Preparing for a ‘bigger’ Australia

Metropolitan rail

  • (Sydney Metro)
  • Length: 66km
  • Purpose: Allow rapid transit to and from Sydney CBD from the city’s outer suburbs
  • Funding: $8.3 billion (for Phase 1 Metro Northwest)
  • Tonnes of steel used: Unknown
  • Estimated completion date: 2024
  • Interesting fact: The twin 15km-long tunnels built between Bella Vista and Epping are Australia’s longest railway tunnels
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Implementing metropolitan transit infrastructure capable of dealing with increasing population sizes remains a priority for governments at local, state and federal levels.

Australia’s biggest city is leading by example with the Sydney Metro project, which promises to increase the capacity of train services entering the CBD by up to 60 per cent when it opens in 2024. The city’s north-west region will be connected to the CBD via a new tunnel under Sydney Harbour (only the city’s second harbour rail crossing) and the creation of new metro stations in the city centre. The new service will then continue south-west as far as Bankstown. Altogether, the project will deliver 31 metro stations and more than 66km of new metro rail.

Sydney’s west is its demographic heartland and where demand for improved transport services is most keen. The Metro West project is preparing for the 420,000 people expected to move into the corridor between central Sydney and greater Parramatta over the next two decades. The initiative will effectively double the rail capacity in the corridor, transforming communities and creating new ones. In Melbourne, the Metro Tunnel Project will take busy train lines under the city and the High Capacity Trains Project will deliver 65 high-capacity metro trains capable of carrying 20 per cent more passengers than existing trains. And Perth and Brisbane are getting in on the act with their METRONET and Cross River Rail projects respectively, which will reduce road congestion and meet the future planning needs of both cities.

Much like the new tunnel under Sydney Harbour, Brisbane’s Cross River Rail will include 5.9km of tunnel under the Brisbane River and CBD. The Cross River Rail will allow trains to run more frequently, provide for better integration with new busways and roads, and provide a ‘turn-up-and-go’ transport system for passengers throughout the greater Brisbane area.  Image of Sydney Metro HQ at Rouse Hill courtesy of Sydney Metro/Transport for NSW

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