The idea of a railway connecting Melbourne to the Mornington Peninsula was first suggested in the 1870s, but it wasn’t until 1889 that the Mornington Railway was officially opened. The railway was initially built to connect Frankston to Mornington, a distance of about 16 km. The journey from Melbourne to Mornington took about two and a half hours, and passengers had to change trains at Frankston.
The Mornington Railway was primarily used for transporting goods, such as timber, fruit, and fish, to Melbourne. However, it soon became a popular mode of transport for locals and tourists, especially during the summer months.
The Impact of the Railway
The opening of the Mornington Railway had a significant impact on the town’s economy and social life. With easier access to Melbourne, Mornington became a popular destination for day-trippers and holidaymakers. The railway also made it easier for local farmers to transport their produce to Melbourne, which helped boost the local economy.
The railway station became a hub of activity, with tourists and locals bustling in and out of town. Many businesses, such as hotels, restaurants, and shops, opened up around the station, catering to the influx of visitors. The railway also provided employment opportunities, with many locals working as train drivers, station attendants, and maintenance staff.
The railway had a profound impact on the town’s development, with new suburbs popping up along the railway line. The suburbs of Mount Eliza, Mount Martha, and Moorooduc owe their development to the railway, as it made it easier for people to commute to Melbourne for work.
The Decline of the Railway
Despite its initial success, the Mornington Railway began to decline in the mid-20th century. With the rise of the automobile, more people began to travel by car rather than train. The railway was also facing financial difficulties, and it became increasingly difficult to maintain the aging infrastructure.
In 1981, the Mornington Railway was closed permanently, much to the disappointment of locals and tourists. The railway station and surrounding buildings were sold off, and the railway line was dismantled. Today, the former railway station is home to a shopping center, and the surrounding area has been developed into a bustling commercial hub.
The Mornington Railway played a significant role in the town’s development, connecting Mornington to Melbourne and boosting the local economy. The railway brought tourists and holidaymakers to the town, and it helped local farmers transport their produce to Melbourne. The railway station became a hub of activity, with businesses and suburbs popping up along the railway line.
Although the Mornington Railway is no longer in operation, its legacy lives on in the town’s history and culture. The railway remains an important part of Mornington’s identity, and it serves as a reminder of the town’s rich history and the important role that transportation played in its development.