Located in the heart of Australia’s East Coast, Greater Sydney spans more than 12,000 square kilometres, posing a great challenge for the millions of people who travel to and from the city each day.
Amongst a labyrinth of extensive river systems, Sydney’s rugged terrain is separated by flat plains and steep valleys, containing one of the most extensive rail and bus systems within the nation.
With Sydney’s rising population placing a strain on the existing rail network, journey times are being affected with many rail lines now 10 to 20 per cent slower today than in 1992. Some extensions of the network only deliver 17 out of 20 trains on average during peak traffic.
In a strong case to modernise the state’s public transport system, the New South Wales government has invested $2 billion in cultivation of the Sydney Metro project, which aims to revolutionise the rail network in the same way the introduction of rail electrification did in the 1930s.
The Sydney Metro is Australia’s largest public transport project currently underway, with aims to clear the city’s public transport bottlenecks, extend existing train lines to more than double their length in some areas, as well as deliver other vital measures for the state’s public transport infrastructure.
With Sydney’s population expected to grow by 1.6 million people over the next two decades, the Sydney Metro will provide room for an extra 100,000 train customers per hour at peak times.
The project will witness the introduction of Australia’s first full-fledged rapid transit system; a European-like subway system to be featured underneath Sydney CBD with hopes of increasing the number of trains entering the city from 120 to about 200 in peak hour.
The network has experienced a steady stream of upgrades over the years, with the South West Rail Link opening earlier this year. Parts of the project are also well under way, with almost half of the tunnelling now complete on the Sydney Metro NorthWest which will open in the first half of 2019.
Tom Gellibrand, Deputy Project Director of the Sydney Metro Delivery Office will be speaking at the 7th Annual New South Wales Major Projects Conference to provide an overview of the project and into Sydney Metro City, SouthWest and NorthWest.
Sydney is the country’s most populous city with more than 4.8 million residents, contributing to the more than 290 million customer journeys taking place on the Sydney public rail system each year.
These upgrades come in addition to the $1.6 billion Sydney Light Rail which aims to replace all buses on George Street, extending to the city’s South East Suburbs to increase Sydney’s inner rail capacity, with works beginning in October of this year.
The Moorebank Intermodal Terminal has also been gaining traction, with aims of doubling the proportion of freight moving through Port Botany by rail to 28% by 2020. It is expected the precinct will provide capacity for around 250,000 containers by 2017 and up to 1.05 million import-export containers by 2030.
More than 2.8 million tonnes of crushed rock (1,000 Olympic swimming pools) will be generated by tunnelling activities, which occur 24 hours a day.
The 7th Annual New South Wales Major Projects conference is being held at Doltone House in Hyde Park Centre on the 24th & 25th of November.