Last updated: December 3, 2023
The Goods Line is a partly elevated urban walkway from Sydney Central Station to Darling Harbour that follows the route of a long-neglected but once bustling railway line.
After the completion of a $15 million transformation project, The Goods Line re-opened to the public in August 2015 as a walkway, linear park, and open space.
In this article, we’ll share the highlights of this walk, including pictures. We’ll also explain how best to get there and what to do nearby.
|The Goods Line Walk
|800 m (one way)
How to Get There
The walking trail starts right at the end of the underground Devonshire Street Tunnel at Central Station, so it’s best to get there by train.
Exit Central Station at South Concourse, where the Devonshire Street Tunnel starts. Walk through the tunnel to Railway Square, where you need to continue into the second part of the tunnel. This will then flow into The Goods Line, where you’ll see the old train track and a yellow UTS sign.
The image on the left shows the South Concourse exit at Central Station, from where you can enter the Devonshire Street Tunnel. The second image shows the signage at the first exit of the tunnel. This is where you must keep going straight into the second part of the tunnel.
Alternatively, if you’re not arriving via Central Station, you can also walk to Railway Square (between George St and Lee St), go down the escalators, and you’ll end up at the end of the tunnel.
If you’re driving (not recommended), parking is available at several car parks in and around Darling Harbour and Chinatown.
The below map includes the route of the Goods Line and the Devonshire Street Tunnel.
A: Devonshire Street Tunnel
B: The Goods Line
The Cahill Walkway at Circular Quay.
History of The Goods Line
The Goods Line has quite a rich history, and much of that history has been preserved in its current state.
The Goods Line was once part of a busy freight rail system that started operation in the middle of the 19th century. This rail line ran from Dulwich Hill to Sydney Central via big rail yards at Rozelle and Darling Harbour.
The rail line was mainly used to transport wool, meat, and wheat into the area. The last official train left Darling Harbour on the Goods Line in 1984.
In the following years, the line was occasionally used by steam locomotives to transport goods between the Powerhouse Museum and Darling Harbour.
The Goods Line was once a sober industrial area. But following the redevelopment, including various educational, cultural, and media institutions, it is now a vibrant urban hub with a pleasant atmosphere.
The pedestrian walkway includes bike paths, table tennis tables, study pods, outdoor workspaces, playgrounds, and a large, bright yellow community table.
Parts of the old train track have been preserved, which you can clearly see as you walk along the Goods Line.
The Goods Line Project is similar to the popular New York High Line, an urban renewal development that turned a section of a historic Manhattan freight line into a public park and walkway.
Since its inception, the Goods Line has proven to be a welcome, green addition to an already beautiful city, popular with local office workers, students, and tourists.
It is also a nice place to enjoy a bit of quiet time, away from the busy city streets while still being close to everything.
The Goods Line Walk
With a length of only 0.8 km, the Goods Line is a short stroll, but it’s a great way to cross the city from Central Station to the Darling Square and Darling Harbour precincts.
It is a shared pedestrian and cycle path past important educational, cultural, and media institutions, such as Sydney TAFE, the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), the ABC, and the Powerhouse Museum.
Ultimo Road Railway Underbridge
The Goods Line officially starts right at the end of the Devonshire Street pedestrian tunnel (follow signs for South Concourse and UTS) under Sydney Central Station and George Street, and continues to the Powerhouse Museum site in the Darling Harbour precinct.
Halfway through the walk, you will cross the Ultimo Road railway underbridge, the oldest iron bridge in Australia, built in 1879.
It now has a big neon-lit “The Goods Line” sign attached to it that looks great at night from the road underneath.
The Ultimo Street signal box and interlocking machine at the bridge were still fully operational until the early 1980s. It’s amazing to see how much has changed in such a relatively short time.
Dr Chau Chak Wing Building
One of the most eye-catching buildings along the Goods Line is UTS’s Dr Chau Chak Wing Building. Designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, this building has a remarkable appearance and architecture.
An estimated 320,000 custom-designed bricks were used to construct this innovative building that looks like a squashed brown paper bag.
When you’ve reached the end of the Goods Line walk, there are a few options to continue your Sydney adventure.
1. Visit the Powerhouse Museum
The Powerhouse museum is a fun and educational destination where you can explore the interactive side of science and technology. It is located at the northern end of the Goods Line walk.
2.Have lunch in Darling Square
Darling Square is a revitalised shopping and lifestyle precinct with plenty of cafes and eateries from fast food to fine dining.
3. Explore Darling Harbour
You can also spend the rest of the day in the much-loved Darling Harbour precinct with its many cafes, restaurants, playgrounds, and regular events.
Beyond Darling Harbour, you can continue walking to the vibrant Barangaroo area and the beautiful Barangaroo Reserve green space.