Sydney Metro

Development approved for Victoria Cross metro station

The NSW government has approved the development above the future Victoria Cross metro station in North Sydney.

The project involves a 42-storey office tower, a community hub, a pedestrian link from the station plaza to Denison Street, and 1,300sqm of open space.

Lendlease will deliver the Victoria Cross station and the building above after winning a $476 million contract.

Currently, the excavation of the Metro and service tunnels are complete, and the station cavern and tunnels are being lined with concrete. The station comprises Australia’s largest rail cavern, measuring 265 metres long, 25 metres wide, and 20 metres high.

Station fit out works are scheduled to begin in early 2021, and the tower will be completed by mid-2024.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the station and associated development will open up the precinct.

“The integrated station development at the new Victoria Cross Metro Station will double the available public open space near the tower and create a continuous ‘civic green spine’ along Miller Street, with landscaped terraces, outdoor dining, casual seating areas and pedestrian paths,” he said.

Minister for Transport Andrew Constance said that the project would integrate transport with local development.

“This tower will provide space for more than 4,000 office workers on top of a world-class public transport system, which is not only transforming our city’s public transport network, it’s transforming the areas around it.”

Approvals for the Victoria Cross development have been fast-tracked under the NSW government’s Planning System Acceleration program. The development is expected to create 400-600 construction jobs and inject $315m into the economy.


Women in Industry Awards announces finalists for 2020

The finalists for the Women in Industry awards have been announced.

The annual award, co-presented by Rail Express, highlights the contributions made by women to industries including transportation, logistics, manufacturing, mining, construction, and waste management.

This year saw the highest number of nominations, beating the 2019 record by 27 per cent. The growth of the awards was not only represented in the nominations themselves, but the number of individual businesses and organisations submitting nominees across varied industrial sectors.

The awards span multiple categories, including social leader of the year, rising star of the year, sponsored by Atlas Copco, business development success of the year, industry advocacy award, safety advocacy award, sponsored by BOC, mentor of the year, and individual excellence awards across the fields of transport, engineering, sponsored by BAE Systems Australia, mining, and manufacturing.

The most nominated category was the Rising Star Award, which received a record number of nominations this year.

Rail organisations represented in the awards include Transport for NSW, which included finalists Neolani Reardon (Safety Advocacy Award), and Camilla Drover (Excellence in Transport).

Sonja Malcolm, senior manager – capability & development from Sydney Metro was nominated for the Industry Advocacy Award, while Nadine Yousef, associate director at Sydney Trains received a nomination for the Safety Advocacy Award.

Lidija Dumbaloska, professional head of electrical engineering at Sydney Trains, received a nomination for Excellence in Engineering.

Judging will now begin before the winners are announced online in late August.

A full list of nominees are below.

Social Leader of the Year
Alanna Vial – BlueScope
Althea Papinczak – Women in Design and Construction (WIDAC)
Elizabeth Taylor – RedR International
Gemma Murphy – QBE Insurance
Jackie Lewis-Gray – BAE Systems Australia
Jane Tiller – Monash University
Sarah McSwiney – Boeing Aerostructures Australia

Rising Star of the Year
Proudly sponsored by Atlas Copco
Alicia Heskett – Shell Australia (QGC)
Helen Vu – BOC
Kate Robertson – Geological Survey of SA
Kate Stanbury – Stantec Australia
Keren Reynolds – BAE Systems Australia
Louise Azzopardi – WesTrac
Nima Sherpa – BHP
Rose Lindner – MMG
Vera Milutinovic – Inenco

Business Development Success of the Year
Caroline Murray – APS Industrial
Jackie Thew – Abrasive Media Supplies
Marika Logan – Elgas
Rachael Ashfield – ifm
Stefanie Frawley – Colliers International
Sonia Turner – Scope Systems

Industry Advocacy Award
Elizabeth Molyneux – AGL Energy
Hayley Jarick – Supply Chain Sustainability School
Jacquelene Brotherton – Transport Women Australia Limited
Jodie Sainsbury – Kickass Women
Joy Marrocco – AGL
Rose Read – National Waste & Recycling Industry Council
Shay Chalmers – Strategic Engineering
Sonja Malcolm – Sydney Metro

Safety Advocacy Award
Proudly sponsored by BOC Ltd
Annastasia Denigan – Cement Australia
Lyndal Denny – Women In Trucking Australia
Maddy Holloway – CITIC Pacific Mining
Nadine Yousef – Sydney Trains
Natalia Trewin – WesTrac Pty Ltd
Noelani Reardon – Transport for NSW
Terese Withington – Weir Minerals Australia Ltd
Tracey MacDonald – BAE Systems Australia

Mentor of the Year
Clytie Dangar – CRC ORE
Dayle Stevens – AGL Energy
Kylie Jones – Diageo Australia
Marie Varrasso – Officeworks

Excellence in Manufacturing
Josie Costanzo – Brickworks Building Products
Marina Melik – Boeing Aerostructures Australia
Rebecca Parnell – Artisan Food Company Pty Ltd
Rochelle Avinu – Leica Biosystems
Samantha McDonald – Bluescope

Excellence in Mining
Carlie Hayward – BHP
Clytie Dangar – CRC ORE
Jacqueline Madsen – Caterpillar
Kim Parascos – iVolve Industrial Technology
Rose Lindner – MMG
Sarah Withell – BHP
Terese Withington – Weir Minerals Australia Ltd

Excellence in Engineering
Proudly sponsored by BAE Systems Australia
Elizabeth Taylor – RedR International
Jane MacMaster – Engineers Australia
Jo Withford – Department of Transport
Lesley DeGaris – Boeing Aerostructures Australia
Lidija Dumbaloska – Sydney Trains
Mandy Petrides – Bosch Australia

Excellence in Transport
Agnes Lesson – Elgas
Camilla Drover – Transport for NSW
Danelle Kempton – Dananni Haulage
Jane Gillespie – Arup
Lyndal Denny – Women In Trucking Australia
Melissa Strong – Lindsay Australia Limited


Corridors give shape to future Western Sydney Airport links

The NSW government has confirmed the rail corridors linking the future Western Sydney Airport and Aerotropolis to the Sydney passenger and freight networks.

Transport Minister Andrew Constance said that maintaining the corridors would support future development.

“Preserving these corridors for future passenger and freight transport links supports the development of the Western Parkland City, while planning for the needs of growing communities and industries to accommodate commuters, workers and businesses who all rely on different types of transport modes,” he said.

The corridors cover three separate rail lines. The first is the Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport line, stage one of which will connect the Aerotropolis with the passenger network at St Marys on the Western Line.

The line will travel south from St Marys via a tunnel to Orchard Hills then to Western Sydney Airport and Aerotropolis. A further corridor extending south from the Aerotropolis will travel to Macarthur with a tunnel from Oran Park.

The second line is the South West Rail Link extension corridor, which will be an extension of the current passenger network from Leppington through Rossmore and Kelvin Park to the Aerotropolis.

The third line is the Western Sydney freight line. The line will run from the Outer Sydney Orbital at Luddenham, through to the M7 at Horsley Park, joining a future section through Wetherill park and connect to the Southern Sydney Freight Line at Leightonfield.

“Transport will play a huge role in shaping the way our communities move around in years to come, and we want to get this vision right, which is why we have spoken to the community at great length before finalising these future transport links,” said Constance.

The corridor confirmation begins to give shape to the rail network that will connect the new city at the Aerotropolis to the rest of Sydney. So far, funding has been committed for stage one of the Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport line with construction to begin before the end of 2020.

Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said the links would enable further development.

“These future transport links will offer better connectivity for residents and provide certainty to drive investment in new employment hubs near the new Western Sydney Airport and broader Aerotropolis.”

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

Industry welcomes Sydney Metro funding

The new Sydney Metro line to Western Sydney airport will lead to long term benefits for the rail industry and the wider economy said Caroline Wilkie, CEO of the Australasian Railway Association (ARA).

“It will not only create jobs to support our post COVID-19 recovery, but will also generate new opportunities for business and industry in years to come.”

The injection of an extra $3.5 billion from the state and federal government to get the project underway in 2020 was announced on Monday, June 1.

“This is exactly the kind of jobs creating infrastructure investment the country needs right now and we are pleased to see this important project getting underway this year,” said Wilkie.

Western Sydney Airport Chair Paul O’Sullivan said that the new rail line will be essential to ensuring the airport’s economic impact.

“Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport will not only ensure that the Airport is connected to the city’s rail network, it will complement the Airport’s ability to create economic growth and opportunities for the region, creating jobs for the people of Western Sydney and providing new ways for people to get around.”

When making the announcement on June 1, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that the line will be opened at the same time as the airport, in 2026, a goal that Wilkie welcomed.

“A direct rail connection from day one only strengthens the case for the airport precinct as the region seeks to attract more businesses to western Sydney as part of the development,” Wilkie said.

“This gives the region the best chance of making the most of the opportunities the airport precinct presents.”

NSW Labor has supported the project, however noted that local content must be prioritised.

“NSW businesses must be given priority in supplying construction materials and services to build this important rail link,” said NSW Labor deputy leader Yasmin Catley.

Wilkie said that the investment now would pay dividends for years to come.

“Investment in rail projects like this one provides much more than just a short-term boost as part of our recovery,” she said.

“This is a great example of state and federal governments working together to make sure economic stimulus measures deliver tangible and lasting benefits to our communities.”

Major projects

Community engagement key to rail project success

The successful delivery of the $150 billion rail infrastructure pipeline is at risk if community engagement best practices are adhered to, a new report from Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) has found.

With $20bn worth of infrastructure delayed or cancelled due to community opposition in the last decade, the current acceleration of infrastructure investment will need to take local attitudes into account.

Chief executive of IPA, Adrian Dwyer, said that rail has particular issues to confront in the construction and operation of infrastructure.

“Even though the construction impacts of a project may be short-term in nature, the long-term operational impacts of rail infrastructure means that social licence needs to be thought about early and often.”

The report, produced in partnership with LEK Consulting, found that to be effective, community consultation and engagement needed to be embedded throughout the project and be an active ingredient in decision-making processes.

Two major rail projects were highlighted for their effective engagement with community. The report noted that the active involvement of the community in the design of Sydney Metro and the Level Crossing Removal Project were best practice examples.

“The Level Crossing Removal and Sydney Metro projects have shown how extensive community engagement, underpinned by clear and simple messaging and genuine opportunities for co-design, can build trust and win over communities to the value of a project,” said Dwyer.

In both cases, community input led to changes in the design of the project, ongoing works were communicated clearly, and, where there was community opposition as in the case of the Level Crossing Removal Project, the benefits and costs were honestly communicated.

These case studies demonstrated the unique dynamics that rail projects will have to grapple with as further major projects are announced.

“The linear and long-term nature of rail infrastructure means the impacts are highly localised to rail corridors and station locations while the benefits are diffuse,” said Dwyer.

Western Sydney Airport Metro line to begin construction this year

An extra $3.5 billion will be invested by the NSW and federal governments for the Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport line, with construction to commence before the end of 2020, announced Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“Construction is already well underway on the airport, and later this year works will start on this new Metro service which will link the suburbs of Western Sydney to the rest of Sydney,” said Morrison.

Morrison made the announcement of extra federal funding alongside NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

“This project is moving forward, through the hard work that has been carried out by the Federal, New South Wales and local governments over the past year,” said Berejiklian.

“The opportunities this mega project will provide are vital as our economy recovers from the financial impact of the COVID-19.”

The line will include six metro stations, including two at the airport, one at the terminal and another at the business park. Stations will also be built in the Western Sydney Aerotropolis, Orchard Hills, and Luddenham. An interchange station will be built at St Marys to connect the line with the rest of the Sydney network.

The 23km line is expected to cost $11bn and is scheduled to open in 2026 in time for the opening of Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport.

NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance said that the metro line will be at the centre of the under-development region.

“This new metro railway line will become the transport spine for the region, connecting travellers from the new airport to the rest of Sydney’s public transport system.”

Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said that the project would support the wider economy.

“This project will support 14,000 jobs, bringing new opportunities for the people of Western Sydney, closer to home,” he said.

“It represents an economic stimulus in the middle of Western Sydney, supporting jobs for electricians, carpenters, plumbers, tunnellers, surveyors, crane and forklift operators and truck drivers.”

Sydney Metro

New Sydney Metro stations coming to life

Sydney Metro has released a concept design of a new station on the Sydenham to Bankstown corridor and the design of a new station in North Sydney has been approved by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE).

The two stations highlight the place-making approach of Sydney Metro in the construction of new stations and precincts along with the rail infrastructure.

In North Sydney, Lendlease will build the Victoria Cross station as well as retail spaces and public domain improvements and construction is expected to begin in 2021.

In addition to the station itself, the surrounding precinct will be energised with a new pedestrian laneway and outdoor spaces. The laws will be designed to accommodate pop-up events such as markets or food trucks

A three-storey retail, dining, and entertainment building will be constructed on Miller Street. The development is hoped to turn Miller Street into a civic boulevard at the heart of the North Sydney CBD.

Transport improvements include ‘kiss and ride’ bays, bus interchange areas, and public bike parking facilities.

In Campsie, the new concept design opens up the station’s entrance and includes a partial open-air plaza on Beamish St. The new station design is hoped to ease pedestrian congestion between the station and Lilian Lane.

Seating and bicycle parking at the station will be improved, while accessibility upgrades will ensure the station is useable by those with all abilities.

Community feedback is being sought ahead of approval by the DPIE with construction expected to begin in 2021.

Alstom results

Alstom releases results for the 2019-2020 financial year

Alstom has released its results for the financial year 2019-2020, ending March 31, 2020.

The Paris-based, Euronext listed rollingstock and signalling manufacturer booked orders of €9.9 billion ($16.6bn) over the year, and had sales results totalling €8.2bn ($13.76bn).

The figures were driven by orders in Europe, including very high speed trains in France, metros, and regional trains, as well as Alstom’s winning of the Metronet railcar build and maintenance contract in Perth and the contract to supply further rollingstock and signalling to the Sydney Metro Southwest extension.

“Although considered a stabilisation year, Alstom enjoyed strong commercial momentum in a very dynamic railway market,” said Henri Poupart-Lafarge, Alstom chairman and chief executive officer.

“We won major orders especially in Europe and in Asia-Pacific. In addition, we secured pioneering orders for our green mobility solutions, illustrating the potential of such technologies and the dynamism of the shift to carbon free transportation modes.”

Research and development spending accounted for 3.7 per cent of sales in 2019/20, with focus particularly on emissions-free mobility, including electric motors, hydrogen fuel-cells, and battery traction systems. Alstom was awarded contracts for its hydrogen train and battery electric train in regions in Germany.

The effect of COVID-19 is not fully realised in these accounts, as they finish at the end of March, 2020, however Alstom noted that it would not issue dividends to shareholders in July. The company calculated that the impact on sales of COVID-19 is roughly €100 million ($167.9m), due to a slowdown of sales recognition. As of May 12 a restart of production is occurring, and the company expects a fast recovery in the rail market.

“Alstom considers the health and safety of its employees and stakeholders as its top priority during this period. We are confident for the resilience of Alstom’s business in the mid-term, given the fundamentals of the rail market and in particular, the need for greener mobility,” said Poupart-Lafarge.

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.