Photo of the Day

photos and stories from the Powerhouse Museum

The rising piers of the Hawkesbury Railway Bridge, 1887

March 27th, 2013 by


This image is a reproduction from a glass plate negative from the Tyrrell photographic collection and shows the piers of the first Hawkesbury Railway Bridge rising from the waters of the mighty Hawkesbury River on the Northern outskirts of Sydney.

The bridge was constructed between 1886 and 1889. It was major technical achievement at the time and included the deepest bridge footing in the world. This image, showing the sandstone piers surrounded by the powerful river,  gives a real sense of scale and difficulty of this project.

The completed bridge opened on the 1st of May 1889 replacing the Peats Ferry which until then had been the only means of crossing the river at this point.

Post by Lynne McNairn, Digital Services

Postscript: The first Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge developed structural problems and was replaced with a new bridge in 1946.  These piers from the orignial bridge are still in place although the 1889 bridge itself has been removed.


Photography: Henry King, 1889 (85/1285-558)
No known copyright restrictions

Tags: , , ,