Macdonaldtown train station given $2.3m in major accessibility, design overhaul

A twin-track train stop in the city center once dubbed “Sydney’s dumbest train station” has received $2.3 million to kick off a substantial makeover.

Located in Sydney’s inner west, between Redfern and Newtown, and named after a now non-existent suburb, the ailing 146-year-old station will be redesigned, with construction likely to begin in late 2025, subject to approval and securing financing for construction.

Accessibility concerns are a top priority.

Although Macdonaldtown Railway Station is the only station in Sydney with a public telephone on the platform, made accessible to wheelchair users in 2009, trains are only accessible via a steep flight of stairs.

It is understood the refurbishment, estimated to take 18 months, will include the addition of ramps or lifts, as well as improved signage, family accessible toilets, accessible parking, tactile indicators on the ground surface and new hearing platforms.

More lighting and CCTV will also be included in the redesign, with the possibility of an additional station entrance and concourse.

Writing for the Daily Telegraph in 2009, commentator Joe Hildebrand dubbed the station “Sydney’s dumbest” for the wheelchair-friendly payphone, which was installed by Telstra in accordance with its legal requirements.

Online detractors have also called the Macdonaldtown stop “little less than a forgotten bus station” and a “desolate station, much bleaker than the Outback”.

However, NSW Transport Minister Jo Haylen defended the small station, which ranks “Sydney’s 126th most used station” out of 228 contenders across the Greater Sydney region.

“It is vital that we make Macdonaldtown fully accessible, just as we need to work to make all our stations fully accessible,” he said.

“This 146-year-old station that can only be accessed by stairs. I am pleased that this will change and in the next few years this community will have a fully accessible train station.”

The funding was taken from the state government’s $800 million Safe and Accessible Transport programme. As of March 21, 72.6% of suburban, intercity, metro and regional stations were independently accessible.

Work is underway at Macquarie Fields, Chester Hill, Bardwell Park, Lewisham, Moss Vale, Queanbeyan and Griffith stations to improve accessibility, while planning is underway at Kempsey, Nambucca Heads, Yass and Canberra.

Read related topics:Sydney

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