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Celebrating 150 Years of Rail in Bendigo

When: 10:30am - 4:30pm October 21, 2012

Location: Bendigo Railway Station Precinct
Railway Place, Bendigo Victoria 3550   View on map

Phone: 1800 813 153


150 years of service to the community is an impressive stint. The strength of the rail industry in Bendigo, and its enduring infrastructure, is testament to the people who lived and breathed its development. Introduced in the early 1850s, railways quickly spread across the state of Victoria, linking towns and cities, carrying passengers and freight and providing jobs and a social focus for thousands.

On the 20th of October 1862, with much fanfare, the first official train arrived from Melbourne to the booming gold rush settlement of Bendigo (then Sandhurst). The Bendigo line, one of the most impressive railway lines in Australia, is still in full operation today, boasting impressive architectural feats including the Taradale Viaduct and Big Hill Tunnel. Since its establishment in Bendigo, the rail industry has made a significant contribution to the development and economy of the city. 

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Sunday 21 October 2012
Bendigo Railway Station Precinct.

This is a free event suitable for the whole family. Most activities do not require booking, for those that do, please refer to booking details below.

Download the Program of events.

Travelling to Bendigo:
Download Whats on in Bendigo on the day.



Tour of historic Bendigo Station
10.30am, meet on Platform Two
Encounter the splendour and history of the Bendigo Railway Station precinct on a short tour.

Arrival of Bendigo's R711Steam Train
11.45am (approx)
Ensure that you are ready and waiting at the Bendigo Railway Station to welcome the fully restored vintage R711 steam train when it arrives from Melbourne.

Theatrical re-enactment
12 noon
Re-live the famous events of the official opening of the Bendigo Railway Line in 1862 with a classic theatrical re-enactment. This event will feature the City of Greater Bendigo Brass Band, Mt Alexander Rifles and speeches by Sir Henry Barkly, Governor of Victoria in 1862, and the City Mayor.

12.45pm  Short official proceedings will follow the theatrical re-enactment.

Book launch: 'Melbourne to Bendigo Railway 1862-2012'
1.00pm, Victorian Railways Institute (VRI) building
For all those passionate about the history of the Bendigo Line, make sure you book to attend the launch of the Bendigo Historical Society book, 'Melbourne to Bendigo Railway 1862-2012'. Refreshments will be provided. Bookings are essential.
RSVP to BHS on (03) 5442 1005 or

Open House: Historic Bendigo Roundhouse
1.30pm–3.30pm, Bendigo Roundhouse, enter via Gate 6, Gladstone Street
Visit the famous 1890s engine shed known as the 'Bendigo Roundhouse' which will be open for viewing. Tours will also be available on demand by retired railway employees.

'The Turning' 1pm - 1:30pm
Step inside the historic 1890s locomotive shed known as the Roundhouse at the Bendigo Railway Station Precinct and survey the recently restored R711 steam train as it makes a majestic turn on the old turntable used in the steam days to turn and park up to 24 engines a day.
Click here to book tickets

Steam Train snapshots
3.30pm–4.05pm (approx)
Don't miss out on the opportunity to capture the fully restored R711 vintage team train with a photo opportunity at the station.

Departure of Bendigo's R711 Steam Train
4.05pm (approx)
Farewell the R711 steam train as it departs for its journey back to Melbourne.

The Post Office Gallery has a current exhibition of Celebrating 150 years: rail in Bendigo and the Bendigo Brass Band which explores the long and proud history of Bendigo’s rail industry and acknowledges the enduring contribution of the Bendigo Brass Band to the civic and social life of Bendigo. 

The Post Office Gallery is a 'social history' museum, showcasing significant collections, artefacts and material that explore the broadest possible history of the region. The gallery features a number of exhibitions every year highlighting the Bendigo regions colourful past.

Image descriptions & Credits:

1. Railways and the Bendigo Goldfields; prominent mine owners and directors with new A class steam locomotive and Bendigo station, c1890s, black and white photograph. Courtesy of ARHS, Vic Div Inc. Archives. PROV, VPRS 12903/P1, File H1118.

2. B82 & B83 diesel locomotives at Bendigo Railway Station, c1970, colour photograph. Courtesy of David Bernoth.

3. Bendigo engine shed known as 'the Roundhouse' with D class steam locomotive, c1890s, black and white photograph. Courtesy of ARHS, Vic Div Inc. Archives.

4. Image of V/Line train courtesy of V/Line.



More Information

Celebrating 150 Years of Rail in Bendigo

Railway Place, Bendigo, Australia

150 years of service to the community is an impressive
stint. The strength of the rail industry in Bendigo, an
d its enduring infra...


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