Railway Pier – A New Pier

With the discovery of gold in the 1850s, Victoria’s population exploded. Thousands of hopefuls came pouring into Melbourne. The previous system of ferrying people and luggage upriver from ships anchored in Hobsons Bay or dropping them on the beach to travel overland to Melbourne was now completely inadequate. The expense of double handling and loss of goods was a signal that a new solution was needed.

The Melbourne and Hobsons Bay Railway Company conceived of a scheme to link Melbourne to the bay with a rail line and a large, deep water pier in Hobsons Bay. Due to its proximity to Melbourne, the swampland of Sandridge (Port Melbourne) was chosen for the location of this new pier, which became known as Railway Pier. It was opened in 1854.

It was very affecting to see those who had friends waving handkerchiefs and weeping as they gazed at them perhaps for the last time on earth.Anne Gratton, migrated from England in 1858

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