Sunday, June 27, 2010

As It Was: Railway Square 1913

(Click on pics to enlarge)

Next time you're driving into Sydney via Central, try to visualise it as it was nearly 100 years ago.  That's Railway Square above, formerly Central Square, as it was nearly 100 yeras ago.

Some points to note in respect of the above pic:

- The large number of trams.

- The presence of horses and carts but no cars (there is one car, parked next to the trees on the right).

-  The pedestrian friendly streets.  Pedestrians are walking everywhere on the streets unconcernhed by the trams, horses and carts.

-  The large building in the centre, occupied by the Marcus Clarke department store, still existing (see below).

-  The church alongside, Christ Church St Laurence, also still existing (see below).

-  The tower above the tram terminus building, a control tower for tram movements.

In 1913 Railway Square was the main  retail area in Sydney, with Central Station the hub of the rail network, including being the point of arrival of country trains.  Railway Square began to decline in importance when the underground rail loop became operational between 1926 and 1932.  As a result the more attractive harbour areas developed with a corresponding decline around Central. 

Railway Square today, the tram terminus having become a bus interchange:

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