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Bankstown Line upgrade successfully completed

Posted: Monday 6 February 2006

RailCorp infrastructure staff today celebrated the successful Bankstown Line upgrade, completed this January, by attending a special event at Bankstown Sports Club.

Among the guests were the Premier, the Minister for Transport and RailCorp executives.

RailCorp CEO Vince Graham welcomed everyone and thanked staff in particular for their hard work and support in reaching this important milestone.

Premier Morris Iemma also acknowledged the work of everyone involved in this project.

Premier Morris Iemma and Transport Minister John Watkins with RailCorp staff and local MP's Barbara Perry and Linda Burney.
Premier Morris Iemma and Transport Minister John Watkins with RailCorp staff and local MP's Barbara Perry and Linda Burney.

The upgrade marked the end to a major program of works on the Bankstown Line from Sydenham to Sefton Junction and up to Lidcombe and a significant step in the ongoing improvement to the CityRail network.

The final upgrade cost $106 million and involved more than 70,000 man hours, with up to 200 staff on site each day. Staff worked in extreme weather conditions to:

  • lay 39 kilometres of new track, including new ballast and new concrete sleepers to replace the timber ones;
  • improve drainage and complete major earth works;
  • install 10km of new overhead wiring and support stanchions from Hurlstone Park to Canterbury; and
  • install computer controlled signalling from Sefton Junction through to Cabramatta, Birrong, and up to Regents Park, for more efficient train operations.

Some of the key benefits from the upgrade include:

  • temperature resistant concrete sleepers that not only reduce the risk of rail defects but require less maintenance;
  • overhead wiring that adjusts itself at varying temperatures resulting in a more reliable system requiring less maintenance; and
  • a significantly more reliable signalling system that allows information to reach staff and ultimately passengers more quickly.

Last year's Bankstown Line upgrade was considered one of the biggest ever in terms of the work undertaken. This year's was even bigger again.

The Bankstown Line now boasts concrete sleepers along its entire length, new rail, improved ballast, new or recently upgraded signalling systems and new overhead wiring. The upgrade works should reduce the number of defects in track structure which, in turn, will reduce maintenance costs.

As well as the major projects undertaken during the upgrade, there was a general clean up along the rail line and an overhaul of station facilities. Customers should notice smoother, quieter train travel and better views along the Bankstown Line.

Read about the Bankstown Line's early history.