Historical information

One man lost his life during the building of this bridge. The bridge was constructed by the Victorian Railways between 1927 to 1929 to carry a new double track goods line. This enabled trains from all parts of the state except Gippsland to have direct access to the Tottenham marshalling and sorting yards. These yards were constructed in the 1920's to relieve congestion in the Melbourne Yard near Spencer Street station. The congestion was being caused by the construction of suburban passenger platforms associated with the electrification of the suburban railway network.

Initially the bridge was for goods trains but during the Second World War it was also used by troop trains. When the standard gauge line was built in 1962 all trains to Albury and Sydney have used this route, thus avoiding travelling through Essendon and Pascoe Vale on the suburban tracks. The standard gauge track across the bridge took the place of one of the broad gauge tracks so broad gauge trains crossing the bridge in either direction have to now use the same track.

The bridge is 1,257 feet (383.13 metres) long and 180 feet (54.86 metres) above the water level. It is just 63 feet (19.2 metres) short of a quarter mile in length between abutments. There is a similar bridge on the same railway line crossing the Moonee Ponds Creek between Gowenbrae and Glenroy, however it is smaller at 1060 feet (323.08 metres) length and 115 feet (35.05) height.


The bridge is now Victorian Heritage Registered under Number: H1197, and Heritage Overlay Numbers HO5, and HO107. On the Heritage Register it is named RAIL BRIDGE (ALBION VIADUCT).

According to the Heritage Report the bridge is scientifically and architecturally important because of its large size, and because of the cost effective design features such as two girders per span (one for each track), the K bracing in the towers, and the broad flange beams as columns. When it was being built it was the largest trestle bridge in Australia, and until the Sydney Harbour bridge was constructed it was the highest railway bridge.

Physical description

Five B&W yellowing photos showing stages of construction of the Maribyrnong River Viaduct known as the Trestle Bridge but mainly known locally as the QUARTER MILE BRIDGE. It is a railway only bridge which runs over the Maribyrnong River between Sunshine North and Keilor East.

A sixth image, which is not part of this set of photos, is included to show what the completed bridge looks like.