Early costings on infrastructure projects leading to inaccuracy: Grattan report

Governments and project authorities need to improve costings on transport infrastructure, and megaprojects in particular, a new report highlights.

The Grattan Institute’s The rise of megaprojects: counting the costs report found that Australian transport infrastructure projects over the past two decades cost $34 billion more than initially expected. Read more

Sydney Metro

Preparations taking place for next stage of Sydney Metro

Civil works are underway and stabling facilities are being constructed to connect the existing Sydney Metro line with its extension to the City and Southwest.

In Rouse Hill, the current stabling yards are being expanded with a new test track, stabling roads, and overhead wiring.

The enlarged depot will provide space for the extra 37 trains which will run on the expanded Sydney Metro line when it continues from Chatswood, via the Sydney CBD and onto Bankstown.

Systems Connect, a partnership between CPB Contractors and UGL Engineering is delivering the works, of which over 3.1 kilometres of track and 6,500 sleepers have been installed. Twelve thousand tonnes of ballast has also been delivered.

The facility will be operational by the end of 2021 and all works will be complete by 2022, ahead of the new line opening in 2024. A Sydney Metro spokesperson said this lead time would allow for bedding in the new rollingstock.

“The expanded depot will be used for testing and stabling of the new metro trains as they progressively arrive.

“New metro trains will arrive well in advance of the opening date for the necessary testing – there will be further updates closer to that time.”

At Chatswood, foundations are being laid to connect the existing Metro North West line to the tunnel which will take trains under Sydney Harbour before emerging in Sydenham.

Work has had to be delivered in a 48-hour shutdown of the current suburban rail services, to reduce disruption. 130 workers have been on the project, including moving 330 tonnes of soil, using piling rigs to drill 34 holes up to 8 metres deep. Future works will involve excavating 7,500 tonnes of material and repositioning the existing suburban rail line.

Limiting resources and using recycled materials has been a key focus of the project, both in the first stages of Sydney Metro and current upgrade works.

At the new stabling facility in Rouse Hill, crushed recycled glass used to bed down pipes, instead of sand, using 1,000 tonnes of recycled glass. Recycled road base made of old crumbled concrete is used to make the hardstands for laydown areas and a car park for staff.

Water saving measures include using recycled water, such as rainwater and runoff. Dust block is used to bind fine dust, instead of water.

TfNSW opens consultation on west of Bankstown services

Options for services west of Bankstown once Sydney Metro City & Southwest are now subject to community feedback.

Transport for NSW is seeking community input on how services will run from hubs such as Liverpool, Lidcombe, and Bankstown.

TfNSW has already indicated that it would prefer for an option where services would run from Liverpool via Regents Park and Lidcombe to the city, and a shuttle train from Bankstown via Yagoona and Birrong to Lidcombe.

Passengers travelling from Bankstown to Liverpool would need to change at Regents Park.

Other options would have services travelling on a distinct network from Lidcombe and Liverpool to Bankstown, without the ability to travel on one train from Liverpool, via Regents Park, to the city. A final option would introduce a shuttle train between Liverpool and Bankstown and a train from Bankstown to the city, via Lidcome and the Inner West.

“While initial planning has identified a preferred option that we think provides the best outcomes for customers, we are keen to hear from the community about the proposed changes and options considered,” said a TfNSW spokesperson.

“This will help us develop a broader public transport solution for customers, complementing the new Sydney Metro services available.”

The chosen service will come into effect once the Sydney Metro City & Southwest line opens in 2024.

Community group Restore Inner West Line has supported TfNSW’s suggested option