Stony Creek Trestle Bridge not stoney creek - built for steam locomotive - History at Nowa Nowa near Lakes Entrance Vic
Stony Creek Trestle Bridge
The Australian Heritage Listed Stony Creek Trestle Bridge steeped in history is located at Nowa Nowa and is a must see on a sightseeing drive from Lakes Entrance in Victoria!
Only a short drive from Lakes Entrance, North bound and about 5 km off the main highway lays an intriguing relic of Victoria's history. You will have to keep your eyes peeled for the sign post.
On the winding road into the bridge you may come across animals such as Kangaroos, Koalas ( look up into the Gum Trees for these) and all sorts of interesting birds. You are sure to hear the distinctive call of the Bell Bird!
After a nice pleasant drive you will come across what is known as The Stony Creek Trestle Bridge which a monument still standing in the honor of the men who toiled hard in a harsh environment.
How the Stony Creek Bridge was constructed
The construction of the Stony Creek Trestle Bridge not far from Lakes Entrance, which was part of a 97km extension of the rail line between Melbourne and Bairnsdale to reach Orbost, began in 1916. The terrain was extremely rugged, and the project was reputed to be the most difficult rail project ever tackled in Victoria.
You may agree when you see the measurements:
- 247 metres in length.
- over 20 metres in height
- and built from Red Iron-bark and Grey Box Timber (very hard).
All of the timber materials were felled and gathered from local forests, and is a fine example and testament to the early engineering skills of Australian pioneers.
Construction of the Bridge
Why build a bridge like this you may well ask?
It was decided to build the Stony Creek Trestle Bridge to provide a boost to the regional economy.
In the years just after WW1, timber was in huge demand and the area surrounding Orbost was very rich in the production of timber.
It still remains a rich timber district to this day.
The Stony Creek Trestle Bridge remained in service until a bushfire damaged the structure in 1980, after being repaired the bridge was last used in 1988.
Usage of the Stony Creek Trestle Bridge
What sort of traffic did the bridge carry?
In the early days of the trestle bridge Steam driven locomotives operated across the bridge until 1957 when diesel locomotives were introduced.
Unfortunately in June of 1964 a train of timber trucks being hauled by a diesel loco was derailed in which 11 trucks laden with timber came off the tracks causing 3 trucks to topple from the bridge and the other 8 toppled during the cleaning up of the site.
Fortunately though the locomotive and the guards van remained on the track and there were no injuries!
Visiting the Bridge
It is a nice little drive from Lakes Entrance and you have to keep your eyes peeled for the Sign Post about 5 km back from Nowa Nowa.
After you turn off from the Princes Highway there is about a 5 km drive into the bush, on this travel you are likely to see some of the wild life in the area, such as Kangaroos, Koalas etc.
When you reach the site it is very impressive indeed stretching out in all its Glory spanning the Snowy River Flood plain.
When you stop and turn off the Motor Car you are struck by the 'silence' of the bush!
All you can hear is the rustle of the wind in the trees and the singing of the birds!
If you stop and close your eyes you may even hear the ghosts of the past as the men go about the massive task of building this Stony Creek Trestle Bridge!
- Heritage listed
This Trestle Bridge is now Heritage listed