Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge opening celebrated this weekend

NSW Governor Marie Bashir will be among the guests this weekend at a festival organised by Hornsby Council to mark the 125th anniversary of the Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge opening.

Far right, this was the rare sight in 1948 when the Hawkesbury River briefly boasted two railway bridges. The original 1889 bridge was closed and dismantled soon after.

Far right, this was the rare sight in 1948 when the Hawkesbury River briefly boasted two railway bridges. The original 1889 bridge was closed and dismantled soon after.

“This was a major milestone that is well worth remembering, not just for Hornsby shire but for the entire nation,’’ Hornsby mayor Steve Russell said.

He was making reference to a speech Sir Henry Parkes gave at the opening of the bridge on May 2, 1889, in which he made the bridge a powerful symbol of Federation.

“The bridge created the final railway link that joined South Australia, Victoria, NSW and Queensland together, becoming a major symbol of the move towards Federation,’’ Cr Russell said.

The bridge was at the time the fourth-largest bridge constructed in the world  and the only steel-trussed bridge of its type in Australia. 

Previous bridges were built with wrought iron.

The council’s festival is on Dangar Island on May 3 and 4.

It includes a free exhibition telling the story of the bridge, a cruise of the Brooklyn River with the river postman (bookings: 0400 600 111), a river tour aboard the historic Banksia Ferry from Dangar Island ($7.50, departs 11am and 2pm) and kids’ events in the park.

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