This working steam model depicts one of two small locomotives built by Robert Stephenson & Sons of Newcastle, England, for shunting goods trucks on Railway Pier at Sandridge (now Port Melbourne). The engine depicted was built in 1857 for the Melbourne & Hobsons Bay Railway Company, which in 1854 had opened the first steam-powered railway in Australia to convey passengers and goods between Melbourne’s deepwater port and Flinders Street in the city centre. In 1878, the railway became part of the Government-owned Victorian Railways network with the pier shunting engine remaining in use until 1890.
The model was built in 1869 by James Satchell, an employee of Langlands Foundry Company in Melbourne. It was presented to the Victorian Railways by Professor Wilfred N. Kernot of The University of Melbourne in 1938 and later transferred to the Science Museum of Victoria.