Central Railway Station (also known as Sydney Terminal) is the largest railway station in Sydney. It is located on 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. Central Station houses the operations of New South Wales Railways and is located at the southern edge of the Sydney Central Business District. Central sits beside Railway Square and is officially located in Haymarket. Central is the station closest to the University of Technology Sydney at Broadway.
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 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. The new 15-platform station was opened on 4 August 1906 and included the previous Mortuary Station designed to transport funerals to Rookwood Cemetery. The 1906 building is still in use as the main Sydney train terminal.
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. 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 clock tower in the Free Classical style was added at the north-western corner of the station, opened in 3 March 1921.
A riot begun by discontented troops took place at the station in 1916. During the "Battle of Central", one man died and several were injured. The only evidence remaining is a small bullet-hole in the marble by the entrance to platform 1.
Central Station celebrated its 100 years of service anniversary on 5 August 2006.
The western ("steam") half of Central Station, which is 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 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 terminating CityRail's intercity services..
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.
Central Station currently 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 at Sydney's Central Station 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.
Platforms 4 - 15:
Platform 24 (underground):
Platform 25 (underground):
Platforms 26 & 27 (underground):
Central station is also the location for the Central light rail station, the eastern terminus of the Metro Light Rail line in Sydney, which runs for 7.2km between the station and the terminus, Lilyfield light rail stop. It is the only station on the light rail line at present where transfer to CityRail services is possible.
The light rail stop is located in an outside concourse area of Central station, located near to the main waiting area and departure hall. (This area was originally designed for trams, and was used by such until 1958, after which the service was withdrawn. It was known as "Railway Colonnade" in the original tramway system.) It allows easy transfer from train services to Chinatown, the Darling Harbour precinct, Pyrmont and some of the inner western suburbs. A TramLink card was made available by Metro Transport and Cityrail to facilitate these transfers through the purchase of one ticket on both systems.
Students that alight from Central station to travel to the University of New South Wales board buses at Stand D on Eddy Avenue to go to the university, and arrive on the station side of Eddy Avenue on the return trip at Central. Express Buses (Route 891) to the University of New South Wales arrive approximately every 2 minutes during morning peak hours, with decreasing frequency in off peak hours.
Railway Square (George Street)
Stand A (Eastern Suburbs Services):
Stand B(Northern Beaches Services):
Stand C (Inner West Services):
Stand D (South West Services):
Central Station (Eddy Avenue)