Three of the biggest engineering and construction firms operating in Australia are set to prepare Sydney’s rail network for new metro trains following the awarding of two separate contracts.

In its latest announcement, Sydney Metro says it has awarded two major contractors on its Sydney Metro City & Southwest project which will extend the new metro rail service from Sydney’s north-west under Sydney Harbour through to new underground city stations and beyond to the Southwest.

The works will help to prepare the 125-year-old Bankstown line to handle greater demand once the new Metro services start, which will include having a train arrive every four minutes in each direction.

Under the first contract, Sydney Metro has awarded a $227 million deal to civil engineering and construction contractors John Holland and Laing O’Rourke to upgrade metro rail standards on the line.

This will include:

  • Upgrading 15 bridges that cross over or under the railway, including installation of safety screens
  • Civil construction including work on retaining walls, culverts and track drainage
  • Fencing along the rail corridor and the segregation of the existing freight line from the new driverless railway tracks
  • Rail systems work including new track crossovers, upgrading and refurbishing overhead wiring and work to support signalling and communication equipment; and
  • Utility modifications

Separately, Downer EDI has secured the $98 million contract to upgrade stations at Hurlstone Park, Belmore and Wiley Park to metro rail standards.

It includes:

  • Upgrading and re-levelling of existing platforms to provide level access to the new fully-air conditioned metro trains – no more step into the train for customers
  • New lifts at Hurlstone Park and Wiley Park Stations connecting existing concourses to platform level
  • New family accessible toilets at Hurlstone Park and Wiley Park stations
  • New service buildings and cabling for the new rail systems
  • Upgrades to stations like painting, improved lighting, tiling and paving
  • Upgrades to security fencing adjacent to each station, including installation of anti-throw screens to existing overbridges adjacent to each station; and
  • Improvements to interchanges including bike parking, taxi spaces, kiss and ride and accessible parking.

The stations will also be prepared for the installation of platform screen doors which will act as glass safety barriers to keep people and objects such as prams away from screen doors.

These upgrades are necessary to help prepare the stations to handle fifteen trains per hour each way.

As things stand, stations such as Wiley Park and Canterbury cater only for four trains per hour.

Major work will take place during school holidays in June/July where fewer customers are on the rail network.

Currently the biggest rail project under construction in Australia, Sydney Metro will link the Sydney CBD with Rouse Hill in the north-west, Bankstown in the Southwest and Parramatta in Sydney’s central west and will also link existing rail with the new airport at Badgerys Creek.

Providing a service which delivers a train every four minutes, the metro line will deliver Australia’s first driverless passenger network along with Australia’s first fully accessible network.

The first stage of the line opened with new trains to Rouse Hill in 2019. The next stage out to Bankstown is set to open in 2024.

John Holland Executive General Manager Infrastructure Andrew English said the project will build on a long partnership between John Holland and Sydney Metro.

“We are proud to be entrusted with this key upgrade project for Sydney Metro, building on the great work completed by our teams on Sydney Metro Northwest, the City & Southwest under-harbour tunnels, and the Sydenham Station and Junction project,” English said.