Help with defunct NSW branch at Hexham

 
  Shed_Rat Train Controller

Location: 'A' Shop - Swindon Works
There were 3 coal loaders at Hexham, the most downstream being the J & A Brown staiths served by the right angle crossing, ad was used from the opening of the line to Minmi 1856 until November 1967.  J & A Brown's Engineering Works were adajecnt to these Staiths & these were the reason that the right angle crossing lasted until october 1973.

The next one was the R & W Miller coal loader that was next to the old Hexham bridge. This loader was served only by road & was built in 1959 & after the merger of R & W Miller into Coal & Allied in the mid 1980's was used by C & A to load coal washed at Hexham washery destined for Balls Head in Sydney. This loader was closed & demolished in 1988 after the closure of Hexham Coal Preparation Plant.

The next loader was built in 1935 for Hetton Bellbird Collieries Ltd & was latter sold to the Newcastle Wallsend Coal Company in 1956. The 1951 Coal Road Appendix shows the name of the sidings here as "Hetton Bellbird Colliery Co's exchange Sidings, Maitland Road Crossing". The sidings consisted of 10 full sidings at the Taro end and 5 empty sidings at the Hexham end. The coal was dumped at a dump station & was transferred via conveyor across the main line & highway to the ship loader. In 1962 a series of 6 bins with a total capacity of 3600 Tons were built next to the loader. This loader closed in 1972 and was demolished  during 1976.

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  drwaddles In need of a breath mint

Location: Newcastle
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.
"wally-wowser"


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!  Shocked ).

I hope that clears things up with regard to road crossings in the area Smile
  OK2RUN Assistant Commissioner

....
The next loader was built in 1935 for Hetton Bellbird Collieries Ltd & was latter sold to the Newcastle Wallsend Coal Company in 1956. The 1951 Coal Road Appendix shows the name of the sidings here as "Hetton Bellbird Colliery Co's exchange Sidings, Maitland Road Crossing". The sidings consisted of 10 full sidings at the Taro end and 5 empty sidings at the Hexham end. The coal was dumped at a dump station & was transferred via conveyor across the main line & highway to the ship loader. In 1962 a series of 6 bins with a total capacity of 3600 Tons were built next to the loader. This loader closed in 1972 and was demolished  during 1976.
"Shed_Rat"

That would be page 97 of the Coal Road Appendix as shown below.
[bigimg]http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/OK2RUN/Maps%20-%20Diagrams/HettonBellbird.jpg[/bigimg]
  Xgentric Chief Commissioner

Thanks to all for these excellent posts and photos!  Most interesting.
  barryc Chief Train Controller

Location: Waiting for a train to Canungra
drwaddles Posted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:00 pm

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!  ).



Mate after Burns Point, Harwood and whatever else, even the inevitable traffic jam at the new bridge was better.

(Ahh steam punts at Harwood, Morris Minoring down the Pacific Higway,.. How does the time pass so quickly)
  M636C Minister for Railways

I took a photo a bit like the one posted earlier but with one of the two big J&A Brown 0-6-0 Saddle tanks taking a couple of wagons across.

I, however took the shot standing on the NSWGR tracks. I remember being a little apprehensive about this but to some extent I believed that the safeworking had to work. But I remember looking both ways continuously until the loco moved out onto the crossing, and even then behind me.

This would have been in the early 1960s and I think the Maitland Road crossing may still have been in use, but maybe not. I got a photo of the loco from the Hetton Bellbird sidings (0-8-2T no 14, I think), but possibly not at the same time.

I think the ramp for the ferry is still visible just next to the present bridge, and this would have been quite close to the rail crossing, which from the aerial photo posted earlier would have been behind the present "Hungry Jack's".

I note the signal box diagram shows Maitland Road on the river side as the "Pacific Highway" which shouldn't apply west of the bridge (or ferry).

M636C
  OK2RUN Assistant Commissioner

I think the ramp for the ferry is still visible just next to the present bridge, and this would have been quite close to the rail crossing, which from the aerial photo posted earlier would have been behind the present "Hungry Jack's".
M636C
"M636C"

The rail crossing would have been further to the north than behind Hungry Jack's/The Oak.
Looking at first link below, crossing would be approx. in center of image, you can make out the area where the Hetton Bellbird sidings were. The next link is closeup view of the possible location. Third link shows Hungry Jacks/Oak area in more detail.
http://www.nearmap.com/?ll=-32.817891,151.678298&z=17&t=k&nmd=20101125
http://www.nearmap.com/?ll=-32.818028,151.679057&z=19&t=k&nmd=20101125
http://www.nearmap.com/?ll=-32.823702,151.682702&z=18&t=k&nmd=20101125
  drwaddles In need of a breath mint

Location: Newcastle
The old punt landing was here:
http://www.nearmap.com/?ll=-32.827514,151.69017&z=21&t=k&nmd=20101125
  pete1971 Beginner

Does anyone have photos of hexham level crossing where it crossed the pacific highway or maitland road

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