Bridge's key role in rail history

SOME of the best and brightest from the world of engineering have been in Grafton since Friday to speak about the history of the Australian railway and the importance of the Grafton Bridge in its development.

People such as David Marchant, CEO of Australian Rail Track Corporation, Wal King, CEO of Leighton Holdings, Michael Bushby, the acting CEO of the Roads and Traffic Authority, and countless university lecturers were brought to the Clarence Valley for the 2009 Engineers Australia Regional Convention being held at the South Grafton Ex-Servicemen's Club.

The main point of discussion at the convention was the past, present and future of Australian transport and communication.

Former Clarence Valley resident and convention presenter, Doctor Robert Lee, yesterday evening launched his book, Fruits of Federation, which takes a historic look at the progress of a nationally consistent railway network.

“The Grafton to South Brisbane was the first tangible result of the movement towards standardisation of railway gauges in Australia and the Grafton Bridge played an integral role in its development,” Dr Lee said.

“It is fantastic to see a piece of history still standing today.”