Warrimoo Railway Station turns 100

Warrimoo Railway Station will celebrate its 100th birthday on Friday, March 9.

To help celebrate the day, NSW Train Link will put on a morning tea between 6.30am and 9am being hosted by the local rail staff.

A small historical display of Warrimoo’s railway history with photographs and plans will also be at the station for a number of days.

For a small mountain village, Warrimoo has quite a bit of railway history. It had two passenger platforms, four station buildings, two signal boxes, two goods sidings, a level crossing, three road overbridges and a crossing loop.

Warrimoo Station was opened on March 9, 1918 for the first land estate sale, “Warrimoo Estate” for Arthur Rickard and Co Ltd which was to be held on Saturday, March 23, 1918. The new estate was formed around the Main Western Road (Great Western Highway), The Boulevard and The Avenue.

“Arthur Rickard knew that for the estate to be successful a railway station was essential,” said Warrimoo railway historian Jeff Moonie.

“The new platform, waiting shed, footbridge and goods siding were built at his expense and he was later reimbursed by the government when it was proven that was to be enough patronage to warrant its purchase.”

Rickard was also responsible for changing the locality name from Karabar to Warrimoo by running a competition to select a new name for his proposed estate.

Out of the 150 blocks on offer to the public, 72 were sold on the day. As part of the new estate he also built a shop to serve the future residences, which he then offered for sale or lease.

Warrimoo platform had a small brick unattended waiting shed which was later divided in half for a ticket office. The first female attendant was Catherine Youson in about 1929. The 1918 waiting shed was destroyed in the 1951 bushfires and the current brick station building was erected in its place in 1957.

Warrimoo’s railway history goes back to the opening of the then single line Great Western Railway to Weatherboard (now Wentworth Falls) in 1867. Karabar (Warrimoo) was the site of No.3 level crossing and the sandstone gate keeper’s house where the railway crossed the Main Western Road (then the Bathurst Road) to the west of the present overbridge.

In 1881 a new platform called “Karabar” was opened on the Sydney side of the level crossing. But it was closed in 1897 due to the lack of patronage.

“Warrimoo was also the site of the January 1930 fatal derailment of a Sydney-bound passenger train where the driver and fireman on the leading engine were killed,” Mr Moonie said.

“The opening of Warrimoo platform and the establishment of the estate was the start of Warrimoo village as we know it today. So you could also say that we are celebrating Warrimoo’s 100th birthday as well.”

Mr Moonie said he would be interested to receive any additional information and photographs on Warrimoo’s railway history – and the Mountains in general – to add to his research. Email: cjmoonie@internode.on.net.