/News 24.07.20


Sydney Trains is the New South Wales government agency, forming part of the Transport portfolio that delivers rail services to the Sydney metropolitan area.

Photo credit L to R (Paint Sheds) Kiera Archer The Location Collective, (Mortuary Station) Screen NSW, (Wynyard Walk) Colin McDougall, (Darling Harbour Railway Tunnel) Luke Torrevillas ecomlocations

The dedicated Commercial Filming Team at Sydney Trains has been providing the screen industry with extraordinary film-friendly access to its stations, fleet and assets for over 25 years.

With 300 stations and 16 variances of fleet currently in operation (from silver style trains of the 70s to the state-of-the-art contemporary trains of today), Sydney Trains’ film-friendly reputation for providing genuine collaboration with filmmakers is no secret.

You would be hard pressed to watch a local or international production filmed in Sydney without seeing one of hundreds of Sydney Trains locations on your screen. They accommodate a wide variety of filming locations and embrace productions from emerging through to major international features. The team seamlessly navigate their priority of moving people safely on their network alongside the many stories to be told.

Off the live network, Sydney Trains also manage some highly unusual – and very cinematic – locations. See below for a glimpse of these unique inner-city urban locations and what Sydney Trains can offer your next production.

Location: The Paint Sheds aka The North Eveleigh Railway Paint Shop

The industrial Paint Sheds open-plan single-story building is part of the historic Eveleigh Railway Workshops complex, located just south of Sydney city. This large brick wing was completed in 1887 and used for painting suburban and country carriages until 1989. The overall area is approximately 5,000sqm and has arresting features such as a saw-tooth light roof, decorative iron columns, beam & truss structures, original paint schemes in-floor rail network, heritage machinery and fleets.

The Eveleigh Paint Sheds is an extremely unique location in the heart of Sydney. Untouched industrial train sheds with plenty of character, as well as fantastic access and parking on site. This location is one of a kind and has to be seen to really be appreciated. Sydney Trains are willing to go above and beyond to assist film and stills crews and this location is just one of a vast array that they manage. The can-do attitude from the staff at Sydney Trains is second to none.

Kiera Archer – Location Manager, The Location Collective www.thelocationcollective.com.au
Photo Credit: Cleverman, Courtesy of Goalpost Pictures

To see an example of the varying textured Paint Sheds looks used in the series Cleverman view the trailer at the Sundance TV Channel here.

Location: Mortuary Railway Station – aka Regent Street Railway Station

Sydney Living Museums say it best, “The only remaining example of a purpose-built Victorian funerary railway station in Australia, and possibly the world, Mortuary Station is one of the most ornate sandstone structures in Sydney – and certainly one of the most unusual railway buildings in NSW!”

Located up the road from Sydney’s Central Station, the historic Mortuary Station was built between 1868 and 1869 serving as a dedicated cemetery line for funeral trains taking coffins and mourners out to Rookwood Necropolis. This ceased in 1938 and the station has had many iterations since, including refurbishment and a pancake restaurant – before closing to the public in 2009.

The platform is approximately 80metres in length and 5metres wide. The railway tracks adjacent to the station are currently booked out of use however arrangements can be made case-by-case to run a non-electric train diesel or steam on this closed line.

The most recent example of this use on a large scale was live-action/animated comedy Peter Rabbit (produced by Animal Logic Entertainment and Olive Bridge Entertainment).

Sydney Trains threw themselves wholeheartedly behind the filming of Peter Rabbit, helping us to find convincing doubles for London’s famous Paddington Station (Sydney’s Central Station), as well as an English country station in the Lake District (Mortuary Station), and loaning us a train for the filming. At every stage of the planning and execution of the filming, the staff were supremely helpful, willing, resourceful – and great fun to work with. They skillfully mastered the art of managing the requirements of a demanding film crew, while navigating the complexities of the Sydney Trains’ organisation & infrastructure…and ensuring that health and safety remained a priority throughout.

Mary Barltrop – Location Manager Extraction, Children of the Corn, Peter Rabbit

Too see Cutting Edges‘s amazing photorealistic VFX train shot work at Mortuary Station from Peter Rabbit you can go here.

Images are Courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.

Location: Wynyard Walk Pedestrian Tunnel

In the usual hustle and bustle of Sydney’s downtown district is the ultra-modern underground Wynyard Walk. Only opened in late 2016, this 180 metre 24/7 pedestrian walkway feels like it is out of a graphic novel.

Creating a link between the historic Wynyard Station through to the new Barangaroo Harbour foreshore precinct, daylight is supplemented by the use and design of LED strip lighting throughout.

Only last year The Commons TV Series created for Australian streamer Stan and produced by Sony-owned Playmaker Media, filmed at this incredible location.

Photo Credit John Platt. Ryan Corr as Shay & David Lyons as Lloyd. The Commons. A Playmaker production for Stan.

The Commons was set in the near future and Wynyard Walk is located amongst some very modern architecture that also fit our storyline. However; it is a very busy thoroughfare used by residents, tourists and workers so it was suggested that we use it at night-time. Unfortunately, with our schedule, we just didn’t have the capacity to film then. The Sydney Trains team outlined their commuter traffic needs and then worked with us to find a solution over a weekend, so we could achieve a few hours of critical daytime filming. They really have such an amazing can-do attitude and their level of consultation is remarkable.

Lisa Scope – Location Manager, Back to the Rafters, The Commons, Peter Rabbit 2

Location: Darling Harbour Railway Tunnel Ultimo aka The Goods Line Tunnel

This gritty urban tunnel hiding in plain sight is in one of our main university inner-city suburbs, Ultimo. The tunnel is approximately 100 metres in length, 7 metres wide and is an impressive relic of the first freight lines in the 1850s which were busy up until World War II with freight from yards and harbour dockside rail facilities. The original stone-clad wall can still be seen if you turn on your torch! The tunnel is also fairly quiet considering above is one of Sydney’s busiest arteries, George Street.

Location Manager Luke Torrevillas ecomlocations was recently part of a one-day music video which filmed here in May 2020.The successful job was used as a case study to show to production companies’ offshore clients that Australians can deliver a shoot where a director can direct the action remotely. They are now getting lots of inquiries from international companies.

Photo Credit Luke Torrevillas ecomlocations

If you need an urban subway, or an abandoned and disused tunnel, a modern or period platform, train interiors or a train shed then Sydney Trains’ events team is a one-stop shop to make it all happen. Having worked with the events crew for over 20 years, all I can say is that they make the process simple and easy.

Luke Torrevillas, Location Manager ecomlocations www.ecomlocations.com

For more information on filming with Sydney Trains stations, fleet and assets,  reach out to the Commercial Filming Team at [email protected] or visit the NSW Transport website.

Alternatively, contact the Screen NSW Production Attraction Team members at [email protected]  

Sydney and regional NSW location images (including those highlighted) are available online and on the free Screen NSW Film Scout iPhone app on iTunes.