Exactly 90 years ago today, the Independent Goods Line between Albion and Broadmeadows was opened for traffic, providing goods trains running along the main North Eastern line with an alternative route into Melbourne to the busy suburban line running via Essendon, and also providing a direct link to the Tottenham rail yards. Since that time, the line has only grown in importance and today it forms part of the main standard gauge railway from Melbourne to Sydney.
Regular travellers across the E J Whitten Bridge on the Western Ring Road will be familiar with the line's most notable landmark: the Albion Viaduct, also known as the Quarter Mile Bridge (it was just a few yards short of a quarter mile from end to end). Until the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932, it was the highest railway bridge in Australia, with the tracks nearly 55 metres above the level of the Maribyrnong River below.
A photo from the ARHS Archives: the bridge as it appeared 90 years ago today, with an X class locomotive (also brand new for 1929) hauling what for the time was an impressively long 41 wagon load. Today's trains crossing this viaduct typically feature up to three 4000 horsepower diesel locomotives and can be over a kilometre in length.