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A Railway Centre

A Railway Centre

Williamstown had four suburban railway stations along a two kilometre length; a remarkable number for one suburb. Today, North Williamstown, Williamstown Beach, and Williamstown remain. The Williamstown Station is the oldest in Victoria (1859) still in its original form. Williamstown Pier station and line has been shut, although one can still see the path of the old line at Point Gellibrand Coastal Heritage Park.

The first government line in Australia (1857) ran from Point Gellibrand to Spencer Street, Melbourne.

Between 1857 and 1889 the main railway workshops of the Victorian Railways were situated at Point Gellibrand, and, at their height, covered 85 per cent of the land of Point Gellibrand. Imported steam locomotives were assembled here. After 1889 the extensive workshops were moved to a new and larger site at Newport.

Point Gellibrand retained a goods branch line however. Wheat which was for export overseas was stored here in a series of grain stores. It was a very busy place after the harvest, but the atmosphere was relaxed. Experienced engine drivers would often work here for a few years before they retired. Wheat storage, and all railway activity at Point Gellibrand, finally ceased in the early 1960s.

A painting of the Timeball Tower from the 1950s/60s shows wheat trucks in the background, as well as the lighthouse which was constructed on top of the Time ball Tower in 1926. It was removed when the tower was fully restored.

For feedback and comments please contact the Tourism Officer at Hobsons Bay City Council on (03) 9932 1000 email visitorinformation@hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au