C1887

A Viaduct of the Adelaide and Melbourne Railway

Colonial engraving of the viaduct on the eastern line that passes through the Adelaide hills. The last train to pass over the viaduct was on 11 August 1919. When the line through the hills to connect Adelaide with the eastern … Read Full Description

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Details

Full Title:

A Viaduct of the Adelaide and Melbourne Railway

Date:

C1887

Artist:

Unknown

Condition:

In good condition.

Technique:

Hand coloured engraving.

Image Size: 

125mm 
x 100mm
AUTHENTICITY
A Viaduct of the Adelaide and Melbourne Railway - Antique View from 1887

Genuine antique
dated:

1887

Description:

Colonial engraving of the viaduct on the eastern line that passes through the Adelaide hills.

The last train to pass over the viaduct was on 11 August 1919. When the line through the hills to connect Adelaide with the eastern colonies was first decided upon in 1878 it was realised that it would be a massive task. The first section from the city to Mount Lofty required the construction of eight tunnels and two bridges. The viaduct was in two sections; the first was 360 feet long and stood 100 feet above a gully and linked two tunnels, the second was 260 feet long and stood 78 feet high. The tunnels were dug by navvies wielding picks and shovels and they were paid 7 shillings a day for their efforts although this was raised to 7s 4½d after a strike in 1881. Gangs began the longest tunnel of 400 yards from both ends and met in the middle. This section of the line opened in 1883 and it was another four years before the first train ran to Melbourne. When the heavier locomotives came into operation the viaduct was deemed unsafe and a line skirting the gullies and a new and longer tunnel was built through Sleeps Hill.

Reference; Tom Dyster, Pump in the Roadway, Investigator Press, 1980, pp.76-8.

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