'Curtains' for monorail

Regarded by many Sydney-siders as an expensive ‘eyesore’, Sydney’s inner city monorail will cease operation on June 30, 2013

'Curtains' for monorail
‘Curtains’ for monorail

June 22, 2012

Viewed by some as a public eyesore, and by many others as a ‘white elephant’ that serves no useful public transport purpose, Sydney’s inner city monorail will cease operation on June 30 next year.

Operating in downtown Sydney since 1988, ceasing monorail operations will clear the way to remove its elevated infrastructure to build a new convention centre at Darling Harbour, says NSW Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian.

Earlier this year the NSW Government announced it had bought Metro Transport Sydney (MTS), the company that owns Sydney’s light rail and the monorail.

The $19.8 million purchase will enable the efficient delivery of Sydney’s future light rail extensions, and will now mean the monorail infrastructure will be removed before the construction of the Darling Harbour revamp including a new convention centre.

"The monorail will cease operations on Sunday, June 30, 2013 and will be removed after that date," Berejiklian says.

"The monorail has never been truly embraced by the community and is reaching the end of its economic life," she adds.

The operation will continue in its current form until that date because of existing contractual arrangements with the operator.

"The NSW Government cannot justify costly upgrades like the purchase of new vehicles required to keep it running and the removal of the infrastructure will make way for the development of the Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct," says Berejiklian.

"The existing monorail infrastructure and rolling stock will soon be taken to market," she says.

Transport for NSW intends to issue an Expression of Interest (EOI) in coming months to gauge interest from other parties regarding possible future uses of the monorail infrastructure and rolling stock.

"The market will determine if the track and rolling stock will be demolished for scrap, or removed and re-used," Berejiklian says.

She says simplified contractual arrangements would make it easier for the NSW Government to expand the light rail network in the future.

"The NSW Government is committed to expanding light rail and recently announced the contract awarded for design and construction of the Inner West Light Rail Extension."

John Holland will be responsible for the detailed design and construction of the main infrastructure elements of the light rail extension which form part of the $176 million Inner West Light Rail extension.

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