Bridge to history

THE Fremantle railway bridge has been in the news in recent weeks with the incident of the cargo ship striking and damaging the structure during the storm on August 17.

The bridge is close to the 50th anniversary of the first train passing over it. Completed in early 1964, the rail services were diverted from the old bridge (downstream) to the present bridge on September 14, 1964.

This means that Sunday, September 14, is the 50th ‘birthday’ of the bridge’s opening.

The oldest train to cross the bridge was the vintage train with 1897-built steam locomotive G123 (Koombana Queen) in company with 1898-built G233 (Leschenault Lady) in 1981 for the centenary of the opening of the Fremantle to Guildford railway.

Whilst there have not been any standard gauge steam locomotives on the network, three visiting engines have travelled over the bridge: NSW Railways 3801 in 1970 and 1989, and Flying Scotsman and Pendennis Castle both in 1989.

D. FINLAYSON, East Fremantle