Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Off the rails at Central















1906-2006... Sydney's main train station, Central, celebrated its 100 years last August. To the keen eye it reveals a wealth of delightful period details such as this superb glass window pane. I had to go out of my way to find this door leading to administrative offices that are closed to the public, but isn't it lovely?
More about the history of Central Station

8 comments:

Meg Nakagawa said...

Oh, beatiful! I bet there are more from the period! Have you checked out the loo? Dunedin station has beautiful tiles and hinges and because most of the station is closed off, I had to go to the loo to find out. (Luckily that loo is not used too often, so you can actually go and enjoy the view, as it were.)

Nathalie said...

Well the loo is quite a sight too but not for its tiles. It is bathed in this incredible blue light - supposed to chase the flies, I believe ? Very eerie, makes you look and feel dreadful. Never seen anything like it elsewhere.

Norman said...

Sadly, Nathalie, I understand the blue lights are employed to make it more difficult for junkies to find their veins when shhoting up, thus (hopefully?) discouraging them from using the toilets as a drop-in centre, as much as they otherwise would. Next time you're at Gosford Staion near your home, look for the innocuous warning sign outside the toilets; but inside (and admittedly I can speak only of the male toilets) they've usually run out of the approriate globes, so the light isn't blue all that often.

While we're in trivia mode, I believe the first railway lines laid in NSW were at the Bulli araea coal mines, although unlike the Sydney-Parramatta line, they didn't carry passengers. The first passenger railway in Australia was at Port Arthur, Tasmania, in the 1830s. The rails were wooden, and the locomotion was provided by four convicts, who pushed uphill, but were permitted to hop on for the ride in some of the downhill stretches. Probably much more economical fuel bills than modern locomotives, but I doubt modern day convicts, or citizens, would be sufficiently fit to bring it back?

When you're at Central Station again, you'd find the nearby old Mortuary Station interesting. It's a wonderful relic from less affluent days when caskets and mourners all travelled to Rookwood Cemetry on the same train. I suggested that my daughter have her wedding there, but for some reason she felt the Botanical Gardens were better. Who understands women?

Nathalie said...

Mortuary Station? Will definitely try and locate that next time I'm there.
I found more about it on
http://www.cityrail.info/aboutus/station_tour/location_2.jsp but can't quite figure out what to look for.

Norman said...

Next time you're coming into any of Central's western side platforms, just before you reach the end of the line, Nathalie, you'll see it from the port side of the train. It's fairly obvious what you're looking for --- once you see it.

Anonymous said...

lovely , indeed! too bad, such designs are only found on older buildings.

Gail's Man said...

Happy birthday Central. It's a great station and I had no idea that it was a century old. I always know I've reached Sydney when I arrive at central.

Gavin Hart said...

Beautiful window and great shot of it too. It was certainly worth going out of your way to seek it out.