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IMAGES have emerged confirming that the transformation of Central into one of the great international railway stations is about to begin.
An up-market licensed restaurant, to be built in the former booking hall just off the station’s Grand Concourse, has been proposed by a worldwide food services company.
The restaurant would be called Eternity, a homage to the lay preacher Arthur Stace who, for decades, wrote the word in beautiful copperplate style on walls and footpaths around the city centre.
Arthur Stace, writing the word "Eternity" on a Sydney footpath.
New eateries, including a licensed restaurant called Eternity, are proposed for Central Station.
A $1.1 million development application now before the City of Sydney shows the restaurant would be located close to the country rail platforms.
The DA suggests the restaurant would seat 212 patrons and open from 5.30am to 9pm Sunday to Thursday and stay open until 11pm on Friday and Saturday.
Computer generated images show banquette-style shared seating as well as individual tables and chairs.
There is also a bar, with stools depicted as well as stylised chandeliers.
The company, US-based Delaware North, also wants to spend $2 million fitting out Central’s old dining hall and cafeteria, adjoining the main concourse, as a cafe, convenience food store and food outlet.
Delaware North has been running the food outlets at Central, including the Grand Central Bistro, The Bakehouse and the Hungry Jacks fast food franchise where a fire started in September 2015 that forced the evacuation of the station.
Smoke billows from Central during the 2015 fire. Picture: Richard DobsonThe company, which describes itself as “one of the world’s leading restaurant and catering companies” also operates the eateries at the Sydney Cricket Ground and London’s Wembley Stadium.
In September last year Transport Minister Andrew Constance announced that the run-down terminus would be overhauled to bring it into line with the world’s top stations, including Kings Cross in London and Grand Central Station in New York.
The State Government said it would approach the private sector and the general public, asking for proposals to turn the near-derelict station into a “world-class transport hub”.
There were suggestions for apartments, hotels, restaurants and bars put forward.
An artist's impression of the proposed Eternity restaurant at Sydney's Central Station.Over the next 20 years, the number of people using the precinct every day is forecast to soar from 270,000 to 450,000.
Earlier this year Mr Constance announced that three construction groups had been short-listed to help revitalise Central, including delivering the underground Central Walk concourse and Sydney Metro platforms.
“NSW deserves a premier station that everyone can be proud of, one that’s not just a place to pass through but a destination itself,” he said.
“It’s pretty clear when you compare it to the grand stations of the world, Central is falling short of what it could be offering customers and visitors to Sydney.”
An artist's impression of the proposed food hall and cafeteria at Central Station.Sydney Trains chief executive officer Howard Collins said the transformation of Tube stations in London, including King’s Cross St Pancras, demonstrated what could be done at Australia’s busiest railway station but said the first step was getting the metro built.
“Why wouldn’t you centre shops, apartments and all those other things in a place where 400,000 people a day are going to grab a coffee and may want to live, want to use a hotel. So why wouldn’t you want to use something like this as a focal point,” Mr Collins said.
This article first appeared on www.dailytelegraph.com.au
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