Sorcery & Bricks Make Bridges

One feature of the tedious train chug from Wollongong to Sydney is the Stanwell Creek Viaduct, a magnificent brick arch structure that spans the Stanwell Park Creek gorge. The viaduct is considered by many historians and architects to be a crown jewel of Australia’s brickwork bridges. Built in 1918 by a nation stripped of steel and most other resources from a global conflict, this bridge reflects the resilience of this nation.

The bounding arches of this beaut go beyond awesome ogling to the infrastructural achievement and commercial implications for the Wollongong region. The duplication of the Illawarra line boosted trade for the region and this piece of the puzzle has been a considerable tourist attraction since it’s completion.

Some sources claim five million bricks from the State Brickworks at Homebush make up the eight arches that span the swooping creek, enough to build well over 200 brick houses at that time.

The epic scale of this bridge has always captivated my glass-pressed noggin as the locomotive rounds the tree-crowded bend before opening to a momentary glimpse its curvature. Unfortunately, an unadulterated view of this remarkable piece of infrastructure has been lost to the untamed elements of the surrounding nature.


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