City Hub

Abandoned railway line transforms into busy walkway


The Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority has turned a disused stretch of railway into a “strategic” walkway between Railway Square, Ultimo, and Darling Harbour.

Formerly a rail line, The Goods Line opened up for public access last Sunday, and Sydneysiders can now walk and cycle along it.

Like its name suggests, The Goods Line brought goods from Darling Harbour to the rail yards near Redfern for over a century. The walkway still retains some of its old, industrial flavour, with the original freight line and steel inlays which follow the former rail line.

The Goods Line was a thriving trading artery until the 1960s, when road transportation became the favoured form of goods delivery. In 1984, the last goods train left the Darling Harbour Goods Yard, and the rail line has remained unused until now.

The project’s lead designer Sacha Coles, of Aspect Studios, was at the opening and was pleased with the number of people who came to check out the project.

He said that being there reminded him how people interact with architecture in unexpected ways.

“You never really know how a project is going to go, and people will use projects in ways that you have never anticipated, especially kids – they sought inspiration, challenges, and activities,“ Mr Coles said.

“Kids in particular see things from a different perspective, they seek out adventure, and they find it in things you haven’t thought about previously, and we can learn when we see them being used in unusual ways.”

CEO of the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, Catherine Gallagher, said she hoped The Goods Line will transform Ultimo, the former industrial and trading hub, into a vibrant arts and tourism precinct.

“The Goods Line is part of our vision to make extraordinary places in Sydney that the world talks about,” Mrs Gallagher said.

“It will further connect arts, education and cultural institutions along Sydney’s cultural ribbon.”

“The Goods Line is a civic spine, creating an exciting new connection in an area of the inner-city emerging as a vibrant, attractive neighbourhood,” said Mrs Gallagher. “It may act as a catalyst for further physical, cultural and social development in the area.”

The walkway is part of a $15 million urban revitalisation project of the local area. It features a number of open spaces and event stages intended for public and social events. It also boasts table tennis tables, study pods, and a children’s water play area.

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