Engineering, Passenger Rail

Old station sandstone to be preserved for Newcastle light rail

Sandstone blocks from a former railway station will possibly be incorporated into the design of Newcastle’s light rail, Revitalising Newcastle has announced.

Downer EDI, the managing contractor of the light rail system, has been uncovering the blocks and brickwork in a disused heavy rail corridor between Kuwumi Place and Steel Street while carrying out excavation work in the location over the last year.

Heritage experts have reportedly verified the materials as once forming part of the old Honeysuckle railway station built in 1872.

“When the station was closed in 1936 with the opening of Civic and Wickham stations, part of the station was buried beneath the heavy rail corridor,” Revitalising Newcastle’s program director, Michael Cassel, said.

“The community has told us that they are proud of their city and want to see it revitalised, but that the city’s history and character should be respected as part of revitalisation activities.”

When the bricks were first exposed last year, Newcastle archaeologist Paul Rheinberger told The Herald Sun that the find was “very significant” and that there was “no reason why it shouldn’t be preserved for the entire community to see”.

He suggested that the light rail line would be able to run between the blocks and become the project’s cultural icon.

“It would be very little expense to keep them, and I wouldn’t think it would be too much of a delay,” Mr Rheinberger was quoted as saying.

It appears that something like this is being considered by the light rail developers.

Downer has said its plan is to have the bricks and blocks excavated and have them securely stored before assessments are carried out to determine whether they will be incorporated into the urban design elements of the light rail project.

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