Central Station

Central Station entranceCentral Station is the hub of the Sydney Trains network. As one of Sydney's most recognisable landmarks, Central is also a popular meeting point for travellers.

Not only is Central one of the largest railway stations in Australia, it is a key interchange point between buses, coaches and trams.

Opened on 4 August 1906, Central Station is the third station to be built in its vicinity since the first station opened 51 years earlier. Central was built to accommodate the growing number of passengers as New South Wales railways expanded.

With its high arched roof, Central's Grand Concourse was one of its most impressive features when first opened and remains so today. Over the last century, imagine how many people have arranged to 'meet under the clock' on the concourse?

Central's sandstone Clock Tower was a later addition, officially brought into use at 10.22am on 3 March 1921. Stretching up at 85.6 metres the tower could be viewed from miles away, but that was before the skyscrapers of today.

Prior to electric trains and underground lines into the City being built, Central consisted of 19 terminal platforms where Sydney suburban and longer distance trains arrived and departed.

Aerial view of Central StationIn 1926, new platforms at a higher level (platforms 16 to 23) were brought into use to accommodate the lines that today service the City Circle and the North Shore Line over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Later in 1979, platforms 24 and 25 were opened for the Eastern Suburbs Line.

Central Station has proudly served the people of Sydney, New South Wales and Australia for 100 years. Central Station has seen a steady increase of passenger flows as an interchange between Sydney suburban, intercity, country and interstate trains. Its original function as an interchange between trains and trams has more recently changed to include buses, coaches and taxis. Consequently, Central Station has been a focal meeting point and is one of Sydney's most recognisable landmarks.

Over the last 100 years, Central Station has witnessed many momentous occasions, from the movement of thousands of troops boarding and alighting trains during World War II to the electrifying excitement of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, tasks that were handled extremely efficiently. Special events have also been staged at Central Station such as railway balls, public transport displays, the Centenary of NSW Railways and more recently the 150 years of rail in NSW celebrations. Central Station however was not Sydney's first terminal station. The brief history that follows tells the story of how this beautiful station came to be.

Further reading