The Osborne-Wallsend Coal Company petitioned Parliament for permission to build a tramway from the mine to the harbour in 1858, as hauling coal by bullock dray to the wharf was less than efficient. This was approved on the 20th July 1860 and the construction was carried out by Rixon and Humphries.
In 1862, the Mt Pleasant Coal and Iron Co. Ltd commenced operating and a tramline was built under the Mt Pleasant Tramroads Act of 1862. The line approached the harbour along the foreshore from North Beach and the alignment is clearly identified by the present cycleway and footpath. Both the Mt Keira and Mt Pleasant lines were 3 feet 8.5 inches gauge (1.13m), and were widened to the NSW standard gauge, based on the English gauge of 4 feet 8.5 inches (1.44m), when steam locomotives replaced the initial horse drawn skips. Locomotives Keira and Kembla were purchased by Osborne’s Mt Keira Mine in 1879, and they were in operation up until November 1954 when the line was closed.