, p. 3.
  23. Report of Royal Commission, Loco. Branch, 1899. November, 1899. Royal Commission (Administration – Locomotive branch) 1899
  24. The Western Mail, 27 April 1901, p. 27.
    Advertiser (Adelaide), 20 September 1901, p. 5.
  25. Ovens and Murray Advertiser, 21 January 1899, p. 2.
  26. Age, 25 May 1899, p. 6; 8 June 1899, p. 6.
  27. Australasian, 6 January 1900, p. 55.
  28. Herald, 6 April 1900, p. 4.
  29. Victorian Railways: Report…30 June 1898, VPP 1898, No. 36, p. 6-8.
    Age, 30 March 1899, p.4.
  30. The Department of Railways New South Wales, A Century Plus of Locomotives 1955-1965, ARHS, Sydney, 1965. pp. 67, 70, 74.
    Department of Railways NSW, pp. 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.
  31. Department of Railways NSW, p. 74.
    Norman Cave, John Buckland and David Beardsell, Steam Locomotives of the Victorian Railways Volume 1: The First Fifty Years, Melbourne, 2002, p. 146.
  32. Ovens and Murray Advertiser, 18 March 1899, p. 4.
  33. Weekly Times, 18 March 1899, p. 2.
  34. Cave et al. Specifications for each class of locomotive are given throughout the book. Boiler size is assessed on heating surface.
  35. Herald, 9 September 1898, p. 4.
  36. Age, 29 June 1900, p. 4. The test was on the Gembrook line.
    Edward A. Downs, Speed Limit 20, ARHS Vic Division, 1963, p. 94.
  37. See Wikipedia:- Natal Government Railways I class
    See Wikipedia:- New Zealand Railways WB class
  38. 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.
  39. VPD, 1998, Vol. 88, pp. 122-123. Legislative Assembly. 6 July 1898. Minister of Railways’ explanation.
  40. Age, 18 May 1898, p. 4;19 May 1898, p. 4.
    Leader, 17 September 1898, p. 36.
    Herald, 9 September 1898, p. 4.
  41. Bendigo Advertiser, 17 August 1898, p. 3.
  42. Cave et al, pp. 183, 189, 195. The 2-8-0’s costs are estimated from Baldwin’s quote for a second batch.
  43. Sunbury News and Bulla and Melton Advertiser, 16 June 1900, p. 3.
  44. Great Southern Advocate (Korumburra), 30 August 1900, p. 3.
    Weekly Times, 6 October 1900, p. 14
    Argus, 28 August 1900, p. 6.
  45. See:- PJV101
  46. See Wikipedia :- Vauclain Compound
  47. Robert Butrims and David Macartney, The Phoenix Foundry: Locomotive Builders of Ballarat, ARHS, Williamstown, 2013, p. 123.
  48. M.H.W. Clark and J.C.M. Rolland, History of the Locomotives of the Victorian Railways, 1860-1904, Privately reproduced MS, Melbourne, 1934, 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).
    Cave et al, pp. 142, 196. Piston valves on No. 422.
  49. Butrims and Macartney, p. 122.
    Age, 30 March 1899, p. 4.
    The caption of another photo in the Madden collection of the test train at Nyora gives the date and size of train. SLV B20961.
  50. Age, 9 May 1900, p. 4.
  51. Herald, 25 June 1900, p. 4.
    Cave et al, p. 182. The official date is given by the VR is 10 August 1900.
  52. Cave et al, pp. 188, 177-182.
  53. Illawarra Mercury, 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 a very fast and engine No. 999 had a bogie tender.
  54. The Department of Railways New South Wales, A Century Plus of Locomotives 1955-1965, ARHS, Sydney, 1965. p. 71.
    Department of Railways NSW, p. 25.
  55. Argus, 28 August 1900, p. 6.
  56. Victorian Railways: Report…30 June 1902, VPP 1902-03, No. 10, Appendix 3, p. 19. Double headed (coupled) mileage was 146,727 in 1900, reduced to 46,329 in 1902.
  57. Cave et al, pp. 98-99,102.
    Clark and Rolland, 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 from 10, 018 lbs to 12,096 lbs.
  58. Australasian, 4 June 1898, p. 35.
    Age, 26 December 1899, p. 4.
  59. Some data at Peter Vincent’s website.
    The delay in building five more ‘OO’ wagons was probably due to the need to provide suitable unloading facilities.
  60. Age, 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.
  61. Argus, 8 May 1900, p. 4.
    The 200 year pound-to-dollar exchange rate history from 5-in-1800s to today
  62. Cave et al, 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.
  63. Geelong Advertiser, 5 June 1900, p. 2
  64. 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, held in the Philip Dunn Collection.
  65. Cave et al, p. 189.
    Butrims and Macartney, pp. 119, 123.
  66. North Melbourne Courier and West Melbourne Advertiser, 15 June 1900, p. 3.
  67. Cave et al, pp. 146, 199, 201.
    Clark and Rolland, Sheet 12. The D class boiler pressure is given as 140 psi.
  68. Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 24 August 1897, p. 5.
    Argus, 12 September 1898, p. 6.
  69. Victorian Railways: Report…30 June 1901, VPP 1901, No. 41, p. 9.
  70. Sydney Morning Herald, 24 March 1900, p. 9.
    Victorian Railways Chief Mechanical Engineer’s Office. Correspondence between Woodroffe and Siepen in October 1898, held in the Philip Dunn Collection.
  71. Age, 13 February 1900, p. 5.
  72. John Rickard ‘Allan McLean’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol. 10, MUP, 1986.
  73. Herald, 1 June 1900, p. 4.
    Age, 4 June 1900, p. 4.
  74. Argus, 10 July 1900, p. 4.
  75. Leader, 11 August 1900, p. 23.
  76. Age, 2 October 1900, p. 5
  77. Age, 2 February 1888, p. 5.
  78. Peter Westcott ‘George Chaffey’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol. 7, MUP, 1979.
  79. Argus, 4 April 1892, p. 5.
  80. Mildura Cultivator, 26 May 1900, p. 3; 9 June 1900, p. 6.
    South Australian Register, 2 June 1900, p. 6. Reports a further Parliamentary visit.
    Bendigo Advertiser, 8 October 1900, p. 2. (‘Bushed’ means lost).
  81. Age, 14 June 1900, p. 5.
  82. Age, 1 August 1900, p. 6.
    Bendigo Advertiser, 8 October 1900, p. 2.
  83. Ballarat Star, 12 October 1900, p. 5.
  84. Mildura Cultivator, 9 November 1901
  85. Age, 20 November 1900, p. 5.
  86. Australasian, 10 August 1901, p. 36.
  87. Advertiser (Adelaide), 20 November 1900, p. 9.
    Age, 20 November 1900, p. 5.
  88. Australasian, 2 March 1901, p. 24. He announced his resignation on 27th April.
  89. Table Talk, 13 May 1898, p. 13; 20 May 1898, pp. 9, 14.
  90. H.G. Turner, A History of the Colony of Victoria, Volume II, 1854-1900, London, 1904, pp. 349-50.
  91. Register (Adelaide), 13 April 1901, p. 6.
    Sydney Morning Herald, 16 April 1901, p. 5.
    Advertiser (Adelaide), 1 May 1901, p. 6.
  92. See:- Senate Opening Day
  93. Victorian Railways: Report…30 June 1900, VPP 1900, No. 47, Appendix 2, p. 33.
  94. Norm Bray, Peter J. Vincent & Daryl M. Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, Sunbury, 2009, pp. 157,166.
  95. Australasian, 8 December 1900, p. 36. Lord Hopetoun arrives and goes to Sydney by sea.
    Argus, 26 December 1900, p. 5. Lady Hopetoun arrives in Adelaide and goes to Sydney by train..
    Argus, 19 September 1900, p. 7. Announcement of the Royal Visit.
    Herald, 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.
  96. Argus, 14 May 1901, p. 9. Lord Hopetoun supervised all arrangements for the Royal Visit.
  97. Age, 30 March 1901, p. 10; 19 April 1901, p. 6; 20 May 1901, p. 6.
    Argus, 20 May 1901, p. 5.
  98. See:- Royal Visit to Exhibition Building Senate
  99. Argus, 14 May 1901, p. 9.
  100. Ballarat Star, 14 May 1901, p. 1.
    Bendigo Advertiser, 15 May 1901, p. 4.
  101. Argus, 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.
  102. South Australian Register, 22 July 1889, p. 6.
  103. West Australian, 21 May 1901, p. 4.
    Adelaide Observer, 25 May 1901, p. 12. Date of the RMS Orizba’s sailing.
    Age, 28 May 1901, p. 6. Railway portfolio.
    The Sun (Kalgoorlie), 26 May 1901, p. 4. Speight unwell.
    West Australian, 20 September 1901, p. 6. Speight died on 19th September 1901.
  104. Gippsland Times, 16 May 1901, p. 3.
  105. Age, 18 May 1901, p. 11. After Mathieson’s departure, Fitzpatrick became Deputy Commissioner and Lochhead Acting Chief Traffic Manager.
  106. Argus, 14 May 1901, p. 9.
  107. Argus, 20 May 1901, p. 5.
  108. Argus, 15 May 1901, p. 5., Monday 20 May 1901, p. 5.
  109. Three State cars; No.1, ex-‘Enterprise’ and the twins Nos. 2 and 3 specially built at Newport in 1901. Two Ministerial cars; ‘York’ made for Lord Hopetoun in 1894 and ‘Edinburgh’, made by joining the two short Mirls State cars of 1880. Two Inspection cars; ‘Inspection’, ex-‘Perseverance’, and the refurbished ‘Victoria’.
  110. See:- Government House-through the years