IT always was about development … to deliver another 11 thousand holes in the wall …

The top stops along the new Metro Northwest line IT

  • The top stops along the new Metro Northwest line

The new rail line runs from the lower north shore suburb of Chatswood. Photo: Peter RaeIn partnership with

The top stops along the new Metro Northwest line


JUL 4, 2019

When Sydney’s Metro Northwest officially opened to customers in late May, it did more than simply represent the opening stage of a comprehensive transport initiative.

Starting at Chatswood and terminating at Tallawong, the ambitious $8.3 billion undertaking also marks a new era of direct rail access to some of the city’s lesser-known parts.

As Australia’s largest public transport project, the Metro now offers a turn-up-and-go rail service to outer suburbs including North Ryde, Epping, Cherrybrook, Castle Hill, Kellyville, and Rouse Hill.

The mayor of The Hills Shire, Michelle Byrne, says the possibilities offered by the new line will markedly transform the area for residents and visitors alike.

The newly opened Hills Showground Station in Castle Hill. Photo: Peter Rae

“You can already see changes happening in response to the Metro around the new stations,” Dr Byrne says. “Work has begun at Castle Towers to incorporate a major link between Castle Hill Station and the ground level of the shopping centre.

“And we’re creating a plan for the Castle Hill Showground that will transform it into a vibrant hub serving residents near Showground Station and the broader community.”

Then there’s the long list of attractions set to be delivered by the project’s associated Metro Northwest Places Program – an initiative that aims to create well-connected and vibrant places for people along the line to live, work, shop and play.

“The Metro Northwest Places Program will deliver up to 11,000 new homes, parks and public open spaces, and community facilities from Tallawong to Epping over the next 10 to 20-years,” says Scott Gregg, executive general manager of projects for the NSW Government’s land and property development organisation, Landcom.

The Langston Epping_Retail2
The Langston will bring 470 new apartments to Epping. Render: The Langston

“These are transit-oriented developments where communities are built around modern transport, recreation and retail centres,” he says. “The new communities that will grow along the Metro Northwest rail line will enjoy high-quality public open spaces, parks, cycling connections, walking paths, play spaces and sporting grounds that are easily accessible to all.

“These public spaces will serve to support everyone enjoying these new communities – from the residents that will call these places home, to the people working in and around the new employment hubs that will grow along the Metro Northwest rail line.”

Infrastructure improvements resulting from the transport project are already generating many knock-on benefits, rendering suburbs along the route even more attractive to property developers and buyers alike.

The Langston is a case in point. Located just a stone’s throw from the newly renovated Epping station and 18 kilometres north-west of Sydney, this under-construction 470-apartment development combines high-density living with vibrant public spaces.

The Langston Epping_Balcony2
Residents of The Langston will have easy access to the new Metro line. Render: The Langston

Conceived as a landmark residential offering, The Langston will also incorporate retail outlets and cafes, thereby creating a vibrant central thoroughfare with paved walkways and landscaped gardens.

“People see the intrinsic value that infrastructure projects add to property, and with one of the best infrastructure projects in Sydney having just opened right on our doorstep, The Langston has a prime position,” says Tim Rees, senior director of CBRE, Residential.

“You’ve got views to the city and retail downstairs and you’re 100 metres from the Metro line and a couple of stops away from Chatswood. The new line is definitely creating a charge of owner-occupiers looking for that connectivity into the city.”

With the Sydney real estate market bereft of urgency, Rees says buyers are now taking three-to-six months to make purchasing decisions.

“Not only are they looking for value, but also the quality and the best position,” he explains. “So, you’re finding that triple A-located projects like ours are getting buyers in this market.

“It’s not just about transport. It’s also about proximity to retail, schools, parks and lifestyle features.”






HOW WONDERFUL SYDNEY!  But did you figure what will come with it?


MTR staff working to get the derailed trail back upright. Photo: Handout

MTR staff working to get the derailed trail back upright. Photo: Unlike the Sydney Metro NorthWest the tunnel appears wide; Engineers have raised warning about the narrow Sydney NorthWest Metro tunnel posing risk to life in the event of a crash or fire!

The Wings, a residential project by Sun Hung Kai Properties' above the Tseung Kwan O MTR station. Photo: Edward Wong

The Wings, a residential project by Sun Hung Kai Properties’ above the Tseung Kwan O MTR station. Photo: Edward Wong




We invite you to view our Website for numerous reports on what lays behind the new infrastructure of the SYDNEY METRO … it’s all about more development … with a World-wide market for Deve-lopers … their Oyster!

IS the Hong Kong Consortium MTR seeking a like opportunity across Sydney as in Hong Kong?

The LNP Policies remain facilitating this … with the FIRB Ruling allowing developers to sell overseas, and the Real Estate Gatekeepers have been exempted from Anti-Money Laundering Rules in 2018!

Previously with the NSW LNP the foundation for the Sydney Metro was sealed! As early as 2012 developers were able to buy access to a Minister … known as the Dark Lord and the Call of Cthulhu.  A Pro Developer Group known as the “Housing Supply Association” was launched by the Minister …

The Office of Strategic Lands administers the functions of the Corporation  … the Minister for Planning is incorporated as the Corporation!

The Sydney Metro Bill for High Rise passed in the Legislative Council … an extract from Dr Mehreen Faruqi.  She said, “This is neither a holistic approach to transport planning, nor is this value capture.

This is simply a ticket to massive overdevelopment where there are no measures or protections in place for established communities around these proposed metro stations.

Their absolute disregard for communities and democratic planning is galling.

This Government is ripping up the perfectly functional Sydenham to Bankstown rail line, which is publicly owned and operated, to build a metro and hand it over to private operators.”

NOW the Sydney Metro a property developer that happens to run trains … under the Transport Administration Amendment (Sydney Metro) Bill 2018

SYDNEY … we have been warned that the Metro is a death trap with narrow tunnels … view report from John Menadue!

There’s more … SEARCH for:

-Compulsory Acquisition & Land Amalgamation

-The Office of Strategic Lands

-The Sydney Metro Privatised for Development


Proposed rail projects are expected to boost real estate development by more than $28 billion over the next decadePhoto: Peter Rae

Australia’s new rail projects will deliver $28b+ in property development: CBRE




Sydney Metro Northwest LIVE: Driverless train passes first peak-hour test

The numbers are in on this morning’s Metro commute

By Matt O’Sullivan

Figures are in on the number of passengers using Sydney Metro Northwest this morning.

About 21,000 people hopped on or off a single-deck metro trains between the start of services at 4.45am and 10am.

The greatest number of people to use their Opal cards to tap on from the early morning to midday were at Epping station where 8080 did so, followed by Chatswood (4695), Macquarie University (2072) and Tallawong at the end of the line at Rouse Hill (1823).

However, Chatswood had the highest number of people using their cards to tap off at 9425, followed by Macquarie University (5875) and Epping (2368).

Interestingly, about half the passengers who rode on the driverless metro trains this morning did so to get to destinations along the north-west rail corridor, rather than hopping on double-deck Sydney Trains services to get to destinations further afield.

No Mondayitis for Sydney Trains chief

By Matt O’Sullivan

Sydney Trains chief executive Howard Collins was a happy chief controller this morning.

“We are really pleased with the service and the loadings on the trains,” he said at Chatswood station where he checked on how easily passengers switched from the driverless metro trains to double-deck Sydney Trains services during the morning peak.

Sydney Trains CEO Howard Collins at Chatswood station on Monday.
Sydney Trains CEO Howard Collins at Chatswood station on Monday. CREDIT:PETER RAE


“What was great to see was ordinary commuters use Sydney Metro,” he said.

“[Chatswood] and Epping have been quite busy but the interchanging has been excellent. People are spreading along the platforms.”

The verdict: New metro passes its first real test

The new Sydney Metro Northwest has passed its first real peak-hour test.

Trains along the new line were well-utilised on Monday morning (we’ll get the numbers for you later) and ran pretty smoothly, including at the crucial interchange points between the Metro and the double-decker train networks at Epping and Chatswood where there had been concerns about possible overcrowding if timetables didn’t line up.

Trains running every three minutes from Chatswood kept the platform clear between 8.30 and 9am on Monday.
Trains running every three minutes from Chatswood kept the platform clear between 8.30 and 9am on Monday. CREDIT:PETER RAE

Were you on a new peakhour train this morning? Let us know how your journey went in the comments.

Overshooting ‘normal’, says Sydney Metro

A Sydney Metro spokesman has responded to concerns from commuters about trains overshooting the correct positon on the platform and having to adjust their position before opening doors, saying it is a “normal” part of how the driverless trains operate.

“The metro trains are designed to adjust their position if required, moving forward and backwards to line up with the doors. This is normal and only takes a few moments. It’s due to the train’s rate of slowing varying, depending on passenger numbers and speed.”

Commuters already looking forward to Stage 2

By Matt O’Sullivan

Epping resident Julia Hood gave the thumbs up to the new metro services on her first ride, saying the driverless train she rode to Chatswood was “smooth, quick and easy”.

“Once it goes all the way to the city it will be better,” she said. “It will be the option of going the whole way on the train or changing here [at Chatswood].”

Commuter Julia Hood gives the Sydney Metro Northwest the thumbs up.
Commuter Julia Hood gives the Sydney Metro Northwest the thumbs up.CREDIT:PETER RAE


The second stage of the metro line from Chatswood, under Sydney Harbour to the CBD, and into Sydenham and Bankstown is due to be opened by 2024.

Train forced to reverse after overshooting platform

By Josh Dye

A train at Epping has been forced to reverse after overshooting the platform, resulting in a bit of an awkward wait for passengers – though it wasn’t as disruptive as the misalignment on Sunday that caused a 20 minute hold-up and flow-on delays.

On another positive note, check out the orderly commuter behaviour as people line up to the each side of the door! Full marks.

Embedded video

Josh Dye


Bit of an awkward wait while the train reverses to re-align the doors after slightly over-shooting the platform.

See Josh Dye’s other Tweets

One Cherrybrook commuter, Martin, said he was looking forward to the convenience and said the train was “so far so good”, but he was a bit frustrated at having to wait while the train reversed after it slightly overshot the platform.

“I think it must be a software issue. They should have noticed well before this – maybe it’s the load of so many people,” Martin said.

Other than that, he’s expecting the new train to save him 20-30 minutes each way as he commutes to and from the city.

‘Huge difference’: Metro getting positive response

By Josh Dye and Jenny Noyes

Paul Nijjar caught the train for the first time from Bella Vista this morning about 8.10. His reaction?

“It was awesome. It’s up there with Japan now,” he said.

Commuter Paul Nijjar caught his first Sydney Metro Northwest train on Monday.
Commuter Paul Nijjar caught his first Sydney Metro Northwest train on Monday.CREDIT:JOSH DYE

Mr Nijjar said it used to take about an hour and 20 minutes to get to work in Rhodes, but with the new metro it should be under an hour.

And we’ve got the final count for day 1

By Matt O’Sullivan

About 140,000 people took a trip on Sydney’s first driverless metro line on the opening day.

We bumped into the state’s secretary for Transport, Rodd Staples, at Chatswood station who told us yesterday was “an exceptional day” in terms of the sheer volume of train spotters who turned up for a ride.

Mr Staples, who was the architect of Sydney’s plans for metro lines, said the rail system was coping well on the first weekday in operation.

“There’s a healthy number of people using the system on the first day,” he said.

Premier sorry for first-day ‘glitch’

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian apologised for the “small glitch” on opening day where a train got stuck when its doors didn’t line up with the platform; but she said on the whole, things went really well.

“I hope today will be glitch free,” she told Nine’s Today Show on Monday.

“But you’d expect in the first few weeks and even months that it won’t be perfect. We are asking people to be patient and I want to thank everybody for their patience.”

When the newly-opened line reaches full operation, trains will run every four minutes each way during peak hour between Rouse Hill and Chatswood.

Epping and Chatswood feeling the squeeze

By Matt O’Sullivan and Josh Dye

We’re seeing some crowded platforms as trains pull in at two key stations, Epping and Chatswood.

Crowded platform at Epping around 8am.
Crowded platform at Epping around 8am. CREDIT:PETER RAE

But while the platforms are filling up with patrons, they are clearing out again once the trains stop and pick them up.

Embedded video

Josh Dye


Quite overcrowded at the bottom of the escalator at Epping Station

40 people are talking about this


SYDNEYsiders … how many of you are aware that the Metro is not Public Transport?

The Chatswood to Epping Line – which was an engineering Award winning project was sold out soon after the Liberals took control of NSW to the Hong Kong High-rise Developer, MTR Consortium!

Following which the line was expanded out to Rouse Hill and Tallawong

-a more suitable French design train was rejected despite it having double deck carriages

-the tunnels reduced in size so that double deck carriages could no longer be used!

WILL this be like Transurban to gouge $$ from Sydneysiders?

WHY do you figure the Real Estate Sector were made exempt from the second tranche of the Anti-Money Laundering rules in October 2018?

AND will it mean even more high-rise en route, and greater gridlock throughout the Ryde LGA as more and more people arrive from overseas?

SYDNEY METRO PR Team was on board the train(s) this morning but will not be able to cover up this report!

With all the Spin that there would be a train every few minutesCommuters haven’t given the Metro the tick of approval … having sat on the platform for more than half an hour!


SHARE!   Think of others!  Let them know!



Sydney Metro debacle: Chaos on opening day of new driverless trains

Alex Chapman


Sydney Metro's new driverless train line's debut has been anything but smooth.
Sydney Metro’s new driverless train line’s debut has been anything but smooth.Image: Supplied


Passengers are slamming the new Metro Trains line as “broken” after experiencing massive delays on its first day.

The driverless northwest Sydney line project opened to the public on Sunday morning.

RELATED: New Sydney metro to open in May

But commuters haven’t given it the tick of approval, with many say they’ve been sitting on the platform for more than half an hour.



According to one commuter, Daniel, who asked for his surname to be withheld, delays spanned about 45 minutes.

“We got on at 1pm and were gonna do the full loop from Macquarie to Chatswood and back,” he told

“But the trains were shooting past the doors and then having to reverse back to line up.

“It’s a farce, I can’t get home.”

He got off at Chatswood and waited at the platform.

“The screen said it would take 15 minutes, but it never counted down and we ended up leaving after half an hour.”

The new driverless trains’ doors are supposed to line up with automatic glass screens to prevent people standing too close to the tracks.

Queues are forming along the strip where commuters can enter the Chatswood station.
Queues are forming along the strip where commuters can enter the Chatswood station.Image:Supplied


The line cost the state government more than $6 billion.

Sydney Trains have been contacted for comment.

For more NSW local news, head to







THE AUTHOR of this article is John Maconochie who holds a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours from the University of Melbourne.

He is an experienced Engineer, Investment Fund Manager, Project Developer and Electronic Platform Pioneer!


What the Sydney Metro website doesn’t tell you – as Mr Maconochie was informed by NSW Transport metro engineers at a meeting last year – is that the “customisation” for the Sydney Metro project is a considerate downsize from the standard-sized trains Alstom provides to other cities.

*This is due to the dangerously narrow tunnels.



Related Article:   John Menadue:  Sydney Metro a Forty Billion Dollar Deception?



The Sydney Metro Northwest tunnels — death traps in the making

Updated  by 

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Gladys Berejiklian and Sydney Metro have cut dangerous corners when it comes to emergency evacuation plans, writes John Maconochie.

IN THE EVENT OF a Metro train emergency – such as derailment, fire or deliberate sabotage – what chance does a passenger have of escaping through the Metro windscreen in the dark along with hundreds of other passengers?

Now imagine this passenger was faced by another three Metro trains barrelling down train tunnels behind them, just minutes apart at a speed of 100 kilometres per hour.

In 2013, NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian committed the NSW Government to the construction of the Sydney Metro Northwest (formerly the North West Rail Link). The project includes two tunnels, each 15 kilometres long, running automated driverless trains from Epping station. Each metro can carry up to 1,152 passengers into the Sydney Metro’s narrow tunnels.

What would an evacuation of these tunnels look like? There are two exits for 1,100 train passengers through the front and rear metro windscreens, with no evacuation staff present.

The tunnels are so tight, their walls would be mere centimetres away from the train windows. Locked side doors and radioed evacuation instructions may engender a panic-driven crowd to crush stampede towards the only exits. That situation cannot be simulated — such tests are known to have been suspended on safety grounds.

Up to three following trains (totalling up to 3,456 passengers) could barrel along in the tunnels behind at up to 100 kilometres per hour. No-one can be “asleep at the wheel” of the driverless train. The vaunted Urbalis signalling system – which minimises the time trains are stopped at stations and regulate the four-minute interval between each speeding train – needs to work perfectly every day.

A Metro derailment, or traction motor, or even gearbox fire, in these tunnels could cause concertinaed wreckage or toxic gases.

What are the chances for 1,100 passengers, including mothers with prams, the aged and infirm, with all their shopping and travelling paraphernalia, in that scenario?

Meanwhile, passengers must remain inside the train carriages because their move onto the 0.8 metre-wide side walkaway through unlocked side doors could cause larger-sized people to be crushed inside the tight kinematic envelope space between the train and the small tunnel walls.

In the six-kilometre-long tunnel between Epping and Cherrybrook stations, no trackside ground level UK-type counterflow walkways exist for emergency and rescue workers. That would have enabled the carriage doors on both train sides to open for direct trackside/walkway passenger escape.

As for the proposed sky trainEvacuating passengers must walk along the tracks up to 13 metres above ground – day or night, in any weather – four kilometres between Bella Vista and Rouse Hill stations after exiting through the front windscreen.

The current safety measure It’s time we examined the desperate scramble to retrospectively jam implausible passenger safety into Sydney Metro’s tight tunnels. We need to take a closer look at Northwest Rapid Transit’s (NRT) detrainment safety risk assessment process and the window dressing “accreditation” from the National Rail Safety Regulator (NRSR).

In June 2017, Premier Berejiklian doubled down, inexplicably authorising the same tunnel design for the Sydney Metro Stage 2 that will run underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

*This decision certainly guaranteed Sydney Metro independence from the existing Sydney Rail, because the tunnels are just too small to run their double-decker trains.

*Sydney Metro safety has been outsourced to NRT to insulate Transport for NSW from responsibility, while also blunting union opposition to driverless trains.

*Safety questions are habitually conflated with the existing and wider Epping to Chatswood Rail Link tunnels possibly in an attempt to bestow some legitimacy on the Metro’s tighter tunnels.

*Passenger evacuation safety could and should have been determined at the original design stage to avoid putting the Metro cart before the horse.

*I believe the NRSR safety accreditation isn’t enough. The NRSR is apparently being pressured to retrospectively accredit the Sydney Metro’s safety plan. Plainly, it is not an independent assessment on its merits.

So here we have a situation where the Government prioritises spending on rebuilding two footy stadiums over metro safety.

Chairman of Infrastructure AustraliaMark Birrell, noted the Government’s urgent need for ‘long-term vision’ — and without it, they’re likely to stuff up future projects such as the high-speed east coast rail.

The Sydney Metro website suggests the trains being built by Alstom for the project are the same as those ‘used in 25 cities including metros in Singapore, Barcelona and Amsterdam’ with some customisations.

*What the website doesn’t tell you – as I was informed by NSW Transport metro engineers at a meeting last year – is that the “customisation” for the Sydney Metro project is a considerate downsize from the standard-sized trains Alstom provides to other cities.

*This is due to the dangerously narrow tunnels.

NSW MP and Engineer Dr Mehreen Faruqi has persistently raised concerns about Sydney Metro, particularly the privatisation of Sydney’s transport systems and their increased likelihood of inefficiency. 

Faruqi had also suggested that the Government, by outsourcing safety, is in breach of a duty of care it owes to the public.

Sydney Metro trains cannot match aircraft U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s emergency standards that require a full evacuation of passengers and crew to be completed in under 90 seconds using half the available exits.

This Government-mandated Metro roulette is risking thousands of lives. Sydney Metro users are now condemned to 50-odd years of riding a dangerous Metro death trap.

It also reduces any possibility for any future fast rail through central Sydney.
Dwight Eisenhower ran the D-Day landings in Europe before his election as 34th U.S. President.

In a 1957 speech, Eisenhower stated that:

“Plans are worthless, but planning is everything. There is a very great distinction, because when you are planning for an emergency, you must start with this one thing: the very definition of “emergency” is that it is unexpected, therefore it is not going to happen the way you are planning.”

The precise problem with Sydney Metro’s safety plan is that any incidents are assumed to happen exactly as planned.

Sydney Metro’s trains won’t always be able to be brought into stations for passengers to detrain if necessary. Complex electro-mechanical devices (such as driverless trains) don’t actually always work perfectly.

Meanwhile, the Sydney Metro website proudly proclaims:

‘… safety of customers is the number one priority.’

John Maconochie holds a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours from the University of Melbourne. He is an experienced engineer, investment fund manager, project developer and electronic platform pioneer.

  This article first appeared on







Railroads parading as metros: the long and short of Sydney rail maze


There’s a lot to be said for not making the perfect the enemy of the good. Criticism of the transport policies of Gladys Berejiklian’s government should grapple with the fact the government is doing a lot, and a lot of what it is doing will be of huge benefit to Sydney and NSW.

But sometimes the government does things that are weird, and it can be difficult not to quibble with the good.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Transport Minister Andrew Constance arrive at Westmead train station to announce an extra $3.4 billion on the Metro West if she wins this month's election.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Transport Minister Andrew Constance arrive at Westmead train station to announce an extra $3.4 billion on the Metro West if she wins this month’s election. CREDIT:AAP

This column is about the government’s confused and the confusing use of the term “metro”.

It  is building – has pretty much built – a “metro” rail line from Epping to beyond Rouse Hill. It is building another “metro” under Sydney’s harbour and central business district, from Chatswood to Sydenham. It will extend that “metro” to Bankstown. This week it said it would start construction on a line between Westmead and the CBD next year. And it has committed to a “metro” running to the airport at Badgerys Creek.


Those scare quotes are meant to suggest there is something awry with the government’s use of the term. It seems to mean a couple of things by the term metro. Mostly it means a certain type of train – one that is more light-weight than the regular Sydney Trains double-deckers. It means a single-deck train which, in Sydney’s case, will be operated without drivers.


NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said infrastructure investment would be the "mainstay of the economy".

NSW’s $90 billion infrastructure spend crucial for jobs boost, says government


The government also uses the term metro as synonymous with fast. These new metro lines will be faster than the clunky old regular train services, it says.

But in other parts of the world, metro means more than just small train. Because metro trains are lighter than, well, heavier rail, they are quick to start and stop. This makes them well suited to inner-city areas where there are plenty of rail stations. And this is how they are most often used.

According to the International Association of Public Transport, the average gap between stations on a metro line is 1.2 kilometres. The average gap between metro stations in Europe is even smaller, at less than a kilometre.

As a consequence, metros tend to be less suited for longer trips. The frequency of stops makes lengthier journeys annoying. This is particularly so because metro trains often do not have many seats (less of a problem if you’re travelling shorter distances).

The station for Sydney Metro beneath Hunter Street in the city.
The station for Sydney Metro beneath Hunter Street in the city.


In this regard, metro rail is typically contrasted with suburban or commuter rail. There is no sharp line between the two types of rail system. But as a rough guide, commuter or suburban rail brings people into inner areas from the suburbs. Once in the inner city, depending on where you are in the world, you might be able to change from a commuter rail to a metro.

So you catch the Long Island Rail Road to Manhattan before transferring to the subway. You change to the Tube from one of the commuter rail lines that radiates from London. Or you hop from the Paris RER to the Métro.

Global commuter rail systems are said to have an average trip length of about 20 kilometres. This is about the length of the average trip on Sydney Trains. Sydney’s rail system is a commuter rail system.

Which gets to the meat of the issue. The government is spending tens of billions introducing metro trains to Sydney. But those trains are being set up to largely replicate Sydney’s commuter rail trips – long trips, with long gaps between stops.

The government is using metro trains to try to be all things to all people. But this can produce some weird results.

In 2024, Sydney is scheduled to have 31 metro stations and a 66km metro rail system.
In 2024, Sydney is scheduled to have 31 metro stations and a 66km metro rail system.

This week Berejiklian announced the stop locations on the proposed West Metro line between Westmead and the CBD. In the inner west, her government proposes one stop at Five Dock and another at Rozelle. There’s a 5km gap in between – almost five times more than the global average between metro stops.

Similarly, on the metro line under construction between Chatswood and Sydenham, there is a gap of about 4km between stops at Waterloo and Sydenham. Gaps between inner-city Sydney Trains stations are much smaller.

So Sydney’s heavy trains, which are slow to stop and start, will continue to stop more frequently in the inner suburbs. But the metro trains, which are well-suited to more frequent stopping and starting, will travel longer without coming to a halt.

It didn’t have to be like this. A decade ago, the Herald held an exhaustive public inquiry into Sydney’s transport system. The inquiry focused heavily on understanding the benefits and attributes of different types of rail.

Based on this understanding, the experts running the inquiry recommended expanding and adding to Sydney’s existing commuter rail network, and then later complementing the commuter network with genuine stand-alone metro lines with frequent stops.

This Coalition government’s heavy funding of rail through Sydney is undoubtedly a break from the ordinary in NSW. But it’s another question about whether the benefits will be all they could have been.

In particular, there is a good chance that the large gaps between rail stations in inner Sydney will be seen, in  decades to come, as examples of muddled thinking leading to a missed opportunity to create a city more oriented to public transport.

SYDNEY METRO $1.37bn Chatswood to Bankstown Contract Awarded

Sydney Metro $1.37bn Chatswood to Bankstown Contract Awarded



The NSW Government has selected CPB Contractors and UGL to deliver the line-wide works package for the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project, Australia’s biggest public transport project.

The contract of $1.37 billion will be an unincorporated joint venture of the two CIMIC Group companies and includes major rail systems in the new twin 15km Sydney Metro tunnels from Chatswood to Sydenham.

Contractors will also expand the existing Sydney Metro Trains Facility at Rouse Hill to accommodate 37 new trains.

The new Sydney Metro Trains Facility South at Marrickville will also be part of the contract, as well as tunnel ventilation, mechanical and electrical system work for seven underground stations, and 11 new substations to power the Metro from Chatswood to Bankstown.

Related: Sydney Central Station’s $955m Urban Transformation

Sydney Metro

31km of underground railway track to be laid in the twin railway tunnels from Chatswood to Sydenham.
This is the seventh Sydney Metro City & Southwest contract to be awarded with the budget ranging between $11.5 billion to $12.5 billion.“The project combines the proven rail-sector expertise within our construction company CPB Contractors and our asset solutions provider UGL to deliver an end-to-end result, covering design, construction and commissioning of the project,” CIMIC Group chief executive Michael Wright said.

CPB Contractors is currently delivering contracts on Sydney Metro City & Southwest and Sydney Metro Northwest, WestConnex M4E and New M5.

UGL’s work includes tunnel fit-outs for the Sydney Metro Northwest and Epping to Chatswood projects.

Works are due to commence this year between Chatswood and Bankstown.

A total of 66km of railway across the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project is scheduled to be delivered by 2024.

SYDNEY METRO – Land and Substratum Survey Services – RFT no. 2018/038 … PROPERTY ACQUISITION: TENDERS Close 20 November 2018

THIS is about “compulsory acquisition and land amalgamation” to push ahead with making way for the Sydney Metro across the Cumberland/Prospect, Nepean, Northern Sydney, the Inner West, South East Sydney and South West Sydney.

It appears to be sinister.  Already this awful government has cut the heavy rail network between Chatswood and Epping to sell it out for the privatised MTR Metro; the tunnels decreased in size; a third seating on the Metro with a number of changes en route for passengers;  MTR has gained as a developer because this has opened up their market to construct high-rise precincts en route!

Next the Sydenham to Bankstown Line is to also be changed to a Metro service.

We have more information here on our Website in categories of: Sydney Metro; Compulsory Acquisition and Land amalgamation and more!



RFT ID RFT no. 2018/038
RFT Type Open Tenders
Published 17-Oct-2018
Closes 20-Nov-2018 12:00pm
Category (based on UNSPSC)
80101600 – Project management
Agency Transport NSW – Corporate

Tender Details


The Service Provider will be responsible for the collection of all survey data from public and private authorities and will be responsible for the standardisation of all received and generated data. The Service Provider will ensure all software data types and survey reference datum’s of the procured data is consistent with relevant standards to facilitate the efficient utilisation of the data.

The Service Provider is also responsible as directed to undertake land boundary surveys and to prepare relevant survey documentation to enable the Principal to undertake all necessary legal transactions with respect to property acquisition and definition.


NSW Regions: Cumberland/Prospect, Nepean, Northern Sydney, Inner West, South East Sydney, South West Sydney

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JOHN MENADUE. Sydney Metro: A Forty Billion Dollar Deception?



JOHN MENADUE. Sydney Metro: A Forty Billion Dollar Deception?


Like all our big cities, Sydney needs better public transport. The Government’s responsibility is to secure this with the best system, for the best price.

But as a minimum, new investments cannot be allowed to threaten the productivity and growth potential of our existing public transport system and its commuters.

Sydney Metro Rail is starting to show clear signs of failing us on all these counts.

The Royal Commission into Banking shows us how ‘official’ stories can change dramatically once confronted with a process where evidence can be compelled and witnesses protected.

On its first day in government after the next NSW election the new government should establish an enquiry into the developing rail mess.  

We are in great need of this process to publicly review Sydney’s mega transport projects – especially Metro Rail, a project which has cost perhaps more than $40 billion already, with no guarantees it won’t mutate into new phases costing further tens of billions.

The NSW government’s Metro asked us to believe it would do more, do it better, do it faster and safer than Sydney’s existing CityRail train system. Breezy statements like “just turn up and go, a train every two minutes” were thrown about.

On this basis, Metro tunnels were bored with diameters too small for current CityRail trains to use. Parliamentary debates pointing out the stupidity of this decision are on the Hansard record. Yet it went ahead anyway.

Metro’s network then expanded still further, at a cost of further unspecified billions, without any credible published scrutiny[i]. This second phase is now tunnelling under Sydney Harbour, possibly taking up the last viable under-harbour tunnel path for CityRail.

In so doing, it may have ‘forever stymie(d) major development of Sydney’s CityRail system’ – as warned explicitly by the eminent and independent Christie report on Sydney transport of 2010[ii].

Is this the price of success?

*Some of Metro’s shine is starting to wear off: promised service levels now appear less wonderful than first thought; costs have risen; delays and line closures will be more consequential than first anticipated; some all-important ribbon-cuttings won’t occur until after the next election. Metro users will still have to transfer to access the wider CityRail network.

Perhaps this is why the State Government has now changed tack to pushing out good news about the very CityRail system it is walling off with Metro.

Latest reporting talks up an $880 million CityRail train control system which can deliver ‘a train every two minutes or less’. The new system, the government enthuses, brings ‘Paris and London technology to CityRail’[iii].

This shift to talking up CityRail may just have given Metro’s game away.

Sydney’s CityRail has had a modern, automated train control system under trial for over a decade now[iv] – this development flowed from the special inquiry into the 2003 Waterfall train crash which killed 7 people. In 2014, the State authorised CityRail to pursue development of an even more advanced system[v] – the same sort of system Metro is to employ to achieve its much-vaunted ‘turn up and go’ service levels.

CityRail appears to have had a solution on trial all along to achieve Metro’s objectives for a lot less money and in a manner that would expand Sydney’s rail network – not hobble it. Published research suggests just as many if not more commuters might be moved by CityRail on this basis[vi].

Despite this, the State government appears to have agreed to Metro without any assessment of a competing CityRail business case, or even a quick scan of options.

It’s time for facts.

Perhaps  the NSW government just made a decision to ignore CityRail’s cheaper and possibly better solution for grubby ideological reasons: setting up a walled-off, standalone rail system to lock out organised labour and sell off to the banks later.

Perhaps CityRail’s potential was just never made plain to elected officials because of factional fights in the transport bureaucracy.

Perhaps our independent infrastructure advisories should have spoken up.

Perhaps there is some unreported technological flaw preventing CityRail from matching or bettering Metro claims.

As with the banks, only a properly-constituted inquiry will compel the truth.

The need for this inquiry goes beyond politics or academic curiosity: if we leave Metro unexamined, Sydney’s liveability and economic performance is at risk.

If heavy rail’s future functionality is imperilled by Metro, we must know that before we spend more billions pouring concrete and digging more little Metro tunnels. If not, we risk condemning our entire public transport network to deeper dysfunction which may prove vastly more expensive or even impossible to retrofit later.

A new government should authorise an inquiry into Metro and other secret mega-projects on its first day in power.

The same goes for the Commonwealth, which has already thrown billions of taxpayer money at this project, with no questions asked.

All major infrastructure projects should be examined against credible alternative solutions for delivering on agreed objectives well before the infrastructure club is allowed anywhere near the public chequebook.

Here are the written words of Gladys Berejiklian, the responsible Minister in her report in 2012 regarding the merits of Metro compared to upgrading and expanding CityRail:

(Metro) does not deliver significant benefits to the wider rail network’.

‘(Metro) would create a separate system that would divert funding away from service improvements on the existing rail network and only provide benefits to customers who use the new line’.

‘In the Sydney context an independent metro system would deliver few benefits in terms of service enhancement, capacity improvements or better operating efficiency on the existing rail network’.

‘A dedicated metro-style system would not maximise the use of the existing rail assets.’

Extract from page 24 of Sydney Rail Futures 2012 – foreword by then-Minister for Transport, the Hon Gladys Berejiklian P[vii] 

Members of the infrastructure club should keep their diaries free for this inquiry.

Infrastructure, both rail and road, is becoming an albatross around the neck of the NSW Premier and former Minister for Transport.


[ii] [ii]




[vi] Four whole years ago, ABC fact checker established that given the same service frequency and train control, the existing CityRail trains would move thousands more people an hour on the proposed Metro line than the new Metro trains.

Yet it appears no comparative business case was even assessed, much less published: