A History of the Australian Railway

From the time of settlement until the mid 1800s, settlers travelled by foot, horseback, horse-drawn wagon, or camel. The only alternative in those days was coastal shipping. A new era began in 1854 when the first steam train commenced operation in Australia, an era in which railway construction expanded rapidly in all of the country’s independent colonies. The earliest railways were built in the 1850s. Originally, rail tracks and carriages were imported from England and Ireland, but by the 1880s both track, carriages, and steam locomotives were manufactured locally.