2018 Greater Bank Fernleigh 15

21 Oct 2018


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Fernleigh 15

Sunday 21st October 2018!

The seventh annual Fernleigh 15 is the one opportunity for runners and walkers to complete the entire length of the Fernleigh Track without traffic or bicycles. The 2018 event will again feature a 5 person relay with relay change zones at each of the iconic railway stations along the track.

Why run the Fernleigh 15?

This is the only chance to run on the iconic Fernleigh track which will be closed to all other traffic! The course is a certified 15 km and will also feature the NSW 15 km Championships.. Regardless of your ability the Fernleigh 15 is an experience, not just a run. Pass through suburban settings before running through the iconic Pacific Highway tunnel linking Newcastle and Lake Macquarie jurisdictions. Run through the leafy Glenrock reserve and then past the historic coastal town of Redhead. The run culminates with a ripping last km over boardwalk sections of paperbark swamp and finishing at the Belmont railway platform.






The Fernleigh 15 takes in all 6 stations of the Fernleigh Track: Adamstown, Kahibah, Whitebridge, Redhead, Jewells and Belmont

An interactive course map is below. To view the map make sure your browser allows third party scripts.

RunBetter with Robbo!

Dave Robertson, Physio at Run Better is excited to once again offer a couple of special Fernleigh15 running technique sessions in the lead up to this year’s race. Sessions will be held along the Fernleigh Track on Sat 7th Oct and Sat 14th Oct, both 9:30-11:30am, starting from the Fernleigh Cafe (Adamstown)

Runners of all levels of experience and ability who want to improve their running, are welcome to attend. Sessions are designed to help runners better understand the way they run, with the help of video analysis, plus provide simple yet powerful strategies to improve the efficiency and ease of their running. Also includes tips and advice for how to run your best 15km on race day, as well advice around preventing and managing common running injuries.

Don’t miss out, limited places only. More information and bookings via http://runbetter.eventbrite.com

Running made simple

12 Week Training Program Starts Monday July 31

A complimentary 12 week training program developed by Olympian Scott Westcott is available. The program is general in nature and caters for a wide range of abilities but leaning towards folks who want to set themselves up to run 15km on Oct 22 who would struggle to do it right now!  Download your 12 week training program here

Train with us every Wednesday

Complimentary training groups will take place every Wednesday at the Fearnley Dawes Athletic Centre. Smith St Newcastle West. Training groups are free for anyone registered for the event. You will need to pay for entry into the Athletics Centre.

Dates: Every Wednesday from 2nd August 2017 to Wednesday 18th October

Times: A choice of THREE time slots are available. All abilities are welcome.

AM: 6:30am – 7:20am,  

LUNCH: 12:00pm – 12:50pm,  

AFTERNOON: 5:15pm – 6:05pm

Please bring a water bottle and arrive 10 minutes before if possible. You will need to purchase a training pass for the venue. A training passes for the Fernleigh 15 Training Group will cost $40 for all 12 sessions. Existing pass holders need only turn up to join in the session.

Purchase a training pass here


General Training Tips

ALWAYS stretch after a session and recover properly eat some food including protein within 15 minutes after your workout.

LISTEN to your body. If you are sore or tired, modify the workout or have a rest day.

ALTER the training days to suit your week swap the days in the program around but keep to the principle of ’hard/easy’ – do not do 2 hard days in a row!

MIX up the terrain you run on; use grass, gravel roads, bush trails and bitumen. Try and avoid concrete.


The Fernleigh Track is a multi-use rail trail near Belmont in New South Wales. The track was constructed in the way of the former Belmont railway line. The project is a joint venture between Newcastle City Council and City of Lake Macquarie.
The track extends from Adamstown to Belmont over an approximate distance of 15.5 km.
The former railway closed in December 1991. The first section between Adamstown and Burwood Road opened in 2003. Construction has continued in stages with the final section between Jewells and Belmont completed in March 2011.


For an estimated 6,000 years, the Fernleigh Track area was home to the indigenous Awabakal people. They lived amongst the rich natural environment and utilised the resources of the open and rocky coastline, swamp land and hilly forests.
Rail construction began in the late 1880’s, and the Adamstown to Belmont railway line was opened for traffic early in the 1890’s. It was used to transport coal from the mines in Lake Macquarie to the port of Newcastle and the Newcastle steel works.
In addition to coal haulage, a passenger service existed between Belmont and Newcastle. The trip took around one hour and was frequently used for weekend excursions from the city. When coal transportation began to decline, the service and maintenance of the line decreased.

In 1967, a switch from steam to diesel rail motors was made, before the scheduled passenger service was finally terminated in 1971. Throughout the 1980s, closures of coal mines along the line increased.
After the Lambton Colliery shut down operations in 1991, use of the line ceased completely.

The Transformation Process

Guided by the Fernleigh Track Committee the transformation from former rail corridor to treasured community asset began in 1994 after the joint purchase of the land by the Lake Macquarie and Newcastle City Councils.
In 1999, the development of a shared pathway was proposed. Funding from both Councils and the NSW State and Federal governments allowed construction to commence with a significant focus set on restoration and preservation. Different sections were completed in stages, spanning 2003 2011.


– 1880 – Rail line opened to Redhead
– December 1916 – Rail line extended to Belmont
– 12 October 1922 – Special train left Newcastle for the opening of “Soldiers’ Memorial Hall” at Kahibah
– January 1925 – Redhead Loop name changed to Fernleigh Loop
– 1967 – Last passenger steam train to Belmont
– 8 April 1971 – At 17:10 the last rail passenger train to Belmont via Kahibah left Newcastle Station
– 19 December 1991 – Rail line closed
– 2 February 2003 – Adamstown to Kahibah Station stage of the Fernleigh Track (cycleway) opened
– August 2004 – Dudley Junction to Whitebridge Station section of Fernleigh Track completed
– 7 May 2005 – Kahibah Station to Whitebridge Station section officially opened
– November 2009 – Whitebridge Station to Redhead Station section of Fernleigh Track completed
– November 2010 – Redhead Station to Jewels section of Fernleigh Track completed
– 12 March 2011 – Fernleigh Track fully completed
– 21 October 2012 – Inaugural Fernleigh15 running/walking event

2018 Greater Bank Fernleigh 15 News

2018 Greater Bank Fernleigh 15 Partners