Historical Map: Sydney CityRail Network Map, 1992

Now this is the transit map of my youth. Sydney’s CityRail map went through a few different looks in the mid-80s and early-90s, but this is the one that sticks in my memory the most.

This map shows both the first growth in the system for a number of years with the extension of the East Hills line to Glenfield, but also the last remnants of the old with the vestigial Pippita branch still in existence. The Carlingford line has also yet to be assigned its now-distinctive navy blue colour, the Cumberland line doesn’t exist yet, the Airport line is still in early planning, and the Epping-Chatswood line hasn’t even begun to be thought of.

Have we been there? Home from age 5 to 35!

What we like: Ridiculous amounts of nostalgia. Clear and easy to follow - although the simplistic radial nature of the system (with all lines passing through Central station) also has something to do with this.

What we don’t like: Some uneven spacing of station names - the stations along the Richmond line in particular seem unnecessarily cramped, while the station names along the Carlingford line are oddly placed at a 45-degree angle when there’s plenty of room to fit them in horizontally.

There’s also some weird design idiosyncrasies that don’t reflect the service patterns offered at the time. The Richmond, Carlingford and Cronulla Lines are all shown as if they are spur lines, terminating where they join onto their respective main lines. In reality, all of these lines offered service that continued all the way into the city.

Strangest of all is the right-angle split of the Northern Line (Red) just south of Hornsby which gives absolutely no indication of which direction trains go in if they’re coming from Epping. North? South? Into a brick wall? 

Our rating: Pleasantly nostalgic, but not as brilliant as I remember it when viewed in the cold light of day. Three stars.

3 Stars

(Source: NSWrail.webs.net Map Archive)

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