Sydney’s Central station to be transformed with underground walkway to platforms and shops

Sydney’s Central Station will receive a brand new underground concourse to better connect passengers to trains, buses, light rail and the new Sydney Metro, in what will be the first major step to revitalising the 110-year-old heritage icon.

NSW 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, started today with expressions of interest 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
  • Boosting capacity at Central to cater for the expected 66 per cent increase in daily customer demand.

More than 250,000 people use Central every day with that number expected to rise to 450,000 in the next two decades.

Mr Constance said Central Walk will cater for that growth. “Central is the backbone of public transport and customers tell us they want better and more convenient links. This project will create new entrances and easier interchanges for everyone.”

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.

Heritage will remain paramount with a dedicated team now established to conduct technical and heritage studies, with further community consultation to be completed throughout the year.

A dedicated construction contract will be awarded for the Sydney Metro Central works – separate 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.

Due to the scale of Central Walk, 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.