Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sydney CBD Metro

The New South Wales Government has announced that work will commence on the $4.8B Sydney CBD metro. Unfortunately, as with previous metro proposals , this seems to be an ad-hoc one off proposal not part of a plan for Sydney.

The NSW Government released "City of Cities: A Plan for Sydney's Future" in December 2005. It aimed to plan for a population increase of 1.1 million by 2030, balancing economic growth with social and environmental issues. Whatever the plan's flaws, it is better than no plan.

The City of Cities plan included a $8B North West-CBD-South West Rail Link. There3 was no CBD Metro in the plan. However the Strategy for Transport included criteria to assess transport proposals: enhanced liveability, economic competitiveness, fairness, environmental protection and governance. These could be applied to the CBD Meto to see if it would be of value to Sydney. The metro announcement makes no mention of a long term large scale plan, only short term details:

The 7km CBD Metro is the first step towards a metro rail network for Sydney. It will run underground from Central to Rozelle via Town Hall, Martin Place, Barangaroo/Wynyard and Pyrmont. A station will also be safeguarded for future development at White Bay.

The route alignment is subject to further development and some modifications may occur as new information is obtained (particularly information related to major services and building basements).

The platform depth at the stations will range from approximately 20 to 35 metres below street level. The tunnel depths will be further determined as the design progresses.

Objectives of the route

The proposed route has been selected based on the objectives listed below and in consideration of a number of significant constraints, particularly in the CBD.

  • Provide for stations to be built at optimal locations
  • Take account of operational requirements for customer experience and maintenance
  • Minimise impacts on future CBD developments by following road alignments as far as possible
  • Minimise impacts on existing structures and basements
  • Minimise impacts on existing underground infrastructure
  • Utilise the Interim Metropolitan Rail Expansion Pitt corridor through the CBD (as identified in the Infrastructure SEPP) as much as possible
  • Safeguard the Interim Metropolitan Rail Expansion West corridor through the CBD (as identified in the Infrastructure SEPP) and other underground infrastructure
From: The Route, Sydney Metro, NSW Government, 2009

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