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Treasured Memories of the Old Railway Station

When Norm Bridge shared this photo of the Adelaide Railway Station of old on our Facebook page earlier this year it brought back a flood of memories for many of the site’s followers.

Photo from Norm Bridge. The interior of the Railway Station! It was always such a thriving hive of activity with people dashing to catch a train or people arriving and scurrying up the stairs into the city

Photo from Norm Bridge. The interior of the old Railway Station. It was always such a thriving hive of activity with people dashing to catch a train or people arriving and scurrying up the stairs into the city

I loved the old Railway Station! It was always such a thriving hive of activity with people dashing to catch a train or people arriving and scurrying up the stairs into the city. I used to love the old cafeteria which is in this shot, with its smorgasboard style meals, how many pies with tomato sauce did I eat there with a knife and fork!!

And I think the man in blue may have gone by the time this photo was taken. I also remember the shops on the ramp too and I’m sure there was a big jockey’s scales just at the start of the ramp, 1d to check your weight.

I remember too the big red dragon sign which I recall was at the northern end and it used to give a loud click when it switched on and it had that fleuro buzz.

Lots of people posted their own comments and memories. Peter Lang wrote; “This magnificent building was erected in 1926 and was designed by Herbert Louis Jackman who was also responsible for many other of Adelaide’s prominent buildings. For Example: Tattersall’s Hotel, Hindley Street (1900), the rebuilding of the Stag Hotel, Rundle Street (1902), Bowman’s Building, King William Street (1908), Charles Moore’s Department Store, Victoria Square (1913), and Hooper’s Furnishing Arcade, Hindley Street (1927-1930). All this by a country lad born in Kapunda

Scott Arbon posted how he recalled the pasties from the bakery were very peppery and tasted brilliant. Other memories for him included; “Watching the lights flashing around the departure/arrival board and trying to work out how it worked. The Dragon down one end. The little buggy pulling along the small wagons with people’s bags on them. Probably most of all, I remember it actually being a railway station with people arriving and departing for many destinations around the state, not like it is now, just a suburban train destination”.

Alice Dowling remembered Shipway the jeweller at the bottom of the ramp; “I had my ears pierced back in 1960. I used to go to the cafeteria for lunch, those were the best days of my childhood coming home on the train was a treat in those days”.

John Burford posted; “If I could pick just one memory of the Railway Station, it would be the big iron gates to the platforms. Then the cafeteria, the ramp, the Seppelts and dragon signs. Wish I’d bothered to photograph it all then, but like so many things when you’re young and have to pay for each roll of film,  I didn’t.

And just finally, from Andrew Heslop; “I love this image, I remember the neon Lion sign across the ramp (below the windows) heading towards the platforms. 
There were also railway posters on the left advertising Arkaroola and other places that could be reached by train. This photo above I believe is from September, as the white booth is selling Royal Show tickets”.

The old Railway Station photo certainly brought back many memories for countless people!

What are some of the memories you have of the Adelaide Railway Station from back then.

8 Responses to Treasured Memories of the Old Railway Station

  1. Lyndlee December 16, 2014 at 7:31 pm #

    I guess the strangest memory is that none of the platforms were underground. I am a regular train catcher now and often try to remember what it looked like back then.

  2. Kym December 17, 2014 at 6:18 am #

    I clearly remember the large cafe, the ticket windows were outside where the casino has moved in. Also the large HALLS soda neon sign above the north tce stairs.

  3. sally feuerherdt March 1, 2015 at 5:33 pm #

    I also remember the the jeweller on the ramp at the adelaide railway station—-that jeweller was only one of very few places that had a good name for piecing ears–they always used gold sleepers, not studs—and the spell of the antiseptic made one think all will be o.k.
    I clearly remember i had my ears done on a saturday morning……my mother came with me and we travelled by train from peterhead to adelaide as i had my young baby “GUY” in the pram—–i still remember my mother standing outside the jeweller holding my pram while i had my ears pieced….all the time i was panicking in case my mother let go of the pram with my baby and it would go down the ramp—-too scared to go on my own so, mum the pram and the baby came too—–it was my husbands day to go to the “rifle club” otherwise he would have taken me——HOW THINGS HAVE CHANGED “NOTHING TO IT NOW”—-get it done on every street corner just about

  4. Katherine Halsey March 5, 2016 at 5:07 pm #

    What I remember is running down the stairs at the southern end. They were wide and I never ever tripped up or down them.

  5. Brian Lamprell November 14, 2016 at 4:12 pm #

    Who remembers the “Man In Blue reading the train arrival times on the radio every morning. I don’t know why, but I still remember that the ” Tailem Bend train arrives at 10.06″

  6. Pam G January 8, 2017 at 2:03 pm #

    I remember the ‘sparkles’ in the steps leading up to North Terrace.

  7. Lisa March 10, 2017 at 10:38 am #

    I remember having to pay 2c to go to the toilets at the old railway station. Also we use to pick up my uncle a couple of times a fortnight from the train station and he’s always be waiting for us a the Pie Floater cart at the top of the stairs North Tce entrance to the railway station. I don’t remember the shops and other retailers but I do remember how wide and long the platforms use to seem back then as a 6 years old child in the 70’s.

  8. Rosemarie Bowden March 25, 2017 at 7:34 pm #

    I fondly remember travelling by train from Salisbury to Adelaide in the early to middle 50’s.
    Looking out of the windows I saw the small signs along the tracks saying how many miles to …… teas which was Adelaide. Can’t remember the tea brand, are they still there along the track, can you remember? Adelaide station was magic to me, so busy and interesting. On the way home
    we visited the cafeteria on the left and had a pie on a thick oval railway plate, and afterwards
    jelly. Oh the luxury of those simple pleasures which I will never forget.Then a choice of comic from the paperstand to read on the way home. Ahhh!
    Does anyone remember the row of large wicker trolleys on wheels just off the main station concourse on the left. Each trolley was name with a mission(or charity?) destination and that is
    where you donated goods. I clearly remember my mother putting clothes in a big basket
    which was destined for a far away mission station. It left an indelible impression on me as how
    we could help others and perhaps this part of my journey to being the passionate volunteer
    I have been all my life.
    Sadly in 1958 we left Adelaide station on the Overlander for a new life in the Eastern Coast.

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