Goulburn to celebrate 150 years of rail

RAILWAY GLORY: The Southern Aurora on its way south after stopping in Goulburn in April. Photo: Louise Thrower
RAILWAY GLORY: The Southern Aurora on its way south after stopping in Goulburn in April. Photo: Louise Thrower

The railway line into Goulburn  was opened on May 27,1869, so members of the Goulburn Loco Roundhouse Preservation Society Inc. (GLRPS) are preparing to celebrate the 150th anniversary of this milestone in Goulburn’s history on the weekend of May 25-26, 2019.

The development of the railway to Goulburn was the result of lobbying from pastoralists wanting faster and cheaper transport to the markets in Sydney. The first meeting was held in 1846, but it was not until 1869 that the railway finally reached the city of Goulburn.

The first locomotive and carriage facilities were built at North Goulburn adjacent to the Goldsmith Street level crossing. As the volume of traffic increased, expanded servicing facilities were relocated nearer the station platform.

Initial planning for the celebration, under the auspices of the GLRPS, includes the arrival of a steam loco hauled train from Sydney, visiting dignitaries, a display of photographs and memorabilia, a tree planting and the burial of a ‘time capsule’.

The planning committee is comprised of four local historians, three of whom are retired railwaymen and the secretary of GLRPS.

GLRPS Secretary Terence Carpenter said that they had already sent letters to the state and federal ministers of transport and heritage as well as local members Pru Goward and Angus Taylor, informing them of their plans, and to the head of ARTC, which controls the railway.

 “Plans at this stage will centre around Goulburn Railway Station but depending on the resources available, could be extended to further sites,” Mr Carpenter said.  “The meeting on Tuesday is largely concerned with funding and sourcing funding for the event. Mayor Bob Kirk has offered to come along and  assist us where he can.

“We are hoping on the day that a special train hauled by a steam locomotive will bring the dignitaries from Sydney in a special carriage, with the rest of the train dedicated to paying passengers wishing to join us for the celebrations.

“We are hoping that the island platform at the station can be utilised to provide the dignitaries with a light lunch, while the Men’s Shed will provide the general public with the opportunity to purchase a barbecued lunch.”

“We are looking to utilise the station too for a display of memorabilia and photographs.”

Planning is still in its early stages and organisers are exploring funding sources to make the 150th anniversary a special weekend for everyone.

The next planning meeting is at 10am this Tuesday, July 17 at the GLRPS office. Interested and enthusiastic persons are invited to attend with prior notice to GLRPS secretary, Terence Carpenter, 0427 152 100 or glrps12@optusnet.com.au.