Victoria - Colonial period: 1854 - 1900.
The Western Coast line.

The Western Coast line was formed very significantly by combining the section west of Warrnambool - which had been constructed for the first line to South Australia - with a direct link from Warrnambool to Geelong in the east. The line from Melbourne via Geelong was contained in the Half-Yearly Report to December 1858 by McGowan where he noted (page 6) the need to improve the telegraphic link with South Australia through the provision of a single wire of line direct from Melbourne via Geelong, Winchelsea, Colac, Camperdown and Warrnambool to connect at Portland with the line from Mt. Gambier. This section was also associated, in part, with the construction of the special security and humanitarian line from Geelong to Cape Otway which linked with the first cable from Tasmania.
Western coast

The first line to South Australia was constructed from Ballarat through Streatham to Hexham and then south to Warrnambool before running west to Portland then across the border to Mount Gambier.

When the Western line was being developed, the establishment of a Telegraph Office at Casterton was foreshadowed. The route for the second inter-colonial link then became closer to being a reality. Two lines were therefore constructed by separating the lines from Hexham - one north-west to Casterton and the other south to Warrnambool. It was then logical to construct the line east from Warrnambool.

The construction of this new line was undertaken in 1863 when the two intermediate offices were opened at Camperdown and Colac. At that time, the line ran direct to Geelong although, on 25 February 1874, the Telegraph Office at Winchelsea was opened near the point where the 1859 line ran through to Cape Otway.

On 2 October 1873, in a discussion in the Victorian Legislative Assembly, it was noted that

"a proposition which originated in this (Victorian Electric Telegraphs) Department, and which harmonises with the South Australian scheme, has been under consideration for construction of a short line from Camperdown or Terang to Mortlake and it has been decided to carry out this work, so that the South Australian business need not necessarily be transmitted by way of the coast stations. The effect of this will be that messages can then be sent between Melbourne and Adelaide via Hamilton and Casterton and along the line about to be constructed by the South Australian Government (from Penola) without being repeated at Mount Gambier as at present".

This line was therefore easy to form yet it was critical to the proper operations of telegraphic communications in Victoria. The traffic with South Australia was increasing very quickly and indeed this line was in constant for many hours each day.Details of the Portland to Hamilton line are provided elsewhere.

Other Telegraph Offices which were located near the Western Coast line and which are referenced elsewhere are: