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The great Newcastle railway debate of 1856

WHEN the newly formed NSW Railway Commission proposed in 1856 to extend the Newcastle railway line from Honeysuckle Point to the city’s east, many of the town’s inhabitants were horrified. An angry public meeting was held and nearly a third of the town’s population signed a petition begging the government to put a stop to […]

In 1857 the NSW Colonial Government took over an ailing private railway project between Maitland and Newcastle. One of its first plans was to move the Newcastle terminus from Honeysuckle to the East End, but residents – anxious not to see the city off from the harbour – protested. The government and the coal industry combined to prevail. It’s a story full of irony, given the recent closure of the line from Wickham.

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