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2 corrections, most recently by anonymous - Show corrections


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For many months past the inhabitants of this district have had their interest and their curiosity excited by promises of railway commuiiica:ion with Melbourne and the Murray, and by bril- liant anticipations of the future of Sandhurst and of Bendigo when the iron horse should cut his rapid way through the airy regions of Mount Alexander. There is' sufficient in such a prospect to stimulate the imagination of the most prosaic, especially when -self-interest lends its assistance. The usual apathy of the district has been fairly stirred by this subject, and anything about the: proposed railway; commands attention and interest. We have watched eagerly 'for the first indications that such an undertaking would receive from the Government .that notice which we thought due to it.' Our interest

on this point"led*-us- to regard with favor the' idea of electing the ' Surveyor-General as a representative for tho township of Sand- hurst. The first intimation that there would be a survey of the country, with a view to bringing the railway through Sandhurst, was hailed with pleasure as a proof that the project was not visionary. We heard that the Surveyors were hard at work on the country between Sand- hurst and Castlemaine, and again, between Sand- hurst and the Murray, and the undertaking began to assume form and substance. For some time, however, the matter has receded from notice, and it does not seem to be generally known what has been done towards carrying it out, or what is likely to be done. In the mean time public in- terest has been increased by the fact that the navi- gation of the Murray has begun to affect commer- cial speculation, and that Adelaide traders look forward to attracting the trade of tho Mount Alex- ander Gold-fields towards South Australia. Com munication between this and the nearest point on the Murray has been established, and there are many of our enterprising citizens who already talk of not waiting until the laggard Government shall have realised their idea of a railway from Melbourne to the Murray, but of forming a company and ente - ing at once into the enterprise of laying down a tramway between Sandhurst and Maiden's Punt, in the event of such an enturprise belng set afoot

the merchants of Melbourne would for their own sakes bring their influence to bear on the Govern- ment for the speedy establishing of railway com munication between the metropolis and the Mount.

Alexander Gold-fields,

As the subject just now must command peculiar interest—for it is impossible that matters can long remain in their present stato—we have, endea vored to obtain some information as to what has been done towards making out a route for the pro posed railway. From this wo will be. able to form a pretty good guess as to the probablo benefits this district will receive fro n this public work, as well aa some idea of the period chat must elapse before we realise the brilliant anticipations so freely in dulged in. It may lie remembered that there was one most important fact to be established, and that was, that tho engineering difficulties in the way were not, as some persons imagined, in-urmount able. The range of hills, of which what is called the Big Hill forms a portion, was regarded as im passable, except at an enormous expense. How   was this difficult} to be |got over, or had it been

got over at all

From the inquiries we have made, we under stand th it the line of railway to the Murray will pass into or near Castlemaine. From this place to Sandhurst three routes have been surveyed, and it is at present impossible to say which of the three will eventually be decided upon. One of these folows the general line of road between Castle maine and this township, and it is proposed in order to get over the difficulties of the dividing' range to cut a tunnel half a mile in length through the Big Hill. The line will then be brought into Kangaroo Flat. The second route proposes to follow the main line of road generally as far as Ravenswood, thence to turn to the left and pass over a comparatively level country into the township of Lockwood on Bullock Creek. Thence by an easy ascent the line would pass to the top of Robinson Crusoe Gully, from which it would lead into Kangaroo Flat. The third route which has been surveyed would leave Cas- tlemaine and follow the course of the Muckleford Creek, for some distance—an easy ascent—thence pass over a comparatively level country into Lockwood, whence it would lead to Kangaroo Flat as before stated. These as we understand are the three routes to this point. Which of the three will receive the preference it is hard to guess, but the tunnel through the Big Hill is evidently regarded as a very serious matter while there seems a disposition to consult the interests of the population of the agricultural

district of Bullock Creek.

At the bottom of Robinson Crusoe .Gully the line having crossed the Bendigo. Creek, if coming in from Lockwood, will skirt the ranges to the right of Kangaroo Flat, crossing Kangaroo and Adelaide Gullies, then to the right of Golden square crossing Golden Gully, and passing in a pretty straight direction into the township of Sandhurst near the Presbyterian Church. From this point one proposed line will pass into the flat, cross the creek at the White Hills, pass by the Juuction Station, re-cross the creek, strike between the White Hills Hamlet and Epsom skirting the range to the right and bounded by the sold lauds at Huntley on the left, and proceed in a northerly direction for some con- siderable distance. Another route spoken of tor the railway after coming into the township would pass behind the hill above the Criterion, cross the Back Creek, and pass behind the White Hills, meeting the other line near Huntly to the east of the sold lands. The line, after proceeding to the northward for some distance, will turn to the east ward, near the junction of the roads leading to the Clare Inn and the lower Campaspe. It will fol low the general course of the Bendigo, or Picanniny Creek, as it is here called,. keeping to the right

of it, crossing the Sandy Creek, near its junc- j tion with the former, until it reaches the point ! where the Creek is only some four miles from, the Campaspe, near Robinson's Station. The Bendigo Creek here takes a turn to the:westwrard, and the   proposed line of railway will from this point fol- low the; general course of the Campaspe to Maiden's Punt, for the greater portion of the dis tance, in a straight line. The'country between Sandhurst and the Murray offers no engineering difficulties, and the line of railway which has been, selected there is every reason to suppose will not

! in the least be deviated from. "It will in its course

pass through the .parishes of Sandhurst,Huntly, Bagshot, Goornong, Nolan, and Elmore, after which it passes out of the present surveyed lands.

The preceding outline will give some idea of the proposed route of the railway, and of the opera tions which have hitherto been undertaken re

specting tlie surveys. The route from Castle maine through Sandhurst to the Murray presents no insurmountable engineering difficulty—no difficulty, indeed, of any serious constquence, and there is, therefore, nothing unreasonable in the supposition that the railway, will pass by this route, when it will thus traverse the richest gold fields in the' world. Efforts, we understand,'have been made to procure, the diversion of the line after leaving'Castlemaine, down the Loddon to the Murray, but it is not probable'that these will have any eft'ect. If all that was requited was merely a level line of country to travel over, the best route undoubtedly would he from Kyneton down the valley of the Campaspe. ■ Something more than this is required to support so great an undertaking as a railway, and that, something the gold fields of Mount Alexander and Bendigo sup-, ply. We. have a. large population, aj«l'a trade which is every day becoming greater and mo're

uo i) soil dated. The'fertile lands of the Loddon and the.Campaspe. offer little more than a prospec tive ben -fit, and even when occupied by an agricul tural population, these gold-fields will bo their great markets. There is, therefore, every certainty that the great line of railway to the'Murray, will,

pass through these districts. But let us remem- j ber that the political elements of the country are ! totally changing, and that our public meii are bidding for popular favor. It seems to be the fashion fqr every little constituency to exact as much as possible in the way of promises, Let us not forget our interests, but keep our claims, strong as they are, before the attention of the Government and the country.