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Scrip - Melbourne & Suburban Railway Co., Issued to David Scallan, Melbourne, Victoria, 5 Nov 1859 Document Reg. No: NU 48302

Alternative Name(s): Share Certificate, Scrip Certificate

Share Scrip for the Melbourne & Suburban Railway Company, issued to David Scallan of Melbourne, 5th November 1859. The Melbourne & Suburban Railway Company was incorporated by Act 21, Victoria, No.43, with a nominal capital £300,000 in 30,000 shares of £10 each. Share No.10521. Signed by Geo. W. Lilly, Secretary. Printed by Sands & Kenny, Stationers.

The Melbourne & Suburban Railway Company was originally formed in June 1857 to build Melbourne's first suburban railways to Hawthorn and Brighton, capitalising on the success of the Melbourne & Hobsons Bay Railway Company which had successfully opened Australia's first steam railway between Flinders Street and Port Melbourne (then Sandridge) on 12 September, 1854. Based on plans prepared by the prominent Melbourne engineer, A.K. Smith, the company received parliamentary authorisation in November 1857 and began construction of two lines from a new terminal station at Princes Bridge (opposite Flinders Street Station). The routes required the construction of two massive iron bridges across the Yarra River at Cremorne and Hawthorn, the cost of which were to cripple the company, which was under capitalised from the start. Services opened as far as Chapel Street (now Windsor Station) in December 1860 and to Hawthorn in April 1861, but construction costs had totalled £475,000 and the company failed to operate at a profit. In 1865, it merged with the Hobsons Bay Railway Company to form the Melbourne & Hobson's Bay United Railway Company, which did operate profitably but was subsequently acquired by the government owned Victorian Railways in 1878.

One of the problems that contributed to the demise of the Melbourne & Suburban Railway Company was that it effectively was competing directly with the rival St Kilda & Brighton Railway Company, also formed in June 1857, with plans to build a much lower cost railway to Brighton from the St Kilda terminus of the Melbourne & Hobsons Bay Railway Company. The line which crossed St Kilda Road on a long timber viaduct, opened on 19 December 1859, using borrowed locomotives and rollingstock. It too failed to make a profit, with operations being taken over by the Melbourne & Suburban Railway Company in May 1862, and the assets being purchased by the Melbourne & Hobsons Bay United Railway Company in September 1865.
Share scrip illustrated with a vignette featuring a steam locomotive and passenger train crossing an impressive iron-girder railway bridge with masonry abutments over a river on which their is a steamboat. Flanking either side of this are two figures - a surveyor or engineer and a railway construction worker or navy. Above is the British coat of arms and below a partially rolled plan showing the company's planned railway routes.
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 150 mm (Height), 237 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: plans, railway lines, rail transport, railways, share certificates, railway companies, railway construction, railway bridges
Themes this item is part of: Numismatics & Philately Collection, Transport Collection
On Display at: Melbourne Museum
Primary Classification: RAIL TRANSPORT
Secondary Classification: Railway Infrastructure - Permanent Way
Tertiary Classification: share scrip
Inscriptions: 'THE Melbourne & Suburban Railway Company, INCORPORATED BY ACT 21 VICTORIA, No.43. CAPITAL £300,000 IN 30,000 SHARES OF £10 EACH.'
'No. 10521 his is to Certify that .... David Sallan .... of ...... Melbourne .....is the Proprietor of the Share No.10521 in the Melbourne & Suburban Railway Company subject to the Regulations of the said Company Given under the Common Seal of the said Company the ... fifth ... day of ... November ... in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ... fifty nine ....'
'Entered in Register of Shareholders. .......... (undecipherable signature) SECRETARY.'
Shape: Rectangle
Issued By: Melbourne & Suburban Railway Company, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1859
Issued To: Mr David Scallan, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 05 Nov 1859
Printer: Sands & Kenny, Stationers, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, circa 1857
  1. [Book], L. Harrigan, The Victorian Railways to '62, Victorian Railways (VR) Public Relations & Betterment Board, Melbourne, 1962

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