This collection of images from State Library Victoria spans 1875 to the mid-1950s. The images capture the spirit of the time, as much as an insight into the rail infrastructure of the day.

We’ve come a long way in our rail journey, since the first steam railway line in Australia was launched in 1854, running from Flinders Street to what is now known as Port Melbourne.

From these first trains to the underground X’Trapolis, the advent of trams with conductors to automated ticket machines, light rail and electric trains, our rail network has expanded as the city has grown.

The new Metro Tunnel will create a new end-to-end rail line from Sunbury in the west, to Cranbourne/Pakenham in the south-east, with high-capacity trains and 5 new underground stations. Due to open in 2025, it will enable more than a half a million additional passengers per week across Melbourne’s train network to use the rail system during peak periods. And, of course, one of the new stations will be located right next to the State Library Victoria.

About State Library Victoria

The library’s collection of 8 million items and counting is a veritable map of our state’s story.

Instagram: @library_vic