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Tracing the Sorell Line

LOCAL history buffs can now learn more about the old rail service that ran between Sorell and Bellerive a hundred years ago following the official launch of local author John Houghton’s book ‘The Sorell Line: return trip.’

The book, which was launched recently by Clarence Mayor Doug Chipman, is published by the Bellerive Historical Society to provide information about the historic service and describes where you can still see traces of the railway.

The Sorell Line was a commuter shuttle service taking Sorell people by train and ferry to work in Hobart; out in the morning and back in the afternoon.

Hobart and Bellerive people took return trips to the Sorell races and sales.

This ‘return trip’ idea has shaped the unusual design and format of the book.

The history, images, maps and stories of the line are presented in two halves: outward and return trips.

One of the guests at the launch told a story about her grandfather using the train to court his girlfriend.

After milking the cows at home, he cycled to the train, travelled to Bellerive and on to the ferry to Hobart.

He then pedalled up Forest Road to spend the day at his girlfriend’s house before retracing the journey to be back home in time for the milking again.

The courting, the granddaughter said, was successful.

The Sorell Line: return trip is available for purchase at Sorell Mitre 10, Cambridge BP and Bellerive News.

Caption: From left, Clarence History Committee member Wayne Smith, Sound Preservation Association patron Tony Hope, Bellerive Historical Society member Sally Shorrock, Michael Holmes and Sound Preservation Association president Phil Tyson.