Victoria - Colonial period: 1854-1900.
The lines to the north-east of Melbourne

The construction details which can be gleaned from Reports are summarised within each Branch:

  1. the Whittlesea branch;
  2. the Kangaroo Ground branch;
  3. the Lilydale branch

1. The Whittlesea branch

The branch was commenced with the telegraph line being constructed from Collingwood to Northcote and Preston in 1876. This line was extended from Preston to Morang, Yan Yean, Hazelglen and Whittlesea in 1878.

In 1887 the line linked Clifton Hill and Northcote to South Preston and then to Preston

In 1890, component lines were:

Line 70: Melbourne through Fitzroy, Collingwood, Clifton Hill to Northcote.

Line 80: Melbourne through Northcote, Preston, South Preston, Morang, Yan Yean to Whittlesea (with telephones in a parallel circuit).

At some stage, Pheasant Creek was added to the Whittlesea Branch line.

2. The Kangaroo Ground branch

The Mercury of 15 July 1876 noted: "Now the telegraph lines are completed to Preston, the men are employed in laying down the posts for the line to Heidelberg, along the Heidelberg Road, through Alphington and Ivanhoe".

Towards the end of 1876, tenders were called "to provide and erect telegraph poles between Heidelberg and the Post Office at Eltham".

In 1887 there was an extension of the line from Heidelberg to Diamond Creek (via Greensborough). In 1890, the Telegraph line was Line 38: Melbourne through Collingwood, Heidelberg, Eltham to Kangaroo Ground (with a parallel telephone circuit).

The Hurstbridge railway line from Melbourne commenced service in 1888 and it ran from Collingwood through Victoria Park, Fairfield, Heidelberg, Greensborough, Macleod and Eltham to Hurstbridge.


3.The Lilydale branch.

A telegraph line was constructed from Kew via Camberwell to Lilydale in 1876 by Mr. G. W. Owen.

In 1890, this line was Line 64: Melbourne through Richmond, Kew, Hawthorn, Box Hill, Mitcham, Lilydale to Healesville. It later included Ringwood.

Camberwell Railway Station was also on the Lilydale Branch as part of the Railway Circuit.