In the early hours of Sunday 5 January 2020, the final service on the T6 Carlingford Line will operate. For 132 years, the 7 stations along the line have serviced a small yet sizeable number of people living in the North West suburbs. One of the last survivors of the the privately owned branch lines, this line is filled with history from its many years of operation as a branch between Clyde on the Main Western line and the suburb of Carlingford. In this post, we will have a look at the stories of each of the stations along the line.
It is however first important to know the history of the line as a whole and why it was built. The original lines were actually originally built in two stages by two different private investors. The original line was built between Clyde Junction and Rosehill, before extending through the nearby industrial estate to Sandown. This line was built by John Bennet to service his new Rosehill Racecourse and opened in November 1888. The second section of the line was built by Mr M Simpson between Rosehill and Carlingford. This line was constructed to carry produce from farms in the Pennant Hills area as well as service new property subdivisions in the surrounding areas, opening in April 1896.
By 1897, both ventures had failed. It wasn’t until 1 August 1901 that the line was brought up to standard and services were recommended by the government. Since then, the line has largely operated as a shuttle service between Clyde and Carlingford. Occasionally peak hour limited stops services to Central also operated, but this was not the case at the time of the lines closure.
Originally named Pennant Hills Station, the government took control of the station following the collapse of the private owner in 1897. The station was upgraded and reopened as Carlingford Station on 1 August 1901. The station was single platform and single track, and served as the terminus of the Carlingford Line for nearly 120 years. The station was located by the Carlingford Produce Store, which for 90 years used a goods siding beside the station.
Telopea was opened on 13 June 1925 as an infill station between Carlingford and Dundas. The station was constructed to service the suburban area surrounding the station. The station was single platform and single track. The station was added after 25 years of petitioning from local residents, most notably Herbert Rumsey who owned a nearby housing estate.
The heritage listed Dundas station opened in 1896 as Kissing Point Road Station on the private Bennett and Simpson railway. It was the last privately constructed and owned station in NSW. It was destroyed in a fire in 2006, however it was completely reconstructed in the original style and as such retains its heritage listing.
Rydalmere Station, originally named Victoria Road, opened in 1986 as part of the private Bennett and Simpson railway. The single platform at Rydalmere was original on the western side of the line, but was moved to the eastern side in 1993. This was to replace a disused goods siding.
Camellia Station, originally named “Subiaco”, opened on 21 January 1885. Due to the name Subiaco being confusing for some locals, the station was renamed to Camellia upon the government takeover in 1901. Some timetables from 1899 and 1900 call the station “Parramatta Tram Junction”, but the name clearly didn’t stick. Camellia came from a nearby nursery at the time, Camellia Grove.
Rosehill Station opened at the site of the Rosehill racehorse in 1885. Access to the racecourse was the original intention of John Bennett constructing a railway along the corridor, as he believed that a railway would increase attendance at his raceways. He later worked out that he could also use the railway on non race days for industrial workers, who could change at Rosehill for a steam trail. The Warren Truss footbridge at the station is heritage listed.
Images and information sourced from Michelle Goodman & Janelle Blucher, Parramatta Heritage Centre. See there content here