The $8-billion Western Sydney Airport line, the final stage of the $27-billion Sydney Metro network, has secured planning approval with construction on track to begin at the end of the year.
The additional 23km of metro railway will branch off and run from St Marys station to five new stations including two at the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport.
Lauded as Australia’s largest public transport project which will ultimately including almost 50 stations along more than 100 kilometres of track, the Sydney Metro will deliver four lines covering the city and western Sydney with capacity to carry about 40,000 commuters per hour.
The initial phase of the automated transport development was approved for construction in 2017. The project’s Tallawong-to-Chatswood line is already operational.
When complete, Sydney Metro West, which is a state significant infrastructure project, will service Westmead, Greater Parramatta, Sydney Olympic Park, The Bays Precinct and the Sydney CBD.
Key components include approximately 24km of twin tunnels between Westmead and Sydney CBD, along with the new metro stations confirmed at Westmead, Parramatta, Sydney Olympic Park, North Strathfield, Burwood North, Five Dock, The Bays and Sydney CBD.
Work is under way at Sydney’s $5.3 billion, second international airport to the west of the city at Badgerys Creek.
So far, excavators and other equipment have moved 25 million cubic metres of earth as part of site work prior to construction of the terminal, runway, roads and rail link to be built.
The airport is planning to have just one terminal for all domestic and international flights rather than separate terminals for individual airlines such as Qantas and Virgin Australia.
The terminal is expected to be completed by 2025, the same time as the runway is finished, allowing for about a year to bed down operations before the first passengers pass through its gates.
It is expected to handle 10 million passengers a year and cope with 82 million travellers by the 2060s.
The railway line will also service Sydney’s planned third city—recently named Bradfield—which in June, received a commitment of $1.15 billion from the state government to enable construction work to commence.
The massive 1780ha site, largely bushland and paddocks, is planned to become a hub of international travel, advanced manufacturing and skilled education.
Andrew Constance, NSW’s minister for transport, said the Covid-19 crisis had reinforced the crucial collaboration between all tiers of government to work together to drive economic activity and create new jobs.
“This city-shaping infrastructure will deliver a vital boost to the NSW economy, with the construction of Sydney’s newest Metro rail line expected to support around 14,000 jobs, including 250 apprentices,” Ayres said.
Last year, the federal and state governments each tipped in $1.75 billion towards the project, adding to the $5.3 billion previously promised by the federal government.
Early works started on Sydney Metro—Western Sydney Airport line in December 2020.
Major work is expected to start in the coming months, with the tunnelling contract awarded by the end of the year and tunnel boring machines in the ground by the end of 2023.
A consortium including consultancy firm Turner and Townsend, Deloitte, and risk consultancy HKA have since secured the contract to oversee the project management of the vast transport network.
Turner and Townsend head of infrastructure for Australia and New Zealand Darren Munton said the forging of the consortium and relationships extended back to the project’s inception.
“Our combined project team will further advance Sydney Metro’s capability, experience and global reputation,” Munton said.
“[This will be made possible] by co-creating and embedding a world-class and digitally enabled project management office to support the successful delivery of this mega program of works.”
Acciona, along with joint venture partner Ferrovial Construction, has also recently been awarded a $1.96-billion contract to construct 11 kilometres of twin tunnels between Sydney Olympic Park and The Bays.
The contract includes excavation and civil works for five new stations at The Bays, Five Dock, Burwood North, North Strathfield and Sydney Olympic Park, a tunnel boring machine launch site at The Bays Station and a tunnel boring machine retrieval site at Sydney Olympic Park Station.