Monthly ticket to travel on the Melbourne & Hobson's Bay United Railway, August, 1865, Melbourne and St Kilda. First class. No. 6121. Issued to Mr Routledge.

Physical Description

Pocket size, folded in two, maroon leather outer.


September 2004 marked the 150th anniversary of the opening of Australia's first steam-powered railway, the Melbourne & Hobsons Bay Railway, which ran from Flinders Street to Sandridge (now Port Melbourne) and thus also the birth of the Victorian Railways, even though the government-owned railway system did not come into being for another five years. Over the past 150 years, railways have played a key role in the development of Victoria, particularly during the late 19th & early 20th centuries when they providing the key form of transport for Melbourne's expanding suburbs and for the spread of rural settlement. Railways played an important part in the life of many country towns, providing employment, transport and in many cases the main a communication line to the outside world. Despite the decline in railway transport since the Second World War and the abandonment and more recent break-up and privatisation of much of the former Victorian Railways network, railways are still fondly remembered by generations of Victorians for the role they have played in enriching people's lives. Railways and historic trains that once ran on them are more widely appreciated by young and old even today, than any other form of transport heritage.

This auction, although more limited than the enormous collection of Norm de Pomeroy sold last year, offers an opportunity to make a few targeted acquisitions to build on Museum Victoria's existing collection of railway memorabilia.

The objects recommended for consideration in this proposal have been selected primarily with a view to their display potential and their ability to fill gaps in the Museum's existing holdings. The selection focuses particularly on items that could be used to tell stories about the social history of the railways, the working lives of locomotive crews, station staff & railway engineers, the everyday experiences of railway passengers and aspects of railway operation in Victoria such as safe-working practises, all of which are not covered in any depth by our present collections.

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