The Historical Society acknowledges and respects the Darug and Gundungurra People, the Traditional Custodians of the area.

Lawson Railway History

Following the survey for the Western Railway in 1860, a contract for the construction of the section of the formation earthworks for the railway commencing at the Welcome Inn (Valley Heights) and finishing at the Blue Mountain Inn (Lawson) was let to Duxberry & Kerr on 14th February, 1863; this work was completed on 26th May, 1865.

blue mountain station 1867

Larkin & Wakeford laid the permanent way (sleepers and rails) between Penrith and Blackheath. The single track line was opened from Penrith to Weatherboard (now Wentworth Falls) on 11th July, 1867. The first station here was called "Blue Mountain", (left) this name was changed to Lawson on 21st April, 1879.

lawson station

When the railway was first opened, this and Mt. Victoria were the only stopping places listed as a station, others were shown as platforms. The fact that trains travelling in both directions watered here, would be the reason. The first Station Master was Mr. Muir, with fetlers Sutton and Thompson. The Pumper was named Morris.

Water was supplied from a dam that had been built in 1867 in a gully north-west of the Railway Station. It had an earth wall and a timber spillway; from the dam the water was pumped to a stone rectangular storage reservoir in what is now Hilda Gardens.

The pump used was a coal burning steam engine; this was housed in a stone building which stood 138 feet east of the dam, it also had a 40 foot high stone chimney. In 1881 the dam wall was raised seven feet. Owing to its limited catchment the dam frequently ran dry being only fed by springs on the surrounding hillsides.

To overcome this problem the authorities decided in 1906 to build a large dam at Wentworth Falls; from here the water was fed to a break pressure tank below Bodington Hill, then to a new concrete storage reservoir of 280,000 gallons which had been built in Hilda Gardens. This service reservoir supplied water for Railway purposes as far east as Valley Heights.

With the 'construction of the new reservoir, the old one was demolished. (Some of the stone was used in the construction of the new Church of England).

With the electrification of the railway in 1957, which resulted in steam engine being superseded, this reservoir was no longer required. (Its later use is the Lawson Bowling Club).

The first buildings on the railway platform were office, waiting room and signalling section. Access to the platform was direct from the Bathurst Road; there was one loop siding with a goods shed plus a refuge.

In 1902 the line was duplicated and an island platform built; new station buildings were also erected (reference to the old buildings will be made under the Mechanics Institute).

Lawson N.S.W. train approaching station

(Lawson 1918)

Public access to the new platform was by a subway entered from the Bathurst Road. This subway was extended to the northern side of the line in 1925. In 1915 additional refuge sidings were built. The stall tank serving the goods siding water column stood west of the railway station, but was demolished in 1985.

Return To Lawson Tour