The Great Northern Railway: Newcastle to Maitland 1857-1982 -Used- (UB-12016)
Product No.: UB-12016
Title: The Great Northern Railway: Newcastle to Maitland 1857-1982
Author(s): Butler-Bowdon, Caroline; Campell, Annie & Clark, Howard
Publisher: New South Wales Transport Museum
Dust Jacket: None
Edition: 1st Edition
Publication Year: 1982
Features: 112 Pages with Colour and Black/White Photos.
The Hunter Valley Railway Company, formed in 1853, commenced work on the original railway under contract to William Wright for the section from Honeysuckle Point (near the present Civic Station) to Hexham (the present Tarro Station). This section had to cross what is known as the Hexham Swamp, and the experience of George Stephenson at Chat Moss in England was put to good use when a corduroy of brushwood was used as the underlay for the embankment: this embankment is still in use. A further contract was let to Wright and Randle in 1857 for the section onwards to East Maitland, finishing at what is now the Victoria Street Station.
Much of the civil infrastructure for this section of line is still in place, making it possibly the oldest in Australia continuously worked by locomotives (a section near Port Adelaide may lay claim to being slightly older). The line was extended eastwards to the present Newcastle Station and westwards to near the present Maitland Station in 1858, then continued northwards on the inland route to Queensland, being opened to Wallangarra (HEM on station) in January 1888.