The controversial shutdown of the Epping-to-Chatswood line occurred over the long weekend, and as expected has disrupted the commute of many passengers. Lines of hundreds of people have emerged in the affected zone.
The closure was timed to coincide with school holidays, since traffic would be much lighter and provide Transport NSW with some room to work through the issues that arise with the train replacement services.
During the lead up to the closure Transport NSW underwent a large-scale campaign to notify and prepare the public for this major change to the rail network. NSW Transport Minister, Andrew Constance, reassured affected commuters that this short-term pain would be worth it in the long-term when the new Sydney Metro Northwest line opens and provides more frequent train services. In the meantime, commuters have been urged to plan ahead and allow extra time on their commute to ensure that they get to where they need to go.
Whilst the line is closed for seven months, there will be a fleet of 'Station Link' buses scheduled to arrive approximately every six minutes to transport the displaced train commuters. There will be seven different Station Link routes with buses located near the existing train stations to help make the temporary transition as easy as possible.
Although it might be a bit of an adjustment period for a lot of students, workers and other commuters in the area, it is a necessary step for the implementation of vital rail infrastructure, that will be more equipped to serve the rapidly growing population.
The advent of the new Sydney Metro Northwest rail line will mean more frequent services, with a train set to run every four minutes. The ultimate goal of the Sydney Metro Northwest is to make timetables redundant, by providing reliable train services that allow commuters to just turn up and go.
The Sydney Metro Northwest will drastically improve public transport in this heavily car reliant area, and manage the congestion that is expected to arise from the Northwest's projected population growth. The rail infrastructure and Sydney Train services that were previously in place, would have been inadequate to cater for this booming region.
Civil Rail Construction Jobs
Aside from the benefits that the new line will deliver to commuters in the area, the construction of the new Sydney Metro line will boost local job prospects. The conversion of the Epping-to-Chatswood line will create a variety of jobs for construction and trades workers over the course of the seven month closure. Some of the most prominent roles that will be required for the Epping-to-Chatswood line conversion include:
- Trade Assistants
- Skilled Labourers
- Form Workers
- Steel Fixers
- Plant Operators
Once construction is complete and operations commence, there is potential for even more construction work with maintenance and upgrades expected to occur regularly.
In addition to the construction work that will increase during the line conversion, the opening of the Sydney Metro Northwest is expected to create a number of indirect job opportunities across a range of sectors and industries. This is because with the increased traffic that will come through the Sydney Metro Northwest line, more businesses will flock to the region.
The enhanced business activity in the Northwest will help to create more jobs in industries, such as:
- Healthcare and Social Services
- Finance and Professional Services
The Epping-to-Chatswood line closure may be a seven month thorn in the side of train commuters in this area. However, upgrading Sydney's current rail infrastructure and converting it to the Sydney Metro Northwest is necessary to accommodate the future growth of this region.
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