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A diesel locomotive crosses Moorooduc Highway in February 2007
The Mornington Railway is a heritage railway near Mornington, a town on the Mornington Peninsula, near Melbourne, Victoria. The line is managed by the Mornington Railway Preservation Society and operates on part of the former Victorian Railways branch line which ran from Baxter to Mornington.
The Mornington railway line was a rural railway branching off from the Stony Point railway line at Baxter. The line operated for 92 years before closing. Ten years later the line was reopened as a heritage railway.
- 1888—In August the contract for building the line was given to David Munro for £25,000. A spur-line was built to Moorooduc quarry to transport stone for the construction of the line.
- 1889—Baxter to Mornington railway line opened on 10 September.
- 1981—The line was closed.
- 1984—The Mornington Railway Preservation Society (MRPS) was formed.
- 1991—The line was reopened as a heritage railway.
- 2014—The Mornington railway Celebrated 30 years of Operation and 125 of the Mornington line
- 2015—The Mornington railway had W241 7CV received from 707operations and Seymour railway Heritage centre and had 59RM sent to DERMPAV for eventual restoration
- 2016—The Mornington railway received Red hens 311 and 402, 19 and 36BE, and several GYs from the now defunct South Gippsland Railway
- 2017— they Obtained Melville for the SRHC
Mornington Railway Preservation Society
The Mornington Railway Preservation Society (MRPS) was formed out of a public meeting in 1984 with the objective of securing access to the then-closed Mornington railway line. The vision was to reopen it as a heritage railway, focusing on the operation of steam-hauled passenger trains. In 1991 the MRPS was granted a State Government Order in Council, giving access and operating rights to the line, so it could be operated as a heritage railway.
Prior to the granting of the Order in Council to the MRPS, the final section of the line between Rail Motor Stopping Place (RMSP) 16 and the former Mornington terminus (which was considered to have significant commercial value) was sold by the State Government to private investors. The track and infrastructure in this section was removed and some parcels of the land were subsequently developed, including an extension to the Mornington Bush Nursing Hospital and a new shopping complex erected on the site of the former Mornington station. A commemorative plaque and replica station nameboard erected by Mornington Historical Society adjacent to the shopping centre are now the only visible evidence of the original terminus.
The 70-foot (21.34 m) turntable from Mornington Station was removed by SteamRail Victoria, who had been the custodians of it by arrangement with the State Government up until the time the site was sold. The turntable was later overhauled by SteamRail and re-installed at Warrnambool where it is still in use (it was required there to enable R class steam locomotives to be turned at that location). SteamRail have offered the MRPS a 53-foot (16.15 m) turntable (formerly from Yea) as a substitute, which will be suitable to turn K, J, D3 and Y class locomotives. These are the only steam locomotive classes considered likely to operate on the line in the foreseeable future.
The station building at Mornington was made available to the MRPS for re-use, but was found to be infested with termites, and largely unusable. The MRPS was able to recover most of the points and some track from the station yard before it was demolished. These will eventually be used to build additional sidings at Moorooduc station, the main operating centre on the railway. Two palm trees which graced the garden in front of the original station building for many years were relocated to the new station site, but did not survive the transplanting in their new location.
At present the heritage railway runs between Moorooduc station and the completely new Mornington station, which is sited at Yuilles Road in Mornington, 100m from the site of RMSP 16. This station was opened formally on Sunday 18 April 1999, as just a platform for pull-push working. A runaround loop was added at a later stage. There is an intermediate stop at Tanti Park station. Plans are for the remaining section of line between Moorooduc station and Baxter station to be restored. The Peninsula Link freeway has been constructed with an overpass over the line to allow for continued operation and may even assist future operations to Baxter by removing significant traffic from the Moorooduc Highway level crossing.
The MRPS is in possession of four former Victorian Railways K class steam locomotives, K 163 (formerly plinthed in Frankston), K 177 (donated by Langi Morgala Museum in Ararat), K 159 (formerly plinthed in Hamilton) and K 191 (formerly plinthed in Wangaratta). K 163 is the only one currently in service. K 177 is under heavy restoration, and K 191 has been disassembled for inspection and long term restoration.) The MRPS also has two T class diesel locomotives (T334 and T411) and a Victoria Railways rail tractor.
Tourist trains run on the first three Sundays of each month between Moorooduc and Mornington railway stations, although the current Mornington station is displaced somewhat due to the original alignment having been built over.
|K159||1940||Victorian Railways Newport Workshops||Stored||Previously plinthed in a park in Hamilton in country Victoria. Stored for possible future restoration. A locomotive was reassembled as a composite of unrestorable parts from K159, K174 and K177; this unnumbered locomotive is now displayed at K159's previous home in the park at Hamilton.|
|K163||1941||Victorian Railways Newport Workshops||Operational||Was plinthed in a park in Frankston after withdrawal from service by the Victorian Railways. Restored to steam by the MRPS in 1985, it saw mainline service until early to Mid '90s. It was then booked for its 25-year overhaul in 2005 and returned to service 2010. In 2016 it wore K177 plates for the 75th Birthday of K177.|
|K174||1941||Victorian Railways Newport Workshops||Completely disassembled/scrapped||Salvaged from static display in Edinburgh Gardens, Fitzroy North by the MRPS in 1997. The locomotive as a whole was in very poor condition and unrestorable, however numerous components have been used in the restoration of K177 (including the frames).|
|K177||1941||Victorian Railways Newport Workshops||Under restoration||Donated to the Mornington Railway by Langi Morgala Museum in Ararat. Under heavy restoration, using parts from other locomotives (including K174). As the restored locomotive uses the frames from K174, it would normally have been known by that number; however the Mornington Railway wished to honour their agreement with the Langi Morgala Museum to restore a locomotive with the number K177.|
|K191||1946||Victorian Railways Newport Workshops||Stored dismantled||Formerly plinthed in a park in Wangaratta. Brought to Mooorooduc in 2001 for eventual restoration, its boiler is now in use in K163.|
|T334||1956||EMD/clyde NSW||Out of service||was painted pink in 1985|
|T411||1968||EMD/clyde NSW||Operational||has a 567C motor and is painted in MTR Blue yellow and grey|
|W241||1959||EMD/Clyde NSW||Under restoration||Class leader|
|311||1955||Islington Railway Workshops||Pending Movement||Ex–South Gippsland railway|
|402||1955||Islington Railway Workshops||Pending Movement||Ex-South Gippsland railway|
|TC1||Unknown||Unknown||Operational||Ex-BHP, is named Bob Parnell|
- "Mornington Railway - Steam Train Operations". www.morningtonrailway.org.au. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
- "K 174 - Salvaged from Edinburgh Gardens, Fitzroy". Australian Steam - Preserved Steam Locomotives Down Under. Retrieved 1 February 2012.