125 years since the train came to town

Historical societies along the route are preparing to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the opening of the railway extension from Bombo to Bomaderry.

While the train line from Sydney was extended to Bombo as the temporary South Coast Line terminus in late 1887, it took another six years for the line to be extended to Kiama and on to Bomaderry. Five tunnels were required along the route.

Kiama & District Historical Society is hosting a presentation on the importance of the line extension by Robyn Florance and Alan Clark, of the Shoalhaven Historical Society on Saturday 26 May, at the Family History Centre at 2.30pm. Both are accomplished authors and Ms Florance has just written Going South: Constructing the Railway from Kiama to Bomaderry.

The talk will be followed by the launch of a never-before-seen collection of photos showing different facets of the construction of the railway.

The photos will be on display at Kiama Library for the following three weeks for those who can’t make the talk.

Further celebrations will be held at Gerringong and Berry on Saturday 2 June.

Those interested in visiting Berry Railway station can catch the train from Kiama at 11.53am, which leaves Gerringong station at noon.

Members of Berry Historical Society will meet the train and have arranged a talk on the Station Master’s Cottage, and for the Berry Station Master to conduct a tour of the old signal box and other items of historical interest.

At Gerringong activities will start at 2.45pm, once the 2.30pm train returns from Berry, and go until 4pm, at the old Gerringong Dairy Co-Op building alongside Gerringong Station.

As well as a display of old photographs of the railway and a tour of the facility, there will be a talk by Ian Godfrey on the importance of the railway siding to the Dairy Company throughout its history.

Ken Miller will also be on hand to share his memories as a child using the line in the 1930s and 40’s.

On Sunday 3 June, Shoalhaven Historical Society has arranged for the 11.53am from Kiama to be decorated with headboards on both ends of the train advertising the celebration.

Nowra Town Band will play at Bomaderry Station, a plaque will be unveiled to commemorate the event, and an anniversary cake will be cut, before the festivities move to nearby Waratah Park.

Trains return from Bomaderry at 2.29pm and 4.33pm


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