By DALLAS SHERRINGHAM
WHEN Sydney’s long-promised is completed in 2030, a train will leave Parramatta station every two minutes in peak hour.
It will be a quick journey of just 20 minutes from Parra to the Sydney CBD through twin tunnels bored through the Inner West’s ideal sandstone rock foundation.
The train will link Westmead and Parra with stations at Sydney Olympic Park, North Strathfield, Burwood North, Five Dock, The Bays at Glebe, Pyrmont and the CBD.
It will greatly reduce overcrowding on the infamous Western Line which has been the rail gateway to Parramatta for almost two centuries.
The rapid transit system is a far cry from the large steam locomotives and the later ‘Red Rattler” single deck electric sets that served the Western Line for so many years.
And the Metro West recently received two major planning approvals.
State Planning Minister Rob Stokes granted approval for the project at concept level, from Westmead to the Sydney CBD and the project’s first stage, which includes station excavation and tunnelling between Westmead and The Bays.
The project’s concept approval does not allow for construction or operation at this early stage.
The planning approval process for Sydney Metro West is being done in stages due to the project’s size and has been declared a State Significant Infrastructure project.
Compulsory land acquisitions necessary
Despite its obvious advantages for millions of commuters, the Metro West is not without its controversies with compulsory land acquisitions necessary.
Stage One would have “social and economic impacts” including property acquisitions required.
However, acquisition of property has been minimised by locating the majority of the project underground and acquisition would be undertaken in accordance with relevant land acquisition policy and with support services for affected parties, the proposal noted.
In December last year, the NSW government announced that a metro station would be constructed at Pyrmont.
The metro station location is under investigation and is subject to a separate assessment and approval.
Sydney Metro is still expected to lodge future applications for the construction and operation of the project, with the first of three tunnelling contracts expected to be awarded mid-year.
When complete, Sydney Metro West will service a large, heavily populated area of Greater Sydney.
Key components include 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, Pyrmont and Sydney CBD.
Mr Stokes said the project was expected to create about 10,000 direct and 70,000 indirect jobs during construction.
The project is touted to provide a fast and frequent connection between Parramatta and Sydney CBD, and aims to run a metro train every two minutes in each direction.
Sources: State Govt release, Urban Developer Newsletter, Wikipedia