Kahibah Public School
.... Glenrock Railway ....





Glenrock Railway, also known as Red Head Railway, Burwood Beach Railway, Newcastle Coal and Copper Railway.

In 1883 the Burwood Coal Mining Company was formed, but it was December 1884 before a shaft was started which was completed on 1885-05-10. A private railway was built from the mine across the lagoon around the cliff face and along Burwood Beach (then known as Smelters Beach) past Murdering Gully through 2 tunnels behind the current Merewether Baths along Watkins Street. At this time it was known as the Redhead Railway because the colliery on the lagoon was called Redhead Colliery on Glenrock Lagoon.

At Glebe Road it joined 3 other railways line. This became know as "The Junction" and the suburb still bears that name. The rail lines are now streets, from south through to west there are, Watkins Street, Mitchell Street, Merewether Street and Railway Street. See the map for a better view. The line crossed Glebe Road at the intersection of Watkins Street, Glebe Road and Kenrick Street, just to the east of the War Memorial. It then passed through the East Point Building to travel in between Corlette and Bruce Streets. The line crossed Bruce Street at Centennial Park. From Bull Street to Laman Street, the right of way is still accessable and is now called Glovers Lane which is between Bruce and Dawson Streets. It then travelled under Laman Street across Civic Park. The single line made then a direct line to Burwood Street to cross Hunter Street (then known as Blane St) to Wharf Road at Newcastle Harbour.

The Great Northern Railway had access to the sidings on the wharfs of Newcastle Harbour. In 1889 the mine had 225 wagons in use on a daily basis. One of these wagons (#903) can still be seen (be it in a very poor state) behind the Merewether Baths, (view 1 , 2 ). Another (#4428) in good condition is located under cover at Newcastle Regional Museum. Also behind Merewether baths is the blocked off entrance to the #1 tunnel, (to the left and behind the wagon). The coal line was still in place during 1940's at Merewether Baths. A photographic history can also be found at various libraries around the country.

From the mouth of Glenrock Lagoon, the Great North Walk runs on the beach parallel with the railway until you reach Merewether Baths.

Various parts of Glenrock Railway environs have been listed for Heritage purposes.
Name of Item Remains of Newcastle Coal
& Copper Smelter
Remains of Newcastle Coal
& Copper Railway
Glenrock early coalmining Sites
Heritage Listing State Heritage Listing State Heritage Listing State Heritage Register
Type of Item Archaeological-Terrestrial
Category Mine Site
Location Smelters Beach
(Burwood Beach)
Merewether Beach
(Burwood Beach)
Glenrock SRA
Gazetted Date 3rd July 1992 3rd July 1992 2nd April 1999

Superimposed on a portion of a 1950 map of railways in Newcastle, the dotted line shows the approx position of the rail line. Even through the rail line may have been removed over 50 years ago, the effect on the property boundaries and street layouts can easily been seen still today, (refer to the Newcastle City Council Local Environmental Plan 2002 - map 6).

Map overlay with catchment boundaries, Great North Walk,
Fernleigh Track, approx position of the proposed
East Charlestown By-Pass, Glenrock lagoon, Leichhardt Lookout.

Topographic Map Royal Australian Survey Corps 1952

Map of rail line to Newcastle
(in Yellow) 151k

Parish Map c1912

( Dept of Lands )

views from space

Glenrock Railway
Glenrock Lagoon to Merewether Baths Section
Narrow gauge rail lines
near the beach

The beach from GNW sign.
Little Redhead (right)
Northern Headland (left)
Looking up the valley,
Leichhardt Lookout
is in the "V". From the
embankment of the bridge
over the lagoon

Remains of the
bridge over
the lagoon
Rail line and Permian coal
seam on northern headland
at high tide mark

Glenrock Lagoon from
Little Redhead (Leggy)

Rail line on
Burwood Beach
Rail line on
Burwood Beach
Rail line on
Burwood Beach
Rail line on
Burwood Beach
Rail Line over
Murdering Gully Creek
Southern entrance to
#2 tunnel

Burwood Beach and
Northern entrance to #2 tunnel
from Merewether Headland
above #1 tunnel
Southern entrance
to #1 tunnel
Coal wagon # 903 at
Merewether baths with the
Northern entrance to #1
tunnel in the background
Coal wagon at
Newcastle Region Museum

See also Glenrock & Great North Walk pages

©2004 This page updated: Saturday, 2007-01-06 home