Tasmania's railway history began 150 years ago, when the Launceston to Deloraine line was opened, but there were some bumps along the line in the beginning.
It was officially opened on February 10, 1871, but by 1874 there were riots. The line was built on the basis of loan guarantees from landowners who stood to benefit, before the company fell into bankruptcy in 1872.
The Tasmanian Government took ownership in late 1873 and tried to recover the costs off the landowners, leading to civil unrest. Some refused to pay and their items were seized and put up for auction.
According to The Examiner at the time, no one dare bid on the items except for the Penal Establishment Superintendent Alfred Jones, but the rest were passed in.
Hundreds of rioters broke into and smashed the windows of shops and houses. Forcing the mayor, John Murphy, to ask for police protection, with firefighters and labourers to be sworn in as special constables.
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Fast forward to 2021 and the state's first line is still being used, and honoured.
On the 150th anniversary, TasRail chief executive Steven Dietrich paid homage to the pioneers of rail for their determination and perseverance to get the line built.
He said rail was responsible for many projects considered major engineering achievements, such as the Longford Rail Bridge.
"I'm sure those who constructed it would never have envisaged that the bridge would be still a critical part of the rail corridor for trains over the South Esk River in 2021," he said.
"The record investments made by the Tasmanian and Australian governments over the last decade into the network, rolling stock and terminals have built long-life economic infrastructure that industry can rely on for decades."
Northern Midlands councillor and Longford Rail Bridge committee chairperson, Dick Adams, said before the railway was built, it took a long time to get produce from the fields into Launceston.
"The Northerners won, beating the Southerners and they got the railway ... so they could get the spuds and the cabbages in, and probably the turnips and all the other vegetables," he said.
"I think it was taking them about nine to 12 days with the old road, which was probably tracks of dirt."
Cr Adams said the bridge was built in England and shipped over, as the biggest hurdle they faced was getting the line across the river.
"It must have been an enormous engineering [feat] but they were brave and they had a vision and they went for it. And of course they achieved it," he said.
"Here 150 years later, we're still using the same bridge to carry all that freight."
The celebrations will continue with a railway exhibition at the Longford Memorial Hall on Saturday from 11am.