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Marrangaroo

A nice view of a locomotive at the Marrangaroo station just west of Lithgow. Some estimates have this at c1938 though others maintain the photo is more 1950s. The loco is P6 class C3294. A low bank under some trees is all that remains of this station now. No other trace is visible.

The main western rail line reached Bowenfels in 1869 and Wallerawang in March 1870. Vital to completing this section of line were the viaducts at Farm Creek, Marrangaroo (Middle Creek) and the bridge at Cox’s River.

Marrangaroo station (as described in Denis Chamberlain’s ‘Railway West Chronicles’) was opened on 15/4/1878 as a private siding on this section of track. It became a public platform on 21/4/1879. There was a deviation of original single line opened nearby 28/01/1923 with a new double track tunnel. This is still in use.

Also nearby there was a Commonwealth siding opened 12/03/1942. This was a 2 mile branch line and obviously with reference to the date, was strongly linked to defence use. It was near there that a storage facility for munitions and possibly chemicals operated from that year. The platform/station closed 28/05/1972 although one source has it closing later in 1974.

The viaduct at that location is built of Sydney sandstone and was designed by John Whitton. It was constructed by George McGarvie Donald. It opened March 1, 1870.

Donald was from Lithgow and was a master stone mason who also did much to create the city he lived in. His father was also a stonemason who was encouraged to emigrate to Australia by Governor Lachlan Macquarie. His skills were badly needed in the new colony. Donald Jnr worked on railway projects in the immediate area and then he moved to Hill End then back to Lithgow. He built many churches and schools. He was the first mayor of Lithgow in 1899.

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