New rail security fencing set to save lives

New fencing is expected to not only improve safety but also help save lives. WORK has begun on installing additional security fencing on the Sydney Trains network to prevent trespassing and reduce self-harm incidents in the rail corridor.

Transport minister Andrew Constance said the $4.5 million of new fencing was being installed across 2.3 kilometres of the rail corridor by the end of 2021.

“This new fencing will not only improve safety and stop people accessing the rail network illegally, it will also help save lives,” Constance said.

“Tragically, 16 people lost their lives on the NSW rail network last year. There were also 155 near misses and 54 people injured from trespassing or entering the Sydney Trains rail corridor.”

Mental health minister Bronnie Taylor said any suicide was a tragedy with profound community impacts.

“We know that when we erect physical barriers in identified suicide ‘hot spots’, it significantly reduces the immediate risk to that individual’s life,” Taylor said.

“I encourage anyone who is having suicidal thoughts to seek help, or talk to a trusted friend about their feelings immediately.”

Sydney Trains acting chief executive Pete Church said while most of the Sydney Trains network was already fenced, there were locations where people had been able to access the rail corridor.

“When people trespass in the rail corridor, they not only risk their life, but their actions can have a long lasting impact for their friends and family, as well as our customers and staff,” Church said.

TrackSAFE executive director Heather Neil said they worked closely with Sydney Trains to raise awareness of rail safety issues, and reduce near misses.

“Reducing accessibility to train lines through the installation of fences and other physical barriers is known to be a successful method of reducing trespass and self-harm incidents,” Neil said.

There were more than 2,600 trespassing incidents on the network, including nine people caught train surfing, in the 2019-20 financial year. The minimum fine for trespassing is $400 but can be as high as $5,500.

Other Sydney Trains initiatives to prevent trespassing and self-harm incidents include:

  • Training for frontline staff to help them recognise the warning signs for suicide.
  • Emergency help points on every platform, which are directly linked to trained security operators 24 hours a day.
  • More than 12,000 CCTV cameras monitoring the network, including high-definition cameras with stronger capabilities to identify trespassers.

If this article has raised issues for you, please consider calling one of the following entities:

  • Lifeline 13 11 14
  • Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
  • NSW Mental Health Line 1800 011 511

CRL Station taking shape below Auckland streets

CONSTRUCTION of New Zealand’s deepest railway station is celebrating a significant milestone with the project pouring the last concrete to complete the first underground floor ( B1 in pink below) of City Rail Link’s Karangahape Station.

The floor at the Mercury Lane entrance to the station is one of five that will carry people to and from the platforms 25 metres below ground.

“It’s great to see a station that’s going to have a huge impact on the Karangahape Road area slowly taking shape,” said Jonathan Hill, the Karangahape Station manager for the Link Alliance.

“There’s been some pretty intense work in a confined central city area to complete the floor successfully.”

The excavation beneath the street level entrance floor and then the construction of the first underground floor has taken 10 weeks.

About 9000 cubic metres of material – enough to fill three Olympic-sized swimming pools – was first removed before 880 cubic metres of concrete was poured and some 280 tonnes of reinforcing steel fitted.

Deeper below ground, work on excavating the top heading of the first of the two 223-metre-long platform tunnels is almost complete, and at the station’s Beresford Square entrance preparations are underway to begin pouring the first underground ‘B1’ level of the station.

Work on the Karangahape Station began in late 2019 with the demolition of the old Mercury Plaza and adjacent buildings.  The station structure is due to be completed by 2023 to be followed by the station fit-out – the installation of mechanical and electrical equipment that includes lighting, escalators, lifts, ventilation and communication systems.

The Link Alliance is delivering the stations, tunnels and rail systems contract for City Rail Link Ltd.

The $4.4 billion City Rail Link is the largest transport infrastructure project undertaken in New Zealand. It is planned to be completed in 2024 and Aucklanders will benefit from a transformed public transport network when it opens.

New Parramatta line sustainably on track

CONSTRUCTION works to reuse materials from the former T6 Carlingford Rail Line, including ballast, sleepers and tracks, for the new Parramatta Light Rail have begun.

Member for Parramatta Dr Geoff Lee said the reuse of materials demonstrates the project’s commitment to achieving environmental and sustainable outcomes for the community while delivering light rail.

“Sustainability is top of mind for the project and these recovered components from the original single-track T6 Carlingford Rail Line are in excellent condition for reuse,” said Lee.

“More than half of the ballast, 60 per cent of the rail tracks and 50 per cent of the sleepers removed last year will be reused along the five-kilometre Carlingford to Camellia corridor to construct the new light rail.”

In preparation for its reuse, more than 8,000 cubic metres of ballast was washed and re-screened to meet specifications for the Parramatta Light Rail. Once the laying of the ballast is complete, the team will install the sleepers followed by the rail tracks.

Dr Lee said recycling these materials would benefit the project, the community and the environment in which the light rail will operate.

“This process will mean using less resources, achieving better time efficiencies, better environmental results and a more sustainable outcome for the community,” Lee said.

“By reusing these materials, we will reduce the Parramatta Light Rail’s carbon dioxide output by more than 3,500 tonnes.”

The single-track T6 Carlingford Rail Line permanently closed for the construction and conversion of the dual-track light rail in January 2020.

The 12-kilometre, $2.4 billion Parramatta Light Rail is to connect Westmead to Carlingford via the Parramatta CBD and Camellia and is expected to begin services in 2023.