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Australia's Railways

Australia's Railways by Ed Wright
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When Australia was first settled by Europeans in 1788, the worldwide railway boom was still 40 years away. When the railways finally came to Australia, they helped create new towns and alleviate the isolation of the outback. Communities began to consolidate in places where the rail came. In the cities the railway enabled the growth of commuter belt suburbs. They have been crucial to the development of Australian industry. Railways and associated industries were the biggest employers in Australia. The railways reached their pinnacle in the 1950s, but they have been disadvantaged by Australia’s sparsely distributed population and low density cities, the advancement of the motor vehicle, and air travel. Nonetheless, the future for our railways is not completely grim. While the romance of the long-distance passenger journey seems to have more tourist than utilitarian value, the growing population in Australia’s major cities, as well as the traffic and environmental problems caused by cars, means that urban railways are more vital than ever to the effective operation of cities. The railways also continue to play an important part in freighting the produce of Australia’s primary industries as well as in agriculture. Combined with the large number of heritage and tourist trains, these ensure that even today some of the romance of the railways remains.
Exisle Publishing; October 2015
91 pages; ISBN 9781921497094
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Title: Australia's Railways
Author: Ed Wright