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Sydney on the Fast Track!

Track cutting in progress

An interesting story in The Construction Index tells how a crew of 250 workers has relocated 900m of a major railway line in Sydney, Australia, in an operation that took just 48 hours. The existing suburban Sydney Trains T1 North Shore Line had to be permanently realigned between Chatswood and Artarmon because the tracks were effectively blocking the new city-bound Sydney Metro. “We’ve essentially picked up and moved one of Sydney’s oldest and busiest railway lines, which was an amazing feat of engineering and required incredibly hard work from the 250 local workers involved,” said minister for transport and roads Andrew Constance. The track work at Chatswood has been carried out so that Sydney Metro can be extended from the city’s north west into the Sydney central business district (CBD) and beyond to Bankstown. The northbound Sydney Trains track, which was first built in 1890, was cut and moved to connect with new tracks 20m to the west, to make way for the Metro North West Line to extend into new twin metro tunnels. “The huge operation took 48 hours to cut, slew and join the existing suburban line with almost 900 metres of new track and about 2.5 kilometres of new overhead wiring,” said Constance. “I want to thank the entire team for safely completing this work in last weekend’s extreme weather conditions, and for getting services back up and running in time for Monday’s peak. Work to convert the new tunnels and underground stations into a working metro railway is gathering pace and this is another major piece in the puzzle.” So far almost 11km of track and more than 10,000 railway sleepers have also been installed as part of the Sydney Metro City and Southwest project. In total, 62km of Australian-made rail steel weighing more than 4,000 tonnes will be used to lay 31km of railway tracks in the twin tunnels between Chatswood and Sydenham. Sydney Metro rail services between Chatswood, the Sydney CBD and Bankstown are due to start in 2024.

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