This was the long-awaited passenger train, in more ways than one, the first to eventually reach Tamworth albeit two hours late with the Northern Rail Project two years behind schedule.
The line had reached Tamworth three months earlier, enabling goods trains to reach the town in July, 1878.
Trains couldn't travel any further north, as the floodplain viaduct hadn't get gotten underway.
When completed, it eventually led to the opening of the current Tamworth Railway Station on January 2, 1882.
The Beyer and Peacock 4-4-0 locomotive pictured above, carrying the NSW Governor Sir Hercules Robinson, arrived two hours late at 6pm on October 15, 1878 for the official opening of the railway station in West Tamworth.
Three special trains arrived following the first, bringing 2000 people from as far afield as Maitland.
Around 8000 people assembled in the town to celebrate the arrival of the first train, many coming from distant centres.
After the opening, a grand processes started at the station, crossed the bridge to East Tamworth and was so long that the lead had reached Peel Street before those in the rear had left the station.
The local newspaper said "it was the greatest event which ever occurred in connection with the history of Tamworth".
The railway proved a great boost to the Tamworth economy and the population increased rapidly.
Various hotels and accommodation houses sprang up in proximity to the new railway station, including others with the expectation of a possible rail extension to East Tamworth.
The transport of goods was also greatly improved, compared to the slow and often unreliable drays and wagons.
But, don't complain about slow train travel today - as the train trip from Newcastle to Tamworth in 1879 took nine hours, with mixed passenger and freight trains taking 15 hours.
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