The Kew railway was opened in 1887, and diverged from the main (Box Hill–Lilydale) line about half-way between Hawthorn and Glenferrie. From the point of divergence the line was slightly less than one mile long, and it had only one intermediate station — Barker. There were four road over-bridges and two level crossings, including one over the busy Barkers Road. The line supported a passenger and goods service, and was electrified in December 1922, at the same time as the main line to Box Hill. There were a number of peak hour services which ran from Flinders Street station (Melbourne) to Kew, but in 1938 all but one of these were diverted to the Ashburton line, where traffic was growing. This had an adverse effect on Kew traffic, as passengers from Kew needed to cross over a footbridge at Hawthorn to change trains, and the main line trains were usually already crowded by the time they reached Hawthorn. At about the same time the off-peak trains were replaced by road buses. In 1952 all passenger trains were withdrawn, but the road bus service continued for many years. Goods trains were finally withdrawn in 1957, and the railway was dismantled in 1958-59.
(Source: Frank Stamford, 'The Hawthorn - Kew Railway')
Small black and white snapshot of a train leaving Kew Station with the Xavier Chapel on the hill in the background, hence the ironic title provided by the photographer. The photograph, one of 12, is part of a larger album of newspaper clippings, timetables, tickets and photos relating to the Kew Railway Line, taken and compiled by Lachlan Richardson, while a resident of Kew. The album dates from the 1950s. The album is part of a larger subject file on the Kew Line, compiled over time by members of the Kew Historical Society.
Inscriptions & markings
"Farewell to 'Our Lady of Fatima'. Xavier College 22/4/51"