May 16, 2020

Sydney’s light rail: All you need to know

South East Light Rail network
Opal NSW
Sydney Morning Herald light rail
ALTRAC Light Rail consortium
Catherine Sturman
2 min
Sydney’s light rail: All you need to know
The result of a booming economy, increased population and rising number of tourists to within Sydney has led to the extension of the light rail within S...

The result of a booming economy, increased population and rising number of tourists to within Sydney has led to the extension of the light rail within Sydney, titled the new CBD and South-East Light rail network, which will meet future and existing demand.

Construction for the 12km public transport route began in October 2015 and will contain over 20 new stops for commuters, incorporating a fleet of sophisticated light rail vehicles, with high capacity, will be constructed with highly sustainable features. The low floor design will make it accessible for all individuals within the city.

On their website, it is stated that the route will “extend from Circular Quay along George Street to Central Station, through Surry Hills to Moore Park, then to Kesington and Kingsford Park via Anzac Parade and Randwick via Alison Road and High Street.” From Wynyard Station to Town Hall, a 1km pedestrian area will be constructed, creating increased advantages for tourists, shoppers and locals within the area.

The $2.1 billion project is the being overseen by the NSW Government and managed by Transport for NSW. In addition, the City of Sydney is providing $220 million towards the cost of the project.

The ALTRAC Light Rail consortium is will undertake construction, infrastructural and key operational works, consisting of ACCIONA, Alstom Transport Australia, Capella Capital and Transdev Sydney. The consortium will also undertake works on the West Light Rail and future maintenance to ensure it remains operational.

However, the Sydney Morning Herald has recently reported of conflicts between government authorities and contractors with regards to redesigning current areas of the line amongst rising costs. This is in addition to the finding of utility cables under roadways throughout the construction works.

Sydney’s new electronic ticketing system, Opal (similar to London’s Oyster card in the UK), will work in collaboration with the new rail network to ensure commuters can seamlessly utilise all types of public transport.

The rail transports over 8 million customers a year, which is set to increase. The new system will address the issues of traffic congestion and provide further transport options within the city.

The work will be undertaken in phases, incorporating 31 construction zones. The majority of engineering works will be constructed solely over the Eastern Distributor.

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Read the December 2016 issue of Construction Global magazine.

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Jun 23, 2021

HS2’s Old Oak Common station in London given go-ahead

HS2Ltd
construction
projects
Railways
2 min
Construction of HS2’s station at Old Oak Common in London has been approved by the UK’s Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has today given the go-ahead to construct the HS2 train station in Old Oak Common in London. It is said that the station will be the UK’s largest built in one stage, and will create more than 2,300 jobs.

Mr. Shapps said: “The start of permanent works at the largest train station ever built in the UK in one go, Old Oak Common, marks yet more progress in delivering HS2, the high-speed, high-capacity and low-carbon railway that will form the backbone of our national transport network. This ‘super hub’ station shows our Plan for Jobs in action – kickstarting major regeneration, creating 2,300 jobs and 250 apprenticeships in construction – and underlines this Government’s determination to build back better”. 

Construction of the 32-acre site will include a 1.1-mile-long underground wall making way for six HS2 platforms. HS2 Ltd said the station aims to offer “unrivaled connectivity” with services to four crossrail platforms, four mainland platforms in South Wales, as well as platforms in the Midlands and North of England. 

A notable feature of the station is its roof, which is the size of three football pitches. Mark Thurston, Chief Executive of HS2 Ltd, said: “The start of permanent works at Old Oak Common station, our first station under construction, is a significant step for phase one of HS2, as we deliver world-leading engineering to create what will arguably be one of the best-connected railway super hubs in the UK”. 

The HS2 project so far

Announced in January 2009 as a government plan to construct a new high-speed railway network connecting London, the West Midlands, Leeds, and Manchester, HS2 or “High Speed 2” initially sparked criticism for its potential impact on the country’s green spaces and countryside. 

The HS2 route map. Image: HS2 Ltd

 

With costs of over £42bn for the tracks and a further £8bn for rolling stock, the HS2 is the single most expensive project ever attempted by the British government. While the plan may have been announced over a decade ago, construction started in 2017 and is still ongoing. It is due to be completed in 2025, although the COVID-19 pandemic has almost definitely put a spanner in the works. 

If the process goes according to plan, HS2 Ltd says that Phase 1, the London to Birmingham line, will open to the public in 2026, following commissioning and testing. Phase 2, which includes a route from Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester, is due to start construction the same year, with an estimated completion and operation date of 2033. 




 

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