Brochure for the Trans-Australia Railway, which includes a separate timetable for the Trans-Australia Railway express passenger service, dated 14 February 1966. The Trans-Australian Railway crosses the Nullarbor Plain of Australia from Port Augusta in South Australia to Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, and includes the world's longest stretch of dead-straight railway track, 478 kilometres in length.
Construction of the Trans-Australian Railway was a key commitment of the of the agreement that led to the formation of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901, helping to convince the Colony of Western Australia to join the Federation with Australia's five other colonies. Government legislation was passed in 1907 allowing surveying of the route to commence between existing rail heads at Kalgoorlie, in Western Australia, and Port Augusta, in South Australia, with the survey plans completed by 1909. A second Act authorising construction was passed by the Federal Parliament in 1911, with the planned route of 1,063 miles (1,711 km) of single track of standard gauge of 4 ft 8½ in (1,435 mm), to be built at an estimated cost of £4,045,000.
Preliminary construction work commenced at Kalgoorlie in January 1912, but it was not until 14th September 1912 that an official opening ceremony was held at Port Augusta, with Lord Denman, Governor General of Australia, turning the first sod. Shortages of man-power and steel rails during the First World War, together with the arid and isolated nature of the terrain to be crossed caused delays and slow progress, with the first through passenger train making the journey over three days on 22nd-24th October 1917. The Trans-Australian Railway was officially opened by Sir Ronald Crawford Munro Ferguson, Governor General of Australia on 12th November 1917. The Commonwealth Railways was established the same year to maintain and operate the route. The full transcontinental route between Sydney and Perth originally involved four breaks of gauge at Albury-Wodonga, Adelaide, Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie, requiring passengers to change trains each time, with a through standard gauge connection (via Broken Hill and Port Pirie) not finally completed until 1970.
Description of Content
TRANS-AUSTRALIAN RAILWAY 1966. INCLUDES TIMETABLE FOR THE EXPRESS PASSENGER SERVICE 14TH FEBRUARY 1966. FURTHER DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED
Folded paper with colour illustrations
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