Photos | Trains start running to Cronulla 80 years ago

The 80th anniversary of the opening of the train line between Sutherland and Cronulla occurs this year.

On Sunday, December 16, 1939, the Governor, Lord Wakehurst, performed the official opening, arriving on a  train from Central to be greeted by a large crowd and shire president C J (Cec) Monro. 

Between 1911 until 1932, steam trams ran between Cronulla and Sutherland.

However, they became unprofitable due to competition from buses, which often clogged the tram line, causing delays for passengers.

The onset of the Great Depression sealed the fate of the tramway.

Planning for the train line took place in the 1930s and early proposals included it branching off the Illawarra Line at Como and north of Sutherland station.

Parliamentary approval was given in 1936 and a route with six stations was chosen.

The line was electrified from the start but it was only a single track, with loops at Gymea and Caringbah so trains could pass.

In 1985, the line was duplicated between Gymea and Caringbah.

Trains would wait at both stations for their turn on the following sections.

The rest of the track was duplicated in 2010.

A 2014 proposal for an extra station at Sutherland Hospital was rejected by the state government.

Cronulla station is listed on the state’s heritage register.

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage says it is “of historical significance as a major 1930s Depression period NSW government public works project, and through its relationship to the development of the suburb of Cronulla”

“Cronulla Railway Station is rare within the NSW rail network, and considered to be one of the finest examples of Inter-war Functionalist style railway station architecture in NSW,” the office says.

“The platform buildings are noted for their use of dichromatic brickwork, parapeted roofs, curved corners, strong horizontal planes, stepped steel awnings, complex brickwork, decorative features and complex geometric massing.”

“Cronulla Railway Station has a dramatic street façade to Cronulla Street with a unique central clock tower which also houses electric signalling equipment.”


Every Friday we delve into the Leader archives to embark on some time travel.

We will bring you photographs of a news event from 57 years of Leader news coverage that you may or may not recall.

Flashback Friday submissions are also welcomed.

Feel free to share your recollections with us on our Facebook page @SutherlandShireStGeorgeNews or email