Central railway station in Sydney

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Central Railway Station is the largest railway station in Australia, at the southern end of the Sydney CBD. It services almost all of the lines on the CityRail network, and is the major terminus for interurban and interstate rail services; it houses the operations of The Rail Corporation New South Wales; it sits beside Railway Square and is officially located in Haymarket; and it is the station closest to the University of Technology Sydney at Broadway.


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 Redfern, had Devonshire Street as its 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 Redfern. 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 a number of other Sydney cemeteries including Rookwood Cemetery and Waverley Cemetery. Bodies were moved to Botany by steam tram motors and flat cars. The new 15-platform station, still in use, opened on 4 August 1906, and 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 train that arrived in Sydney at 5:50am on 5 August 1906 arrived 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.

Sydney station has expanded since 1906 in an easterly direction. A 75-metre clock tower in the Free Classical style was added at the north-western corner of the station, opened in 3 March 1921. Central Station was designed by the Government Architect, Walter Liberty Vernon, and has been described as the "grandest railway station in Australia." It is listed on the 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.

Central Station celebrated its 100th birthday on 5 August 2006, with preserved steam locomotives providing shuttle trips from Sydney to Hurstville and Railmotor rides from Mortuary Station to Flemington goods yards.

Station configuration

In the days of steam, the station was regarded as being divided into "steam" and "electric" parts.

The western ("steam") half, known as Sydney Terminal, comprises 15 terminal platforms and was opened in 1906. This section is dominated by a large vaulted roof over the concourse and elaborate masonry, primarily sandstone, the most common rock in the Sydney region. This section is popularly known as the country platforms, even though only three platforms are commonly used for long-distance trains: most of the platforms are used for CityRail intercity services.

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 car loading ramp for the Indian Pacific. The space where the mail sidings were is now a youth hostel. The hostel rooms are modelled on old train carriages.

The eastern ("suburban" or "electric") part of Central Station, formerly known as 'Central Electric', consists of 12 through platforms, all aligned north-south, four of which are underground, used by suburban CityRail services and by a limited number of 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.

The four underground platforms were built as part of the Eastern Suburbs Railway. Construction commenced in 1948 but the Eastern Suburbs line was not finished until 1979. While the plans called for four platforms, two (for the Southern Suburbs line) were found to be not needed and are used for archival storage by the New South Wales Railways.

Service and platforms

Central Station serves all suburban lines except for the Cumberland Line, and all intercity lines except for the Hunter Line. All long-distance rural and interstate passenger trains operated by the State-owned CountryLink and the famous Indian Pacific, the twice-weekly train between Sydney and Perth, Western Australia, terminate at Central.

The platforms are numbered from 1 to 27, with 1 being the westernmost platform and 27 being one of the easternmost. The services which generally use each platform are listed below.

The station is served by twenty-seven to thirty-eight trains per hour in each direction, with additional trains during weekday peak hours. CityRail and CountryLink services are listed on the box:


Transport links

Light rail

Central station is the location of Central light rail stop, the eastern terminus of the Metro Light Rail line, which runs for 7.2 km to Lilyfield. It is the only station on the light rail line where transfer to CityRail services is possible.

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 was used by such until 1958, when the service was withdrawn. It was known as "Railway Colonnade". It allows easy transfer from trains to Chinatown, Darling Harbour, Pyrmont and the inner western suburbs. Tickets that can be used on the Metro Light Rail include MyMulti tickets, Pensioner Excursion, Family Funday Sunday and TramLink cards which combines travel with Cityrail. Single Tickets are also available.

Bus services

Many bus services depart from the adjacent Eddy Avenue and Chalmers Street or from the nearby Railway Square on George Street. Special bus services depart from Chalmers Street, such as replacement services for CityRail trains due to track work, or free shuttle services to special events at Moore Park, like rugby or cricket.

Buses for the University of New South Wales leave Stand D on Eddy Avenue, returning to the station side of Eddy Avenue. Express buses (Route 891) to the University of New South Wales arrive approximately every two minutes during morning peak hours, with decreasing frequency in off-peak hours.

A large number of Sydney Buses services offer interchange from Central. They are:

Railway Square (George Street)

Stand A (Eastern Suburbs Services):

  • 305 - to Mascot - (O`Riordan Street near Baxter Road)
  • 309 - to Port Botany - (Port Botany Depot, Monday-Saturday morning only)
  • 310 - to Eastgardens - (Westfield bus interchange, Monday-Saturday morning only)
  • 311 - to Gresham Street via Woolloomoolloo
  • 372 - to Coogee - (Arden Street near Dolphin Street)
  • 378 - to Bronte Beach - (Bronte Beach Terminus)
  • 393 - to Little Bay - (Anzac Parade near Little Bay Road)
  • 395 - to Maroubra Beach - (Maroubra Beach set down only)

Stand A NightRide Services:

  • N100 - to Bondi Junction

Stand B (Northern Beaches Services):

  • E86 - to Church Point - (Mccarrs Creek Terminus)
  • E87 - to Newport - (Seaview Avenue near Robertson Road)
  • L88 - to Avalon - (Carreel Head Road near Burrawong Road)
  • E88 - to Avalon - (Barrenjoey Road near Careel Head Road)
  • E89 - to Avalon - (Barrenjoey Road near Avalon Parade)
  • 190 - to Palm Beach - (Ocean Place near Ocean Road)
  • L90 - to Palm Beach - (Ocean Place near Ocean Road)

Stand C (Inner West Services):

  • 412 - to Campsie - (South Parade)
  • 413 - to Campsie - (Beamish Street near North Parade)
  • 431 - to Glebe Point - (Federal Road Terminus)
  • 433 - to Balmain - (Darling Street near Curtis Road)
  • 437 - to Five Dock - (Great North Road)
  • 438 - to Abbotsford - (Great North Road and The Terrace)
  • L38 - to Abbotsford (Great North Road and The Terrace)
  • 439 - to Mortlake
  • L39 - to Mortlake
  • 440 - to Rozelle - (Terry Street near Victoria Road)
  • 461 - to Burwood - (Railway Parade near Burwood Plaza)
  • M10 - to Leichhardt - (Pioneers Memorial Park)
  • 480 - to Strathfield - (Strathfield Station via Homebush Road)
  • 483 - to Strathfield - (Strathfield Station via Strathfield Girls' High School)

Stand C NightRide Services:

  • N10 - to Sutherland
  • N11 - to Cronulla
  • N30 - to Macarthur
  • N40 - to East Hills
  • N50 - to Liverpool
  • N60 - to Fairfield
  • N61 - to Carlingford
  • N70 - to Penrith
  • N71 - to Richmond
  • N80 - to Hornsby

Stand D (South West Services to Newtown):

  • M30 - to Sydenham
  • 422 - to Kogarah
  • 423 - to Kingsgrove
  • L23 - to Kingsgrove
  • 426 - to Dulwich Hill
  • 428 - to Canterbury
  • L28 - to Canterbury

Central Station (Eddy Avenue)

Stand A:

  • 311 - to Gresham Street via Woolloomooloo
  • 378 - to Bronte Beach - (Bronte Beach Terminus)

Stand C:

  • 339 - to Clovelly - (Clovelly Road Terminus)
  • 372 - to Coogee - (Arden Street near Dolphin Street)
  • 374 - to Coogee - (Arden Street near Dolphin Street)
  • 376 - to Maroubra Beach - (Maroubra Beach set down only)
  • 391 - to Port Botany - (Port Botany Terminus); to La Perouse (Anzac Parade Terminus)
  • 393 - to Little Bay - (Anzac Parade near Little Bay Road)
  • 395 - to Maroubra Beach - (Maroubra Beach set down only)

Stand D:

  • 309 - to Port Botany - (Port Botany Depot, Monday-Saturday morning only)
  • 310 - to Eastgardens - (Westfield bus interchange,Monday-Saturday morning only)
  • 891 - to University of New South Wales - (High Street near Botany Street)
  • 892 - to University of New South Wales - (High Street near Botany Street)

Hillsbus services to the Hills District depart from Pitt Street

  • M61 - to Castle Hill via Express via Lane Cove Tunnel, M2 & Baulkham Hills
  • 610 - to Rouse Hill Town Centre via M2, Baulkham Hills
  • 610X - to Rouse Hill Town Centre via Express via Lane Cove Tunnel, M2 & Baulkham Hills
  • 613 - to Bella Vista via M2
  • 613X - to Bella Vista via Express via Lane Cove Tunnel, M2
  • 614 - to Crestwood via M2, Northmead, Winston Hills
  • 614X - to Crestwood via Express via Lane Cove Tunnel, M2, Northmead, Winston Hills
  • 615 - to Riley T-Way Station via M2, Baulkham Hills, Kellyville
  • 615X - to Riley T-Way Station via Express via Lane Cove Tunnel, M2, Baulkham Hills, Kellyville
  • 616 - to Rouse Hill Town Centre via Glenwood, Stanhope Gardens
  • 616X - to Rouse Hill Town Centre via Express via Lane Cove Tunnel, Glenwood, Stanhope Gardens
  • 617X - to Rouse Hill Town Centre via Express via Lane Cove Tunnel, North-West T-Way, Beaumont Hills

Coach services

Long-distance coaches terminate on Eddy Avenue.

Devonshire Street pedestrian tunnel

After Central Station was built in 1906, Devonshire Street, 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.

Image gallery

Neighbouring stations

Country services

City services

See also

  • Sydney Explorer

Further reading

External links

Source en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_railway_station,_Sydney