Otways railways buff launches a new book

Railway enthusiast Norman Houghton launched his book detailing the history of Otways railways yesterday and The Colac Herald has two signed copies to give away.

THE RISE and fall of an Otways railway network features in a new book.

Railways buff Norman Houghton launched his new book End of the Line yesterday, at the centenary celebration of the Old Beechy Rail Trail.

Mr Houghton has written 30 historical publications, many with a focus on the golden era of railways in the Otways.

His latest book covers the history of the Beech Forest to Crowes extension railway, which began in 1911.

“A lot of people now know the significance of the railways, it really was the best technology of the day and was the lifeblood of the area,” Mr Houghton said.

“And this book goes into the economic circumstances of the railway, how it benefitted the whole community and enabled sawmillers to cut down timber and send it off to market,” he said.

“But after the boom of the ‘20s came the downturn – the market collapsed because of the depression and the service fell on hard times.”


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