High hopes for Sydney's secret underground tunnels

The tunnels were used as air raid shelters in World War II, and the unused train platform was used as a set in The Matrix Revolutions film. The 6,000 sq m of underground tunnels around St James Station, which have lain in hushed disuse for decades, c
The tunnels were used as air raid shelters in World War II, and the unused train platform was used as a set in The Matrix Revolutions film.ST PHOTOS: JONATHAN PEARLMAN
The tunnels were used as air raid shelters in World War II, and the unused train platform was used as a set in The Matrix Revolutions film. The 6,000 sq m of underground tunnels around St James Station, which have lain in hushed disuse for decades, c
The 6,000 sq m of underground tunnels around St James Station, which have lain in hushed disuse for decades, could be turned into retail, exhibition or restaurant space. The New South Wales government has called for an international tender to turn them into an iconic new experience for Sydney residents and visitors.ST PHOTOS: JONATHAN PEARLMAN

NSW govt wants ideas to turn century-old train tunnels into iconic space for visitors

A network of disused train tunnels beneath the centre of Sydney could be turned into bars, restaurants, shops and an art gallery, as part of an ambitious plan to ensure the caverns are no longer a hidden part of the city's history.

The 6,000 sq m of tunnels, around St James Station, were built a century ago but remain an abandoned feature of the business district, little known to most of the hundreds of thousands of people who walk above each day.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 14, 2018, with the headline 'High hopes for Sydney's secret underground tunnels'. Print Edition | Subscribe