Railway Lines Waiting To Be Built
Victor P Taffa
Dr. John Bradfield designed and built the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Metropolitan Railways. Opened in 1932 the Sydney Harbour Bridge joined the North with the South thus ending decades of debate and isolation.
The debate raged as to what type of bridge there should be or whether or not there should be one at all. The isolation of roads and tram services having to use Punts or ferries to cross the Harbour ended with the opening of the ‘Coat Hanger.’
The first electric train ran from Central to Oatley on 1 March 1926 which represented the beginning of John Bradfield’s dream of a network of suburban lines with stations in close proximity to each other.
John Bradfield always dreamt of a City Circle Railway as shown on the map as the present day Circular Quay Railway Station was only completed in 1956. John Bradfield envisaged a network of lines as opposed to branch line configuration.
Sydney currently has four branch lines with these being:
- Eastern Suburbs
Until 1956 trains terminated at both Wynyard and St James and were effectively a ‘Branch line’ operation.
Platforms 1 & 2 of Wynyard became tramway platforms for the North Sydney lines when the Northern Suburbs Railway to Brookvale was abandoned.
Platforms 2 & 3 of St James were intended to be used for Railway lines to the Western and South-Eastern Suburbs.
In a recent article in The Sydney Morning Herald, 31 May 2010 ‘Second harbour crossing-or chaos’ it clearly sets out the case for additional railway track capacity across Sydney Harbour.
What John Bradfield realised and what has been forgotten is that railway lines need to connect to other lines to provide flexibility into the network.
The Sydney Morning Herald commissioned Former Transport Director General Ron Christie to oversee an Independent Inquiry. Needless to say Editor of The Southern Thunderer Victor P Taffa submitted plans that can be viewed on www.isput.com.au
The Sydney CBD lines require a second city circle line such as The Bradfield Line.
The Bradfield Line would utilise platforms 26 & 27 at Central and Platforms 2 & 3 at St James. As a member of the Australian Railway Historical Society (ARHS) in the January 2001 Detailed Overview Report that is now contained in www.isput.com.au I called for a Book /Souvenir Shop to be built at Sydney Central Station. The ARHS conducted tours through the water logged Railway tunnels near St James.
Stations on the Bradfield Line are as follows:
- Darling Harbour
- King Street
- Bridge Street
- St James
- Hyde Park Corner
The option that The Sydney Morning Herald put forward is also similar to The North Shore Line Extension.
North Shore Line Extension:
The North Shore Line Extension since 2001 has always supported an expensive twin set of rail tube tunnels similar to the Sydney Harbour Road Tunnel.
Stations on the North Shore Line Extension are as follows:
- Miller Street
- Milsons Point
- Market Street
- Darling Harbour
The North Shore Line Extension would commence from Wollstonecraft and head underground and connect with the Eastwood Line. The North Shore Line between Chatswood and North Sydney also requires quadruplicating.
The other option is to restore the railway lines on the Eastern side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Once restored the Eastern tracks would lead into Platforms 1 & 2 at Wynyard and also lead into the Bradfield Line at Bridge Street.
Traffic on the Cahill Expressway would not be affected as elevated roadways would join the Cahill Expressway with the Bradfield Highway which runs across the deck of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Now that the Toll Booths for both the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Tunnel have gone cash less the positioning of these can change to a central point on the Northern side of the approach to the Tunnel and Expressway.
Should anyone think that only one new railway line will solve all of the problems is sadly mistaken. Decades of neglect has led Sydney to the current chronic traffic chaos and underfunded railways. The folly of transport planning was no more apparent than for Branch Metro Rail that required NO Drivers or Guards. John Bradfield rejected Metro Rail in the 1920’s.