Daily tens of thousands of people make their way though all or part of the 400 metres long Devonshire Street Tunnel with its yellow, green, and red tiled walls, low ceilings and oft times flickering fluorescent lights.
The tunnel, in addition to providing access to Central Station’s train platforms, provides a shortcut under the railway tracks between Railway Square / George Street at one end and Elizabeth/ Chalmer Streets at the other.
While it is aging, under-lit and dank the tunnel has a certain charm and atmosphere making it worth a visit, particularly for those seeking to be underwhelmed.
In an attempt to spruce it up RailCorp has added train and station murals along its walls. Frankly, they are ghastly and have no artistic value whatsoever (in my humble opinion – I hasten to add) which makes them worth a look if you are in the area. I suspect even graffiti vandals give them wide berth – perhaps that’s why they are where they are.
It looks like RailCorp has taken poor quality 4 inch x 3 inch photographs and blown them up with a colour photocopier such that they have become 6 feet by 20 feet out of focus blots on the tunnel walls. My pictures make them look much better than they are.
Also as you make your way along the tunnel, and I am not sure which has the biggest cringe factor, you will also find some, nay most, of Sydney’s worst buskers, though there are a few decent ones.
Most of the tens of thousands, of mostly commuters, who pass through here daily are totally oblivious to the din and ‘art’ as their focus is on catching their train or bus while listening to whatever it is they have streaming into their ears from their phones and ipods. Actually, watching the zombie like crowd is an added attraction of a visit here.
If I am in the area and it is not too much of a detour for me to enter the station or pass through I am drawn to using the tunnel. Ghastly as it is there is something captivating, indeed intoxicating about it.
Love it or hate it, it has certainly become something of a Sydney institution.
I accept not for everyone, perhaps.
Address: Southern end of the Sydney CBD
Directions: Under Central Station
Phone: 131 500