Going underground

Introduction of the electric train in 1926 at St James Station

2016 - 90 years of the city underground

During December 2016, Sydney Trains and Transport Heritage NSW celebrated 90 years since the opening of the first underground railway in Australia.

On 20th December 1926, the first section of the City Circle opened connecting Central, Museum and St James stations. The underground and electrification of the railways was championed by Dr John J.C. Bradfield, who also oversaw the planning and design of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The initial construction and opening of the line through to St James Station in 1926 took 10 years to build and was the largest coordinated railway works in Australia's history. The scale of the civil, mechanical and electrical engineering work was enormous and incorporated the latest technologies of the day, which also aligned with the introduction of electric railways in Australia.

Celebrating 90 years of Going Underground video

Duration: 5 mins

A commemorative video showing rare historical footage of Sydney's underground railway. From going underground in the 1920s, Wynyard Square Station in the course of construction to the Sydney morning peak during the 1960s and more.

Historical footage provided by: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

View a commemorative video here showing rare historical footage of Sydney's underground railway sourced from the National Film and Sound Archive.

Posters on display at St James Station celebrating 90 years of the city underground.

Going underground exhibition

From 10 December 2016
Historic platforms of St James Station

View a public exhibition at St James Station during the 2016 holiday season, detailing the history of the city underground.

The exhibition is free for any customers using the station or wanting to visit the station with a valid Opal card, provided you tap on and tap off within 30 minutes. Longer stays of over 30 minutes but under 5 hours will result in a 0-10km train fare.