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Listed under:  Technologies  >  Transport  >  Transport networks

Steam transportation in Australia

Steam generated the principal form of mechanical power for Australia's transport systems from the second half of the 19th century until the widespread adoption of the internal combustion engine in the 20th century. This collection of digital curriculum resources is organised into six categories - steam trains; river steamers; ...


Australasian Gazette - Conversion, c1920

This silent black-and-white clip shows newsreel coverage of the conversion to electric power of a cable tram system in Melbourne. It shows work commencing on tracks on Victoria Parade, including shots of a mechanical pothole digger excavating holes for the power poles, and men installing the poles. A new electric tram is ...


Aerial view of the Sunshine Harvester Works, 1928

This is a black-and-white aerial photograph of the Sunshine Harvester Works, located at Sunshine in Melbourne's west, in 1928. At centre right is Hampshire Road, with the factory area visible to the left of it, and offices to the right. Hampshire Road is bisected by Devonshire Road, which runs diagonally from the top left ...


Aerial drawing of the Sunshine Harvester Works, c1910-14

This is a black-and-white drawing, created some time between 1910 and 1914, showing an elevated view of the Sunshine Harvester Works in Melbourne. It depicts three railway branch lines running into the factory. On the railway line extending to the lower far right is a machine-loaded train exiting the factory at Russell ...


Ivan Kucan and friends sitting in a tram shelter at Flinders Street in Melbourne, 1951

This is a black-and-white photograph of Ivan Kucan, who had recently immigrated to Australia, and friends. They are sitting in a tram shelter at Flinders Street, Melbourne, in 1951.

Interactive Resource

Railway systems of Australia 1880-89 - SpatialGenie map layer

This is a historical map of the railway systems of Australia, published c1889, showing the different railway lines, which operated largely to join mining and agricultural centres to the coasts. Students use the spatial visualisation tool, SpatialGenie, to explore this map as spatial data. They can investigate this map alone ...

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A smarter future car

Over about 125 years the automobile has only experienced minor changes, but now our cramped and clogged cities demand a smarter car. In this clip from 2010, see how the automobile is being adapted to make our cities more efficient.

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Rise of the machines: drones

Wireless technology and mobile phones mean that people and places are more connected than at any other stage in our history. Now get ready for the next technological revolution - remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) or 'drones'. However, not everyone supports this technology. Hear about some of the concerns.

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Rise of the machines: using drones

Remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) or 'drones' are shaping up as the next technological revolution. In the US, a relaxation of the laws relating to their civilian use means that drones may have a broader application. Find out about their potential uses.

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Bike use in Europe is streets ahead

In the German city of Leipzig, it seems as if almost everyone rides a bike. Like many European cities, Leipzig is 'bike friendly' and its residents have taken full advantage. In this clip, the reporter shows us why Europe is streets ahead when it comes to encouraging bike use and investigates what it might take for Australian ...

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Fast trains

A proposed fast train route between Sydney and Canberra could cut down rail travel times from nearly five hours to one. The project is costly and won't be available for about 20 years. Will the economic, social and environmental benefits of such a project be worth the costs?

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Battle of the Hastings megaport

Might the port of Hastings on Western Port Bay become Victoria's second container port? In May 2013 the Victorian Government put aside money for preparatory work on developing it. In this clip from the same year, hear a range of views from experts and community representatives about whether Hastings is a suitable location ...


The Golden West, 1940: Trans-Australian Railway

This silent clip shows the Trans-Australia Express and the Nullarbor Plain in 1940 and is part of a travelogue of a train journey made by Will Alma. It begins with shots of drivers and engineers making adjustments to two locomotives, followed by an image of a map on which a line is traced from Kalgoorlie to Port Pirie. ...


Repairing a truck on the Nullarbor in 1915

This is a 1915 black-and-white photograph showing a man and a woman working to repair a truck while another man looks on. The whole rear axle and wheels have been removed from the vehicle and spare tyres lie on the ground. The photograph was taken somewhere on the Nullarbor, along the route of the Trans-Australian Railway ...


Felling giant karri in Western Australia in 1929

This is an excerpt from the silent black-and-white documentary 'The golden west' filmed in Western Australia in 1929. A highly decorated intertitle, 'Down among the big timbers the giants of the forest are fashioned into many things for many lands. "Come to the West - 1929"' is followed by scenes showing the felling of ...


Transporting giant karri logs in 1929

This is an excerpt from the silent black-and-white documentary 'The golden west' filmed in Western Australia in 1929. It comprises two scenes: the first shows a steam train reversing down a slope pulling flat wagons carrying eight huge karri trunks and the second shows the train pulling into a sawmill yard for unloading. ...


Locomotive on its delivery run to Melbourne, 1954

This is a black-and-white photograph of a new B-class locomotive on its delivery run to Victorian Railways. The locomotive is suspended by a large gantry crane while workers use a traction engine to change the standard gauge bogie (one of a pair of pivoted trucks supporting a railway locomotive) to a broad gauge bogie, ...


Wool transported by train from Hesso in 1918

This is a black-and-white photograph of neatly stacked bales of wool being transported on a flat-bed railway truck from Hesso, a locality on the Stuart Highway 51 kilometres north of Port Augusta, South Australia, in October 1918.


Vietnamese tram workers, 1979

This is a black-and-white photograph taken on 17 July 1979 at the Kew depot of the Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board (MMTB), showing five MMTB employees who are posing for a photograph to accompany a magazine article. The man holding the rope leading to a trolley pole on the roof of the tram is Mr Vin Hurley, a ...


Cutting up logs at a sawmill in Pemberton in 1946

This is a 1946 photograph of two men operating a mechanical belt-driven circular saw to cut a large half-log lengthways in a sawmill at Pemberton, Western Australia.