On the 18th August, 1896, the question of selecting localities for the permanent survey of a narrow-gauge line to Beech Forest from Colac was mooted. Two potential lines were examined. In a memorandum to the Minister for Railways, dated 23rd March, 1897, the Engineer-in-Chief recommended that the eastern and longer route via Lardner's Track be adopted. The second route, while identical from Colac to Gellibrand River, differed. By a more direct route the Beech Forest terminus is reached 5 miles sooner and cost approximately L24,500 less. The direct line would also serve a larger lot of settlers and would obtain a larger lot of traffic than the alternate proposal. The Parlimentary Standing Committee on Railways examined the proposal in situ and recommended that the direct route from Gellibrand to Beech Forest should be adopted and the Lardner's Track route should be abandoned at once.
Photograph, Railway Survey Camp, 4 April 1897. Inspection of alternative routes by Parliamentary Committee on Railways.
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People named in the photograph.