Interlocked railway gates have existed in Victoria in large numbers since the 1880s.
They were unique to this state - very few examples were to be found elsewhere in Australia.
The Lydiard Street gates are truly representative of the mechanical signalling era and must be returned to service for present and future generations to admire and wonder at.
Nothing like them exist anywhere else in Australia or New Zealand. Restored railways in England feature them due largely to the different attitudes the British have towards preserving their heritage.
As a railway enthusiast I have established a small operating signalling museum at my home which features two interlocked gates swung by a wheel in my signal box just as gates in Ballarat were operated. My example will eventually disappear but your gates must survive. They are an operating treasure.
Chris Guy, Montmorency.
I agree wholeheartedly with Councillor McInstosh - that Lydiard Street's magnificent heritage gates must be fully restored and kept as a significant historical asset within Ballarat.
To compromise our UNESCO World heritage listing application would be abhorrent. Such listing will be a boon in attracting tourists to the city and potentially stand Ballarat alongside cities such as Paris, Venice and Trier.
Moreover, local citizens deserve the ongoing enjoyment of Lydiard Street's magnificent historic vista in all its uncompromised glory, looking north, towards the station. Boomgates would completely compromise our proud railway heritage and ruin the entire heritage facade of the railway station and line.
Indeed millions of dollars were spent on restoring Ballarat Station after the fire, so the same care and protection should be guaranteed for the historic railway gates, which complement the station.
Where else can a railway enthusiast still enjoy the full working glories of the Victorian railway era within Australia?
We have lost and continue to lose so much of Ballarat's heritage to poorly planned and architecturally jarring developments. The Lydiard Street railway gates should not add to such a list and must be prioritised for full restoration and repair.
Fiona Ludbrook, Wendouree.
Recently my son and I visited Ballarat by train from Melbourne as I wanted to show him the line and the Ballarat station while I still could.
The now rare railway gates are an important part of the ambience of that precinct and, because they are rare, have the potential to be a big drawcard for tourists.
I guess the gates might be a bit slower to operate than boom gates but It would seem to be a small price to pay to preserve something that adds so much character to the city.
IN OTHER NEWS:
It is interesting to see so many railway gates in Britain on some of the railway shows which have been retained.
I was pleased to see the "Refreshment room" although altered from what I remember in the '40s and '50s is still recognisable.
Michael Dwyer, Young, NSW.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? HAVE YOUR SAY BELOW