Australia has launched the formal planning process for the second stage of the Sydney Metro project, which will be called as Sydney Metro City & Southwest.
As part of the project, a first tunnel-boring machine (TBM) will be in the ground before the end of 2018 bringing metro rail under Sydney Harbour and the central business district (CBD).
The second stage will connect Sydney Metro Stage 1 (formerly the North West Rail Link) at Chatswood with the existing Sydney-Bankstown line, which will be converted to a metro.
It will include 15km of new tunnels between Chatswood and Sydenham, and have six new stations. A metro station is being considered at either Waterloo or Sydney University.
New South Wales (NSW) premier Mike Baird said: "We’re wasting no time delivering Australia’s biggest public transport project.
"Sydney Metro will change Sydney forever. It will help boost capacity of our rail network by 100,000 people every hour, servicing our growing global city for generations to come."
The new metro stations will be located at Crows Nest, Victoria Cross (North Sydney), Barangaroo, Martin Place, Pitt St (near Park Street) and underground at Central.
The extension beyond Bankstown to Liverpool could reduce travel times to the CBD by up to 15 minutes and avoid overcrowding on the existing T1 Western Line and T2 South Line.
NSW minister for transport and infrastructure Andrew Constance said: "This new high-capacity metro line will be able to move more people across the Harbour in the busiest hour of the peak than the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Harbour Tunnel combined."
"Sydney Metro will deliver ‘turn up and go’ rail services with more than 65km of new metro rail on a standalone line."
Work on the first phase of the project, the A$8.3bn ($5.9bn) Sydney Metro Northwest, is underway and is scheduled to start passenger services in 2019 with the Sydney Metro City & Southwest expected to open in 2024.
Transport for NSW has started contacting affected property owners, the majority of which are commercial tenants in the CBD, North Sydney, Chatswood, Sydenham and Crows Nest.
The government will start a second industry briefing next month to update the new project scope and proposed delivery method.
Image: Sydney Metro – Barangaroo looking south. Photo: courtesy of NSW government.