The rail lines leading into the Boiler House.

The rail lines leading into the Boiler House. Photo (c) Thomas Martin for Sydney Water

The Boiler House

Focus Tour - Saturday 2 November

West Ryde




Public Works


2019 National Trust - Commendation, built heritage category

Engineers Australia - National Engineering Heritage marker

The Boiler House forms part of the Ryde Pumping Station, Sydney’s largest water-pumping station, which was listed on the State Heritage Register in 2002. A remnant of Sydney’s coal-powered industrial past, it was converted from steam to electricity in 1982. The tour will showcase the history of Sydney’s water, steam and rail industry and reveal secrets of the city’s water supply from Sydney Water and WaterNSW Historical Research Archives.

While it has been stripped of its boilers and machinery, the building shows signs of its former functions through old fixtures, coal stains and holes exposing the ash sluicing tunnels. Sydney Water has added earthquake proofing, removed asbestos, treated concrete cancer and added safety rails for walking tours, but the essence of the building remains.

Tour experience

Venture into a high-security site that is rarely experienced by the public. As well as learning about the fascinating facilities inside the building, visitors will explore the viaduct and the rail siding featured on the building’s roof. Items from Sydney Water’s archives will be on display.


Phil Bennett

Phil Bennett is the Lead Heritage Advisor, responsible for managing over 200 heritage-listed assets at Sydney Water, including the Tank Stream. With a background in architecture, cultural heritage management and archive management, Phil is a skilled interpreter of the evidence we can see in the Ryde Pumping Station.

  • Street view photograph taken from Victoria Road, West Ryde of the Boiler House facade.
  • Interior photograph of The Boiler House, West Ryde, looking inside the coal staithe.
  • Historical photograph of the Opening of the Ryde Pumping station c1921.

Key information

Session duration

120 mins


This tour has a capacity of 30 people per session.

Visitor requirements

The Boiler House is located within a secure site and is not open to the general public.

All tour participants will complete a safety induction and sign a participant agreement form to state that the safety requirements of the tour are understood and will be adhered to.

Please wear trousers, a long-sleeved shirt and flat, closed-toe shoes (preferably boots). We will provide hi-vis vests, hard hats and protective eyewear.

Cameras are allowed on the tour; however, no responsibility will be taken for the damage of personal items on the tour.

Guests must be able to stand for long periods, walk up slopes and stairs, at heights and along see-through grates.

The tour is not suitable for children under 12 years of age. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

to know

  • Photography restricted
    Sydney Water staff will direct when photography is permitted.

  • Toilets available

  • You must be able to stand for long periods, walk up slopes and stairs, at heights and along see through grates.