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Mornington Railway


For the history of operations under the Victorian Railways, see Mornington railway line, Melbourne
A diesel locomotive crosses Moorooduc Highway in February 2007

The Mornington Railway is a heritage railway near Mornington, a town on the Mornington Peninsula, near Melbourne, Victoria. The line is managed by the Mornington Railway Preservation Society and operates on part of the former Victorian Railways branch line which ran from Baxter to Mornington.

Contents

  • History 1
  • Mornington Railway Preservation Society 2
  • Operations 3
    • Steam locomotives 3.1
  • Line guide 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

History

The Mornington railway line was a rural railway branching off from the Stony Point railway line at Baxter. The line operated for 92 years before closing. Ten years later the line was reopened as a heritage railway.

  • 1888—In August the contract for building the line was given to David Munro for £25,000. A spur-line was built to Moorooduc quarry to transport stone for the construction of the line.
  • 1889—Baxter to Mornington railway line opened on 10 September.
  • 1981—The line was closed.
  • 1984—The Mornington Railway Preservation Society (MRPS) was formed.
  • 1991—The line was reopened as a heritage railway.

Mornington Railway Preservation Society

The Mornington Railway Preservation Society (MRPS) was formed out of a public meeting in 1984 with the objective of securing access to the then-closed Mornington railway line. The vision was to reopen it as a heritage railway, focusing on the operation of steam-hauled passenger trains. In 1991 the MRPS was granted a State Government Order in Council, giving access and operating rights to the line, so it could be operated as a heritage railway.[1]

Prior to the granting of the Order in Council to the MRPS, the final section of the line between Rail Motor Stopping Place (RMSP) 16 and the former Mornington terminus (which was considered to have significant commercial value) was sold by the State Government to private investors. The track and infrastructure in this section was removed and some parcels of the land were subsequently developed, including an extension to the Mornington Bush Nursing Hospital and a new shopping complex erected on the site of the former Mornington station. A commemorative plaque and replica station nameboard erected by Mornington Historical Society adjacent to the shopping centre are now the only visible evidence of the original terminus.

The 70-foot (21.34 m) turntable from Mornington Station was removed by SteamRail Victoria, who had been the custodians of it by arrangement with the State Government up until the time the site was sold. The turntable was later overhauled by SteamRail and re-installed at Warrnambool where it is still in use (it was required there to enable R class steam locomotives to be turned at that location). SteamRail have offered the MRPS a 53-foot (16.15 m) turntable (formerly from Yea) as a substitute, which will be suitable to turn K, J, D3 and Y class locomotives. These are the only steam locomotive classes considered likely to operate on the line in the foreseeable future.

The station building at Mornington was made available to the MRPS for re-use, but was found to be infested with termites, and largely unusable. The MRPS was able to recover most of the points and some track from the station yard before it was demolished. These will eventually be used to build additional sidings at Moorooduc station, the main operating centre on the railway. Two palm trees which graced the garden in front of the original station building for many years were relocated to the new station site, but did not survive the transplanting in their new location.

At present the heritage railway runs between Moorooduc station and the completely new Mornington station, which is sited at Yuilles Road in Mornington, 100m from the site of RMSP 16. This station was opened formally on Sunday 18 April 1999, as just a platform for pull-push working. A runaround loop was added at a later stage. There is an intermediate stop at Tanti Park station. In the near future the remaining section of line between Moorooduc station and Baxter station will be restored.[1] The Peninsula Link freeway has been constructed with an overpass over the line to allow for continued operation and may even assist future operations to Baxter by removing significant traffic from the Moorooduc Highway level crossing..

Operations

The MRPS is in possession of four former Victorian Railways T class diesel locomotives, a 280hp Walker railmotor and a Victoria Railways rail tractor.[1]

Tourist trains run on the first three Sundays of each month between Moorooduc and Mornington railway stations, although the current Mornington station is displaced somewhat due to the original alignment having been built over.

Steam locomotives

Number Image Year built Builder Status Notes
K159 1940 Victorian Railways Newport Workshops Stored Previously plinthed in a park in Hamilton in country Victoria. Stored for possible future restoration. A locomotive was reassembled as a composite of unrestorable parts from K159, K174 and K177; this unnumbered locomotive is now displayed at K159's previous home in the park at Hamilton.
K163 1941 Victorian Railways Newport Workshops Operational Was plinthed in a park in Frankston after withdrawal from service by the Victorian Railways. Restored to steam by the MRPS in 1985.
K174 1941 Victorian Railways Newport Workshops Completely disassembled Salvaged from static display in Edinburgh Gardens, Fitzroy North by the MRPS in 1997. The locomotive as a whole was in very poor condition and unrestorable, however numerous components have been used in the restoration of K177 (including the frames).[2]
K177 1941 Victorian Railways Newport Workshops Under restoration Donated to the Mornington Railway by Langi Morgala Museum in Ararat. Under heavy restoration, using parts from other locomotives (including K174). As the restored locomotive uses the frames from K174, it would normally have been known by that number; however the Mornington Railway wished to honour their agreement with the Langi Morgala Museum to restore a locomotive with the number K177.
K191 1946 Victorian Railways Newport Workshops Stored dismantled Formerly plinthed in a park in Wangaratta. Brought to Mooorooduc in 2001 for eventual restoration.

Line guide

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^

External links

  • Mornington Railway
  • Article Mornington Railway Preservation Society relocation in 1997

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