Victoria - Colonial period: 1854-1900.
The Southern Coast lines.


The definition of the Southern Coast line changed significantly over time.

The original Southern Coast Line, as documented in the 31 December 1861 Annual Report, contained the Telegraph Stations at:

Cape Shank, Snapper Point, Sandridge, Williamstown, Geelong, Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale.

The Report for the year ending 31 December 1865 also included Melbourne on the Southern Coast line and Mornington (renamed from Snapper Point) was added in 1866.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the 1873 Report:

By 1880, the Southern Coast line included:

Williamstown, Geelong, Queenscliff, Sandridge, Sandridge West, Cape Shank and Flinders.

A new line was also defined - referred to as the Sorrento Branch. It included those stations in the Mornington Peninsula west of the Southern Coast line:

Portsea, Sorrento, Dromana, Mornington, Frankston, Mordialloc and Brighton.

By 1890, there were several lines replacing the old Southern Coast line as well as a line to and in the Mornington Peninsula and west of the Gippsland telegraph lines. Those lines which were not solely for telephones include:

Line 9: Melbourne through Williamstown, Newport test box, Werribee, Geelong, Drysdale to Queenscliff.

Line 33: Melbourne through Port Melbourne North, Port Melbourne West, Port Melbourne, Customs, Malvern Test Box, Mentone Racecourse, Mordialloc, Frankston, Mornington, Dromana, Cape Schank to Flinders.

Line 34: Malvern Test Box, Mordialloc, Frankston, Dromana to Flinders (duplex for Tasmanian business).

Line 35: Melbourne through Malvern test box, Mentone, Mordialloc, Frankston, Mornington, Dromana, Sorrento, Portsea through to the Quarantine Station.

Line 112: Melbourne through Newport test box, Werribee, Geelong, Geelong West, Market Square, Drysdale,Portarlington to Queenscliff.

 

Line to Point Lonsdale extended from the first line to Geelong.

Although there was a Telegraph Station at Queenscliffe in the late 1850s, there was clearly also a need for a station further south on the opening og Port Phillip Bay. For example,on 8 October 1859, the Williamstown Chronicle reported a telegram sent from Queenscliffe describing the grounding of the Pilot Schooner Anomyma about one mile from Port Lonsdale. Stores were taken from her and. although there had been no loss of life, the Schooner was a total wreck. Such communication was indirect and slow.