A Nation for a Continent vs Rail Networks for Its States: The Staggered Creation of Australia’s Transcontinental Transport Links

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapter

Abstract

In 1917, construction of the Trans Australian Railway made train travel from Perth to Sydney possible. However, this journey was complex and involved several train changes between lines of different gauges. A direct service between Perth and Sydney only began in 1970. In the nineteenth century, six Australian colonies constructed rail networks linking their capitals to their hinterlands using three different gauges. Following Australian federation in 1901, it has taken a century for anything resembling an integrated national rail network to be achieved—a process that is ongoing and controversial. This chapter considers the changing political and economic contexts in which the development of the colonial/state rail networks, the Trans Australia line, the Indian–Pacific route and the semblance of a single national rail network have occurred. It also considers the challenges posed by the construction and operation of transport routes through Australia’s arid and sparsely populated interior.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeography of Time, Place, Movement and Networks, Volume 4
Subtitle of host publicationMapping Time Transport Journeys
EditorsStanley Brunn
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherSpringer Nature Switzerland AG
Pages59-76
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-58037-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-58036-9, 978-3-031-58039-0
Publication statusPublished - 2024

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