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History of PS Melbourne

P.S. Melbourne

The Paddle Steamer Melbourne was originally launched at Koondrook on the River Murray in 1912. Built for the Victorian Government as a work boat, the Melbourne was fitted with a huge winch which was used for hauling fallen trees and snags from the river, keeping the main channel open for navigation for other Paddle Steamers. The Melbourne was used for any public works along the river, assisting with bridge, weir and lock construction.ps MELBOURNE as a tourist vessel

Later the Melbourne was bought by Evans Brothers Timber Mills at Echuca and was used for Logging until road transport became more viable. In 1939 after a sudden flood came down the Goulburn River, tons of logs became jammed against the Torrumbarry weir. The Melbourne was brought back into service to help clear the weir of the massive amount of debris. She was then left permanently moored against the river bank and to the elements.

It was in 1965 that Captain Ably Pointon purchased the P.S. Melbourne after searching along the Murray River for another Paddle Steamer to restore for his growing business at Mildura (Captain Pointon was at that stage operating the smeller P.S. Mayflower which he had also rebuilt from a wreck).ps Melbourne

After extensive boiler and hull repairs, the Melbourne's boiler was fired again for the first time in 23 years for her long voyage from Echuca to Mildura. Upon arriving at Mildura, and after further careful restoration, the P.S. Melbourne departed Mildura Wharf on her maiden voyage carrying passengers on the 1st January 1966.

Of the 250 Paddle Steamers built and used on the River Murray, the P.S. Melbourne is now one of the few original Paddle Steamers left cruising daily on the river for passengers that is still driven by her original steam engine.


 



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