100 Years of Central Station Celebration.
On Friday 4 August 2006, Central Station celebrated 100 years of service to the people of NSW.

Since its opening in 1906, Central has grown to be the largest station in NSW and is a major transport hub for commuters, used by approximately 145,000 passengers each day, who travel to and from it. In addition to trains it is an interchange for people using the bus, coach and tram networks. Intercity passenger services to all mainland state capital cities depart from Central Station. As well, many heritage train services depart from this station.

Did you know that the current station at Central is the third one built since the first rail journey in 1855

Central (also known as Sydney Terminal) is the largest railway station in Sydney, Australia. It services almost all of the lines on the CityRail network, and is the major terminus for interurban and interstate rail services. Central is the station closest to the University of Technology Sydney. Central Station houses the operations of New South Wales Railways and is located at the southern edge of the Sydney Central Business District. Central Station celebrated its 100 years of service anniversary on 5 August 2006.

There have been three stations on the current site. 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), which was known at the time as 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 was known as 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 a cemetery, a convent, a female refuge, a police barracks, a parsonage, a Benevolent Society and a morgue. This new 15-platform station was opened on 4 August 1906 and is still in use.

The last train departed platform 5 of the old Sydney 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 went straight into the new station[1]. 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 St Tunnel. Sydney station has expanded since 1906 in an easterly direction. A 75-metre Gothic revival clock tower was added at the north-western corner of the station on 3 March 1921.

The western ("steam") half of Central Station, which was formerly known as 'Sydney Terminal' and is often referred to as such by Sydneysiders (although it is no longer the official name), comprises 15 terminal platforms and was opened in 1906. This section is dominated by a large vaulted roof over the concourse and elaborate masonry composed primarily of sandstone, the most common rock in the Sydney region. This western section is popularly known as the country platforms, even though only four platforms are commonly used for long-distance trains. Most of the 15 platforms are used for CityRail's intercity services that terminate at Central, also known as Sydney Terminal.

To the west of Platform 1, there was previously a siding leading to two dock platforms for use of mail trains. This siding has been 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, four of which are underground. These platforms are used by suburban CityRail services, and by a limited number of through 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 underground railway line was not finished until 1979. While the plans called for four platforms, two were found to be not needed and are currently used as archival storage by the New South Wales Railways.
One of the new Outer City units. This proved to be very interesting, the stylish shape and comfortable seating were just some of the attributes.
Country Link were also flying their flag, some of the people had never seen an XPT train and it created great interest.
Millennium meets outer city. Here’s one picture that may take a long time to reproduce.
An old 44 class as always drew a crowd, young and old are fascinated by these workhorses from times past.
The 42 class was another unique draw card, in green and gold livery, many questions were asked by those who have never seen this before.
The 44 with the 42 in tow, these gave the crowd a great show.
The 45 class in great condition and again showing the diesels of old. Young and old enjoyed these glimpses of the past.
What’s this, a ghost version of a steam loco? Is it, yes it is, 3801, the stalwart of the steam era. A magnificent example of NSW steam.
Here is 3801 in a grey undercoat. The loco has since been restored to her green livery.
Steam was well represented and the patrons were eager to sample the trips and relive the feel and sounds of yesteryear.
The Indian Pacific slowly makes her way into Central Station after another long trip. A trip that all must want to do one day.
Photos courtesy of Steven Waker
Return to top of page
Retrun to Main Gallery page
© Historic Electric Traction 2003 ~ 2017