This 3.3 Km off road track follows the route of the old tramway that ran from Wallsend to Glendale. At the Southern end it can be found at the end of Frederick St, next to the Glendale TAFE. The track heads up the hill at gentle grades with cuttings and embankments as the old steam trams could only manage a 3% gradient. There was a section of double track at the summit where trams could pass each other, then it runs down to Wallsend through open farmland with the occasional cow grazing in the distance. At the northern end it passes under the F3 link road and crosses Ganney Rd then connects with a cycleway along Cowper St to the centre of Wallsend, where a connection can be made with the East-West cycleway. In future it is hoped that a connection can be created from the Glendale end of this track down to Speers Point, which would be a very useful connection for Lake Macquarie residents who need to travel to Wallsend, Jesmond, or the University. For recreational cyclists, Speers point to Wallsend is part of the “Two city circuit” that is described elsewhere on this web site.
A video made in 2003 while lobbying for this cycleway can be viewed here.
The residents of the small mining community of West Wallsend at the start of the 20th Century were poorly served by public transport and clamored for an extension of the tram line that ran from Newcastle only as far as Wallsend. Construction started in 1905 and it operated for only two decades until the service was abandoned in the depression of the 1930s as it lost money every year, and would have been expensive to convert to electricity as the rest of the Newcastle tram network moved from steam to electric motors.
The previous member for Wallsend, John Mills, was very supportive of the cycleway. His speech to the NSW parliament can be read in Hansard, June 2004.