Inveresk Railway Workshops
The Inveresk Railway Workshops commenced servicing steam locomotives and rolling stock in the early 1870s, when a railway opened from Launceston to Deloraine. Initially there were an engine shed and blacksmith shop, and as the railway system grew, new workshops were constructed. In 1923 a new large reinforced concrete workshop was Australia's largest such building. Before 1939, the workshops built wooden carriages and wagons, and during the Second World War they undertook defence work such as making shell cases, mortar bomb components and gauges. The work force grew to over a thousand.
When diesel power replaced steam in the 1950s, a diesel workshop was established to service the new locomotives, and the workshops constructed aluminium wagons, logging wagons, refrigerated containers and passenger carriages. The workshops became redundant in 1994, when new workshops were built at Newstead. The workshops now house the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, the University of Tasmania School of Visual and Performing Arts and the Royal Launceston Show Society, and have become a Launceston community centre for education, recreation and social interaction.
Further reading: G Cooper & G Goss, Tasmanian railways, Devonport, 1996.