Virtual site tour part of RISSB’s Rail Safety Conference

Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB) has confirmed that delegates to October’s Rail Safety Conference will get a unique view into progress being made on the new metro platforms underneath Sydney’s Central Station.

Delegates will be able to see the work currently underway for Sydney Metro at the station and for the new underground pedestrian concourse, Central Walk.

With the station’s new landmark roof taking shape, the virtual site tour will also provide a vision of what the redesigned Central Station will look like when Central Walk opens in 2022 and when metro services commence in 2024.

Delegates will join principal contractor Laing O’Rourke as they dive into the construction site, showing progress for Central Walk, then the tour will go deeper into the new metro station box, currently at 18 metres underground and on the way to the depth of 30 metres.

While construction has benefited from lower commuter numbers passing through Central Station during the COVID-19 pandemic, innovative construction measures and techniques have been used to reduce the impact of major construction occurring at the busiest station in Australia.

During the tour, techniques to ensure safety on a complex project such as this will be shared with the audience. Laing O’Rourke will also be showcasing its use of artificial intelligence computer vision safety system during day one of the conference program.

The virtual site tour is one of a number of online interactive experiences that will be part of the two-day event. Nine streams covering issues most important to the rail industry, including track worker safety, level crossings, investigations, and data and information, will be a highlight of the two-day program. Six keynote presentations from local and international rail safety leaders will set the tone for the days’ discussions.

To find out more and book tickets, follow the link: https://www.informa.com.au/event/conference/rissb-rail-safety-conference/

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.

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.