History of Cityrail: Rosehill Electrification (1936)

Posted: September 14, 2011 in Transport
Tags: , ,

The bulk of the Cityrail suburban network had been electrified by the time the Harbour Bridge was opened in 1932.  However, complete electrification would take a further 59 years (edit: thanks to Jim for pointing out my typo), occurring in bits an pieces with about one line being electrified every 10 years.

Tracks diverging at Rosehill

The two tracks just North of the Rosehill Station can be seen here. The track on the left continues North to Camellia Station, just past the bridge. The track on the right veers right and continues East, parallel to the bridge that can be seen here. (Source: Author)

The next line to be electrified was the Carlingford Line. However, this happened in two stages: Clyde to Rosehill in 1936, then Rosehill to Carlingford (and Rosehill to Sandown) in 1959. I will cover the rest of the Carlingford Line as part of the 1959 electrification post. The line has dual tracks between Clyde and Rosehill, after which a single track continued North to Carlingford and another went East to Sandown through the industrial park. The first stage of electrification allowed electric trains to be run up to Rosehill station, which is adjacent to the Rosehill Racecourse, rather than having passengers have to take a steam train.

The Sandown Line and its 4 stations, used mostly by the workers along Grand Avenue in Camellia, would eventually be closed to passenger trains in 1990. Today it is used as a freight line, serving the warehouses and distribution centres. This portion of track has a level crossing, and there is usually a freight train that goes through there daily at around 6PM. If you happen to be driving along there at that hour, you can get stuck for about 20 minutes waiting for the freight train to pass. I know this from personal experience.

Tracks crossing Grand Ave

The tracks on the old Sandown Line cross Grand Avenue from North to South. The Shell oil refinery can be seen in the distance, as can some rail cars on the left used for transporting oil. I have been stuck behind a slow moving freight train using this crossing on more than one occasion. (Source: Author)

Post Script: Jim points out two things in the comments below. One is that Richmond was not electrified until 1991, making the period 59 year. I made a calculation error in working out the number of years between 1932 to 1991 and wrote down 49 years by mistake. This has now been corrected. The other is that as of 2010, freight trains no longer use the Sandown Line. I’ll have to take Jim at his word, though I will say that the last time I saw one on it was in mid 2009, which is consistent with what he says.

  1. Jim says:

    Interesting subjects, nice to see something on the Sydney network.

    Electrification took a decade longer than you state. It didn’t reach Richmond until 1991.

    I think you’ll find there is no trains on the Sandown line now. The fuel trains have been gone for a while and the last general freight was Patrick Portlink who pulled out in May 2010.

  2. Thank Jim. Have added a post script at the end addressing your comment. Thanks for commenting! :)

  3. […] by Bambul Shakibaei — Leave a comment October 14, 2011 The Carlingford Line had been partly electrified up to Rosehill in 1936, with the rest of the line through to Carlingford Station being converted to electric in 1959. The […]

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