Monday, 1 December 2014

Macksville: I'll drink to that

A couple of blokes opened a pub back in 1885 and inadvertently established a village called Macksville. Angus Mackay and Hugh McNally's Star Hotel quickly had a town spring up around it that took on the name Macks Village. In keeping true to our Aussie habit of giving everything a nickname, (and perhaps even shortening our nicknames even further), the town's name was changed to Macksville in 1889, well before the arrival of the first train in town. By 1919, the railway line had arrived in Macksville from Kempsey to the south, and almost 100 years later trains still call at this town of 2,658 on the North Coast Line. As for the pub? The Star Hotel is still there, restored and ready to keep serving up views of the Nambucca River for another hundred years. Trains and a pub, I'll drink to that!

Macksville Railway Station on the North Coast Line, looking south 2007.

Macksville's railway station is a type 12 Ac4 station building that was once a common funcionalist design used during the 1st World War. More than 140 of these pre-fabricated concrete station buildings were built across New South Wales, and Macksville Railway Station is one of only a few of these buildings still remaining today.

Macksville Railway Station looking to the north. Photo taken 2007.

Today, Macksville has 3 return XPT's to Sydney stop at its 1919 station building. There is still a small yard and an attached goods shed standing opposite the platform, and a passing parade of interstate container trains between Sydney and Brisbane that rumble throughout the night. Macksville Station looks as though it would make a fine candidate for a model railway. While I have just covered the North Coast Line from Brisbane to Sydney and back in my book Train Tripping Eastern Australia, I passed through Macksville in both directions in the wee hours of the morning. So the photos you see were taken by myself back in 2007, during one of my whistle stop photo shoots while driving to Port Macquarie for a family holiday. To get a full appreciation of the history and adventure that is waiting to be discovered by train along Australia's east coast, please consider downloading my window seat guide from only 99 cents. Each sale will ensure that I can head off somewhere down the line on my next Train Tripping adventure to bring you more photos such as these.

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John Muller said...

Nice to see the history and photos. It is changing fast...there are still the old functional blue and white seats along the platform but not for long. A ramp will be installed soon to the waiting room and all will be in the Trainlink colours.

Phillip Overton said...

That's change isn't it John? It's sad to read that Macksville will soon become yet another unattended railway station. Without station staff presence, I've seen plenty of quaint stations like Macksville become vandalised to the point where they are then demolished and replaced with steel or concrete bus shelters in the name of progress. Hopefully Macksville Station will still be around for years to come.