Exploring Sydney: Wynyard Station

Wynyard Station, Sydney, Australia

Wynyard Station, Sydney, Australia

In just over four weeks of travelling to give lectures for Australian Decorative & Fine Arts Societies I got lost only once, and that was in the middle of Sydney.

Wynyard Station, on the City Circle, has two exits, and I took the wrong one, so that I had to wander the streets to find a hotel that’s almost next to the other entrance.  C’est la vie.  The travel co-ordinator revised the map for my successor.

I got used to Wynyard Station in my comings and goings, and realised that the building above the platforms is a rather fine piece of Art Deco, with lots of jazzy detail in pale green faience.  Next to the York Street entrance (the one I needed) is a doorway leading to the Department of Railways offices. 

The station was designed by John Bradfield (1867-1943), and opened in 1932, as part of the transport links that served the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  Originally it was a terminus, until the City Loop between Wynyard and St James via Circular Quay was completed in 1956.

The platforms at Wynyard are numbered 3 to 6.  The original platforms 1 and 2 were intended for the unbuilt Northern Beaches line [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bradfield_Scheme_Sydney_CBD_Railways_alt.png – compare with the eventual network:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sydney_CBD_Railways_built.png].

As an interim measure the Northern Beaches platforms and approaches were used for the North Shore tram services that crossed the Harbour Bridge.

When the trams were abandoned in 1958 the trackbed over the bridge was adapted to make two further motor-vehicle lanes, and the platforms at Wynyard were used for car-parking.

A 2009 discussion paper proposed to build a Fast North Shore Line [http://www.dab.uts.edu.au/research/outcomes/garry-glazebrook-attach.pdf, Attachment 5, page 1] which would reinstate heavy rail on the Harbour Bridge and into the unused platforms at Wynyard.

This alignment could also be used for a long-term plan for a high-speed rail-link between Newcastle, north of Sydney, and Canberra to the south.

What goes around comes around.

There is in fact a complex archaeology of unused or disused rail tunnels under the centre of Sydney. 

There is a faintly fanciful video-clip of the tunnels under St James Station, also on the City Loop, at [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAsTUZkj0u4], an article from the Sydney Morning Herald that illustrates an uncompleted tunnel, abandoned in 1932, at North Sydney Station across the harbour 5km north of Sydney Central [http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/ghost-trains-the-forgotten-rail-network/2007/07/20/1184560040257.html], and a photo-album of tunnels at Central, Redfern, and North Sydney stations [http://www.railpage.org.au/trainman/tunnels.htm].


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *