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Central Railway Station

  • 600073
  • 270 Ann Street, Brisbane City


State Heritage
Register status
Date entered
21 October 1992
Transport—rail: Railway station
5.3 Moving goods, people and information: Using rail
Chief Engineer for Railways Office
Construction periods
1899, Central Railway Station Main Building (1899)
1914, Edward Street Wing (1914)
unknown, Second Storey of Edward Street Wing (shortly after 1914)
Historical period
1870s–1890s Late 19th century
1900–1914 Early 20th century


270 Ann Street, Brisbane City
Brisbane City Council
-27.46598667, 153.02627335


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Criterion AThe place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of Queensland’s history.

The Central Railway Station was opened in 1889 as part of the connection of Roma Street through Central to Brunswick Street, Bowen Hills and Mayne. The extant building was erected in 1899 to replace the previous temporary timber and corrugated iron building. The complex demonstrates the evolution of the history of Queensland by being representative of the development of railway usage in Queensland.

Criterion DThe place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular class of cultural places.

The building has a special association with architect, JJ Clark who was responsible for the final design of the building.

Criterion EThe place is important because of its aesthetic significance.

It is a significant landmark in the city of Brisbane, both alone and as part of a precinct which includes The Shrine of Remembrance, Anzac Square [600062] The Queensland Government Offices [600059] and the General Post Office [600148] through Post Office Square.

The Central Railway Complex is of considerable aesthetic significance due to its landmark qualities and for its high degree of design and workmanship, including exterior details such as decorative stonework, brickwork and rendering, and internal features such as ornate column capitals and ceilings in southwestern end of the Edward Street wing.


Central Station was constructed as the inner city link of the Queensland railway network, operational from 18 August 1889. The first Station building at Central was of timber and corrugated iron with pitched roof and segmental barrel vaulted roof over the platform serving Roma Street. On 12 May 1899, a contract was let for a permanent building. It is thought that the initial design was conceived in the architectural section of the Railway Department's Chief Engineer's Office, however the architect is unknown. The additions of the clock tower and awning were designed by former Colonial Architect, J J Clark. The initial complex comprised two through tracks and a dock with two tracks on either side. In 1909 the dock platforms were converted to provide two additional through tracks. No further substantial changes were made to the complex until 1914 when the Edward Street side wing was extended. Shortly after, a second storey was added to the side wing at the Creek Street end of the building. Work of a minor nature was then carried out until the 1970s, when substantial alterations to the complex took place. This included the construction of Railway Centre in the 1970s, followed by the construction of the Sheraton Hotel in the 1980s.


The Central Station complex has been substantially altered, with the most intact section being the facade fronting Ann Street. This section is an example of Federation Free Style architecture. The complex fronts Ann Street and is bounded by Edward, Turbot and Creek Streets. The clock tower of the Ann Street frontage aligns with the war memorial opposite and the entire building provides a backdrop for Anzac Square [600062]. The Ann Street building of Central Station comprises a symmetrically designed building with a central section and clock tower, flanked by two storey intermediate wings on either side. It is of face brick, coloured red, with decorative elements of stone and a cream coloured brick. A side wing is located on the Creek Street side of the main building. As a working railway station, the entire complex has undergone much alteration, and little remains of the original station. Internally, the spaces are also substantially altered, with little original fabric remaining. The most intact internal area is located at the southwestern end of the Edward Street wing of the building, now used as a bar.

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Location of Central Railway Station within Queensland
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
20 February 2022