First Class

Rail Ticket, 1917

The opening of the North Coast Railway to the Mid North Coast progressively from 1913 was a boon for regional communication, freight, and travel. Travellers reluctant to take the sometimes perilous coastal sea journey could now travel in comfort by rail.

Development of the railway line, however, was hampered by the many larger rivers that flow through the region. The rail bridge at Kempsey crossing the Macleay River was one such major crossing.

This train ticket from Sydney to Telegraph Point was used on the first train from Sydney to Kempsey on 3 December 1917 by Mrs E Wallace [1885-1970], nee Lizzie Noakes, of Wauchope. A report in the Port Macquarie News documented the scene at Telegraph Point station that day:

“… Very early some of the populace gathered on the station platform awaiting the train for Kempsey, which was fully loaded with sight-seers. At 11.20 a.m. a special from Wingham drew into the platform on which several hundreds of people were crowded. There were fourteen carriages, and everyone was fully occupied, so we had to get on and stand wherever we could… Almost 2,300 passengers (according to official figures) were conveyed thence on two trains…”


How did most people travel to the Mid North Coast before the opening of the railway?

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