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Chippendale residents unhappy with overnight parking of Steam Trains at Mortuary Station

The following information has been supplied by a Chippendale resident from one of the apartment buildings near Mortuary Station.

The heritage steam fleet has been moved out (?evicted) from the Eveleigh rail complex - allegedly so that the Carr/Iemma Labor Government can flog the site off to their developer mates???

I understand that the fleet has been relocated to the rail museum in the Southern Highlands.

However, the popular steam train excursions continue to operate from Central Station most weekends.

A driver doesn't simply jump onto a steam engine, light a match and then head off.   Steam trains require gradual "firing up" and can be damaged if it's not done correctly. The process can take up to 24 hours.

The steam engines are now fired up on Friday morning and then driven to the city on a Friday evening and are being parked in the Mortuary Station siding. The boiler is kept on fire overnight ready for a trip on Saturday morning.  The engine is then kept at Mortuary Station overnight Saturday ready for Sunday's excursions.

Apart from a bit of noise (bearable), nearby residents are now being affected by periods of pollution attacks from sooty smoke emitted by the parked engines. Depending on the direction and strength of the wind, residents of the apartment blocks at 52 Regent Street (backs onto the station platform) and 75 Regent St (opposite) are now regularly suffering pollution and are being forced to shut windows on these warm evenings.

Last Friday evening, some residents at 52 Regent St called the Fire Brigade because they could smell fire in their vicinity and thought there was a fire somewhere in their building.  It was actually the steam engine behind them.

I am not aware that any D.A. has been applied for re this new use for Mortuary Station - although I suppose it's exempt being on railway land.  Again, the government agencies can just ride roughshod over residents.

The nicely cleaned sandstone of Mortuary Station is now likely to be gradually stained again by this new source of pollution.

Can anyone advise what can be done about this?

Obviously, the problem is not the fault of the heritage steam operators. They are probably having to pay for the all-night security guards I see there.

A flyer has been distributed to the two nearest apartment blocks recommending that residents write to The Premier, The Minister for Transport with copies to the MP for Sydney and the City of Sydney.