Sydney Metro: Sydney Central Station, Australia

Aurecon is playing a leading design role in the $955 million project to transform Sydney’s Central Station – Australia’s busiest rail interchange.

For client Laing O’Rourke, Aurecon is completing detailed design for all civil, structural and building components of the new and upgraded rail infrastructure, in partnership with GHD and Atkins. The ultimate client is Sydney Metro for the Sydney Metro City & Southwest Project.

The scope includes:

  • Excavation and construction of the new underground Sydney Metro platforms at Central beneath platforms 13, 14 and 15
  • Central Walk – a 19-metre wide underground concourse from a new entrance on Chalmers Street
  • Escalators directly to suburban platforms 12 to 23 for the first time
  • An upgraded northern concourse with transformed pedestrian thoroughfares
  • A new feature roof to the Northern Concourse that will transform the space and emphasise the historic features of the Central Electric Building

Much of Central Station infrastructure dates back to 1906, with predecessor stations built at the site in 1855 and 1874. This project represents the largest upgrade to the site in decades.

It is also one of the first infrastructure projects delivered on such a scale in Australia to be fully digitised in terms of 3D modelling. Elements of the digital delivery include:

Working collaboratively with Laing O’Rourke, Aurecon has worked as part of the Aurecon/GHD Joint Venture Digital Delivery team and with the wider Digital Managers to contribute to the project, in addition to drawing on rich interdisciplinary expertise, including structural and civil engineering, tunnelling, building services, rail, pedestrian modelling, communications, and human factors design.

The project is particularly complex because of the extensive works taking place within a live station environment with more than 270,000 people using the station every day.

To allow the completion of the major tunnelling work required to build the new metro platforms on time, Aurecon, working with our design partners and Laing O’Rourke developed a “top down” approach whereby the top level is constructed first and then used as a working platform to support logistics for the deep excavation beneath. The technical challenge around this has been to safely and adequately transfer the load from temporary plunge columns supporting the top level into the new permanent structure once excavation is complete.

Early and enabling works for Central Station Metro have been underway since March 2018. Central Walk and the new escalators from Platforms 12 to 23 will be open in late 2022, with the new metro platforms to become operational once Sydney Metro City & Southwest services begin in 2024.

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