Sydney Railway Square connecting tracks

 
  edison Chief Commissioner

Among the convoluted layout of Railway Square, there was a double-track connection between the Pitt and George Street tracks, immediately to the north of the large waiting shed/signal box. Looking south from the wedge-shaped Marcus Clark building in the "V" between Pitt and George Sts, a Down George St car would diverge to the left onto this connection from its usual trajectory, as likewise would an Up Pitt St car.
Have never seen photo of cars using this trackage, nor read anything about it.
Any suggestions/explanations?

Edison

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  Fred Scuttle Junior Train Controller

Location: Point Clare, NSW
I believe that these connecting tracks were only used for special, emergency and transfer workings. From looking at David Keenan's City Lines of the Sydney Tramway System, it would seem that no regular services used the connection. I did think of the Erskineville line as a possibility, but Keenan writes that this service used Pitt and Castlereagh Streets from its opening in 1909 till its closure in1940 (i.e; it didn't operate via George Street, as did other "Green Line" services prior to 1932). So, it would appear that this double-track connection was a piece of planned reundancy, to aid in operational flexibility.
  edison Chief Commissioner

Thanks for the reply, Fred. Yours seems to be the only likely explanation when all is considered.
Also, I seem to recall a photo of the area with bollards in the middle of the tracks at that point, to keep motor traffic on the correct side of the whole area, thus making tram movements impossible.

Edison
  jayrail Assistant Commissioner

Location: te Anau Southern Alps NZ
In that region ,I recall a tram trip in the 1940s getting on from Central steam platform from Cowra,loaded on awaiting tram on the top concourse,head upto the David Jones area,sneak around the east end of the big Park near an old church and lawcourts , and somehow got taken on the tramline to Watsons Bay terminus to walk to a naval base,.Forgive the lack of geography names.
  Fred Scuttle Junior Train Controller

Location: Point Clare, NSW
You would have taken a tram from the Railway Collonnade up Castlereagh Street, and it sounds as if you got off at either Market Street, or King Street. King Street sounds more likely, as it carried the city section of the Watson's Bay line until 1950, when it was cut back to Queen's Square - opposite the Law Courts and St James' Anglican Church. The Watson's Bay line then passed down College Street (the eastern side of Hyde Park), and then turned down Boomerang Street (where else but Sydney would have a street name like that?), and into William Street for the climb to King's Cross.

The connecting tracks mentioned in the original post were in Railway Square, over to the side of Central, while the Collonnade terminus of the Pitt and Castlereagh Streets lines were at the front of the station, overlooking Eddy Avenue. This line was closed in September 1957, while the rest of the Watson's Bay line was bustituted in July 1960. The Railway Collonnade came back into use as a tram terminus in August 1997 - albeit now operating in the opposite direction of travel to the original line.
  jayrail Assistant Commissioner

Location: te Anau Southern Alps NZ
You would have taken a tram from the Railway Collonnade up Castlereagh Street, and it sounds as if you got off at either Market Street, or King Street. King Street sounds more likely, as it carried the city section of the Watson's Bay line until 1950, when it was cut back to Queen's Square - opposite the Law Courts and St James' Anglican Church. The Watson's Bay line then passed down College Street (the eastern side of Hyde Park), and then turned down Boomerang Street (where else but Sydney would have a street name like that?), and into William Street for the climb to King's Cross.

The connecting tracks mentioned in the original post were in Railway Square, over to the side of Central, while the Collonnade terminus of the Pitt and Castlereagh Streets lines were at the front of the station, overlooking Eddy Avenue. This line was closed in September 1957, while the rest of the Watson's Bay line was bustituted in July 1960. The Railway Collonnade came back into use as a tram terminus in August 1997 - albeit now operating in the opposite direction of travel to the original line.

Thanks Fred,I still wonder at the complexity of Sydney city tramways,the management certainly considered all their options,and when tramways in a certain area were destabilised the trams still seem to move crowds.What of the skills of connies on side steps in horror weather,rowdy passengers fired up  after the sports & shows .
Fred Scuttle

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