Have you ever noticed that Wynyard station’s platform numbers start at number 3? Why do you think that is? What happened to platforms 1 and 2?
This photo helps explain the mystery of the missing platforms. Sitting immediately west of platforms 3 and 4 sit these high arched tunnels which today form a part of an underground car park. Trams used to pass through these tunnels and into the original Wynyard platforms 1 and 2.
The platforms ran north to south and serviced the North Shore line. They were built as a part of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and City Underground development. Originally the bridge was designed to carry 4 train lines, but as the bridge was built the designs were changed to include a tram line instead. I believe the tram line ran along the lane closest to the Opera House before it was converted for road traffic. The trams would pass over the bridge towards the city then into a tunnel beside Cumberland Street and through to Wynyard.
Construction began on the tunnels in 1931 and was completed the following year. Trams would continue running through these tunnels until 1958, at which time the Sydney Tram network was being dismantled and replaced with buses. It’s said that this was the only underground portion of the entire Sydney tram network.
In the 60s the tunnels and platform areas were converted to an underground car park to service the hotel above. Recently, as part of the redevelopment of Wynyard station, a stairwell was uncovered which led up to the old platforms. I understand this was during the construction of the new tunnel leading to the Barangaroo Precinct.
Another little piece of trivia involving the tunnels. Rumour has it that the Police used one of the tunnels as a practice firing range for a period of time.