Demolition work to prepare for construction of the North-West Rail Link in Sydney is in full swing, with clearing work at what will be a major station as well as a significant tunnelling site now complete.

Work also started on the demolition of three commercial buildings at another site.

On Wednesday, New South Wales Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian said demolition at the site of what will be the new Showground station was now complete and clearing work at Epping Business Park had now begun.

“The community will see much more construction activity over coming weeks and months as we get on with the job of delivering Australia’s biggest public transport infrastructure project,” Berejiklian said in a statement. “This massive infrastructure project is starting to take shape – there will be 16 major construction sites right across the North West.”

Involving more than 10 items of heavy demolition machinery, including a 48-tonne excavator with shears and a hammer, clearing of the site of what will be the new Showground station took about eight weeks and included the site of the former Hills Centre, which was once an entertainment complex in Sydney’s northwest that was used as the meeting place by the famous Hillsong Church in the 1990s.

Epping Demolition

Epping Demolition

In addition to being the location for one of eight new stations, the Showgrounds station will also serve as one of the project’s major tunnelling sites.

Meanwhile, two excavators weighing 48 tonnes and 43 tonnes respectively have started operations at Epping Business Park, which is located along Bay Road and Beecroft Road. Work there involves the removal of three commercial buildings and is expected to be finished before the end of the year.

The excavators will use hammer attachments, which will grab and breakdown sections of the concrete structure.

Berejiklian says residents across the northwest can expect to see a ramp-up of activity going forward, with major operations including delivery of equipment such as bulldozers, excavators, articulated dump trucks, cranes, compactors and rollers; site clearing; relocation of utilities such as power, telecommunications, water and gas supplies; and demolition and earthworks.

She says each site would meet strict requirements regarding noise, dust, erosion and traffic disruption.

While most of the work is expected to take place during standard construction hours, some may occur out of hours for reasons associated with safety or traffic impact minimisation.

Showground Station street level

Showground Station street level

“Residents and businesses need to be aware there may be delays around these sites,” Berejiklian says. “We’ll be keeping people informed about the work that’s going on and ensuring impacts are reduced as much as possible.”

Set to cost around $8.3 billion and scheduled for delivery by the end of 2019, the North West Rail Link is set connect Rouse Hill to Epping via Castle Hill in Sydney’s northwestern suburbs and involves the construction of around 23 kilometres of new rail (including 15 kilometres of tunnelling), eight new stations and 4,000 commuter car parking spaces.

In keeping with the need to ensure sustainable construction practices, Berejiklian says more than 90 per cent of the materials removed from the demolition site have been recycled.