1605 Eveleigh Paint Shop
Eveleigh Paint Shop
The Eveleigh Paint Shop forms part of the Eveleigh Railway Workshops, which also consisted of the locomotive works manager’s office, carriage workshops, locomotive workshops, large erecting shop, new engine shop, timber shed, store & ACDEP depot.
You might have noticed this building when making your way into the city on the train. The Eveleigh Paint Shop can be seen on your left (city bound) just before arriving at Redfern Station.
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I had always wondered what was in the distinctive, Victorian period workshops.
As it turns out, behind the red brick walls is an extensive train collection being lovingly refurbished by a passionate team of railway aficionados, some who have dedicated their entire career to the industry.
The carriages within the building originate from various periods of Sydney’s railway history, some dating back to a century.
Construction of the paint shop was completed around 1887 as a single storey building with the distinctive sawtooth roof. Five roads were added in the 1960’s to allow for suburban electric car overhauls.
The entire site of Eveleigh Railway Workshops once occupied an area of over 60 acres (240,000 square meters), bounded by North Newtown, Darlington, Erskineville, Redfern, Alexandria and Chippendale. At its peak, the Workshops employed over 3000 workers, many of the surrounding suburbs.
Eveleigh manufactured the first steam locomotives made in Australia until production ceased in 1952 as a consequence of World War 2. The workshops were then repurposed by the department of defence and machinery was installed for the manufacture of shells.
In 1945, locomotive manufacturing recommenced until production ceased in 1952, and the facility transitioned to repair and maintenance of the existing fleet.
Ultimately, railway yards at Chullora and Clyde would come to replace the functions of Eveleigh, and as rail technology progress and steam driven locomotives became obsolete, the equipment at Eveleigh became redundant, and the site closed in 1988. However, Since then, some of the buildings have been repurposed such as the carriageworks, clothing store and blacksmiths workshop.
I’d like to say special thanks to Dave and Geoff for taking the time to show me around the site and explain the history of everything you see in these photographs.