Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Mount Pleasant crossing

This contribution focuses on a modest little piece of infrastructure just north of North Wollongong station which existed for approximately 110 years in various guises.

CC Singleton;s book, Railway History in Illawarra noted that the Mount Pleasant crossing opened on 21 June 1887.  It was one of those rare instances in NSW where the Government's rails crossed a private railway line.  In this instance it was the 3’ 8 '/2” gauge Mount Pleasant Tramway that did the intersecting.

According to Singleton, the crossing was on the level and at right angles. The location was further complicated by the diagonal intersection with a level crossing for Bulli Road.

Duplication of the Government's railway in 1913 resulted in the construction of a new signal-box to control the road crossing. Apparently this lasted until 1923, by which time the Bulli Road crossing had been diverted onto a new overhead bridge that crossed at the
intersection of the two railways.

Singleton noted that 'with the signal-box set in a recess in the overbridge abutment,
it was one of the most complicated pieces of engineering to be found on the system'.

Time for a few photographs.  This first one shows the 1923 overhead bridge, along with the 1913 vintage timber signal box.

 A close up of the bridge shows the gap left by the removal of the Mount Pleasant Tramroad tracks.

And here's a close up of the signal box. Love the 'convenience' provided in the little room.

These other photos are from 1983, just as the new overhead road bridge was being commissioned. New drainage infrastructure is also clearly observable.

And the final shot we have of the signal box, basking in the afternoon sunlight.

Preety sure that the box did not survive the razing of the landscape associated with the electrification of the Illawarra.




  1. Great read Don. I'm pretty sure this would make a nice, compact modelling project too! I can just picture the lines leading into hidden staging yards for both the NSWGR and the Mount Pleasant Tramway. Thanks for sharing, Phill.