The New Railway Bridge Across The Hunter At Aberdeen (1872)

The Railway Bridge Over The Hunter (The Illustrated Sydney News 20 January 1872, Page 12) Click image for a higher resolution version.



This great engineering work was from the design of Mr. J. Whitton, Chief Engineer for Railways, and was carried out under the supervision of Mr. W. B. Wade, district engineer for the Great Northern line. The bridge consists of three spans of 159 feet each, supported on cylindrical piers nine feet in diameter, sunk in the bed of the river to an average depth of twenty-two feet, the bottom four feet being firmly fixed in an extremely hard stratum of conglomerate. This latter part of the work was performed entirely by divers, and occupied three months in execution. Each pier is filled from foundation to top with concrete. The bridge is designed for a single line of railway, carried on double lattice girders twelve feet six inches in height, braced together at intervals, as shown in the engraving, by semicircular lattice ribs. Messrs. Bell and Franklin were the contractors for the piers. During one of the great floods the waters ran with such impetuous velocity over the site of the bridge as to fully prove the necessity for the massive nature of the structure provided for carrying the line over this part of the river. The bridge, viewed from the old crossing-place, has a very handsome appearance, the surrounding country being extremely picturesque, making up a background faithfully portrayed in our sketch. Daring the progress of the works the adjacent town of Aberdeen presented quite a lively appearance, being the central camp of the Messrs. Amos, contractors for this part of the line – a sight of whose workshops and premises, and the numerous bark villas and calico cottages of the bridge employés carried one back in imagination to the golden period of the colony’s history.

Digitised by Gionni Di Gravio from the microfilm in 2010.
Transcription from Trove 2019.

One thought on “The New Railway Bridge Across The Hunter At Aberdeen (1872)

  1. Absolutely fascinating to see a glimpse of the Old Railway bridge.
    Although I am actually trying to find more information about its failed demolition.
    There are remains still in place from the failed use of explosives

Leave a Reply