AUSTRALIA: The national government has given final planning approval for the 23 km Western Sydney Airport automated metro scheme, following a similar decision by the state of New South Wales in July.
The fully automated metro line will connect the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) airport, now under onstruction, with St Mary’s station on Sydney Trains’ T1 Western Line, serving six stations. The metro is also intended to serve a number of regeneration and business districts taking shape around the airport.
The formal planning approval enables work to begin within the boundary of the airport. This will see 3·3 km of twin-bore tunnel and 2 km of surface alignment built within the perimeter, as well as two stations.
Tunnel boring machines are expected to be launched at the airport in 2023, with a tunnelling contract due to be awarded by the end of this year.
The metro project is being delivered jointly by the New South Wales and national governments. It is hoped the metro will be operational by the time the airport opens, expected in late 2026 at the earliest.