HOME OF THE LADY DENMAN - Local history isn't always about the big story - the everyday story of life in the early development of the region can be a fascinating, entertaining and educational journey.

30 November 2015

Jervis Bay - The promised land.

The promise of a new port for the colony at Jervis Bay had been in the pipeline for many years.  Successive ministers and governments made grand gestures during discussions about the future of Jervis Bay.

A new railway would link the new National Capital,  Canberra,  with the sea.  Jervis Bay was destined to become the National Capital’s Sea Port.

The  railway line would also link Nowra,  where the current line now terminates,  with various location around the bay,  to the north the line was proposed for the great future city ‘St Vincent’s City” to be built by Henry Halloran, then on to the south shores of the bay where it would link the Woollamia Estate with North Huskisson,  “Huskisson”  then on to Lambs Point, present day “Plantation Point”,  then on to South Huskisson,  present day Vincentia”  then around to Captains Point, site of the the “Australian Naval College”  then finally ending at Bristol Point, where another town was laid out with plans for shipping wharfs and infrastructure.

But like so many things before and since Jervis Bay was never to see any of the proposed developments come into reality.


Shoalhaven News July 1915

 Opening of the new port and the National Railway.


“The long-promised opening of the port should soon begin. The accepted agreement between the New South Wales and Commonwealth Governments provides for handing over more territory at Bristol Point to the latter, who will build the national railway.
     The survey shows this line as running through the College lands to Lamb's Point, and thence on to Canberra. This means that the first wharves will be constructed and used at Bristol Point'; the College will retain its isolation; and Lamb's Point will be used for public wharves under State control. It is understood docks - will be erected at Bristol. The turning of the first sod will be done by the Governor General at the beginning of July.”



The Railway comes to Jervis Bay 1915.

Even though a railway link of any sort never eventuated,  I’m sure it would be a surprise to many people to know Jervis Bay did end up with a working railway line and locomotive operating on it’s shores.


Locomotive 530 travelling along the shore-line of Jervis Bay during operation at the Royal Australian Naval College.

During the construction of the break wall at the Royal Australian Naval College, two stone quarries were excavated and a small locomotive hauled the stone between the quarries and the breakwater.

Initially the wagons were hauled by horses but when the second quarry was opened further away the 530 was purchased from the NSW Government Railways in 1915.

The image above is taken from a small book available from the museum for 5 dollars by Peter Crabb,  it goes into great detail about the “Railways that Never Were”   the information contained in the book is fascinating.


The Shoalhaven News and South Coast Districts Advertiser Saturday 17 April 1915



The two images above shows the railway line extending onto the wharf and along the water front, it was used for unloading timber and coal during the College’s construction
The Sydney Mail 1913.

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