Newport was originally just a splitting apart of railway lines called Williamstown Junction (as it sat astride lines running to Williamstown Pier and Williamstown Racescourse). As always, a junction place became a meeting place – and a meeting place became a place to make a profit. Pubs, telegraph and post offices and general stores soon opened, and people began to live in Williamstown Junction. That was the 1860s.
What changed the place to Newport were men with vision: the Tone-Herr brothers, Allan and Wesley. These men had a vision of trains opening up the vast Australian inland in the same way that ships had opened up the empty Pacific oceans. By this time, there were a total of seven different lines radiating out of Williamstown Junction – not including sidings for assorted businesses, or the mighty workshops that the brothers caused to be built between the two southerly lines stretching from the junction.
Enamoured of their metaphor of the train as ship, they named their workshops the New Port Workshops, and the townsfolk of Williamstown Junction, grateful for an identity of their own, adopted the name as the name of their township. Common usage soon compounded the words of the name, making them Newport. By the time that the Tone-Herr brothers died (in a trafic shunting mishap involving an engine driver who later married one of the brother’s widows) in 1885, the name was firmly fixed.
A hundred years later, and by this time no longer new and never having become a port, Newport had become a shadow of its former self. The railways had never realised their promise, overtaken by the rise of the internal combustion engine, and the workshops, although still in there traditional location, had shrunk as demand for their services did likewise.
In the 1990s, Newport was briefly the home of the Gefarlich criminal family, but even their desire for somewhere to lay low required a place with a little more activity. Today, Newport is slowly reaching a species of prominence once more, as the railway station that started it all has become the favoured location for Metro Training’s increasingly sadistic psychological experiments. The current vogue is for tests of unacceptable frustration level, although in the coming decade, it is likely that more advanced studies into degradation will be commissioned.
Suburbs near Newport: