Victorian Railways. (1883-1983)

Also known as
VicRail.
VicRail. (1883-1983)
Victoria. Railway Dept.
Victoria. Railway Dept. (1883-1983)
Victoria. Railways Commissioners.
Victoria. Railways Commissioners. (1883-1983)
Victoria. Railways Commissioners' Office.
Victoria. Railways Commissioners' Office. (1883-1983)
Victoria. Railways Dept.
Victoria. Railways Dept. (1883-1983)
Victoria. Railways Deptartment.
Victorian Railways.
Victorian Railways (also Victorian Railways Commissioners 1883-1973, Victorian Railways Board 1973-1983). (1883-1983)
Victorian Railways Commissioners.
Victorian Railways Commissioners. (1883-1983)
Victorian State Railways.
Function
Rail Industry; Advisory or Regulatory Body
Libraries Australia
http://nla.gov.au/anbd.aut-an36526033
NLA Persistent Identifier
https://nla.gov.au/nla.party-630276

Biographies

Victorian Railways was established in 1883. It was responsible for the survey and construction of new railway lines as well as the maintenance of existing lines and the superintendence of railway services. Victorian Railways was abolished in 1983, after a century of operation.

View the full record at Encyclopedia of Australian Science

The Victorian Railways was established in 1857. From 1857-1861 the Victorian Railways was managed by the Board of Land and Works. From 1862-1972 it was managed by the Railways Commissioners. In 1973 the management was transferred from the Railways Commissioners to the newly established Victorian Railways Board. In 1983 the authorities within the Ministry of Transport were reorganised and the State Transport Authority and the Metropolitan Transit Authority were established and took over the relevant responsibilities for railways. (Phone call to Public Transport Authority (Vic.) 18.3.91)

View the full record at Libraries Australia

Appointment of Victorian Railways Commissioners

On 1 November 1883 assent was given to the Victorian Railways Commissioners Act 1883, 47 Vic.,No.767, to make better provision for the construction, maintenance and management of the state railways. Although the provisions concerning the appointment of Commissioners were given immediate effect, the remaining provisions of the Act were not to become operative until 1st February 1884. The Act provided for the transfer of statutory responsibility for the state's railways from the Board of Land and Works (VA 744) to the newly appointed Victorian Railways Commissioners. The Commissioners, constituted as a statutory body, were to report directly to the minister responsible for railways and could appoint staff to assist in the execution of the Act. The staff of the Department of Railways (VA 2965) thereafter became subject to the authority of the Commissioners and became commonly known as 'Victorian Railways' (although this title had been used interchangeably with Department of Railways since the first appointment of staff in 1856). It is not evident that any major changes were made to the Department's operation as a result of this rearrangement. However a new agency, VA 2876, has been registered from 1883, incorporating the Victorian Railways Commissioners 1883-1973 and the Victorian Railways Board 1973-1983.

Railway Management and Construction

The functions for which Victorian Railways assumed responsibility included:
survey and construction of new lines of railway
supervision and maintenance of existing lines
management of railway traffic including passengers, goods and livestock
superintendence of railway services
determining by-laws, rules and regulations concerning railway operations
construction and repair of rolling stock.

The Railways Act (Amendment Act) 1891, 55 Vic.,No.1250, provided for the Board of Land and Works (VA 744) to resume responsibility for the survey, construction and completion of all lines of railway, while the Victorian Railways Commissioners retained responsibility for the supervision and maintenance of all completed lines. Operational responsibility for railway construction was taken on by the Board's Railway Construction Branch (VA 690). Under the provisions of the Act the Minister responsible for Railways was also deemed to be, ex officio, a Vice-President of the Board of Land and Works - a return to the situation which had existed until 1884 when the Board had ceased to have any responsibility for railways matters. The Act also provided for the establishment of a Railway Accident Fund.

Associated Functions

From 1888 the Victorian Railways gradually began to take on a role in tourism which developed into the operation of the Victorian Government Tourist Bureaux.

In 1911 the Victorian Railways Commissioners assumed responsibility for the State Coal Mine (VA 720) from the Mines Department (VA 612).

Within Victorian Railways other functions developed including:
operation of electric supply for street tramway services 1906-1959
operation of Newport Power Station A (from c1921 until 1951)
provision of railway refreshment services (from 1920)
management of Mt Buffalo Chalet (from 1924-1983)
provision of road motor services for passengers (from 1925)
provision of motor transport services for goods
operation of Newport Power Station B (until 1939).

Handover of Associated Functions to Other Agencies

In 1939 and 1951, responsibility for the operation of the Newport Power Stations B and A respectively was assumed by the State Electricity Commission (VA 1002). In 1959 the management of the Government Tourist Bureaux passed to the Tourism Development Authority (VA 2918). For a brief account of the administration of tourism functions from 1888 to the present see VRG 91 Tourism III. Responsibility for the State Coal Mine (VA 720) ceased in 1968 with the closure of the mine.

Victorian Railways Commissioners replaced by Victorian Railways Board 1973

In May 1973 under the provisions of the Railways (Amendment) Act 1972 (No.8353) the management of the Railways passed from the Victorian Railways Commissioners to a Victorian Railways Board. VicRail, as it became known in the 1970's, continued under the administration of the Victorian Railways Board until 1983, when its operations were divided following a major overhaul of the Victorian transport system.

Abolition of Victorian Railways 1983

Thereafter, the State Transport Authority (VA 1038) assumed responsibility for the provision of country rail and road, passenger and freight services, while the Metropolitan Transit Authority (VA 1044) assumed responsibility for the operation of metropolitan rail services.

Location of Records

See list below and List of Holdings 2nd edition 1985, section 3.21.0

View the full record at Public Records Office Victoria

Related people and organisations

Encyclopedia of Australian Science

  • (Person) Stone, William (1858 - 1949)

    <p>William Stone held multiple positions with Victorian Railways including, electrical and lighting engineer in the Telegraph Branch (1905 -1912), Chief Electrical Engineer, Electrical Engineering Branch (1913 - 1920c)Member of the Advisory Committee on the utilization of brown coal (1917 - 1920c)</p>

Libraries Australia

Resources for Victorian Railways.

Selected resources (4)

Encyclopedia of Australian Science

  1. Victorian Railways
    Published: The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre
    Series: Encyclopedia of Australian Science
  2. A Reinterpretation of Victoria's Railway Construction Boom of the 1880's
    Frost, L. E.
    Published: 1986
    Series: Australian Economic History Review, 26, 1, 40-55
  3. VA 2876 Victorian Railways (also Victorian Railways Commissioners 1883-1973, Victorian Railways Board 1973-1983)
    Published: Public Record Office Victoria, 2003
    Series: Public Record Office Victoria online catalogue
  4. Technology in Australia 1788-1988
    Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
    Published: Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, Melbourne, 2000

Resources by Victorian Railways. (7,265)

  1. Phoenix pauses : Victorian Railways
    Victorian Railways
    [ Book, Government publication : 1952 ]
    At 2 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 32,683.814)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 32,683.814)

  2. Victorian Railways pencil
    Victorian Railways
    [ Object : 1980 ]
    View online
    At Orbost & District HS
    Victorian Railways pencil
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 32,602.67)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 32,602.67)

  3. Victorian railways country time-table
    Victorian Railways
    [ Government publication, Periodical : 1900-1963 ]
    At 3 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 32,242.986)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 32,242.986)

  4. Sidelights on the Victorian Railways
    Victorian Railways
    [ Book : 1949 ]
    View online
    At 2 libraries
    Sidelights on the Victorian Railways
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 32,041.416)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 32,041.416)

  5. Report of the Victorian Railways Commissioners / Victorian Railways
    Victorian Railways
    [ Government publication, Periodical : 1885-1972 ]
    At 8 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 31,374.098)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 31,374.098)

  6. Ticket - Victorian Railways Free Pass
    Victorian Railways
    [ Object : 1888 ]
    View online
    At Yarra Ranges Museum
    Ticket -  Victorian Railways Free Pass
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 31,209.35)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 31,209.35)

  7. Rules and regulations to be observed by all persons employed on the Victorian Railways
    Victorian Railways
    [ Government publication, Book : 1858 ]
    At State Library of NSW
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 31,194.396)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 31,194.396)

  8. Victorian Railways Bendigo offices, yards, and storehouses
    Victorian Railways
    [ Photograph : 1957 ]
    Languages: No linguistic content
    At State Library VIC
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 31,100.781)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 31,100.781)

  9. Metropolitan time table / Victorian Railways
    Victorian Railways
    [ Periodical : 1900 ]
    At 2 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 31,089.314)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 31,089.314)

  10. 152 apprentices required in Victorian Railways
    Victorian Railways
    [ Government publication, Poster, chart, other : 1937 ]
    View online
    At State Library VIC
    152 apprentices required in Victorian Railways
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 30,993.404)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 30,993.404)

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Archived websites (1996 – now)

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  1. Australian Railways Union Victorian Branch
    Trade unions; Trade Unions
    ... 'all-grades' union culminated with the establishment of the Victorian Railways Union in 191l. Though ... attracted by the idea of One Big Union, VRU opted to become Victorian Brandh of the Australian Railways ...
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 4,741.095)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 4,741.095)

  2. Victoria. Department of Crown Lands and Survey
    Government organisations
    ... Victorian Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands, State of Victoria (1983 - 1990) ... Dept. of Conservation, Forests and Lands was formed in 1983 by merger of Victoria's Forests ... Department (VA 2921). In 1858 responsibility for this function was assumed by the Department of Railways (VA ...
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 2,201.622)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 2,201.622)

  3. Royal Commission on the Working as a Business Undertaking of the Victorian Railways (1917-1917)
    ... No description available ...
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 2,157.663)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 2,157.663)

  1. Victorian Railways pencil
    Victorian Railw ...
    [ Object : 1980 ]
    Victorian Railways pencil
  2. 152 apprentices required in Victori ...
    Victorian Railw ...
    [ Government publication, Poster, chart, other : 1937 ]
    152 apprentices required in Victorian Railways
  3. Ticket - Victorian Railways Free P ...
    Victorian Railw ...
    [ Object : 1888 ]
    Ticket -  Victorian Railways Free Pass
  4. Posters advertising public auctions ...
    Victorian Railw ...
    [ Government publication, Poster, chart, other : 1935-1942 ]
    Posters advertising public auctions held by Victorian Railways
  5. Victorian Railways 78 apprentices r ...
    Victorian Railw ...
    [ Government publication, Poster, chart, other : 1941 ]
    Victorian Railways 78 apprentices required in the following trades
  6. Posters advertising interstate trav ...
    Victorian Railw ...
    [ Government publication, Poster, chart, other : 1935-1942 ]
    Posters advertising interstate travel destinations with Victorian Railways
  1. Victorian railways
    Victoria. Visual Education Branch
    [ Video : 1950-1959 ]
    At Uni of Melb Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 462.639)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 462.639)

  2. Trains passing : Victorian Railways in the 1960's
    Upfront Pictures (Firm)
    [ Video : 2015 ]
    At PMI Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 346.193)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 346.193)

  3. VRI Inc. centenary DVD
    Victorian Railways Institute
    [ Video : 2014 ]
    At State Library VIC
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 306.686)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 306.686)

  4. Steam at work : Victorian railways in the 1960's / produced and directed by Rod Cook & Richard Gilbert
    [ Video : 1992 ]
    At Fairfield City Libs
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 277.07)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 277.07)

  1. The Victorian railways magazine
    Victorian Railways Institute
    [ Periodical : 1924-2015 ]
    At 5 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 860.678)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 860.678)

  2. Victorian Railways journal
    Victorian Railways Association
    [ Periodical : 1896 ]
    At State Library VIC
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 800.615)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 800.615)

  3. Victorian railways gazette
    Victorian Railways Traffic Union
    [ Periodical : 1891-1893 ]
    At State Library VIC
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 772.184)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 772.184)

  4. Victorian Railways & Public Service journal
    Victorian Public Service Association
    [ Periodical : 1911-1923 ]
    At State Library VIC
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 686.425)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 686.425)

Archived websites (1996 – now)

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  1. AUSTRALIAN RAILWAYS UNION, VICTORIAN BRANCH
    Australian Railways Union, Victorian Branch
    [ Unpublished : 1929 ]
    View online
    At Uni Melbourne Arch
    AUSTRALIAN RAILWAYS UNION, VICTORIAN BRANCH
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 639.836)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 639.836)

  2. AUSTRALIAN RAILWAYS UNION, VICTORIAN BRANCH
    Australian Railways Union, Victorian Branch
    [ Unpublished ]
    View online
    At Uni Melbourne Arch
    AUSTRALIAN RAILWAYS UNION, VICTORIAN BRANCH
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 639.081)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 639.081)

  3. AUSTRALIAN RAILWAYS UNION, VICTORIAN BRANCH
    Australian Railways Union, Victorian Branch
    [ Unpublished : 1887 ]
    View online
    At Uni Melbourne Arch
    AUSTRALIAN RAILWAYS UNION, VICTORIAN BRANCH
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 637.82)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 637.82)

  1. Victorian Railways
    Victorian Railways
    Created by Waterbaby, 18 items.

    19th century Trustees, Management ETC

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 736.237)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 736.237)

  2. Victorian Railways
    Victorian Railways
    Created by Sirrocco, 1 item.

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 730.316)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 730.316)

  3. Victorian Railways
    Victorian Railways
    Created by graemesp, 2 items.

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 727.042)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 727.042)

  1. RAILWAYS (VICTORIAN AND QUEENSLAND BY-LAWS) ENABLING ACT, 1906.
    Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001) Friday 10 February 1928 [Issue No.19] p 721

    Government Gazette Notices

    ... RAILWAYS (VICTORIAN AND QUEENSLAND BY-LAWS) ENABLING ACT ... pursuance of the provisions of the Railways (Victorian and Queensland By-laws) Enabling Act, 1906, order ... 6976 words
    • Text last corrected on 24 January 2017 by bannang
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,425.804)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,425.804)

  2. INDEMNITY TO VICTORIAN RAILWAYS COMMISSIONERS FOR USE OF SIDING AT SEYMOUR.
    Commonwealth of Australia Gazette (National : 1901 - 1973) Thursday 29 November 1928 [Issue No.131] p 3272

    Government Gazette Notices

    ... INDEMNITY TO VICTORIAN RAILWAYS COMMIS SIONERS FOR USE OF SIDING AT SEYMOUR. rnHE Governor ... and on behalf of the Commonwealth an Indemnity to the Victorian Railways Commissioners in respect of ... 476 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,138.62)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,138.62)

  3. GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS. GREAT SOUTHERN, WESTERN, AND RICHMOND RAILWAYS.
    New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 - 1900) Thursday 3 February 1881 [Issue No.48 (SUPPLEMENT)] p 653

    Government Gazette Notices Illustrated

    ... Department of Public Works, Kailwoy Branch, Sydney, 27th January, 1881. GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS. Great ... Southern, Western, and Richmond Railways. Jj^IS Excellency the Governor, with the advice of tlio Executive ... 129642 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,091.985)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,091.985)

  1. Victorian railways to '62 / by Leo J. Harrigan
    Harrigan, Leo J
    [ Book, Audio book : 1962-2004 ]
    Languages: English;Undetermined, [1 other]
    At 26 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,047.715)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 1,047.715)

  2. Life on the Victorian Railways / Nick Anchen
    Anchen, Nick
    [ Book : 2014 ]
    At 25 libraries
    Life on the Victorian Railways / Nick Anchen
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 968.82)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 968.82)

  3. Enginemen of the Victorian railways / Nick Anchen
    Anchen, Nick
    [ Book : 2011-2013 ]
    Possibly online
    At 22 libraries
    Enginemen of the Victorian railways / Nick Anchen
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 922.577)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 922.577)

  4. Romance of Victorian railways / Patsy Adam-Smith
    Adam-Smith, Patsy, 1926-2001
    [ Book : 1980-1983 ]
    At 21 libraries
    Romance of Victorian railways / Patsy Adam-Smith
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 814.442)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 814.442)

  1. VICTORIAN RAILWAYS.
    Northern Territory Times and Gazette (Darwin, NT : 1873 - 1927) Friday 23 June 1899 p 3 Article
    ... VICTORIAN RAILWAYS. Nearly fifteen thousand applications have been received from persons wish ... -ing to obtain positions on the Victorian railways. There are only three hundred and eighty ... 33 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 2,858.454)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 2,858.454)

  2. VICTORIAN RAILWAYS.
    The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954) Saturday 2 July 1881 p 10 Article
    ... VICTORIAN RAILWAYS. TENDERS are invited for the supply of 18,250 tons of 50 lbs. 60 lbs., and 75lbs ... Rails and Fishplates," must be deposited in the Railway Tender Box, Crown Lands Office, Treasury Gardens ... 111 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 2,858.454)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 2,858.454)

  3. VICTORIAN RAILWAYS.
    The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Thursday 8 October 1891 p 3 Article
    ... Victorian Railways. Separate TENDERS arc invited for the under-mentioned works, &c. Tenders ... , Korumburra. Par-tlculars at the railway storekeepers office, 527 Col-lins street, and at Korumburra station ... 144 words
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 2,858.454)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 2,858.454)