Stories from the Paint Shop

The first railway line was constructed between Sydney and Parramatta in 1855. Five years later construction began on the first workshops for the railway trains. The Eveleigh Railway Workshops were developed between 1882 and 1887. Described as an industrial city within the City of Sydney and a river of steel, connecting city with country, the workshops are now heritage listed.

The North Eveleigh Precinct includes the Carriage Works, Stores, Chief Mechanical Engineer's Office and the Paint Shop. The heritage of railway travel during days gone by is being painstakingly restored by passionate railway aficionados from the Australian Railway Heritage Society - NSW Branch based in Redfern.

UrbanGrowth NSW has captured the character of train travel around Sydney inside the Paint Shop. Volunteers from the Australian Railway Historical Society – NSW Branch provided the stories and we engaged Lost Collective to take photos of steam train carriages, Red Rattlers and Sputnik cars as they undergo restoration. 

Between 1884 and 1887 the fan of rails was laid and the Car and Wagon Workshops, the Paint Shop and Mechanical Engineers Office were completed. The larger brick wing of the Paint Shop was completed in 1887 and the iron Suburban Car Workshops extension was completed in 1912.

The Paint Shop has eight in-floor rail lines in the brick section and five in the adjacent metal clad Suburban Car Workshop. Each rail line is separated by a single row of cast iron columns which support the distinctive saw tooth roof as seen by passing rail passengers today.

The workshops were open everyday of the week until 1892 when Union negotiations led to the workshops being closed on Saturdays. The need for workers’ housing stimulated residential development around the workshops in modern day suburbs such as Darlinghurst and Macdonaldtown.

The Paint Shop is owned by RailCorp and utilised by the Office of Rail Heritage to store heritage rolling stock and moveable relic collections from railway facilities throughout NSW.