REALLY SideTracked – Cemetery Station No1 Rookwood
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About SideTracked Caches
This cache belongs to the SideTracked series. It is not designed to take you to a magical place with a breath taking view. Its a distraction for the weary traveller, but anyone else can go and find it too. More Information can be found at the SideTracked Website
About Cemetery Station No 1
Note: You do not have to search near any graves to find the cache.
The cache is located close to the remains of a grand station located in the cemetery which brought mourners and coffins from the Regent Street Station near Central Station. From 1867 through to 1948, trains left the main western line and travelled to the four stations in the cemetery. This is the only station which has remains.
The station was designed by James Barnet who also designed Regent Street Station and has elements of 13th Century Venetian design. It had a bell which was rung half an hour before the train departed to warn passengers of its departure. James Barnet is still a resident at Rookwood.
It stopped at prearranged stations on the journey from central Sydney in order to pick up mourners and coffins. Some stations, such as Newtown had special platform areas and buildings reserved for mourners and coffins.
At the time of its opening the line went as far as Cemetery Station No. 1. On 26 May 1897, an extension of the line to Cemetery Station No. 3 was opened. The extension required the removal of a waiting room on the rear wall of the Cemetery Station No. 1, so the line could pass right through the building. A final extension, to Cemetery Station No. 4 opened on 19 June 1908.
Cars became more common and the train line was less popular. After 1949, the station fell into disrepair and a fire removed the woodwork. The building was put up for sale and in 1959 it was relocated to Canberra where it is known as All Saint Church, one of our capital’s iconic buildings.
The last trains that ran funeral processions all but ceased in the late 1930s. Following this, they were only used for visitors on Sundays and Mother's Day. The service was briefly revived during World War II during petrol rationing. The last railway timetable was recorded in 1947 and read Sydney 2.17 p.m. to Strathfield 2.33 p.m. to Rookwood #1, 2.50 p.m.
On 3 April 1948, the service was officially terminated with the spur recorded as closed on 29 December 1948. The tracks remained until the 1980s with the line used to transport stonework.
While you visit, have a look at the beautiful St Michael The Archangel Chapel nearby. It was designed in the 1880’s and was used for prayers before burial. More information is found closer to the chapel.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum