At the end of World War 2, the Victorian Railways was in a parlous state, with rolling stock and track requiring major restoration. As part of the rejuvenation of the system, a review was undertaken and recommendations were made under the title of ‘Operation Phoenix’, which set out what would be required to restore health to the Victorian Railways.
The implementation of some of these recommendations brought about 2 decades of unprecedented change, where, over the course od the 1920s to the end of the 1960s, the Victorian Railways was transformed.
It was not only the change from steam locomotives to diesel electrics, but also electrification and the introduction of light weight railcars. There was also the closure or truncation of over 50 branch lines.
In this programme, utilising film from a number of sources, we look back at how the Victorian Railways looked in the early 1950s and the changes that occurred over the next 20 years. We feature the various types of steam locomotive that were in use at the time, along with their gradual demise, as well as the diesel and electric locomotives that replaced them.