Martin Place Station caverns completed ahead of schedule

The station caverns for the future Martin Place Metro Station have been completed, six months ahead of schedule.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Transport Andrew Constance visited the site of the future station, 28 metres below ground and said that the completion of the caverns was a milestone in the delivery of the new Metro line.

“In a few short years, Sydney’s new driverless trains will be running through the heart of the city every few minutes – a fast, new, reliable and safe railway extending from the Metro North West Line,” said Berejiklian.

Constance said that with the shape of the future station coming together, critical infrastructure will be delivered soon.

“This is an extraordinary milestone: excavation, tunnelling and caverns completed – next stop is laying tracks and building the new station which will service the heart of the Sydney CBD,” said Constance.

Nine tunnels to allow commuters to access the station have been built as part of the station’s design. These connect from the station entrances as well as to the existing Martin Place station where passengers can connect to Sydney Trains services.

Under construction for the last two years, the station is located underneath Castlereagh and Elizabeth streets and are 220 metres long and 14 metres wide. Tunnel boring machines Nancy and Shirl arrived at the stations in October 2019 before continuing on the future line.

A total of 126,000 tonnes of rock were excavated to create the two caverns and 5,500 tonnes of steel and 21,5000 tonnes of concrete have been used to create the stations.

Tracklaying is expected to commence in early 2021.

Sydney Metro part of mental health awareness campaign

Sydney Metro workers have been part of the launch of a new initiative to reduce suicide in the construction sector.

MATES Stronger Together aims to drive cultural change in the construction industry, highlighting the shared responsibility that colleagues have for each other’s mental health.

“We know that construction workers are at significantly greater risk of suicide than workers in other industries, sadly a worker takes their life every two days,” said Constance.

“2020 has been one hell of a year, so it’s particularly important at the moment to do everything we can to safeguard the health, safety and wellbeing of our workers.”

The launch of MATES Stronger Together. Image credit: Sydney Metro

Six times the number of construction workers killed in workplace accidents take their own life, with 190 workers dying from suicide each year. Young workers are particularly at risk, with young workers in construction twice as likely to die from suicide as other young men.

MATES Stronger Together is run by MATES in Construction, a partnership between building companies, unions, employer grounds and mental health organisations.

Sydney Metro chief executive Jon Lamonte said that this year was a reminder of the importance of connection.

“If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s just how much we can take ‘connectedness’ for granted and how important our social connections really are,” Mr Lamonte said.

“Our ‘mates’ really do play an important role in preventing suicide in this industry.”

The program will provide practical tools for workers in the construction industry to identify warning signs and act, said MATES in Construction CEO Brad Parker.

“The goal is to create strong networks of support on construction projects across the country, with workers looking out for those suffering from suicidal thoughts and having the confidence to talk to them and connect them with the help they need.”

If you, or someone you know, is thinking about suicide or experiencing a personal crisis or distress, please seek help immediately in a life-threatening situation by calling 000 or seek support though one of these services:

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

Sydney Metro updates corporate plan with focus on connectivity

Sydney Metro has released an updated corporate plan with an acknowledgement of the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) and a greater focus on the placemaking effects of the new public transport system.

The corporate plan is an update to the inaugural 2019 report and acknowledges the move from design and construct of the first line to the operation of the North  West Line while Southwest is under construction and Sydney Metro West and Outer West are in their planning stages.

The report highlights that as of March 31, 90,835 services have been delivered, with 22 sets of trains transporting 19.5 million passengers, and an overall satisfaction rating of 96 per cent.

The report also responds to the Transport for NSW (TfNSW) 10-year blueprint which identifies the short-term priorities of agencies within the Transport cluster as part of looking towards the Future Transport 2056 strategy. This identified primary outcomes of connecting customers, creating successful places, improving quality of life and economy, and ensuring those within Transport are doing meaningful work.

For Sydney Metro, this has been realised in the provision of a low-pollution, low-carbon transport service. The report identifies that the Metro is increasing connectivity through urbanised environments and encouraging economy productivity and land use efficiency. For the people living near the line, there is improved employment, housing, and social equity outcomes through faster and more accessible travel.

In his forward to the plan, chief executive of Sydney Metro Jon Lamonte highlighted that Sydney Metro has become more critical during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The work that Sydney Metro does has become more important than ever. Keeping the North West Line safely running for our customers will continue to be a priority for us. Additionally, our rail infrastructure delivery will play a significant part in the recovery effort after the pandemic,” writes Lamonte.