Historic Rookwood Mortuary Station, Sydney, opens to the public

9 Posted by - 3 June 2017 - Feature stories

As Sydney’s cemeteries became increasingly full in the 19th century, a macabre railway service began operation in 1867. Twice-daily funeral trains picked up coffins and mourners from Mortuary Station on Regent Street en-route to Rookwood Cemetery. The structure, complete with cherub and gargoyle sculptures, connected cemeteries from Sutherland to Newcastle.

While funeral trains stopped making the trip to Rookwood Cemetery in 1938, the heritage listed Mortuary Station is one of the most unique railway buildings in New South Wales. As part of Rookwood’s 150th anniversary celebrations this year, Mortuary Station will be open to the public across the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

Visitors to the three day event will have the opportunity to admire the Venetian 13th century gothic architecture, and learn more about the largest and oldest cemetery in the southern hemisphere. Special guests will be talking about the history of Rookwood Cemetery and Mortuary Station, videos will be showing historical footage, and for those wanting to know more about family interred at Rookwood Cemetery, a digital research hub will be set up.

The gothic Mortuary Station as it looks today.

The gothic Mortuary Station as it looks today.

The station, within walking distance from Central Station, will be open from 10am to 3pm from 10-12 June as part of the Transport Heritage Expo. For more details, visit transportheritageexpo.com or rookwoodcemetery.com.au



  • avatar
    Judy Scammell 4 June 2017 - 7:59 pm Reply

    Why is the mortuary station closed at other times?

    • avatar
      Sarah Trevor 5 June 2017 - 8:59 pm Reply

      Thanks for your question Judy, we’ll ask our friends at Transport Heritage NSW and get back to you :)

    • avatar
      Sarah Trevor 6 June 2017 - 7:31 pm Reply

      Hi again Judy, we asked Transport Heritage NSW and they said: Mortuary Station is managed and maintained by Sydney Trains for special events, exhibitions, filming and photography assignments. Due to the fact that it is open to the rail corridor, it is secured for public safety when unattended.

  • avatar
    Patricia Browne 5 June 2017 - 5:44 am Reply

    Do I need to book?

    • avatar
      Sarah Trevor 5 June 2017 - 8:54 pm Reply

      Good question Patricia, doesn’t look like it judging from the Transport Heritage NSW site – it just says ‘free entry’. But we’ll ask them and get back to you just to be sure!

      • avatar
        Sarah Trevor 6 June 2017 - 7:27 pm Reply

        Hi again Patricia, Transport Heritage NSW said: No booking is required to access the mortuary station or the exhibitions. Only rides on the heritage trains require pre-booking.

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