Kings Cross Railway Station Group | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Kings Cross Railway Station Group

Item details

Name of item: Kings Cross Railway Station Group
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Station Building
Primary address: Victoria Street, Potts Point, NSW 2011
Local govt. area: Sydney


The boundary includes whole of the underground area occupied by the railway concourse and platforms, the entrance areas and escalators.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Victoria StreetPotts PointSydney  Primary Address
Darlinghurst RoadKings CrossSydney  Alternate Address

Statement of significance:

Kings Cross Railway Station is historically significant part of the Eastern Suburbs Railway, which was one of the largest and most contentious post-war rail projects undertaken in the Sydney railway system. The station is aesthetically significant for its 1970s underground design features, and is a good representative example of the ESR style stations, retaining original features including molded ticketing windows, small mosaic tiling, signage (interior and exterior), escalators, moulded ceilings, integrated lighting, seating layout arrangement and concourse pod. Despite some modifications the station retains the overall style and character of the ESR line stations.
Date significance updated: 18 Dec 18
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.


Designer/Maker: Fowell Mansfield Jarvis and Maclurcan Pty Ltd
Builder/Maker: Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation
Physical description: Kings Cross station is accessed via escalators or lift from street level to underground. It can be accessed from both Victoria Street and Darlinghurst Road. There are 2 levels, the concourse level and below that the platform level. The concourse level has ticket booths, ATMs, electronic ticketing, and a few retail food outlets. There are large round tiled columns evenly spaced in the unpaid area and moulded ceilings with integrated lighting. There is a concourse pod with curved corners adjacent to the ticket barriers.

The lower platform level has an island with 2 platforms, and the same large evenly spaced coloured tile cylindrical support columns as the concourse. Platforms are made of reinforced concrete cast in situ. There is tri-band 'Kings Cross' signage fixed to the wall, and seating arrangements featuring 3 bench seats per pod.

The colour scheme has been updated to blue and white. Most original tiling has been painted over. There is a small portion of orange tiling at the end of the platform.

NSW Railway heritage listed sites contain significant collections of stored movable railway heritage, including furniture, signs, operational objects, ex-booking office and ticketing objects, paper records, clocks, memorabilia, indicator boards and artwork. Individually, these objects are important components of the history of each site. Together, they form a large and diverse collection of movable objects across the NSW rail network. Sydney Trains maintains a database of movable heritage. For up-to-date information on all movable heritage items at this site, contact the Sydney Trains heritage team.

Key items at this station include but are not limited to:
Early neon light signage
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
The station is in good condition.
Modifications and dates: nd: installation of lifts
2014 - Minor repairs and maintenance, repainting - Platform Control Hub installation; GAC equipment installation.
2017: Tiling replacement to Kings Cross platform floor tiles and Darlinghurst entrance, HUB installed, Painting of original seats only. Removal of one replica 2004 concourse ticket window and a large section of original pre-cast concrete panels.
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Railway Station


Historical notes: The traditional owners of the land in this area were the Cadigal clan of the Eora people, who lived in the area for many thousands of years.

Kings Cross station was opened in 1979 upon the completion of the Eastern Suburbs Line. A line to the eastern suburbs had been part of the wider rail plan for Sydney since the late 1890s, with provisions made for the eventuality during the construction of the city underground stations in the 1920s, although work never proceeded past the planning phase at this time.

Since the late 1940s the ESR had been under construction on and off, with meaningful progress made from the early 1970s. The construction of the line was a contentious political issue, not only because of the extended period over which it was undertaken, but also because of the resumptions and demolitions throughout Woolloomooloo that were required to build it. The alignment and profile for the ESR was set in 1926 and construction on the railway was started by the NSW Department of Railways. In 1952, the project was abandoned until the mid 1960s. In 1967 the NSW Department of Railways engaged the Snowy Mountains Authority (SMA) to prepare and develop documents for the city tunnels and stations, Kings Cross tunnel and stations, and Rushcutters Bay viaduct and various other associated works.

The City and Suburban Electric Railways (Amendment) Act, Act No. 13 of 1947, made provision for the construction of further electric railways in the City of Sydney, serving the eastern, southern and south-eastern suburbs. This Act amended an earlier scheme proposed by JJC Bradfield in 1916 which had provided for an eastern suburbs line (via St James Station) and a south-eastern railway. The Act made provision for the construction of 44 miles of new suburban electric railways.

The design of the stations along the ESR line was an integral part of the process, with each station being a different colour to identify it and reflect the character of the location. At Kings Cross Station orange was used in plywood ceilings and tiled columns. The concourse was paved in green-grey terrazzo and walls lined in white tile and precast white terrazzo panels. These colours were used to reflect Kings Cross as a district of entertainment, restaurants and night life. The design of the ESR underground stations continued the design ideas of the city underground stations of the 1920s, with individual station colours and features.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Transport-Activities associated with the moving of people and goods from one place to another, and systems for the provision of such movements Building the railway network-

Recommended management:

1. Conservation principles: Conserve cultural heritage significance and minimise impacts on heritage values and fabric in accordance with the ‘Australia ICOMOS Charter for Places of Cultural Significance’. 2. Specialist advice: Seek advice from a qualified heritage specialist during all phases of a proposed project from feasibility, concept and option planning stage; detailed design; heritage approval and assessment; through to construction and finalisation. 3. Documentation: Prepare a Statement of Heritage Impact (SOHI) to assess, minimise and prevent heritage impacts as part of the assessment and approval phase of a project. Prepare a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) prior to proposing major works (such as new additions, change of use or proposed demolition) at all places of State significance and all complex sites of Local significance. 4. Maintenance and repair: Undertake annual inspections and proactive routine maintenance works to conserve heritage fabric in accordance with the ‘Minimum Standards of Maintenance & Repair’. 5. Movable heritage: Retain in situ and care for historic contents, fixtures, fittings, equipment and objects which contribute to cultural heritage significance. Return or reinstate missing features or relocated items where opportunities arise. 6. Aboriginal, archaeology and natural heritage: Consider all aspects of potential heritage significance as part of assessing and minimising potential impacts, including Aboriginal, archaeology and natural heritage. 7. Unidentified heritage items: Heritage inventory sheets do not describe or capture all contributory heritage items within an identified curtilage (such as minor buildings, structures, archaeology, landscape elements, movable heritage and significant interiors and finishes). Ensure heritage advice is sought on all proposed changes within a curtilage to conserve heritage significance. 8. Recording and register update: Record changes at heritage places through adequate project records and archival photography. Notify all changes to the Section 170 Heritage & Conservation Register administrator upon project completion.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage registerKings Cross Railway Station Group5062515   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Heritage Platforms Conservation Management Strategy2015 Australian Museum Consulting  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenChristopher Jay1979Eastern Suburbs Railway Brings New Direction for Underground Architecture

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: State Government
Database number: 5062515

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