Many followers of the Eveleigh Projects blog would be familiar with our two regular mainline trains – the Cockatoo Run and Hawkesbury River (Deerubbun) Express – but where were their names derived from?
The scenic Cockatoo Run from Sydney Central south to Robertson and Moss Vale was a service formerly operated by the then State Rail during the 1980s. At that time, many Black cockatoos adorned the trees on the climb from Unanderra to Summit Tank, leading to the christening of the service among railwayfolk as the Cockatoo Run (the birds have subsequently resettled closer to the city however, having developed an appreciation for domesticated living and the higher echelons of the real estate market in the intervening years!)
By the early 1990s, State Rail were looking for a new operator to take over the service as a tourist train, and in stepped 3801 Limited. The rest, as they say, is history – and the service has proven a mainstay of the company’s operations ever since, having operated formally under the name since its relaunch in 1994, and becoming well known and loved under the banner once coined as a colloquialism for over twenty years.
The Hawkesbury River Express passes through the land of the Guringai people, whose domain was once bounded to the south by North Head, by the Lake Macquarie entrance to the north, and Mangrove Mountain to the west. Many of the current place names in the area are derived from their dialect, including Cowan (uncle), Patonga (oyster shell), and Woy Woy (deep lagoon). The Guringai name for the Hawkesbury River itself is ‘Deerubbun’, to which the train’s headboard also bears witness. Our next Deerubbun Express departs on the 23rd November – why not take the opportunity to have a fantastic day out and indulge in a journey of cultural enlightenment in the process?