The Main road from Sandgate to the Intersection of the Pacific Highway intersection with the New England Highway has never crossed to my knowledge any of the railway lines [ coal or main ] untill the bypass around Taro was built unless Woodland Close is the original road formation, I am open to correction by some one more learned in this area.
This is not correct. To clarify the situation:
The original route of Maitland Road was close to the river foreshore – it is shown on Google Maps
as Old Maitland Road and then as an unnamed track, passing through the Goninan property. The Goninan property was the location of the coal loader for the Minmi and Richmond Vale mines and later the locomotive workshop. As these facilities were developed, a number of level crossings were laid across Maitland Road (this is in the era of horse travel, mind you) which lead to the loading staithes.
Beyond here, Maitland Road crossed the Main Northern Railway Line and continued along what is now Woodlands Close and Anderson Drive through Tarro.
To separate traffic from the workshop/loading facilities, Maitland Road was deviated to the west and then northwards alongside the Main Northern Railway Line. This happened in either 191x or 192x (the exact date escapes me at the moment but can be sourced from Brian Andrews’ book). This deviation involved crossing only a double track on the level, immediately east of where the RVR lines crossed the Main North.
Much later, in the 1960s, Maitland Road was deviated alongside the railway line through Hexham, bypassing the section of road shown as Old Maitland Road on Google Maps. The level crossing at Woodlands Close was eliminated in 1964 when the deviation and overbridge were opened, in conjunction with the construction of John Renshaw Drive. The full bypass of Tarro and Beresfield did not open until 1970, so for 6 years, highway traffic had to make a sharp right into Anderson Drive after crossing the rail bridge.
As an aside, the old punt crossing of the Hunter River (on the Pacific Highway) was located immediately east of the RVR coal loader/workshop site, linking with Old Punt Road on the northern side of the river. The first bridge, now carrying southbound traffic only, opened in 1952 (yes, 1952, imagine the agony of traffic jams crossing the river by punt here!
I hope that clears things up with regard to road crossings in the area