Conservation Projects

Sydney Trains is responsible for managing one of Australia's largest collection of heritage-listed buildings, structures and cultural landscapes.

We continue to work with heritage professionals and skilled heritage trades people across NSW to conserve and restore our heritage assets for future generations.

Melocco Room mural restoration, Central Railway Station

The former Interstate Booking Office at Central Station was opened in 1951 as part of a modernisation program to bring the railways into the modern era. The new modernist interiors of the Booking Office were designed by the railways’ principal architect, with space allocated for a specially commissioned artwork by the Melocco Brothers, renowned Italian artisans – featuring a magnificent terrazzo mosaic and marble floor, travertine walling and a ‘Keenes’ cement incised wall mural. 

As part of a retail uplift at the station throughout 2018, extensive conservation work was undertaken by skilled conservators to the mural to carefully remove years of surface dirt and water damage. Following conservation works, the space has been re-opened for the public to gain access to one of Sydney’s great public artworks

Parramatta Signal Box conservation works

The signal box at Parramatta was constructed in 1885, and then extended in 1911 to its current size to support increased railway operations in the area, until being decommissioned in the late 1900s. The signal box however remains as a significant historical element within the State Heritage Register listing for the station precinct.

Throughout 2018, conservation works were undertaken to repair and preserve this proud relic of NSW’s railway history.  Works included reconstruction of missing timber finials, cleaning of masonry elements, roof repairs and repainting in a traditional historical paint scheme. 

Railway Honour Rolls, Central Station

Of the 8,477 railwaymen who enlisted in the Australian Imperial Forces in World War I - 1214 lost their lives through that service. The NSW Government Railways sought to immortalise them on a series of honour boards. As a result, four Master Honour Rolls were commissioned and displayed on the Grand Concourse at Central Station from 1916 until they were removed from public display in the 1950s.

Sydney Trains Heritage and Transport Heritage NSW recently collaborated on a joint project to extensively restore these four Master Honour Rolls and reinstate them into the Grand Concourse at Central Station for ongoing commemoration and display. An unveiling ceremony of the Rolls was held on 8 November 2018 with some relatives of those commemorated on the Rolls present at the ceremony.

The Australian Railway Historic Society (ARHS) were also commissioned to research the historical biographical information of each individual soldier listed for ongoing public interpretation and access.  A permanent exhibition about the NSW Railways in the war and these individual biographies can be found on our NSW Railways Remember website: www.nswrailwaysremember.com.au.

Railway conservation guides

Guidelines are available on the conservation of railway buildings, sites and objects including:

  • conservation guidelines for heritage railway station buildings, furnishings, fences and gardens
  • identifying and conserving other heritage railway structures, platforms and bridges
  • case studies of projects to conserve NSW rail heritage.

Access the conservation guides here on the Transport Heritage NSW website.