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Railway beginnings

Extract from The Railway (1979)

Documentary featuring some famous Australian railway journeys including Sydney to Kalgoorlie and Normanton to Croydon. 

On 12 September 1854 the Melbourne and Hobson’s Bay Railway Company opened Australia’s first steam railway line in Melbourne. The 4km track went from Flinders Street Station to Sandridge, which is now known as Port Melbourne. A new steam engine was made especially for the track and was the first to be built in the southern hemisphere. After the first rail line was built other rail networks quickly spread across Australia.

Film Australia Collection NFSA: 32887 Documentary courtesy National Film and Sound Archive


1. What does this short film clip show? Summarise what you see and hear.

2. Does the film appear to have a main purpose or message? If so, what do you think it is?

3. Who made the film clip and when was it made? Use this information to try to work out why the film was made. Does this change what you think about the purpose of the film?

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