Settlement History
The Railway at Clyde 1888-1993

The first section of the Great Southern Railway (from Dandenong 49½ miles to Korumburra) was let to Falkingham and Sons for £ 502,542. Work commenced in February 1887 and more than 500 men began clearing scrub, building embankments and bridges along the first stage to Lang Lang. By October, 1887 the line had been laid as far as Cranbourne but was not opened to Tooradin until September, 1888. A cutting was dug just beyond Ballarto Road and the soil was used to build an embankment to get a permissible rising grade from the flat country around Tooradin.

For the early trains it was a long climb from the flats to the top of the Clyde Watershed, rising nearly 100 ft. between Tooradin and Clyde stations. During the years 1888 - 1914 the level crossing gates were continually manned at the Ballarto Road level crossing. At Clyde the station attracted settlement – homes, shops, businesses and moved the centre of activity from North Clyde to Clyde.

On the opening of the rail line to Tooradin a twice daily service was established to Dandenong departing at 7.32 a.m. to connect with trains to the city at Dandenong. Shortly after the opening to Korumburra a service, operating in both directions, known as the 'Midday' came into operation. The 'Midday' was a goods service with a passenger carriage attached.

Between 1910 and 1954 an express passenger service operated between Nyora and Dandenong with one stop at Koo-wee-rup. This service was suspended in the 1930's and 40's due to shortages of coal in the depression and war years. In 1958 the express service was resumed and extended to Yarram.

Due to increased rail traffic on the line from about 1910 when the line reached Wonthaggi, where the coalmine had been operating since 1909, modifications were made at Clyde to speed the transport of coal. Regrading of the Clyde Bank took place in 1914-15 when the cutting was deepened, and using soil from Lang Lang station yard the grade was reduced to 1 in 110. During the re-grading operation a temporary station was built about 150 yards from the Clyde-Berwick Road level crossing and the Clyde siding and railhead was modified to provide two side tracks below the previous rail level. At this time the level crossing gates at Ballarto Road were replaced by an overhead bridge.

From 1913 an early morning goods service with passenger carriage departed Nyora, collecting freight along the way and aiming to connect with Melbourne services at Dandenong. On Tuesdays (Dandenong Market Day) however two stops were made to collect trucks of cattle for sale at the market and often the Melbourne connections were not made.

To enable a more efficient operation of the increasing number of trains running from Dandenong to Nyora the Selector Train Control System was introduced in 1924. This was the first installation of such a system in Victoria.

Prior to 1928 when motor transport began collecting milk at farms in Clyde, milk cans were brought to the station where one of the services would deliver the milk to the city. Around this time the Clyde railhead was a hive of activity and many other freight items were consigned. Sand for bricklaying, moulding sand, wheat, oats, hay, chaff, wool, cream, butter, eggs, potatoes, peas, onions and even mushrooms (up to 15 cases in season) are some examples. Sheep and cattle were often trucked in and out and the Melbourne Hunt Club took advantage of the rail facilities to bring their horse and hounds to Clyde for hunts. Train services onwards from the 1930’s enabled the daily travel of students attending Dandenong High School.

During the 1920's the government along with Railways sponsored the BETTER FARMING TRAIN, which stopped at railway stations providing lectures, demonstrations, on dairying, breeding, cooking, infant welfare and poultry. The Better Farming train came to Clyde in 1930.
Look at this video link, Better Farming Train, for more information

In addition to general freight sand was carted from the Bunyip River for the Plowright, and Koo-wee-rup Waterwashed Sand Companies who operated from 1926-32.
The line from Cranbourne to Leongatha was closed in 1993. Passenger services to Clyde discontinued on 6 June, 1981

The Railway Made a Difference -comments by Perce Hardy written about 1978
After the South Gippsland Railway was built transport problems were greatly reduced. Practically all produce and stock were carried by rail, and the railway station became busier as the years advanced.

At one period there was a staff of Station Master, assistant Station Master, Operating Porter and Porter.

The main produce was, of course, whole milk and cream, also potatoes, onions, oaten chaff, building sand and live stock.
Road transport has now replaced the railway and outward freight is now almost non-existent.

more >..

Railway Bridge and Cutting
Railway Employees List of Names
Perce Hardy remembers the Melbourne Hunt Club coming by train to Clyde
Train accident - Fred Hook
The Milk Dock at Flinders Street Station (photos and historic details)

Train Kills Cow at 50 Miles an hour
CLYDE, Saturday.-When travelling at 80 miles an hour the early morning down motor train to Korumburra ran into a cow at the "Muddy Gates" crossing. The cow was killed, the cattle pit torn up, the fence broken, and the cow-catcher in front of the motor damaged. After a short delay the train was driven on.
The Argus Monday 18 June 1934

Overtaken By A Train
TOORADIN, Saturday. -Whilst travelling on his railway tricycle between Clyde and Tooradin on Saturday morning, Mr Joseph McComb, a ganger on the line, had a providential escape from death. At a point where the line is carried on a viaduct, raised some 5ft or 6ft above the ground level McComb who is somewhat deaf was overtaken by the 6.30 a.m. train from Melbourne. He discovered its approach only in time to hastily spring from the tricycle, it the same time dragging it with him. Falling from the viaduct to the ground he was struck by the tricycle, but luckily escaped with nothing more serious than some severe bruises.
The Argus Tuesday 17 January 1905

more>>railway bridge

2. South Gippsland Railway:
3. Cranbourne:,_Melbourne
4. The Good Country – Appendices Notes on Railway Construction C. Einsiedel pp-275-283
5. The Good Country – Chap 10: Towns and Rail Tracks pp154-157
6. A Clyde History
7. Mark Bau's Victorian Railways Website
8. The South Gippsland Railway Volunteers Group