Sydney Metro Northwest

Sydney Metro Northwest, Stage one of Australia’s biggest public transport project, has opened to the public. The Mott MacDonald, KBR and SMEC design joint venture (JV) worked on behalf of the John Holland-Leighton infrastructure JV, part of the Northwest Rapid Transit Consortium, who delivered the project.

Delivering over 36km of new metro rail for Sydney’s growing north-west, the AUS$8.3 billion project will improve travel time and increase reliability using a new generation of fully-automated trains. It also comprises eight new stations from Epping to Tallawong, five upgraded stations and 4,000 commuter car parking spaces.

The Mott MacDonald, KBR and SMEC design JV delivered the detailed design for the eight new stations which includes three underground stations, three new open-cut suburban stations and two new elevated stations. The JV was also responsible for train stabling maintenance facilities and the track and overhead power systems for the whole line.

Building information modelling (BIM) was successfully applied to this major transport infrastructure project and by adopting BIM, the JV minimised cost and schedule risk and enhanced constructability.

The innovative design developed by the Mott MacDonald KBR and SMEC JV reduced the use of raw construction material whilst enabling the architectural design of the stations to be implemented within budget. Reducing the use of raw construction materials and labour on site in favour of pre-fabricated elements has also increased the efficiency and sustainability of the project both in construction and in future maintenance operations.

SMEC was also lead design on the surface works, viaducts and civils component of the project. The cable-stayed bridge and its temporary works were designed by SMEC South Africa’s Cape Town –based Structures team. The team first conceived the winning tender design, for contractors Salini Impregilio, in a design and build tender. They then went on to develop the detailed design and undertook the erection engineering work for its construction. It was a mammoth task that absorbed a team of up to 15 SMEC South Africa staff for over four years.

James Phillis, SMEC CEO ANZ, said “The Sydney Metro Northwest is not only the first Metro train system in Australia, it will also be Australia’s first driverless, fully automated passenger service. Seventy years on from our founding in the iconic Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Scheme, SMEC is proud to continue our legacy in another iconic, innovative and ground-breaking infrastructure project that is making a difference to Australians.”