Terence Carpenter is prepared to make a bold statement about Goulburn's place in railway history.
"Without any doubt, Goulburn was most responsible for the creation of public railways in NSW, indeed Australia," he told a recent Australian Railway Historical Society meeting.
It all started with "men of vision" and a meeting of minds in the 1840s at firstly the Royal Hotel and then Mandelson's Hotel. It culminated in the railway's extension to this city in 1869, opening up big possibilities for the state's agricultural produce and overseas export.
Mr Carpenter, his committee and plenty of helpers are at the forefront of this weekend's celebrations marking 150 years since the railway's arrival in Goulburn.
Plans have been in full swing for the past 11 months for the event which begins with Saturday's arrival of the recently installed NSW Governor Margaret Beazley AO QC and husband, Dennis Wilson at 12.30pm. They will arrive from Sydney on a steam loco with vintage carriages also carrying other dignitaries and up to 300 people.
They will include Sydney Trains CEO Howard Collins OBE, Transport Heritage NSW chair Rob Mason and CEO Andrew Moritz.
Greeting them at the railway station will be Mayor Bob Kirk who will introduce Goulburn MP Wendy Tuckerman and other dignitaries. The NSW Rail Concert Band will perform in the railway forecourt before the laying of an official plaque.
Mr Carpenter said a special guest would be Mark Faviell, the grandson of his namesake who was the engineer for the railway's construction from Marulan to Goulburn.
He used Plumb's Inn, an old stone building on the Hume Highway at Narrambulla Creek (now known as Wandi) as his base, Mr Carpenter's research revealed.
Faviell supervised all his work on horseback, buggy and locomotive.
The festivities will continue with an invitation only lunch at the Goulburn Club. Appropriately, it's the same venue that hosted the 100th anniversary celebrations. Special guests include Hume MP Angus Taylor and rail author and photographer, Leon Oberg, who also attended the anniversary in 1969 and was on the organising committee.
In keeping with tradition, a tree will be planted in Belmore Park to mark the occasion. Mr Carpenter said a 70-year-old railway porter's trolley would bring the elm tree to be placed on the Montague Street aspect. It will complement Lady Belmore's oak tree planted on the occasion of the railway's arrival in 1869 and another placed by her and her husband's descendants in 2011.
Those unable to attend the lunch can enjoy a display of vintage and classic cars and old machinery in Montague Street and music in the park rotunda by 'The Heritage Ensemble' and the Bush Music Club. The CWA rooms will be open for light refreshments.
History buffs can also take in a photographic display at the former Railway refreshment rooms on both days. The Goulburn Rail Heritage Centre and Argyle Model Railway Society's display will also be open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Capping off a big Saturday will be the Goulburn Railway Sesquicentenary Ball at St Saviour's Hall from 7.30pm to 11.30pm.
For more information, contact the Roundhouse on 4822 1210.
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