Track laying complete on Sydney Metro North West

Track laying complete on Sydney Metro North West
Track laying complete on Sydney Metro North West

Track laying on Australia's first major railway line that will operate with driverless trains has been completed with the final sleepers and rails that were laid forming a crossover at the transition of the line from its elevated section back down to earth at Kellyville.

The first phase of Sydney Metro, dubbed Sydney Metro North West, will remain under construction as rail and electrical infrastructure is installed over the coming months.  A testing phase will occur thereafter.

In all, 105 kilometres of rail has been laid in the new twin 15 kilometre tunnels from Epping to Bella Vista, the 4km elevated rail section through to the northern terminus at Rouse Hill.

60,948 sleepers were used and covering them is 35,000 tonnes of Ballast.  237,000 tonnes of concrete was used in the track laying process alone, according to a media release on the project's website.

One of the last major components of building the new Sydney Metro North West line is to convert the existing Epping-Chatswood Link in order for the new Sydney metro services to be able to use the track and stations.

NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance in early April announced that buses will replace trains on the Epping-Chatswood Link from September 30 2018 for a period of 7 months so conversion work can get underway.

The 13km Epping to Chatswood Link was opened in 2009 and up until September this year, rail services on Sydney's T1 Northern line operate through it, linking the area directly to the city and Hornsby.

Passengers on the North West metro will need to change trains at Chatswood temporarily for a period of 4-5 years while the second phase of the metro line, dubbed Sydney Metro City & South West, is built.

Once complete, the North West and City/South West sections will be merged and form a single line running from Sydney's outer north-western growth areas through the city and out to Bankstown.  The section of existing track between Sydenham and Bankstown, like the Epping to Chatswood rail link, will be re-purposed for metro train usage.

Track laying complete on Sydney Metro North West
Demolition in Pitt Street is now complete. Image: Sydney Metro

Initial works for the second phase City & South West section of Sydney Metro continue with demolition at the site of the new Pitt Street station now complete.

Eight buildings were removed with the largest having 14 levels to make way for the northern entrance to the new underground station and like with the CBD stations on Melbourne's Metro Tunnel project, acoustic sheds will be erected on site to minimise noise and dust during the main thrust of construction.

The second phase of the first Sydney Metro line is scheduled to be complete by 2024 with services starting on the first phase next year.

Lead image credit: Sydney Metro on facebook.

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor is a co-founder of Urban.com.au. Now a freelance writer, Alastair focuses on the intersection of public transport, public policy and related impacts on medium and high-density development.

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