City Circle

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City Circle
T2 Sydney logo.png T3 Sydney.png
Tangara T Car Set.jpg
A Tangara arriving at Circular Quay, the halfway point of the city circle line.
Overview
Termini Central
Stations 6
Services T2 Airport, Inner West & South Line
T3 Bankstown Line
Line number T2 Sydney logo.png T3 Sydney.png
Operation
Opened 20 December 1926 (1926-12-20) (first segment)
22 January 1956 (1956-01-22) (entire loop)
Owner RailCorp
Operator(s) Sydney Trains
Technical
Line length 6 km (3.7 mi)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Sydney Trains services
North Shore, Northern & Western
Airport, Inner West & South
Bankstown
Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra
Cumberland
Carlingford
Olympic Park

The City Circle is a mostly-underground subway and rail system located in the Sydney central business district, in New South Wales, Australia, that make the core of the Sydney's passenger rail network. The lines are owned by RailCorp, a State government agency, and operated under Transport for NSW's Sydney Trains brand. Despite its name, the City Circle is of a horseshoe shape, with trains operating in a U-shaped pattern. The constituent stations of the Circle are (clockwise): Central, Town Hall, Wynyard, Circular Quay, St James, Museum and back to Central.

History and description

The original railway network for the Sydney CBD planned by John Bradfield, (left) and the network as it is today. The City Circle was built as planned and the Eastern Suburbs railway was built to a different alignment, though the Northern Beaches and Southern Suburbs line was never built.

The original concept for the City Railway was part of a report dated 1915 submitted to the government by chief railway engineer, John Bradfield, upon his return from overseas study,[1] with work commencing the following year. His concepts were largely based on the New York City Subway, which he observed during his time in New York City.

Built in stages, the first City Circle stations to open were the heritage-listed[2] Museum and St James, which both opened in 1926 as part of the initial electrification of Sydney railways. Next was the "western limb" through Town Hall and Wynyard, which opened in 1932 in conjunction with the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This section contains four tunnels. Two connected to the Harbour Bridge, while the two City Circle tunnels terminated at Wynyard. In 1956 the dead ends at St. James and Wynyard were joined and the "missing link", Circular Quay – was opened. Central and Circular Quay stations are above-ground (Circular Quay is elevated, directly underneath the Cahill Expressway), while the remainder are underground. Several unused railway tunnels also exist. The former tram tunnels at Wynyard, and other stub tunnels at St James are well known.

Services and operations

The current service patterns generally consist of trains from the Airport, Inner West & South lines operating around the City Circle in a clockwise manner via Town Hall station and proceed towards the Sydney Airport international and domestic railway stations. This track is known as the "City Outer". Trains from the Bankstown railway line generally operate around the City Circle in an anti-clockwise manner via Museum station and proceed onto the Airport, Inner West & South lines (using the "City Inner" track). A set of flying junctions at Central enable this pattern to be varied.

Prior to the integration of the Eastern Suburbs line into the Illawarra Line in 1980, Illawarra line trains also operated around the City Circle.

Trains on the Western and Northern lines usually do not proceed around the City Circle but instead proceed across the Harbour Bridge to the North Shore line and vice versa. During weekend trackwork, trains from the City Circle may go to Penrith/Richmond, Cronulla/Waterfall or Epping/Hornsby via Strathfield.

In 2005, when CityRail completed its most recent estimate of station boardings, the City Circle accounted for 221,160 weekday entries and exits, equivalent to over 55 million annual trips.[3]

It operates a service every 3 to 5 minutes during peak hours, 6 minutes at other times and 8 to 10 minutes on weekends.

Stations

The line currently has six operating stations. Two stations have platforms that allow for additional capacity, namely St James and Wynyard stations.

Name Code Distance from
Central (km)
Opened Railway line Serving suburbs Other lines Notes
km mi
T2 Sydney logo.png City Circle (clockwise)
Central SBO 0 0 28 February 1855 Central, Strawberry Hills
Ultimo, Surry Hills, Haymarket
North Shore, Northern & Western Line
Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line
NSW TrainLink
[4][5][6]
Town Hall THL 1.21 0.75 28 February 1932 Sydney, Darling Harbour North Shore, Northern & Western Line
Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line
NSW TrainLink*
*peak hours and weekends only
[5]
Wynyard WYD 2.05 1.27 23 June 1979 Kings Cross, Rushcutters Bay NSW TrainLink*
*peak hours and weekends only
[7]
Circular Quay CQY 2.97 1.85 22 January 1956 Sydney CBD NSW TrainLink*
*peak hours and weekends only
.[8]
St James SAJ 4.4 2.7 20 December 1926 Sydney, Woolloomooloo [9][10]
Museum MSM 4.99 3.10 20 December 1926 Sydney, Darlinghurst [10][11][2]
Central SBO 0 0 28 February 1855 Central, Strawberry Hills
Ultimo, Surry Hills, Haymarket
North Shore, Northern & Western Line
Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line
NSW TrainLink
[5]
T3 Sydney.png City Circle (anti-clockwise)

Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ Wylie, R. F. (June 1971). "50 Years – A Long Time". Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin: 140–143. 
  2. ^ a b "Museum railway station". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. 
  3. ^ Region 9 Ministry of Transport Retrieved 2008-08-06
  4. ^ Bozier, Rolfe, "New South Wales Railways: NSW Station Codes". Retrieved 19 June 2002.
  5. ^ a b c The Eastern Suburbs Railway platforms for Town Hall and Central stations opened 23 June 1979. Cited in Forsyth, J.H. (ed.) (1988–93), Stations & Tracks; Vol. 1: "Main Suburban & Branches – Illawarra & Branches". State Rail Authority of New South Wales: Sydney, pp. 42–43.
  6. ^ Sourced from Forsyth, J.H. (ed.) (1988–93), Stations & Tracks; Vol. 1: "Main Suburban & Branches – Illawarra & Branches". State Rail Authority of New South Wales: Sydney, pp. 42–44, 101–128, 206–208 passim, except where noted.
  7. ^ Wynyard Station NSWrail.net
  8. ^ Circular Quay Station NSWrail.net
  9. ^ Sydney Morning Herald 21 December 1926 pp. 11-12
  10. ^ a b "60 Years Ago". Railway Digest: 398. December 1986. 
  11. ^ Museum Station NSWrail.net

External links

  • Sydney Trains Network site
  • NSW rail City Circle
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