Eveleigh Railway Workshops

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Eveleigh Railway Workshops
NSWGR Eveleigh Workshops e.jpg
The former Eveleigh Railway Workshops,
now Australian Technology Park
Eveleigh Railway Workshops is located in Sydney
Eveleigh Railway Workshops
Location in Greater Sydney
Built 1882 (1882) – 1897 (1897)
Operated 1882 (1882) – 1988 (1988)
Location Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Coordinates 33°53′40″S 151°11′44″E / 33.8945274473°S 151.1956660200°E / -33.8945274473; 151.1956660200Coordinates: 33°53′40″S 151°11′44″E / 33.8945274473°S 151.1956660200°E / -33.8945274473; 151.1956660200
Industry Railway
  • John Whitton (architect)
  • George Cowdery (designer)
  • George Fishburn (builder)
Area located within the 51-hectare (130-acre) Eveleigh Complex
Defunct Closed in 1988 (1988) and repurposed ss public housing, Australian Technology Park and other uses
Eveleigh Railway Workshops
Eveleigh Railway Workshops 2.jpg
Locomotive Workshops Boiler House
Designated 26 April 1988
Criteria a., c., d., e., f.
Designated 2 April 1999
Reference no. 001140

The Eveleigh Railway Workshops was the main railway workshop for the New South Wales Government Railways and considered to have world heritage significance by curators of the Smithsonian Institution.[1] The workshops are listed on the New South Wales State Heritage Register, with the following statement of significance:[2]

The Eveleigh Railway Yards are some of the finest historic railway engineering workshops in the world and Eveleigh contains one of the most complete late 19th century and early 20th century forge installations, collection of cranes and power systems, in particular the hydraulic system. The place is of international significance and is one of Australia's finest industrial heritage items. The value of the place is increased by the fact that it is comprised of assemblages, collections and operational systems rather than individual items. Conversely, the significance has been reduced by its closure, relocation of some machinery and its disassociation from the operating rail network.


The workshops were conceived by Engineer-in-Charge John Whitton to build and maintain the infrastructure for the railway system,[3] eventually becoming the largest railway workshops in the southern hemisphere and operated for over 100 years.

  • 1875 – 26.1-hectare (64.5-acre) site at Eveleigh selected
  • 1878 – site resumed, Eveleigh station had been opened
  • 1880 – £100,000 compensation price settled
  • 1880's – Engine Running Shed, locomotive workshop, carriage shed, CME Office completed
  • 1899 – Large Erecting Shop added to the site
  • 1901 – Ultimo Power Station electric power to the workshops
  • 1901 – By this year the new foundry and laundry had been constructed
  • 1902 – Cranes converted to electric drives, new copper and tinsmiths shop erected
  • 1906 – Eveleigh station renamed Redfern
  • 1907 – The New Locomotive Shop designed and constructed, new compressor house constructed
  • 1914 – Electrification of machinery completed, new Locomotive Shop extended to the south
  • 1917 – General Strike began with the 3.000 workers and spread across Australia
  • 1920's – Several new buildings completed, leading to a rearrangement of the workshops
  • 1925 – North bay of Running Shed demolished
  • 1965 – Southern and middle bay of Running Shed demolished to make way for ACDEP carriage depot
  • 1970's – Workshops rearranged internally to update the works and the Spring Shop was removed
  • 1986 – Large Erecting Shop leased to 3801 Limited to house 3801 and rollingstock
  • 2006 – 3801 leaves the Large Erecting Shop for the last time, returning her to the NSW Rail Transport Museum
  • 2008 – Eveleigh Carriage Workshops building adapted for use as a performance space and art gallery and renamed Carriageworks
  • 2009 – Redeveloped as Australian Technology Park and Seven Network Sydney headquarters.[4]
  • 2017 – 3801 Limited's use of the Large Erecting Shop is terminated.


1500T Davy Press in Blacksmith Shop

Locomotive Workshops[edit]

From 1884-1986 the workshops overhauled, repaired, modified and built new locomotives[5] for New South Wales Government Railways. Classes of successful locomotives from the small C30 Class through the C38 Class and D58 Classes and assembly of the largest AD60 Class locomotives.

Eveleigh Railway Workshops consisted 15 Bays featuring:

  • Bays 1 and 2 – Blacksmith's Shop, 1500T Davy Press, 40cwt double-arch steam drop hammer, a 20cwt heavy steam hammer plus numerous small hammers.
  • Bays 3, 4 and 4A – Boilermaker's's Shop, with Bay 3 featuring the Heat Treatment Room
  • Bay 5 – Canteen and Fitting Shop, 1st year apprentice Fitters (Boystown)
  • Bay 6 – Millwright's Shop
  • Bays 7 and 8 – Fitting Shop
  • Bay 9 – Axles and Wheels
  • Bays 10, 11 and 12 – Machine Shop
  • Bays 13 and 14 – Tool and Instrument Room

Carriage Workshops[edit]

Built between 1884-1887 were originally designed for maintenance and repair of wagons and carriages. Later new carriages were designed and manufactured. Bays in the Carriage Workshops were numbered 16-25 over 20,000 square metres (220,000 sq ft). A separate building housed the paint shop.


On 3 May 1968, the Air-Conditioned Depot (ACDEP) opened as the home depot for all long distance HUB, RUB and stainless steel sleeping carriages taking over the function from Flemington Maintenance Depot. It also serviced carriages off the Spirit of Progress and Indian Pacific.[6] From March 1971, it took over the maintenance on the DEB railcar sets.[7]

Latest useage[edit]

The locomotive workshop was closed in 1988 and the main rail workshops were moved to Enfield. From 1988 part of the workshop was used as the Tangara commissioning centre before being rebuilt as the Xplorer-Endeavour Service Centre in 1994.[8] In 2002 the former ACDEP site was redeveloped as Eveleigh Maintenance Centre, where Downer EDi Rail serviced Sydney Trains' Millennium trains and Sydney Trains maintenance division serviced the Oscar sets.[9] In 2018 maintenance of Millennium sets moved to the Auburn Maintenance Centre and the NSW TrainLink Oscar sets to UGL Rail Maintrain. Now only used to stable Oscar sets for Interurban services to Springwood, Newcastle, Port Kembla & Kiama and sector 2 trains throughout the day.

In 2009 the Locomotive Workshops were redeveloped as Australian Technology Park and Seven Network Sydney headquarters.[4]


The workshops, at one stage, the largest enterprise in Australia employed local, Indigenous and European migrants throughout its history.

Notable people who worked at Eveleigh included:[10]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Butcher. The Great Eveleigh Railway Workshops. Ligarde. ISBN 0-646-43400-4.
  2. ^ "Eveleigh Railway Workshops". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  3. ^ "Eveleigh Railway Workshops". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  4. ^ a b Technology Park Profile Australian Technology Park
  5. ^ "Colonial Manufactured Locomotive". Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1853 - 1872). NSW: National Library of Australia. 29 September 1870. p. 12. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  6. ^ "20 Years Ago" Railway Digest May 1988 page 190
  7. ^ "20 Years Ago" Railway Digest March 1991 page 102
  8. ^ "Xplorer-Endeavour Service Centre Opened" Railway Digest August 1994 page 13
  10. ^ "Railways as Political Nursery" (PDF).


External links[edit]