Rail tunnels under Sydney Harbour approved

Planning approval has been granted for construction of the Sydney Metro between Chatswood and Sydenham, which includes twin rail tunnels beneath Sydney Harbour and through the city’s CBD.

Stage 2 of Sydney Metro starts at Chatswood and travels beneath Sydney Harbour, through the CBD to Sydenham and on to Bankstown. The approval is for the Chatswood to Sydenham section of the project.

Construction sites will be established in the Sydney CBD in 2017. By the end of 2018, the first of five tunnel boring machines will be in the ground carving out new twin tunnels.

Sydney Metro will have ultimate capacity of a new metro train every two minutes in each direction under the Sydney CBD and 31 metro stations from Rouse Hill to Bankstown – a 66km new railway for Sydney.

Planning approval includes:

  • Delivering 16.5km of new metro rail between Chatswood and Sydenham, including 15.5km of new twin railway tunnels under Sydney Harbour and the Sydney CBD
  • Seven new metro railway stations at Crows Nest, Victoria Cross (North Sydney), Barangaroo, Martin Place, Pitt St, Central (new underground platforms), and Waterloo

Two consortia are competing to build the new twin tunnels, with the contract expected to be awarded around the middle of 2017.

More than 300 submissions were received during six weeks of public consultation in 2016 on the Environmental Impact Statement for the Chatswood to Sydenham section.

Public feedback has helped refine the delivery of Sydney Metro, with local input driving changes that include using barges on Sydney Harbour to move tunnel boring machine parts from the north of the harbour and to take crushed rock from the Barangaroo Station site, reducing impacts on roads and traffic.

A future underground pedestrian link from Martin Place Station to O’Connell Street will be safeguarded, further improving pedestrian access and any rock-breaking work that uses heavy construction equipment will only take place during standard construction hours, with the exception of Central Station.

This will significantly reduce potential noise impacts for the community.

The planning process for the conversion and upgrade of the Bankstown Line to metro standards will start in 2017.

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