IV. Newcastle Pead’s across NSW Railways & Newcastle Tramways

A Work in Progress

My husband, David’s Pead’s were a railway family, plus at least one of the Newcastle Tramways, with family members employed over about a century since 1875 – click here for a  Timeline of the Pead’s working on the NSWGR from 1875 .


Believed to be the first to join the railways, were brothers John Joseph Pead and James Pead, sons of Irish immigrants,  John Pead and Mary Charteris – Pead nee Dwyer. They were to be followed by many of their descendants across several generations. Collectively they  worked across almost the NSWGR system in a range of capacities, but mostly in Steam Loco Sheds. Some were in quite senior roles, like John Joseph Pead and his son John Leslie Pead.

Prior to becoming a Steam Loco Inspector, John Joseph Pead had been a loco fireman, and then an engine driver, like his brother James Pead, who was tragically killed in an horrific steam loco boiler explosion near Thornton in 1905.

Some of the Pead NSWGR  descendants also served in WWI , WW2 or the post WW2 BCOF (British Commonwealth Occupation Forces) – and one, Harry Hamilton Pead, was killed in WW2 at Beirut.

It’s believed that there have been at least 14 Pead’s on the NSWGR and Tramways since  1875 –  and researching references to all of them  does make for confusion ! Perhaps the tree below helps in understanding. And as it a rather big story, I’ve broken it into sections – click on the weblinks below to find out more about the various Pead’s on the NSW Railways and Tramways.

John Pead, an Irish Emigrant’s Railway descendants

  • John Joseph Pead – read more
    • John Leslie Pead – more
  • James Pead – more
    • Henry James Pead
      • James Charles Hamilton Pead
      • Harry Hamilton Pead
      • Ronald Hamilton Pead
      • John Arthur Pead
      • Arthur Hamilton Pead
    • James William Pead
      • Leonard Pead married fellow Goulburn railway employee Joy Stockbridge
    • John Arthur Pead – also worked with Newcastle Tramways
    • Arthur Robert Pead

There was a KR (Kenneth Ronald?) Pead studying Fitting & Machining at the Railway Institute in Newcastle in 1954 ?  Quite possibly he would be related to our Pead family’s railway employees ?

Who was F Pead of Guyra in Armidale in 1924 – perhaps one of the Pead’s Port Macquarie, Wauchope, Kempsey, like Arthur Austin Pead(e) of the Singleton Railway Goods Yard and his son possibly working on the Railway in the 1930’s ? These Pead’s are believe to have originated from Buckinghamshire, and are not believed to be connected to our Pead’s from Ireland.

While their NSWGR Railway and Tramways Saga commenced in the Hunter Valley – the Peads spread across most NSW, with the exception of the Broken Hill Line  (from  Molong to Broken Hill).

  • Hunter Region – junction for the Great Northern Railway, North West Line and North Coast Line
    • Hamilton, Broadmeadow, Cardiff, Honeysuckle, Maitland
  •  Sydney
    • Everleigh Workshops, Chullora, and Railway House in Sydney – perhaps Enfield
  • North Coast Line
    • Casino, Taree
  • Great Northern Railway
    • Armidale
  • North West Line
    • Moree,
  • Great Western Railway
    • Dubbo, Bathurst, Lithgow
  • Great Southern Railway
    •  Albury, Goulburn, The Rock near Wagga Wagga, Cootamundra,  Junee,  Harden,
  • Connection Western to Southern Railway
    • Cowra
  • Bombala Line
    • Cooma
  • South West Line to Hay
    • Narrandera,
  •   South Coast Line
    • Thirroul,

What was the development of the railway up in the Hunter Valley that attracted brothers John Joseph and James Pead ?

The second half of the 19th Century was a period of growth for the Hunter River Great Northern Railway and for railways across NSW. The first section of the Great Northern Railway was officially opened in 1857 official opening – and was followed by extensions eastward to Newcastle and westward to Maitland (from 1855)  were completed in 1858 – see Maitland to Morpeth section. Also there may have been some railway construction occurring in Jump Up Creek near Singleton – apparently the Maitland to Singleton railway route had been undertaken in 1856 – Railway Navvies were at Lochinvar in 1859/1860 – and this section was opened in 1860. It reached Singleton in 1863 – with The Singleton Railway Gallop song. Muswellbrook  was reached in 1869, and Scone in 1871 – Scone to West Tamworth in 1878 including Werris Creek and Tamworth in 1878, Armidale in 1883, Glen Innes in 1884, and finally reached the Queensland border at Wallangarra in the Granite Belt  1888. It travelled the spine of the Great Dividing Range – see a list of stations along the line, both open and closed. Perhaps it is not a surprise that John Joseph Pead started working as a fettler on the Great Northern Railway in 1875 – there must have been plenty of opportunities for work there. A couple of years later he began working in the Loco yards.. and from there began an impressive career that would span 50 years until his retirement in 1925.

Click here for a  Timeline of the Pead’s working on the NSWGR from 1875 

Back to 2017 -2018 – 130 Years of the South Coast Railway and My Own Railway History Journey


About Kerrie Anne Christian

Interests - Travel, Photography, Developing Websites, Social Media, Writing, Local History, Researcher, Genealogy
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