Skip to main content

Please be advised: this website contains the names, images and voices of people who are now deceased.

Collections WA has a responsibility to preserve and make accessible the history and culture of Western Australia in all its various forms. The intention of Collections WA is to support research, and to reveal actions of the past that have impacted upon communities, families, and individuals.

In doing so, Collections WA acknowledges the need to respond sensitively and appropriately in cases when accessing this material may be confronting to Aboriginal visitors and clients.

Please also note: Some historical materials within this portal may include language or opinions that today are considered inappropriate or even offensive. Collections WA does not endorse this language and apologises for any distress caused.

Continue showing cultural advice
Stop showing cultural advice
CWA Logo Collections WA brings together collections from libraries, galleries, museums, archives, historical societies, cultural organisations, community groups and other collecting organisations across Western Australia.

digitised film


Digitised version of super 8 film taken by Edwin Woodland in 1970 when the first steam train to cross Australia was departing Perth. The film is 2mins 43secs long. Edwin Woodland was the Secretary of Railway Heritage WA at the time.

Historical information

Until 1970 it was not possible to cross Australia from one side to the other without changing trains. With the completion of the standard gauge connection from Sydney to East Perth the Indian Pacific ran its first service in February 1970. As the Western Australia Government Railways did not have any standard gauge track until the 1960s project to build such a line between Kalgoorlie and East Perth, no standard gauge steam train had operated west of Kalgoorlie, let alone run across Australia.
In August 1970 the iconic NSW steam locomotive 3801 hauled its passenger train across Australia and became the first steam train to operate across Australia. It arrived in East Perth on 28 August and departed on 6 September. The film captures its departure from East Perth and then heading eastwards.



Registration number
Place made
Western Australia
Primary significance criteria
Historic significance
Social or spiritual significance
Comparative significance criteria
Interpretive capacity
Well provenanced
Rail Heritage WA

Rail Heritage WA

Organisation Details
View Collection
Item Feedback

Western Endeavour in AVon Vallery 1970 (G Bown)
Western Endeavour Train, hauled by steam locomotive 3801 in Avon Valley

Scan this QR code to open this page on your phone ->

Full size unavailable (you're already seeing this image in its highest resolution available on Collections WA)