Friday, December 28, 2007

Lost Train Lines #3 Rosstown Railway

The Rosstown Railway was a privately owned railway line that linked Oakleigh to Elsternwick, with 3 stations in between - Sugar Works, Booran Road, Hawthorn Road and Garden Vale.

William Ross had a vision of building "The Rosstown Project" which was a large sugar beet mill, attached housing estate and a railway to service the mill.
But, like Henry Dendy and his vision of the Brighton Estate, it all went belly up.

Ross began building the mill in 1875 and was still petitioning for government support until 1878 when his railway was given the go-ahead from the Victorian Parliament, with the condition it had to be completed within 5 years.

Except he was seriously in debt by this time and poor old Ross was struggling to raise money to start construction, which finally began in 1883.
With to-ing and fro-ing Ross got an extention which he was still unable to meet and the one and only passenger train the Rosstown Railway ever carried trundled off from Elsternwick to Oakleigh station on November 14, 1888.

Ross's sugar beet mill was never put to use; it was locally known as "Ross's Folly" and eventually torn down after his death.
The tracks were pulled up and sold interstate with the railway land being either sold to housing developers or made into linear parks.

Further information and map HERE

Rosstown Railway Heritage Trail and map HERE

More information on Rosstown HERE


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