The road into Railton, 1900 (AOT, PH30/1/3355)

Railton, 25 kilometres from Devonport, was first known as Redwater Creek. Its present name originated when the Mersey-to-Deloraine tramway line went through the town in the 1860s. When this venture failed, the government opened the present railway line from Deloraine through Railton to Latrobe in 1885. A branch line from Railton to Roland operated from 1914 to 1957, enabling agricultural and forestry products from the rich Kentish district to pass through Railton junction.

The longest continually working limeworks in Australia operated at Railton from 1860 to 1996. Tasmanian Cement Pty Ltd was established in 1923, and was taken over by Goliath Portland Cement Company in 1928. Following huge expansion and several takeovers, in 2003 this large Railton industry became part of Cement Australia, the nation's leading supplier of cement and related products. With its wide main street, Railton today is promoted as the town of topiary.

Further reading: L Fisher, Cradle for a giant, Port Sorell, 2002.

Alan Dyer