Eastern Suburbs Railway - Sydney


The Eastern Suburbs Railway is part of the Sydney Metropolitan rail network which provides a service from Central then through the city heading east to Bondi Junction

The alignment and profile for the Eastern Suburbs Railway was set in 1926 and construction on the railway was started by the NSW Department of Railways. In 1952, the project was abandoned until the mid 60s when it was started again. In 1967 the NSW Department of Railways engaged the Snowy Mountains Authority (SMA) to prepare and develop documents for the city tunnels and stations, Kings Cross tunnel and stations, and Rushcutters Bay viaduct and various other associated works.

The City and Suburban Electric Railways (Amendment) Act, Act No. 13 of 1947, made provision for the construction of further electric railways in the City of Sydney, serving the eastern, southern and south eastern suburbs. This Act amended an earlier scheme proposed by J.J.C. Bradfield in 1916, which had provided for an Eastern Suburbs Railway (via St James Station), and a South Eastern Railway. The City and Suburban Electric Railways (Amendment) Act of 1947 made provision for the construction of 44 miles of new suburban electric railways.

The Eastern Suburbs Railway is a key component of Sydney's transport network linking Central Station with the city centre and the suburb of Bondi Junction, a distance of 7.5 kilometres.

The railway was first proposed in the 1920s and construction actually commenced, but the Great Depression and the Second War caused its abandonment until the 1960s. In 1967 the New South Wales Government awarded the contract for the civil and structural design of the entire line to the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority (SMA), the Commonwealth Government agency responsible for the design and construction of the Snowy Mountains Scheme in south-eastern Australia. The contract involved approximately 10 kilometres of single track tunnel structures and crossovers, four underground stations and one surface station, two 772metre concrete viaducts and a further 800 metres of surface works, including a prestressed concrete overbridge. Originally the line was planned to extend south through Randwick and the NSW University but this did not eventuate. The proposed stations were to be known as: Charing Cross, Frenchmans Road, Randwick, University and Kingsford.

With the establishment of SMEC in 1970 from the SMA, the contracts were transferred.The work cost $800 million and was completed in 1973. The Eastern Suburbs Railway continues to serve the people of Sydney today. In 1999 a private proposal to extend the railway to Bondi Beach at a cost of $197 million received backing from the Federal Government but the scheme did not go ahead. The project proposed to extend the Eastern Suburbs Railway from its current terminus at Bondi Junction to a new underground station at Bondi Beach. The Bondi Beach Railway Company, owned by Lend Lease Infrastructure and the Macquarie Bank, proposed to build and maintain the railway and to operate it for a 30-year term.The physical works involved the extension eastwards of the existing tunnels at Bondi Junction with the construction on a new 2.6km tunnel to the proposed Bondi Beach station site under South Bondi Park.