Melbourne and Essendon Railway Company

The Melbourne and Essendon Railway Company built a railway line from North Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia to Essendon in 1860. It subsequently built a branch line from Newmarket to Flemington Racecourse in 1861. The company was taken over by the Government of Victoria in 1867 and it became part of Victorian Railways.

Motive power

One steam locomotive built for the Melbourne and Essendon Railway Company in 1862 was sold unused to New Zealand's Canterbury Provincial Railways. Upon arrival in New Zealand, it became the country's first locomotive to operate in revenue service. Withdrawn in 1876, its frame subsequently returned to Australia when it was purchased by the South Australian Railways and was used as part of the SAR's locomotive No. 54, which operated until 1904.[1]


  1. T. A. McGavin, Steam Locomotives of New Zealand, Part One: 1863 to 1900 (Wellington: New Zealand Railway and Locomotive Society, 1987), 9.

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