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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 1 (May 1, 1928)

Walsh Island Dockyard

Walsh Island Dockyard.

“I was particularly interested in the electric development of Sydney's suburban area lines, and in this connection visited the Walsh Island dockyard and engineering works of the Commonwealth Government. By the courtesy of Mr. Waters, the General Manager, I was shown over these works, which to-day employ about 2000 men, and have been equipped to cope with any engineering requirements of the Commonwealth. Among the work which they are at present engaged on are contracts for supplying electric rail steel motor cars for Sydney's new underground railway, the contracts including 100 cars (of which 50 have been delivered) and 200 trailers (of which 45 have been delivered).

“The dockyard is on the Hunter River, about two miles from Newcastle and immediately opposite the Broken Hill Proprietary Company's steel works, this site being selected on account of its close proximity to the coalfields of New South Wales, where cheap power and an immediate supply of materials and labour was available. The extent of the works may be gauged by the fact that they cover 145 acres, while a further 105 acres are available for extensions.

“The three-section floating dock now being constructed there has a length of 630ft., a width of 113ft., 82ft. between fenders, and is capable of docking a 10,000-ton cruiser in a damaged condition, i.e., with 15,000 tons displacement, and can accommodate the largest vessel trading to Australia.

Other places visited were the Westinghouse Brake factory, at Concord, and also Messrs, page 7 Lewis Berger's paint factory, which, supplies our Department with paint. This factory is quite a show place, and the greatest care is taken in producing the finished article, which is seen daily on our ears—Midland Red.