Central railway station, Sydney
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Central Station viewed from the western forecourt in 2017
|Elevation||20 metres (67 ft)|
|Operated by||Sydney Trains, NSW TrainLink|
|Connections||Bus & light rail|
|Structure type||Ground & underground|
|Website||Transport for NSW|
|Opened||5 August 1906|
93,400 (daily) (Sydney Trains, NSW TrainLink)
|Central Railway Station|
|Type||Railway station terminus|
|Architectural style||Federation Free Classical|
|Address||Eddy Avenue, Haymarket, Sydney, New South Wales|
|Opened||5 August 1906|
|Inaugurated||4 August 1906|
|Renovated||January 1979, 1915|
|Client||New South Wales Government Railways|
|Owner||Government of New South Wales|
|Tip||85.6 metres (281 ft) AHD|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Walter Liberty Vernon (1901-06)|
|Architecture firm||New South Wales Government Architect|
|Developer||Government of New South Wales|
|Engineer||Henry Deane (Engineer in Chief of the New South Wales Government Railways)|
|Services engineer||Dr John Bradfield (rail engineering)|
|Other designers||Fairfax & Roberts (clock tower)|
|Main contractor||NSW Department of Public Works|
|Official name||Central Railway Station, Eddy Av, Haymarket, NSW, Australia|
|Designated||21 March 1978|
|Official name||Central Railway Station|
|Criteria||a., b., c., d., e., f., g.|
|Part of||Central Railway Station and Sydney Terminal Group|
|Reference no.||SRA s.170 Register|
The Central railway station is a railway station located at the southern end of the central business district in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Often abbreviated as Central or Central station, the station is the largest and busiest railway station in New South Wales. It services almost all of the lines on the Sydney Trains network, and is the major terminus for NSW TrainLink services. Actual patronage was 11.35 million passenger movements in 2013.
Central station occupies a large city block separating Haymarket, Surry Hills, and the central business district, bounded by Railway Square and Pitt Street in the west, Eddy Avenue in the north, Elizabeth Street in the east and the Devonshire Street Tunnel in the south.
There have been three terminal stations in Sydney. The original Sydney station was opened on 26 September 1855 in an area known as Cleveland Fields. This station (one wooden platform in a corrugated iron shed), called Sydney Terminal, had Devonshire Street as its northern boundary. It was frequently but unofficially called Redfern station, while at that time the present Redfern station was officially called Eveleigh. It should be noted that the first and second Sydney Terminals were never actually located in Redfern, being to the north of Cleveland Street which is Redfern's northern boundary.
When this station became inadequate for the traffic it carried, a new station was built in 1874 on the same site and also called Sydney Terminal. This was a brick building with two platforms. It grew to 14 platforms before it was replaced by the present-day station to the north of Devonshire Street. The new station was built on a site previously occupied by the Devonshire Street Cemetery, a convent, a female refuge, a police barracks, a parsonage, and a Benevolent Society. The remains exhumed from the cemetery were re-interred at several other Sydney cemeteries including Rookwood and Waverley cemeteries. Bodies were moved to Botany by steam tram motors and flat cars.
The present station was officially opened on 4 August 1906 and opening for passengers on 5 August 1906. The new station included the previous Mortuary railway station used to transport funeral parties to Rookwood Cemetery. The last train departed platform 5 of the 1874 station at midnight. During the remainder of that night, the passenger concourse was demolished and the line extended through the old station into the new station. The Western Mail arrived at 05:50 on 5 August 1906 at the new station. Devonshire Street, which separated the two stations, became a pedestrian underpass to allow people to cross the railway line and is now known by many as the Devonshire Street Tunnel.
An 85.6-metre-tall (281 ft) clock tower in the Free Classical style was added at the north-western corner of the station, opening on 3 March 1921. The clock was designed by Richard Lamb and Alfred Fairfax, the co-founders of Fairfax & Roberts. Central station was designed by the Government Architect, Walter Liberty Vernon. As it was being built, it was reported that "Everything in connection with the new station appears to have been designed on a grand scale, from the great elevated approaches down to the system of handling luggage underground." It is listed on the NSW State Heritage Register and the now defunct Register of the National Estate.
A riot, dubbed the Battle of Central Station, took place in 1916. Soldiers rebelling against camp conditions had raided hotels in Liverpool and travelled to the city by commandeered trains. Upon arrival at Central station, the rioters set about destroying the station facilities, and fire was exchanged between rampaging rioters and military police. One rioter was shot dead and several were injured. The only remaining evidence of the gun battle is a small bullet-hole in the marble by the entrance to platform 1. This incident had a direct influence on the introduction of 6 o'clock closing of hotels in 1916, which lasted in New South Wales until 1955.
The station opened on 5 August 1906 with 11 platforms, but was soon expanded to 15, and by 1913 had 19. This section is dominated by a large vaulted roof over the concourse and elaborate masonry, primarily Sydney sandstone.
As part of the construction of the electrified city railway in the 1920s, a new Central station was built. The existing station was cut back to 15 platforms with new platforms 16 to 23 built on the station's eastern side and a six-track bridge paralleling Elizabeth Street to Goulburn Street built to the north.
Railway employees then referred to the main building and platforms 10 to 15 as Sydney Terminal Station and platforms 16 to 23, and the lower level concourse serving them, as Central Electric Station and the two stations were managed and staffed as separate entities.
South of these new platforms, a series of flying junctions were built. This involved the four southbound tracks passing beneath the northbound tracks with a series of diamond crossings allowing trains to cross lines without impeding trains traveling in the opposite direction.
To the west of Platform 1 there was a siding leading to two dock platforms for use of mail trains, now cut back to serve a motorail loading ramp for the Indian Pacific. The space were where the mail sidings is now a Youth Hostels Association hostel named the Sydney Railway Square YHA. The hostel rooms are modelled on old train carriages.
In February 1926, Platform 18 and 19 of the steam station were wired for electric trains with a demonstration run from Sydney to Hurstville. This wiring was transferred to Platforms 21 and 23 and Platforms 14 and 15 were wired for Bankstown electric train services commencing October 1926 and later worked into St James. As the Homebush electrification was completed, Platforms 17 and 18 were wired. Electric trains to Hornsby via the main line commenced on 21 January 1929. Trains to Hornsby used Platforms 16 and 18. Steam services to Parramatta and Liverpool were converted to electric in November 1929. Western electric trains began operating through to Wynyard from 28 February 1932.
The eastern ("suburban") part of the station, consists of 10 through platforms, all aligned north-south, two of which are underground. These are used by suburban Sydney Trains services and by a limited number of NSW TrainLink intercity services during peak hours. The eight above-ground platforms were opened in 1926 as part of a large electrification and modernisation program aimed at improving Sydney's suburban railway services. Prince Alfred sidings, south of Platform 23, were used to stable electric trains until closed in August 1995 and later demolished to make way for the Airport line.
The two underground platforms were built as part of the Eastern Suburbs Railway. Construction commenced in 1948 but the line was not finished until 1979. While the plans called for four platforms, two (for the Southern Suburbs line) were intended to be used in the future and were used for archival storage by the railways.
A contract for a major upgrade of the station was awarded in March 2018. The project includes construction of two new underground platforms to serve the Sydney Metro City & Southwest and a new underground concourse called Central Walk. The new platforms will be built beneath platforms 13-14.
Platforms and services
Central serves all Sydney suburban lines except for the Cumberland and Carlingford lines. All long-distance NSW TrainLink XPT and Xplorer services and the Great Southern Rail Indian Pacific terminate at Central. These generally use Platforms 1 to 3, although when the Indian Pacific is in the station occupying both Platforms 2 and 3, some NSW TrainLink regional services use Platforms 4 to 6.
The platforms are numbered from 1 to 25, with 1 being the westernmost platform and 25 being one of the easternmost. The services which generally use each platform are listed below:
|1 to 3||services to Grafton, Casino & Brisbane||Platforms 1 to 15 are terminal platforms|
|services to Armidale & Moree|||
|services to Canberra, Griffith & Melbourne|||
|services to Dubbo & Broken Hill|||
|Indian Pacific||services to Perth via Broken Hill & Adelaide|||
|4 to 15||services to Gosford, Wyong & Newcastle via Strathfield|||
|services to Springwood, Katoomba, Mount Victoria, Lithgow & Bathurst|||
|services to Kiama||Weekdays only between Central and Bondi Junction|
|evening peak services to Moss Vale & Goulburn|||
|special event services to Olympic Park|||
|16||services to Berowra via Gordon
services to Hornsby via Macquarie University or Gordon
|evening peak services to Gosford, Wyong & Newcastle via Gordon|||
|17||services to the City Circle via Town Hall|||
|services to the City Circle via Town Hall|||
|18||services to Epping, Richmond & Emu Plains
late night weekend services to Hornsby via Strathfield
|19||services to Parramatta
services to Leppington & Campbelltown via Granville
limited evening peak services extend to Macarthur via Granville
|services to Liverpool via Bankstown|||
|20||services to the City Circle via Museum|||
|21||services to the City Circle via Museum|||
|22||evening peak services to Macarthur via Sydenham & East Hills|||
|services to Lidcombe & Liverpool via Bankstown|||
|23||services to Kingsgrove, Revesby, Campbelltown & Macarthur via the Airport|||
|24||services to Bondi Junction|||
|services to Bondi Junction|||
|25||services to Cronulla & Waterfall via Hurstville
one afternoon service extends to Helensburgh
|services to Wollongong, Port Kembla, Dapto & Kiama|||
|26 & 27||Never completed||used only for archival document storage|
|Never completed||used only for archival document storage|
When opened, Central station had an indicator board with 22 vertical panels. It was replaced in June 1982 by computer screens with the original indicator board conserved by the Powerhouse Museum. In June 2015, a new elevated 11-metre-long (36 ft) indicator board was installed on the main concourse on the same standstone base as the original board.
Central is the eastern terminus of the Dulwich Hill Line that operates to Chinatown, Darling Harbour, Pyrmont and the inner western suburbs. The light rail stop is in an outside concourse area, near the main waiting area and departure hall. This area was originally designed for trams, and as such was used by trams until 1958, when the service was withdrawn. It was known as Railway Colonnade. Light rail services operate in a clockwise direction, whereas the trams operated in an anti-clockwise direction.
Long distance coaches depart from the western forecourt and Pitt Street:
- Australia Wide Coaches operate services to Orange
- Firefly Express operate services to Melbourne and Adelaide via Melbourne
- Greyhound Australia operate services to Brisbane, Byron Bay, Canberra and Melbourne
- Murrays operate services to Canberra
- Port Stephens Coaches operate services to Fingal Bay
- Premier Motor Service operates services to Brisbane and Eden
Devonshire Street Tunnel
After Central was built in 1906, the Devonshire Street Tunnel, to the north of the old station, became an underpass. The underpass allows pedestrians to access the eastern "suburban" section from Railway Square and Chalmers Street. The tunnel connects to The Goods Line–a park and pedestrian pathway to Ultimo and Darling Harbour.
Diagrams and maps
- Architecture of Sydney
- Light rail in Sydney
- Mortuary railway station
- Rail transport in New South Wales
- Trams in Sydney
- Bureau of Transport Statistics. "Train Statistics 2014" (PDF). Transport NSW. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
- "Central Railway Station". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
- "Central Railway Station and Sydney Terminal Group". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
- "Central Station - in-depth history". Sydney Trains. Government of New South Wales. Archived from the original on 10 August 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
- "Central Railway Station, Eddy Av, Haymarket, NSW, Australia (Place ID 2196)". Australian Heritage Database. Department of the Environment. 21 March 1978. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
- "Central Railway Station, Sydney - Gallery - State Records NSW". State Records NSW - Digital Gallery. Retrieved 2017-04-13.
- "Atlas of the Suburbs of Sydney - Redfern 1886-1888". dictionaryofsydney.org. Retrieved 2017-04-13.
- "Sydney's Central Station - Now and Then Photos - Sydney". Weekend Notes.
- "The New Central Station". Sydney Morning Herald. Trove, National Library of Australia. 6 August 1906. p. 6.
- Preston, Ronald George (1980). 125 Years of the Sydney to Parramatta Railway. Burwood: The New South Wales Rail Transport Museum. p. 60. ISBN 0-909862-13-3.
- "New Railway Station. An imposing Building". The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW: 1842 - 1954). NSW: Trove, National Library of Australia. 2 August 1906. p. 7. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
- Australian Heritage Commission (1981), The Heritage of Australia: the illustrated register of the National Estate, 2, South Melbourne: The Macmillan Company of Australia in association with the Australian Heritage Commission, p. 108, ISBN 978-0-333-33750-9
- Baker, Jordan (2 August 2006). "The secret life of us — tunnel vision exposed". Sydney Morning Herald.
- "Sydney's Electric Trains from 1926 to 1960". Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin (761): 87, 94, 95 101. March 2001.
- Oakes, John (2002). Sydney's Central. Redfern: Australian Railway Historical Society. p. 53. ISBN 0 909650 56 X.
- "Sydney Railway Square YHA". YHA Australia.
- "Suburban Report". Railway Digest: 344. November 1986.
- "Newsline". Railway Digest: 12. April 1999.
- "Unknown". ARHS Bulletin. 56: 3. 1942.
- "CityRail's New Timetable". Railway Digest: 13. August 1995.
- "$955 Million Central Walk, Sydney Metro Contract Awarded - securing more NSW jobs". Transport for NSW. 7 March 2018. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
- Central Station Sydney Metro. Additionally, platform 15 has had tracks removed and is currently fenced off, being officially booked out of use.
- "Central Train Station Sydney | Information & Map | Sydney Metro". www.sydneymetro.info. Retrieved 2018-07-18.
- "North Coast timetable" (PDF). NSW Trainlink. 26 November 2017.
- "North Coast timetable" (PDF). NSW Trainlink. 26 November 2017.
- "Southern timetable" (PDF). NSW Trainlink. 26 November 2017.
- "Western timetable" (PDF). NSW Trainlink. 26 November 2017.
- "Indian Pacific timetable". Great Southern Rail. 1 April 2018.
- "Central Coast & Newcastle line timetable". Transport for NSW.
- "Blue Mountains line timetable". Transport for NSW.
- "South Coast line timetable". Transport for NSW.
- "Southern Highlands line timetable". Transport for NSW.
- "T7: Olympic Park line timetable". Transport for NSW.
- "T1: North Shore & Northern line timetable". Transport for NSW.
- "T8: Airport & South line timetable". Transport for NSW.
- "T3: Bankstown line timetable". Transport for NSW.
- "T2: Inner West & Leppington line timetable". Transport for NSW.
- "T4: Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra line timetable". Transport for NSW.
- In search of platforms 26 and 27: Central station’s mysterious underground world Daily Telegraph 30 October 2014
- David Johnson's Sydney Underground Photos
- Central Station indicator board Powerhouse Museum
- "Opal takes centre stage at Central". Transport for NSW. 29 June 2015.
- CBD & South East Light Rail Project Archived 21 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Transport for New South Wales April 2013
- Timetables Firefly retrieved 20 May 2018.
- Australian timetables Premier Transport Group
- Tunnelling Through the Past Sydney Architecture
- McKillop, Robert; Ellsmore, Donald; Oakes, John (2008). A Century of Central. Australian Railway Historical Society. ISBN 978-0-9757870-6-9.
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