The North Strathfield Rail Underpass (NSRU) project in Sydney is part of the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor Program, a joint Australian and NSW Government initiative to improve the capacity and reliability of freight and passenger trains on Sydney’s Main North Line between Strathfield and Newcastle.
The objective of the North Strathfield Rail Underpass Project was to:
- enable additional paths (opportunities for freight travel) and reduce waiting times for freight trains
- increase reliability of both freight trains and passenger services
- remove the need for freight trains to cross lines at North Strathfield Junction which impacts passenger train services
- enable a 1,500 metre freight train to stand clear of the Main North Line so other trains can pass before entering the single track section towards Flemington.
The project included the following features:
- a new 148 metre rail underpass for trains at North Strathfield with two 350 metre access ramps
- 2.4 kilometre of new track and upgrade of 850 metre of existing track
- a new aerial concourse, including four lifts and stairs at Concord West Station
- associated civil and structural works
- provision of new rail systems, including overhead wire, high voltage, low voltage, communications and signalling
- utility relocations/protection.
One of the key challenges was completing the works while train services remained in operation during the project. To enable this, 13 weekend track possessions across three years of the contract were required.