Strathfield and Homebush Rail History

Strathfield Station
Strathfield Station

  

  

26 September 1855

On this day, the first railway line in NSW was opened.  The 22km ‘Great Trunk Line’ operated from Sydney (Redfern) to Parramatta with stations at Newtown, Ashfield, Burwood, Homebush and Parramatta Junction at Granville.  The Sydney terminal was on the south side of Devonshire Street, just south of the current location of Central Station.

Opening of the Sydney to Parramatta railway, with the vice-regal train driven by William Sixsmith, would have passed what is now Strathfield station at about 11.40 a.m. Fares were high: first class 4s, second class 3s and third class 2s. Over 4000 people travelled on the first day with the journey taking 40 minutes, a revolutionary improvement.

Opening of Homebush station at a cost of £275. The station provided revenue because of substantial traffic to Homebush Racecourse. The station was officially 12.74 kilometres from the city and was also valuable because of its proximity to Parramatta Road. Both platforms were 99 metres long. Racecourse traffic was only maintained for about five years after the original opening because the racecourse was moved to Randwick.

In its first full year of operation of the new rail line between Sydney and Parramatta over 350,000 passengers had used the new rail service.

1856

A goods siding was opened at Homebush and during the 1860s a station master’s cottage was constructed at Homebush as well as cattle and sheep yards at the western end of the station.

1870

Cattle yards erected at Homebush station and progressively expanded until Homebush became the Saleyards for Sydney.

1875

Deputation by Sir Daniel Cooper, a Director of the Sydney Tramroad and Railway Company for a ‘halt’ without a formal platform to be erected at the new estate called ‘Redmyre’.

9 July 1876

A ‘halt’ established where passengers flagged down the train approved for Redmyre at about the current site of Strathfield Station. The halt officially called Redmyre.

1877

Platforms completed at Redmyre. About 68 metres long, relatively short.  At this time there were 13 trains running between 11am and 11pm.  The trip from Sydney took approximately 28 minutes with 5 intermediate stops.

1877

The timetable of July 9 1877 indicated that 66 passenger trains normally passed through Strathfield Station Monday to Fridays.  Of these about 20 stopped ‘when required’ and approximately three made regular stops.  The time of the journey was about 28 minutes with five intermediate stations.

1883

The Stockyards opened at Homebush adjacent to Flemington Rail Station.  By 1883, 42 trains were scheduled to service Strathfield with an average trip taking 31 minutes with 9 intermediate stops.

1884

Flemington Station opened as two platforms with a waiting shed and goods office.  A footbridge connected the station with the saleyards completed in the previous year.

1885

The stockyards at Homebush Station closed.

1886

Redmyre Station renamed Strathfield at the request of Strathfield Council.  In the same year the number of platforms increased from 2 to 4 to serve the newly opened Strathfield-Hornsby Branch.

1886

Major work and new long platforms, 134 metres, for the opening of the new northern line that reached Hornsby in 1894.

1877

The timetable of July 9 1877 indicated that 66 passenger trains normally passed through Strathfield Station Monday to Fridays.  Of these about 20 stopped ‘when required’ and approximately three made regular stops.  The time of the journey was about 28 minutes with five intermediate stations.

1887

By May 1887 traffic had increased to 100 trains per day, 80 making regular stops, with 66 extra on Saturdays, on which 40 stopped.  The time of the journey had increased to 31 minutes with 10 intermediate stops.

1890s

Two private carriage works were located near Strathfield Station.  The first, Carnes Car Building Company, had a siding and works on the northern side of the station.  This Company commenced work in 1890 and at some later date the siding was closed.  The second company engaged in the construction of the rolling stock was J. Morrison Company, whose business commenced in 1889 and ceased in 1895.

During the 1890s loop lines were made to the Homebush saleyards.

1891

Quadruplication of lines between Sydney and Homebush.

Loopline built between the main and northern lines at Homebush to connect with the saleyards.  Homebush platforms moved approximately 45 metres to the west.

Area over Beresford Road Strathfield acquired to erect a carriage shed to accommodate carriages and engines used in the Sydney-Homebush suburban service.  The shed was converted to a workshop for the Railway Institute in 1945.

 3 July 1892

New footbridge and station buildings erected at Homebush station.  Completion of four tracks from Homebush to the city, greatly improving travel speeds and allowing express trains from Homebush to Sydney.

1900

Island platform at Strathfield widened and a 21 metre wide overhead bridge built with accommodation for offices and platform access.

23 September 1901

The new Strathfield Station was opened to the public.

1912

New Station Master’s residence built at Homebush.

1916

Branch line extended to connect with the new Enfield Marshalling Yards.

1927

Construction of completely new station with major roadworks. Six tracks now at station.

27 August 1928

Electrification: Homebush to Sydney.

1972

Death of Stationmaster in rail accident.  The following plaque was erected on Platform 3 at Strathfield Station.

‘Frank Thomson, Platform 3, Strathfield Station, Strathfield.  Erected in memory of the stationmaster who lost his life in the course of his duties 20.9.1972.’  Apparently Thomson lost his life when he was stabbed attempting to stop a person without a rail ticket.

1999

The Strathfield Rail Station and Complex (including underbridges) was gazetted as a heritage item on the State Heritage Register and Strathfield Council Local Environmental Plan.

The Homebush Rail Station was gazetted as a heritage item on the State Heritage Register and Strathfield Council Local Environmental Plan.

References

Fox and Associates, Strathfield Heritage Study, 1986

Henderson, B(ed), Monuments and Memorials, 1988, Royal Australian Historical Society Register

New South Wales Public Transport Commission Archives Section as quoted in Jones, M. (1985), Oasis in the West.

NSW Heritage Branch, NSW Heritage Inventory Database, information obtained from http://www.heritage.nsw.gov.au

Strathfield District Historical Society Newsletter, Vol.1, No.5, June 1979.

8 comments on “Strathfield and Homebush Rail History

  1. Sharn White

    Thankyou to your site where I found that my great great grandfather, John Morrison built the Strathfield Council Chambers and discovered that his rail carriage works operated near Strathfield Station between 1889 and 1895. A very informative website, regards Sharn

    Like

    • Hi Sharn,

      I am a journalist from the Strathfield Scene newspaper. You might have some local knowledge to share with us. If you ever want to suggest stories or local news, contact me.

      Jess Noble | Journalist | Big Splash Media
      Suite 2, Level 8 50 Margaret St, Sydney
      9299 7348 | 0432 974 997
      bigsplashjourno@gmail.com

      Like

    • Thanks for the comment, hope the information assisted your reseach.

      Like

  2. I’ve read elsewhere that Frank Thomson (Strathfield Stationmaster 1972) wad stabbed while trying to stop a passenger who had no ticket.

    Like

    • There is an article in Australian Railway Historical Society July 2012 edition that states that the Frank Thomson was the Station Master in 1972 and was stabbed when he attempted to stop a person without a ticket.

      Like

  3. Yes, very nasty. Now I can see why CityRail staff dont attempt to pursue gate jumpers.

    Like

  4. Jenny Inglis

    About the death of the Station Master at Strathfield Station in 1972. My mother was on the train with the man who
    killed him. It wasn’t really an accident this man has been running around threatening people with his knife. My
    understanding of the incident was that the Station Master was a brave man.

    Like

    • Kerrie Murray

      Yes he didn’t get a longer sentence very sad my father john Ranse was the one who stopped him he tried to help the station master but it was too late unfortunately mostly everybody locked themselves in toilets etc I’m so very proud of my dad he was stabbed in the head leg arms etc it made a terrible impact on not only his life but his family we had to re-live this event with him he was very mentally affected by it reliving not only himself that was stabbed trying to stop this guy but watching this guy stabbing the station master and the other ladies and the court cases etc …but now he’s 90 yrs old still doing ok as I said I’m very proud of him on that day he’s a real Aussie hero

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s