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Newport Railway Workshops

Fronting Champion Road, Williamstown, these workshops, established in 1882 using an annexe transported from the 1880 International Exhibition site, were initially involved in carriage repairs and assembly of imported locomotives. Extensions during 1884-93 permitted construction of locomotives, 536 by 1962, including the Spirit of Progress. Covering 22 acres (8.8 ha) and at times employing over 5000, the workshops diversified into electric trains and a variety of rolling stock, and were further modified during World War II to make aircraft, machine-gun carriers, tug-boat hulls and a range of munitions and ordnance parts. A major employment, training and political site for almost a century, and an important focus for the development of advanced engineering processes, the 1880s workshops ceased operation in 1992. Some parts of the complex are listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.

Mike Williams