History of the Rail Academy Newport

Rail Academy Newport sits within the former Newport Railway Workshops site which are of historical, scientific and architectural significance to the state of Victoria.


The Workshop buildings are architecturally significant in railway history. The original 1887 buildings are recognized around the world as the most endurable railway buildings of the 19th century.


1884 - The Newport Railway Workshops were built between the Geelong and Williamstown Railways.

1886-1888 - Breretin and Lewis, modified the Newport Railway Workshops inspired by the designs of the British Railways buildings.

1888 - The Newport Workshop facility includes; a Central Block of offices including a clock tower and, stores, a large tower off Champion Road, equipment repair and maintenance housed in the East Block, with the West Block for maintenance and repair, of, - locomotives and boilers.

1887 - Tarpaulin Shed was built.

1890 - The Tarpaulin Shed was doubled in size with a near identical brick structure.

1902- 1915 - Newport Workshops were expanded and a program was initiated to renovated and have its facilities updated.

1912 - The Tarpaulin shed was expanded to double its size with timber and metal construction.

1923-24 - 68% of Victoria’s electricity was produced from Newport.

1932- 1945 -The Depression and Second World War restricted Railway budgets, and Newport was used for wartime manufacturing. 35% of employees working at Newport at the time were women.

1945- 1950 - (Post-war Period) – Locomotive construction was no longer undertaken at Newport premises.

1962 - Newport Workshop Manual Training Centre opened.

Newport Workshop Manual Training Centre, 1962

1970’s – The Railway Workshops were listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.                                                                                            

1992 – Newport Railway Workshop is closed with operations spanning 106 years.

2007 – The Rail Skills Centre Victoria was established to offer specialist training and assessment facilities for Victoria’s rail and tram sector.

2009 – The Rail Skills Centre Victoria was established to meet the needs of the Victorian Transport Plan, addressing the demand for the industry specific skills, an aging workforce and expanding infrastructure of the Train and Tram Industry.

2016 – Department of Economic Development Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR), now the Department of Transport (DOT), through Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP) leased the site from VicTrack and rebranded the site as the Rail Academy Newport to ensure the continued investment and development in training for Rail and Tram infrastructure