A major Sydney railway line has been picked up and moved 20m in just 48 hours to make way for the brand new Sydney Metro.
Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said the Sydney Trains T1 North Shore Line had to be permanently realigned, between Chatswood and Artarmon because the existing suburban railway 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," Constance said.Â
The critical track work has been completed at Chatswood so that Sydney Metro can be extended from the city’s north west into the Sydney 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 20 metres to the west, to make way for the Metro North West Line to extend into the new twin metro tunnels.
"The huge operation took 48 hours to cut, slew and join the existing suburban line with almost 900m of new track and about 2.5km of new overhead wiring," Constance said.
"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 11 kilometres of track and more than 10,000 railway sleepers have also been installed as part of the Sydney Metro City and Southwest project.
All up, 62 kilometres of Australian-made rail steel weighing more than 4,000 tonnes will be used to lay 31 kilometres of railway tracks in the twin tunnels between Chatswood and Sydenham.
Sydney Metro rail services between Chatswood, the Sydney CBD and Bankstown start in 2024, when Sydney will have 31 Metro railway stations and a 66 kilometre standalone metro railway system.
Image: The operation involved cutting sections of track free and dragging them with sleepers attached over ballast with machinery 20m to the west (Transport for NSW)