Birthday party for Blackheath station's sesquicentenary

Blackheathens celebrated last month when the railway station turned 150.

Local stalwart, Heather Pye, became the party host. She organised music, poetry and speeches on the station, followed by morning tea and birthday cake in the community hall. where there was a display of historic photos.

Local school children also painted colourful happy birthday banners which were hung along the station.

Blackheath as a town grew after the main western line was established as a single line between Wentworth Falls and Mt Victoria on May 1, 1868.

For the first year of train services through Blackheath, stopping was "on demand" only (the train would simply halt) until a platform was installed. A station building was added in 1884 to cope with the growing numbers visiting the town.

By 1898, an isolated section of line was duplicated between Blackheath and Mt Victoria so an island platform and a new station building were created.

Part of that was destroyed in a fire in 1985 but it was fully restored under the orders of then railway chief executive, David Hill. This marked the start of heritage conservation in the NSW railways.

On a steamy day in December, Blue Mountains MP, Trish Doyle, the mayor Mark Greenhill and station master Chris Parr addressed the crowd before adjourning to the hall for cake.