The impact Sydney Metro trains will have on inner city commuters will “shock everyone”, the NSW Transport Minister has said.
“This project is going to shock everyone in terms of its impact,” Andrew Constance said.
“You only need to consider that at the moment, at morning peak, 120 trains move into the city every day. This project will now facilitate 200 train movements.”
Mr Constance said the Metro project’s finishing date would be in 2024 as planned, but some components were ahead of schedule and trains could hit the new tracks and begin safety tests in just two years.
“We’ve been able to get ahead in some instances of our projects, and Metro has got a number of components where the project is ahead of schedule,” he said.
“The entire project will be done by 2024 … (but) I would expect to see trains start to be commissioned in 2023.”
He said the work of digging tunnels was six months ahead of schedule.
Mr Constance was speaking alongside the NSW Premier as the pair celebrated tracks being laid in a tunnel near the north shore suburb of Chatswood, a milestone for the project.
The existing Metro service runs from Chatswood northwest to Tallawong.
The new stage will extend those tracks from Chatswood southeast across the harbour, through the CBD and onwards to Bankstown in the city’s west.
There will be a total of 31 stops where driverless trains will ferry riders.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it was “pleasing” the tunnelling work was expected to finish faster than planned.
“It’s really pleasing to know that even though we’ve faced a really difficult year of multiple challenges in NSW, our infrastructure pipeline is still roaring ahead,” she said.