Sydney Metro Northwest (formerly North West Rail Link)

Australia’s first driverless passenger railway


Transport for NSW/ Sydney Metro


Sydney, NSW



Sydney Metro Northwest is Australia’s first driverless passenger railway, part of the country’s largest public transport project. It runs from Tallawong to Chatswood, servicing Sydney’s growing north-west region. The project delivered 36km of track, including twin 15km tunnels, 4km of viaducts and 8 new railway stations.

Rail Planning Services, embedded in Sydney Metro (TfNSW) teams, provided a number of services during the planning, construction and commissioning of Northwest, including:

  • Determination of scope, interface management with adjoining stakeholders and constructability of the entire corridor works;
  • Development of the ‘roadmap’ of stages and possessions requirements necessary for the conversion and separation of the ECRL services from the Sydney Trains network;
  • Scoping, design and methodology to support the EIS, program development and risk identification; with presentations ultimately supporting the decision to move the NWRL from a heavy rail extension to a stand-alone metro system;
  • Establish interface management with councils, RMS and other stakeholders, ECRL coordination with Sydney Trains and NRT, verification frameworks and surveillance management as well as test & commissioning and operational readiness oversight;
  • Design review, project management plan reviews, possession management, critical resource planning, Sydney Trains key interface roles, and other brownfields management tasks as required by the Sydney Metro leadership team;
  • Coordinated the interface of the existing Sydney Trains heavy rail system in tunnel to a metro system between the contractor and Sydney Trains, provided surveillance of ballast and concrete slab rail track construction (depot, viaduct and tunnel) and managed interfaces and agreements with local council bodies and utilities;
  • Coordinated the design and installation of the electronic ticketing system and oversaw (including site surveillance) the completion and commissioning activities; and
  • Oversight of operation and maintenance manuals, training material including courses, readiness exercises, operator interface protocols, service & customer plans and business operation plans.