Murtoa Railway Station

Explore History at the Murtoa Railway Station of which has been recently rejuvenated to its original charm.

Murtoa Railway Station’s history

The Murtoa Railway Station was opened by the Minister of Railways, Mr Woods on the 17th December 1878. It became a temporary terminus for the main western line until the next stage of the line was extended to Horsham in 1879. For a short period of time Murtoa was the most important town in the Wimmera.

A branch line to Warracknabeal was opened in 1886 and extended to Hopetoun and then Patchewollock in 1894. To service the ever increasing number of trains passing through Murtoa the locomotive yards were extended and an engine shed, coal stage, and a 40,000 gallon water tower were built.

By the late 1800’s, Murtoa became an important railhead, shipping large amounts of wheat, wool and livestock from surrounding areas. Passenger numbers had also grown to such an extent that a new platform was built on the town side of the station, and a footbridge was built in 1896 to take people over to the central platform.

With the increased number of passengers passing through Murtoa, the Railway Hotel was built across the road from the station in 1878 and a refreshment room was built on the main platform in 1906. In only a few years, Murtoa had grown from a simple wayside stop into a busy main line station with a branch line connection to the north.

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New industries to Murtoa

The Railway brought many new industries to Murtoa. W.C. Thomas & Sons built a new wheat silo and flour mill on railway land in 1899. The Wimmera Inland Freezing Company was built by 1912 to enable sheep and other livestock to be processed and exported to overseas markets in Railway iced vans.

To store the vast quantity of wheat that could not be exported during WWII, two large grain stores were built at a new railway siding called Marmalake. Number 1 grain store has been preserved and is called The Stick Shed. These industries and the railways were the life blood of Murtoa.

With the removal of passengers and general freight services to Murtoa through the 1980s and 1990s the Station gradually fell into disrepair. Fortunately, the Murtoa & District Historical Society stepped in and with assistance from Vic Track’s Community Use Program, the Station was fully restored in 2018 and opened as part of the historical precinct for community use in 2019.