A BRAND new underground concourse at Central Station will better connect passengers to trains, buses, light rail and the new Sydney Metro, becoming the first step in revitalising the 110-year old heritage icon, the NSW Government said last week.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Transport and Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance announced 'Central Walk' will be built as a wide, accessible and modern pedestrian link from the eastern side of Central Station. It will link the new light rail stop to the new Sydney Metro platforms with direct access to existing suburban platforms.
"We are going to revitalise Central Station to make it an international showpiece of Sydney's transport network. It's often the first stop for visitors from overseas, interstate and from regional areas and we want to ensure the Central Station experience is world class and convenient for the quarter of a million people who pass through every day," Ms Berejiklian said.
The tender process to deliver the new Sydney Metro at Central Station, as well as Central Walk, has started with expressions of interest now being called for the Central Station Main Works contract as part of the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project.
"Sydney Metro has provided us with a unique opportunity to deliver further improvements to Central, and Central Walk is just the beginning," Ms Berejiklian said.
The main features of Central Walk include:
- A 19-metre wide tunnel from Chalmers Street, linking to new metro platforms under Central;
- New, easy access points to Sydney Trains platforms 16 to 23;
- Escalators directly to suburban platforms for the first time; and
- Boosting capacity at Central to cater for the expected 66 per cent increase in daily customer demand.
Central Walk will be delivered at the same time as the new Sydney Metro platforms to reduce disruptions to customers and provide better value for money.
"This builds on the NSW Government's record of delivering major transport infrastructure. Since the last election train services have started operating on the South West Rail line, we opened Wynyard Walk and completed the Opal Card rollout," Ms Berejiklian said.
Public feedback also showed customers wanted more cafes, restaurants, retail options and bigger and brighter spaces, which could be considered in future steps to upgrade the station.
A dedicated team has also established to conduct technical and heritage studies, with further community consultation to be completed throughout the year.
The construction contract for the Sydney Metro Central works will be awarded separately to the rest of the Sydney Metro City & Southwest Project to ensure a strong focus on the complex work required at Sydney's busiest railway station.
Community and industry feedback will be invited on Central Walk later this year. Transport for NSW has begun contacting affected property and lease owners, including one commercial property that will be acquired.
Construction on Central Walk is expected to start in 2018.