Visitor Information Centre
The Visitor Information Centre is located in the former Victorian railways engine house. The Victorian railways built the engine/pump house in 1877 to replace an earlier building located south of the wharf. Drawing water from the Murray River a tunnel, the machinery supplied water to the town tanks, to the railway’s tanks for use by the steam trains and to the wharf, where the water was used under pressure to drive the hydraulic cranes. At is peak there were five two ton cranes and one ten ton crane on the wharf, and all were operated hydraulically by water from the pump house.
In the pump house there were two Robey engines. The larger was a 14 hp with 9 inch cylinders, whilst the smaller engine was a 12hp with 8 inch cylinders. The power generated by the larger 14hp engine was conveyed to the six cranes located on the wharf, whereby a simple mechanical operation wound the chains that bring the loads from the hold of the barges. The power created by the smaller 12hp engine pumped water for use at the railway station and fed the steam making requirements of the thirsty locomotives. The accumulator that was used to supply and store the power can pump at over 700lb pressure to the square inch.
In 1992 the building was recommended for inclusion on the National Trust’s Historic Building Register and in 1194 it was added to this register. In the details regarding the application, the construction of the building in 1877 was suggested to have been undertaken by Roberts and Son of Union Foundry in Bendigo. This was undertaken for the supply system established by the Victorian Railways Department under contract #874.
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