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THE sound of the iconic red rattler, a train sure to be embedded in the memories of many Campbelltown locals, returned to Campbelltown Station today, 50 years since electrified rail first arrived in the city.
The red rattler arrived at Campbelltown Station at 12.20pm, to the excitement of rail enthusiasts and multitudes of children.
The electrification of rail to Campbelltown in 1968 coincided with the area’s proclamation as a city.
Campbelltown Mayor George Brticevic recounted his own early memories of catching a red rattler from Macquarie Fields Station to Parramatta to get to the cinemas.
The red rattler arrives at Campbelltown Station in 1968. Picture: Campbelltown City Library (Geoff Eves Collection)Cr Brticevic said the two events signified Campbelltown’s coming of age.
Organising committee chief Michael Chalker Sydney Trains CEO Howard Collins and Campbelltown station master Charley Tanuvasa inside the red rattler. Picture: Simon Bullard“They recognised not only the huge growth that had taken place since it was founded as a fledgling farming community in 1820, but its enormous potential for growth,” he said.
“It’s a potential that has exceeded all expectations. In 1968 our population was about 19,000 people. Today it is almost 170,000 and we are preparing to be home to a population of more than 270,000 in the next 20 years.
Lucas Eaton, 3, from Bradbury enjoys a ride on the old train. Picture: Simon Bullard“Half a century ago, the State Government recognised what we Campbelltonians already knew, that this is a great place for young couples to settle and raise a family.”
Campbelltown City Library Service has created a display of memorabilia to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the city’s proclamation and the electrification of the railway line.
Thousands turned out to the proclamation of Campbelltown as a city in 1968. Picture: Campbelltown City Library (Geoff Eves Collection)The display, at the HJ Daley Library, includes the original city of Campbelltown proclamation and photographs from the 1968 celebrations, and will run until 13 May.
This article first appeared on www.dailytelegraph.com.au
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