Sydney Metro: Central Station Pedestrian Modelling, Australia

As part of the broader transformation of Sydney’s Central Station, Aurecon has been engaged by Sydney Metro and Transport for New South Wales to undertake comprehensive pedestrian modelling.

Central Station is the busiest train station in Australia in terms of customer volume, and the total number of platforms. This modelling represents one of the biggest such projects undertaken by Aurecon. It commenced with the tender of the Central Station upgrade and is ongoing.

Designing better customer journeys

The project scope is to define how Central Station upgrades will factor in customer use of the space, and to devise strategies to ensure the station is functional and enjoyable to use.

The project considers many elements of customer experience, from simple visuals – such as signage and other communications – through to structural elements including fare gates, stairways, and seating.                         

As part of the planning process, Aurecon stress-tested the peak customer transport period, and how this will impact the design and construction requirements.

Crunching the numbers

To establish customer movement patterns, Aurecon modelled what pedestrian traffic will look like in Central Station in 2026, and 2056.

This involved:

  • Dynamic analysis – understanding pedestrian volume and movement patterns
  • Visual representation of how the station’s pedestrian facilities will perform
  • Identification of “pinch points” such as pedestrian bottlenecks
  • Mapping key design factors such as staircases, corridors, and lifts

The Aurecon team employed modelling software to consider multiple design factors side by side, including representation of various customer groups who use the station, and their different needs.

The plan considers the risks to customer movement during and after the construction phases, and outlines operational responses to worst-case scenarios.

Stakeholder engagement has been critical to the development of the plan. Project stakeholders include: Sydney Metro, Transport for New South Wales, Sydney Trains, and the City of Sydney.

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