Wynyard Tram Tunnels Were Designed For Trains

Wynyard Tram Tunnels Were Designed For Trains

Victor P Taffa

The Sydney Harbour Bridge opened on 19 March 1932 catering for 6 undivided road lanes and 4 Railway Lines.

The 2 Western side Railway Lines continue to take trains to and from the North Shore.

The 2 Eastern side Railway Lines were intended initially for a Railway to the Northern Beaches that was abandoned in 1927 by then Labor Premier Jack Lang.

The man who designed and built the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Metropolitan Railways John Bradfield conceded and the 2 Eastern side Railway Tracks became Tram Tracks for the North Sydney Lines.

The Tram Tracks ran from North Sydney Railway Station across a Bridge over the Pacific Highway and to the Eastern side of the Harbour Bridge whereby the Tracks ran into tunnels and emerged in Platforms under York Street and above the current Platforms 3 & 4. This area should have become Platforms 1 & 2.

Wynyard Platforms 1 & 2 was expected to be used for trains.

Trams used the Eastern Side Tracks until 1958 with Trams disappearing altogether from Sydney Streets in 1961.

During the heyday of Tram operations it was common for Trams to be lined head-to-toe all the way up and down George Street.

The irony of today’s traffic congestion is buses lining up head-to-toe down York and George Street.

Allowing buses to utilise Wynyard Platforms 1 & 2 will not take away the problem. What you will get is buses converging head-to-toe in an equally restrictive area.

The answer lies in the Expansion of the railways.

Wynyard Platforms 1 & 2 should become part of the already congested City Circle Line and a long overdue Railway to the Northern Beaches joins the North Shore Line at 4 Platform Chatswood Station.

It would seem that with the exception of the legendary John Bradfield everyone else in Transport Planning in Sydney are running around in circles and pretending to have the answers.

When one considers the insane abandonment of Trams to this ludicrous idea of a short gap bus tunnel idea it would appear that the Alice in Wonderland approach to Transport Planning is alive and well in Sydney in 2011.