From Dangar Island, we cruised to the Hawkesbury River railway bridge.
When Sydneysiders think of bridges important bridges, they automatically think of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, but this bridge is actually on-par with the Harbour Bridge as it links Sydney by rail to not just the Central Coast and Newcastle, but to the rest of Australia.
Before the bridge, passengers (and goods) had to get on a steamer at Brooklyn and travel 3 hours across Broken Bay and Brisbane Waters to Gosford, hence it was important that a bridge was built, and built to last.
Unfortunately the first bridge constructed didn’t turn out that way. It was first opened way back in 1889, and at the time it broke all sorts of construction records, including the deepest bridge foundations in the world (at 49m below the water) and 4th largest bridge in the world. But by 1938 the bridge needed to be replaced due to severe cracks in the pier, among other things. The current bridge was constructed during WWII as a replacement and opened in 1946. The old bridge was taken apart, and nothing remains except for its sandstone piers and tunnel (now used as storage).
The new bridge hasn’t had as many problems as the old bridge (I guess they learned from the old bridge). It’s also good to see they’re still taking care of it in the 21st Century, since it’s still a very important part of Sydney’s transport system.