Maribyrnong River

Maribyrnong River
Line: Geelong and Warrnambool
Distance from Melbourne: 4.220 km
Track Diagram: View
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The bridge over what was then known as Saltwater River was built as part of the railway from Melbourne to Williamstown, and was the last part of the line to be completed. There have been three bridges on the site, two which remain today.

The first bridge was based on bridges built by Robert Stephenson in North Wales. A tubular iron structure, it had a single 200 foot long span supported by bluestone abutments at each end. It was built by George Holmes and company and the ironwork was ordered from England, but there was at least a 18 month lead time before it arrived in the country. The line finally opened in 1859 and the bridge remained the largest single span bridge until 1889.

In 1911 a replacement bridge was built, with a box girder steel truss span. The bluestone abutments were reused, and the bridge is still the longest single span railway bridge in Victoria.

With track amplification of the line to four tracks between South Kensington and Footscray, an additional bridge was opened in 1976. Located on the upstream side of the existing bridge, it has two spans made up of steel girders, with concrete abutments and a mid stream pylon.


Line Opened
January 17, 1859 Williamstown line finally completed to Melbourne. Geelong trains can now operate direct to Spencer Street Station
Track Amplified
(July 1, 1898) Line duplicated South Kensington to Footscray
November 21, 1976 Line quadruplicated South Kensington to Footscray



4 images found. Click them to enlarge.

River bridge looking east

January 25, 2009