Train services resume on Sydney’s busiest rail corridor
11 January, 2021
Train services have resumed operating on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, following the biggest track maintenance shutdown of the rail line in the bridge’s history.
Over ten days, Sydney Trains work crews replaced the 555 metre timber deck which supports the track on the bridge’s northern and southern approaches with a low maintenance, more robust and longer-lasting concrete composite deck.
More than 420 people worked around the clock, at times through heavy rain, to complete the biggest upgrade to rail over the bridge in its history. The work will help extend the life of the 88-year-old railway corridor by another 120 years.
The work was one of the most complicated engineering job ever undertaken by Sydney Trains. It included removing the railway infrastructure and dismantling the timber deck and replacing it with 266 concrete panels, which were constructed in Newcastle.
Sydney Trains Acting Chief Executive, Suzanne Holden said the upgrade will provide a more reliable railway.
“This is a once in a generation opportunity and we have had some of the best engineers in the world design and deliver a concrete deck that will allow trains to run more quietly, smoothly and more reliably, providing a better experience for our customers and also neighbouring residents.”
“Thank you to our customers for your patience and understanding while Sydney Trains delivered this vital upgrade.”
The ten day closure allowed Sydney Trains to complete the majority of the work in one track possession, however final touches will be completed over a series of scheduled weekend maintenance windows.
“Our Engineering and Maintenance crews and many behind the scenes have worked incredibly hard. I’d like to thank our experienced team for completing more than 15,000 work hours delivering this project on time, despite inclement weather including heat, high humidity, electrical storms and torrential downpours.”
Transport for NSW Acting Deputy Secretary Howard Collins said more than 165,000 customers were transported by temporary bus services between North Sydney and the CBD.
“Keeping customers moving during the temporary closure of the rail line across the bridge was a significant operation, involving hundreds of extra bus drivers, marshals, network managers and customer service teams out on the ground. Our staff have worked around the clock to ensure the network ran smoothly while Sydney Trains crews carried out this important work,” Mr Collins said.
Further work to complete the deck upgrade will be scheduled to coincide with planned weekend rail line closures to minimise the impact on Sydney Trains customers and road users.
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