Regent Street railway station

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Regent Street (Mortuary)
MortuaryStn.jpg
Station statistics
Address Regent Street, Chippendale
Coordinates 33°53′12″S 151°12′09″E / 33.8868°S 151.2024°E / -33.8868; 151.2024Coordinates: 33°53′12″S 151°12′09″E / 33.8868°S 151.2024°E / -33.8868; 151.2024
Line(s) Rookwood
Platforms 1
Tracks 1
Other information
Opened 29 June 1869
Closed Not closed
Rebuilt 21 April 1985
Electrified Yes
Station status Reused
Mortuary Station
Stonework near the entrance

Regent Street was a railway station on Sydney's Rookwood Cemetery railway line. Funeral trains departed from the station, being bound for Rookwood Cemetery. The station found later use as a part of Sydney Yard. The ornate Gothic building is still standing on the western side of Sydney Yard at Chippendale, close to Central railway station and Railway Square.

History[edit]

The station opened as Mortuary on 29 June 1869. At some point, its name was changed to Regent Street, after the street on which it is located.[1] It has also been referred to by different names, including the Necropolis Receiving Station and the Mortuary Station.[2] The station was built as part of the larger Rookwood Cemetery line. It was completed on 22 March 1869 but had been used since 1 January 1869.[3] It was also one end of the service that ran to the Woronora General Cemetery in Sutherland, located south of Sydney, and for trains heading to Sandgate Cemetery in Newcastle.

This and the Receiving House station at Rookwood Cemetery were designed by colonial architect James Barnet using elements from the Venetian 13th century Gothic style. Principal sculptors Thomas Ducket and Henry Apperly worked on the elaborate carvings that were a feature of the stations, including angels, cherubs, and gargoyles.[3] Although both buildings were designed to look like churches, both in structure and in the symbolic elements that adorned them, they were never used as places of worship.[4]

From 14 March 1938, the station found a new use as a platform for horses and dogs. From February 1950 it was used as a platform for parcels.[1] It was restored by the State Rail Authority in 1985. By this time it had also been classified by the National Trust of Australia and the Australian Heritage Commission and made part of Permanent Conservation by the Heritage Council of New South Wales. The cost of restoring the site was approximately A$600,000. It was reopened on 21 April 1985 by Neville Wran.[2][5]

From 1986 to 1989, a pancake restaurant, the Magic Mortuary was operated using railway carriages to house the diners.[2] Subsequently the station has occasionally been used as a venue to launch special train services and informative displays,[2] and as a hired function centre. In the early 2000s the platform was shortened at the northern end to make way for a bus terminus.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b How & Why of Station Names: meanings and origins... State Rail Authority of New South Wales Archives Section (2nd ed.) (State Rail Authority of New South Wales). 1982. 
  2. ^ a b c d Oakes, J (2002). From Central Sydney. Australian Railway Historical Society. pp. 58–77. 
  3. ^ a b Singleton, CC (1989). The Rookwood Cemetery Line. The Sleeping City: The Story of Rookwood (Society of Australian Genealogists, NSW). 
  4. ^ Buckle, EG (1987). A station of the cross. The Church (Ainslie, Canberra: All Saints Anglican Church). 
  5. ^ "Mortuary Station Reopens" Railway Digest June 1985 page 165

Image gallery[edit]

Neighbouring stations[edit]

Preceding station   Closed Lines   Following station
Rookwood Cemetery Line Terminus