Harden

Harden, first known as Murrumburrah North Was probably best known as a railway centre, having railway workshops and refreshment rooms and being the junction of the Blayney Line. The change of name to Harden was made by the Postmaster-General in 1880, after the name of the County. Harden had previously been used as the name of the post office at Currawong, seven miles (10km) away. The establishment of the loco depot in the early 1880s, with the influx of men to staff it, was responsible for the erection of cottages and shops close to the railway station. The line reached Harden in 1877 and continued its outward march towards Albury. Within twelve months there was a staff of eleven and in the early 1880s the loco depot was formed and gradually expanded. Line was laid to handle 800 trucks. In 1890, ten engines and three fitters were stationed at Harden. In its hey day there were forty engines and twenty four fitters and up to forty trains were marshalled and despatched in any one day. The peak labour force was reached in 1926 when two hundred and seventy two men were on the payroll. The branch line to Blayney opened in 1885 and in 1918 the main line was duplicated to Harden. A disastrous fire in 1895 destroyed the first engine shed, which had a shingle roof. This was subsequently rebuilt in less flammable material. When rail was king, the local hotels employed day and night porters to meet all trains and to arrange the transport of the luggage to and from the station. Each night the hotel bedrooms were occupied by travellers waiting for train connections. The ?Doncaster Hotel? alone filled its thirty bedrooms each night and often made up the rooms again ready for people arriving on the next train. The Second World War was also a busy period not only with the movement of war materials but also with troop trains. Many ex-servicemen remember with gratitude the ladies of the Red Cross distributing refreshments to the troop trains and the railway bar now in the Historical Museum. The post war period saw the gradual decline of the importance of rail. The refreshment room closed in 1957 and the repair depot in 1967. Today Harden is but another station on the southern line and Murrumburrah station no longer exists.


Contact Details
Harden Shire Council
Phone: 02 6386 0100
Fax: 02 6386 0105
council@harden.nsw.gov.au