Removing Sydney’s redundant rail infrastructure
We project managed the decommissioning and removal of the Sydney monorail, allowing the city to upgrade its transport systems and develop a new business and entertainment district.
Sydney monorail Project summary
Transport for New South Wales
- Start date
- April 2013
- End date
- March 2014
Sydney’s 3.6km monorail was opened in 1988 to link the city’s central business district with Chinatown and Darling Harbour, a recreational and shopping precinct on the western outskirts of the city. Built during the harbour’s redevelopment, the monorail also served some of Sydney’s major attractions and facilities.
However, it was not integrated with the rest of the city’s transport infrastructure and by 2012 had reached the end of its economic life. Removing the monorail enabled Sydney's light rail network and Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre to be developed.
We were appointed to project manage the decommissioning and removal of the monorail, which required expert planning, design and meticulous execution. Our scope included decommissioning the operational monorail and maintenance facility, removing 3.6km of elevated track, along with more than 150 columns and pedestals that supported it, as well as overseeing a substantial programme of demolition along the monorail's route - all in less than a year.
Our work also involved coordinating numerous road closures, meeting stringent recycling targets and contributing to the restoration of the heritage-listed Pyrmont Bridge, which the monorail crossed.
points of note
Reuse and recycleNinety-six per cent of the materials that we removed were recycled. Sixty steel beams were reused for a temporary bridge as part of the Sydney Metro project. The concrete pedestals were processed and reused for road base material. Google purchased two carriages to use as meeting rooms in its local office and another two were preserved at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum.
Coordinating road closures
To safely remove the overhead tracks and undertake the programme of demolition, we developed detailed project implementation plans and traffic management and communications plans to manage the closures of some of Sydney's busiest streets and intersections.
Overseeing demolitionWe oversaw the demolition contractors, from the tender award stage to completion of the works. It included demolishing three stations, as well as numerous associated electrical substations and maintenance facilities, many of which were situated above Sydney's light rail system as well as Sydney’s central business district.
Engaging with stakeholdersOur project director was the main interface between the contractor, client and other major stakeholders, including the City of Sydney, Roads and Maritime Service, Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority and numerous property owners. Our project director led the negotiations and managed the multiple third party agreements to enable access, property and lease adjustments to be implemented. In addition, we led the stakeholder coordination working group with the City of Sydney Council, the monorail operator and the various transport operators to plan for the light rail and road closures.
“We were proud to bring our infrastructure expertise to enable Sydney to move full steam ahead with the development of its transport system.”