Central Railway Station with its slender clock tower has long been an iconic building in Sydney.
The station dates back to the Edwardian era when railway investment by the State Government was substantial and around 20 % of the entire state workforce was employed by the NSW Railway and Tramway Commissioners.
The prominent position to the south of the city centre makes the structure highly visible from the Railway Square precinct and along the axis of Wentworth Avenue.
Opened on 4th August 1906 the building has been modified by the addition of extra levels (c1910) and the clock tower in c1921.
In October 1914 a passenger count at Central indicated an average of 85,000 arrivals per weekday, 93,000 on Saturdays and 40,000 on Sundays.
During this era railway and tramway passenger traffic in Sydney was increasing at roughly 13 per cent per annum. On a typical weekday some 55 trains departed during the peak hour – 5 to 6 pm.
Passenger volumes through the facility remain impressive and the Station was once connected to the down town area by a tram service operating along Pitt and Castlereagh Streets to Circular Quay.
Prior to the development of the underground railway from 1926 – 1932 the tramway service carried over 30m passengers per annum.
In 1997 trams returned to the site with the introduction of the light rail service to Pyrmont – Ultimo.