Metropolitan Goods Railway 1916 Heritage Panel

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Railway Bridge, Burwood Road, Belmore, (near Belmore North Public School) This Panel was erected by Canterbury City Council, 2004. Unveiled by the Mayor of Canterbury, Councillor Robert Furolo, on 28th April, 2004.

Early in the twentieth century, the only route for goods trains to and from Darling Harbour was on the suburban railway lines through Redfern. By 1908, passenger and goods traffic had grown so much that the movement of goods trains in peak hours was prohibited.

This made it very difficult to operate efficiently. A separate Metropolitan Goods Line from Flemington to Glebe Island and Darling Harbour via Campsie and Dulwich Hill was approved in 1910. The first section to open was between Flemington and Campsie in April 1916 and the line through to Glebe Island opened a few months later. It was extended from Rozelle to Darling Harbour in 1922, and the line from Marrickville to Botany opened in 1925.

In subsequent years, the large marshalling yard at Enfield became the lynchpin of the State's rail freight system and provided employment to many local residents. It was made clear when the railway was proposed in 1908-10 that no passenger services would be run on the new line. Over the years, residents agitated for passenger trains but, except for a few workmen's specials, were not successful.