On Saturday, 18 November 1978, the new Merivale Railway Bridge, connecting Roma Street and South Brisbane Railway Stations was officially opened by Queensland Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen in the presence of 850 official guests. The new bridge crossing the Brisbane River was constructed over a period of three years and three months and reported to have cost $20.6 million, according to the Sunday Mail (19/11/1978), .
“It was a gala occasion”, reported the Sunday Mail. “Hundreds of people crammed the stairway, holding tight their tickets for the first-day return train rides, which will run hourly across the weekend. Others hung over the rails of the William Jolly Bridge, peering at the action through binoculars”.
Diesel electric locomotive no.2422 was chosen to make the first official journey across the bridge.
A small collection of photographs from the opening celebration weekend are available to view online through our One Search catalogue.
Myles Sinnamon – Engagement Officer, State Library of Queensland