New roof

New roof above Central Station taking shape

The new roof above the future Northern Concourse is currently being installed at Central Station in Sydney.

The roof is part of the redevelopment of Central Station as the hub expands to serve Sydney Metro services from 2024.

NSW Minister for Transport Andrew Constance said the feature roof will provide light and shade.

“The 80-metre-long and 40-metre-wide roof extends from the northern end of Platform 8 to Platform 16 and will sit more than 16 metres above ground to enable natural light to filter into the station,” he said.

The structure was manufactured and pre-assembled in the Hunter Valley town of Kurri Kurri, with segments transported to Sydney. There are 58 cassette roof sections, known as hockey sticks for their shape, and each weigh about five tonnes. In addition, eight girders weighing 30 tonnes and up to 21 metres long are being installed.

The perforated aluminium cladding panels enable air to flow through the roof, and the design includes 21 diamond-shaped skylights with lighting and speakers.

The roof is expected to be completed by the end of the year, with Central Walk to be open to commuters in 2022.

To enable passengers to change between the future Metro lines, Sydney Trains services, light rail services and buses, Central Walk will extend from Chalmers Street, underneath current platforms and provide access to the Metro station, 30 metres underneath Central.

Excavation has reached 18 metres below ground and breakthrough into the tunnel box is expected in the coming months.

Laing O’Rouke won the $955 million construction contract with architecture firm Woods Bagot and John McAslan + Partners.

Planning process accelerates over a billion dollars of NSW rail projects

NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes is accelerating three major rail projects as well as development above the new Crows Nest Metro Station and around the CBD and South East Light Rail.

Stokes said that moving projects such as the $700 million Inland Rail from Narrabri to North Star, the $273m Botany Rail Duplication, and the $115m Cabramatta Rail Loop would enable the state to economically recover from coronavirus (COVID-19).

“The fast-tracked assessment program is a key part of the NSW Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan as we continue to get shovel-ready projects out the door to keep people in jobs and keep the economy moving.”

The proposal to revamp of Central Station as part of the Western Gateway project will also be accelerated. Transport for NSW is proposing new planning control to enable the development of a technology centre adjacent to the rail corridor.

All projects will be determined by August 14, 2020.

Australasian Railway Association (ARA) CEO Caroline Wilkie welcomed the announcement by Stokes.

“It is good to see the NSW government recognise the significant community benefits rail delivers by accelerating these projects,” she said.

“Infrastructure investment will be the cornerstone of our economic recovery and sustainable, long term rail projects will form an important part of that.”

Completion of the Inland Rail section as well as the Port Botany duplication and Cabramatta passing loop will improve NSW’s freight rail network, enabling further growth and reducing trucks on roads in Sydney and regional NSW.

Rail’s role to play in activating development in other precincts has been recognised in the proposal to increase building height and floor space controls near the light rail line in Kingsford and Kensington. In Crows Nest, Sydney Metro is proposing to increase the building height and floor space controls to enable development above the new station.

“This is a great example of improved project approvals processes making a real difference for businesses, jobs and the people that depend on them,” said Wilkie.

Work progressing deeper underground for Metro at Central Station

While Central Station is left largely without commuters as Sydneysiders work from home or self-isolate, work has been progressing on the new underground station beneath Central in preparation for the Sydney Metro CBD and Southwest.

Work on the 27 metre deep metro station box is currently 10 metres below the surface, with 6,000 tonnes of crushed rock is being excavated each week.

To remove the rock from construction of the metro station as well as the new Central Walk an 80m long, six-metre-wide construction tunnel has been built under Central Station.

Central Walk will connect the two underground metro platforms with to light rail, suburban and inter-city trains, as well as buses.

Transport Minister Andrew Constance said that the state is lucky that work is continuing on this project despite the coronavirus (COVID-19).

“We are very fortunate that major transport infrastructure projects like this continue to be delivered.”

While extra work is underway to take advantage of the drop in people passing through Central, Sydney’s busiest station, the extra tunnel parallel to Central Walk has been built to minimise disruptions to train services.

“This six metre wide construction tunnel runs parallel to Central Walk and allows excavated crushed rock to be removed without impacting trains and customers,” said Constance.

Construction has also entered two ‘ghost platforms’, platforms 26 and 27, that were constructed for the Eastern Suburbs Railway line to Bondi and the Illawarra but were never used. 17 rooms will utilise the platforms to provide communications and power to Sydney Metro.

Central Walk is scheduled to be open to the public in 2022 and the new metro line in 2024.

The current workforce of 5,000 is completing the project out of a total workforce of 50,000.

“The upcoming Sydney Metro West project will support 10,000 direct and 70,000 indirect jobs while construction of the Metro North West Line created more than 20,000 jobs,” said Constance.