Australia 2004 150th Anniversary of Railways in Australia
- Issue Date : 7 September 2004
- Designed by : Ned Culic
- Printed by : SNP Sprint
- Print Process : Lithography
- Stamp size: 37.5mm x 26mm
- 1 Description
- 2 Stamps
- 2.1 Sheet Stamps
- 2.2 Self-Adhesive Stamps
- 3 First Day Covers
- 4 Prestige Booklet
- 5 Maximum Cards
- 6 Presentation Pack
This issue commemorates the 150th Anniversary of Australian Railways. The first steam propelled train on a railway, ran between Flinders Street, Melbourne & Sandridge (Port Melbourne) which officially opened on 12 September 1854. Further railways followed in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. Within 25 years, all colonies had some form of railway; New South Wales' first railway, opened in 1855, ran from Sydney to Parramatta; Queensland's first railway was a section of the Ipswich to Toowoomba line and opened in 1865. This was the world's first narrow-gauge mountain railway. The 1890's Gold Rush in Western Australia produced a number of rail lines including the Eastern Goldfields Railway in 1896.
- Perforations : 14 x 14¾
- Formats: Sheets of 50 (two panes of 25 separated by printed gutter)
Melbourne – Sandridge 1854 Stamp
The locomotive on the stamp represents one of the four Stephenson 2-4-0 well tanks that commenced running on the Melbourne to Sandridge line from 25 December 1854. The train is represented at Flinders Street station with small ships sailing on the Yarra River in the background.
Sydney – Parramatta 1855 Stamp
This stamp depicts Locomotive No. 1, which is regarded as the first locomotive in New South Wales. Although it was under repair on the day of the official opening (26 September 1855) it had been on a trial run transporting passengers from Sydney station to the Long Cove viaduct on 24 May that year. The stamp design is based on the restored Locomotive No. 1 now housed in the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. The locomotive was one of two made by Robert Stephenson and Co. which was shipped from Britain the previous January. The carriages were supplied by Wright and Sons of Birmingham.
Helidon – Toowoomba 1867 Stamp
The stamp depicts the second section of the Ipswich − Toowoomba railway. This section ran from Helidon through the Great Dividing Range. The second section opened officially on 1 May 1867, just two years after the first section was opened. The second section ran over 46 km and required the building of 47 bridges, many of which were composite structures of iron girders resting on timber piers like the bridge shown in the stamp. The locomotive depicted on the stamp, a B12 class built by Kitson in Leeds in 1875, is representative of the pioneering engines on this line.
Kalgoorlie – Port Augusta 1917
The stamp depicts a G class train (from the 1930s) crossing the Nullabor on the transcontinental link. The design reminds us that this line includes the longest straight stretch of railway in the world, 478 km between Ooldea, South Australia and Nurina in Western Australia. The 1682 km track across the desert was completed in five years and opened in 1917. The track was especially significant as it allowed rail networks in other states to link.
Alice Springs – Darwin 2004
Illustrated on this stamp is the passenger locomotive known as “The Ghan” on its first trip through to Darwin in February 2004 In 1929 when the first Ghan left Adelaide for Alice Springs, it was intended that it would one day travel through to Darwin. In 2004 that dream has become reality. The Alice Springs to Darwin rail link opened officially in January 2004.
- Perforations : die cut 11¼ x 11½
- Formats: booklets of 10 and coils of 100
- Designs are lightened at edges.
Coil Strip of 5
First Day Covers
The first day of issue postmark was Port Melbourne VIC 3207.
The prestige booklet has five stamp panes, each with a block of four x 50c stamps. Each block will feature a single design. These single design blocks are exclusive to the booklets, and each pane’s border will be unique. Interleaved with the stamp panes will be pages of text about, and images of, trains.