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Institution of Engineers, Australia
Engineering Heritage Branch
|Place:||Auditorium, Ground Floor, Engineering House,
21 Bedford Street, North Melbourne
|Time:||5.30 for 6.00 pm.|
The main railway line to Bendigo, [part of the Melbourne, Mount Alexander, and Murray
River Railway] built by the Victorian Government between 1856 and 1862, stands out from other sections
of the Victorian rail system due to its high standards and the major structures, tunnels, and earthworks
involved in its construction. The large viaducts at Malmsbury and Taradale and the lesser structures along
the line, together with the two major tunnels at Elphinstone and Big Hill, are fine examples of the best
engineering of the period. This has led many to the view that its conception and execution could not have
been from within the Colony at such an early stage in its development.
As I. K. Brunel for a time held the appointment as Inspecting Officer in England, a view has become common that he was responsible for the railway's design. This talk, based on an examination of reports published by the Victorian Parliament, will show that this is not the case. The route and structures were the work of engineers then in Victoria. It identifies, and traces the background of, the engineers who were involved, engineers who brought their skills to the Colony, following the collapse of the 'railway mania' that gripped Britain in the period from 1844 to 1850, when they sought opportunities for employment outside of Britain.
Brian Harper, a civil engineer, is the current Chair of EHA (Vic). He is now a Fellow in the History and Philosophy of Science Department, University of Melbourne where he is pursuing his interest in the history of civil engineering looking at 19th century developments in engineering practice.
|Presented By:||Engineering Heritage Australia (Victoria) |
|Cost:||Free of Charge|
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