The final tracks have been laid for Sydney’s flagship $12.5 billion rail development, the Sydney Metro City and Southwest project, which will deliver 15.5km of new underground trackwork and seven new metro stations when complete.

The project will seek a target capacity of 40,000 customers per hour once operational.

The new Sydney Metro City and Southwest Line will be connected to the existing Metro North West Line later this year, with train testing to begin in 2023 ahead of passenger services starting in 2024.

NSW Premier, Dominic Perrottet, said the New South Wales Government was now one step closer to delivering another ground-breaking transport project that will better connect Sydney.

“This project will slash travel times for commuters and transform the way people travel across Sydney,” Mr Perrottet said.

“The New South Wales] Government’s multi-billion dollar investment in this revolutionary project will mean commuters have access to fast and reliable metro services and seven new metro railway stations including beneath the CBD at Martin Place, Pitt Street Waterloo and Barangaroo.”

A new 65m pedestrian link tunnel is also complete and will provide the public with all-weather access to areas and alternative transport connections around the station and also link directly to Hunter Street and to the future Sydney Metro Hunter Street Station.

The two new commercial buildings at the station – a 39-storey building above the northern entrance to the station and a 28-storey office building above the southern entrance – are rising rapidly, reaching a new level every one to two weeks.

Minister for Transport, Veterans and Western Sydney, David Elliott, said the new metro railway line will have a target capacity of 40,000 customers per hour, similar to other metro systems worldwide.

“Sydney Metro trains will make history as we complete the first railway crossing deep below Sydney Harbour, with the trip between Victoria Cross in the city’s north to Barangaroo a fast three-minute journey,” Mr Elliott said.

“It will be a real game-changer for commuters when turn-up-and-go services start running under Sydney Harbour and through the CBD, with services every four minutes in peak.

“Furthermore, this has been a boost for the economy and local jobs with more than 5,000 people currently working on the City and Southwest project; and close to 50,000 people by the time it is complete. Undoubtedly the benefits of this project will be felt for generations to come.”

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