Expansions & Renovations
By 1892 more branches were built out West, most of these settlements owed their existence and prosperity to the Railway. Rockhampton was now the headquarters of the Central Railway which, entirely unconnected with other railways, serviced a vast pastoral area to the west.
The terminus at Stanley St had been selected not for business districts, but for government reserve. As it was situated at the edge of the city it was not convenient for city passengers. For Central Qld, the Rockhampton Junction railway provided an opportunity to extend its railway through the city and building a suitable Rockhampton Central Station.
The layout of The Central Station or Archer Park as it’s more commonly referred to, was developed in Brisbane by Chief Engineer Stanley. Archer Park station was finally built in 1900 to serve major centres on the Central Line, Inc Mt Morgan. Archer Park was a fine piece of Victorian design function and facade features, and an impressive piece of engineering in the ‘grand’ manner of major railway terminals. The opening ceremony was held on 6 November 1899 before the building was completed.
Soon Archer Park superseded Stanley Street station. After the Brisbane-Rockhampton link was opened, mail trains services commenced to Archer Park. Excursions to Emu Park also functioned for the tourism industry. The Refreshment Room was built in 1908, providing services to both passengers and station staff. The Refreshment Room was a unique feature to Rockhampton until 1938 when an additional one was built at Stanley St.
The Central Lines were expanded once again with a connecting line to Yeppoon in 1909, a section line to Mackay in 1913 and Alton Downs in 1916. Archer Park became the centre of an important and thriving provincial passenger rail system. By 1907 the wealth and size of Rockhampton was such that the city fathers were able to plan a tramway system, which opened in 1909 using French made Purrey trams and trailers. They were a source of pride to the citizens of Rockhampton.