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MacDonaldtown Stabling Yard Leaflet

As part of the NSW Government's Rail Clearways Program, the Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation (TIDC) is proposing to construct a train stabling facility for eight trains at Macdonaldtown. This brochure provides an overview of the Macdonaldtown Stabling Project, outlines the main environmental issues and mitigation measures proposed, and provides details of the exhibition of the Review of Environmental Factors (REF) prepared for the project.

Who is TIDC?

TIDC is a State Owned Corporation, established to develop major public transport infrastructure projects for the NSW Government. TIDC is responsible for the planning, design and construction of the Macdonaldtown Stabling Project.

Purpose and benefits of the project

Many empty trains on the CityRail network currently travel from the Sydney CBD to Campbelltown to stable between the morning and evening peak periods. This means there is a considerable amount of unnecessary traffic on the network, slowing down other services, and increasing air and noise pollution. By providing a stabling facility close to the CBD, the project is expected to provide significant benefits to the rail network including:

  • improved reliability - a reduction in network congestion will provide for improved on-time running
  • increased capacity - a reduction in empty trains on the network will allow for increased frequency of other train services, which reduces crowding on trains and provides more frequent services to public transport users.

Once constructed, the facility will operate on a permanent 24-hour basis by RailCorp.

What will the project involve?

The main components of the project are:

  • construction of an elevated earth embankment to match the grade of the existing turnback facility
  • construction of six new rail sidings and three new rail turnouts
  • provision of overhead wiring infrastructure to support the new turnouts and sidings
  • construction of an amenities building to accommodate staff
  • construction of access roads and parking facilities
  • construction of 6 metre noise walls on the southern and western edges of the new rail sidings, and a 3 metre noise wall adjacent to Leamington Lane
  • installation of stormwater drainage and sewer infrastructure
  • installation of power supply for the amenities building and stabling lighting
  • landscaping works.

Review of Environmental Factors

TIDC engaged Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) to prepare the REF for the project. The REF describes the project in detail, including indicative construction methods and details of operation. It also assesses potential construction and operational environmental impacts, and identifies appropriate mitigation and management strategies.

What are the impacts, and how will these be dealt with?


A noise and vibration study was undertaken by acoustic consultants Heggies Australia, to determine the likely noise impacts during the construction and operation of the facility.

While there will be some noise impacts during construction, noise control methods to minimise these impacts will be adopted throughout the duration of the construction works.

Operational noise for the project was assessed against applicable criteria. Operational noise mitigation measures include construction of noise walls, as shown on the diagram, along with other mitigation measures.

Visual Impact and Landscaping

A visual impact and urban design study was undertaken as part of the REF by Darryl Jackson Robin Dyke Architects. To minimise visual impact of the facility and the proposed noise walls on the local community, the following mitigation measures will be implemented:

  • the retention of much of the existing vegetative screen along Burren Street, additional landscape planting, and a 2.4 metre high palisade fence on the interface between the site and Burren Street
  • the amenities building will be single storey only and set back from Burren Street
  • the noise walls and amenities building will be well detailed, employing textured patterns and a non reflective deep colour, to minimise visual impact.


During construction, the highest number of heavy-vehicle movements will occur as fill material is imported to the site. However, it is expected that this phase of construction will be completed in approximately 12 weeks.

To reduce truck movements in local streets, a temporary construction access road off Erskineville Road will be constructed. This provides the shortest and most direct route to the site, passing the fewest residential properties and will be used for the majority of required truck movements. Due to access restrictions of the temporary road, some vehicles will need to access the site through the Burren Street gate, via Charles Street.

Parking will be provided on site for construction workers to avoid cars parking in local streets.

Operational traffic impacts are expected to be minor, given the low staff numbers and provision of on-site parking facilities for staff.

Construction Management

An indicative 12 month construction program has been prepared for the stabling facility. Construction will be managed in accordance with an environmental management plan to minimise impacts on the environment and local community.

The majority of work on the site will be from Mon-Fri (7am-6pm), and Sat (8am-1pm). Some works will be undertaken during scheduled "rail possessions" (shutdown of the local network) which typically occur over a weekend on a 24-hour basis. Any additional construction works undertaken outside of normal construction hours will be subject to a separate approval by TIDC.

Light Spill

A light spill assessment was undertaken by Webb Australia, to examine the potential impact of both train lighting and pole-mounted lights at the facility.

The main source of light spill will be generated by light fixtures located between the rail sidings. Their impact is expected to be significantly mitigated by the 6 metre noise walls around the stabling area perimeter, which will effectively contain all light within the facility. Lighting in the car parking areas will be low intensity, and will not impact significantly on residential receivers.

Train headlights are located 4 metres above track level. With a 6 metre noise wall, and allowing for some diffusion of headlight beam, the light spill impact is expected to be adequately mitigated. The provision of trees and other landscaping along the Burren Street frontage is expected to further minimise the impact of light spill from the site.

Safety and Security

Security measures incorporated into the design include automatic gates to control vehicles and pedestrians entering and departing the site, security fencing, alarm systems, closed circuit television cameras, emergency communications, appropriate lighting, and car park security.

What happens next?

The REF is on exhibition for 30 days at the display locations listed in this newsletter. Members of the community are encouraged to make written submissions on the project during this period. The submissions received will be considered as part of a submissions report.

The concept designs presented in this brochure are subject to detailed design, which may result in changes to aspects, including the detailed dimensions and the layout and location of some elements.

This brochure serves as an overview only and does not form part of the REF Readers should refer to the REF for comprehensive information about the proposed development at Macdonaldtown and the likely environmental impacts of this development.

Display locations

The REF is on public display from Wednesday 2 November 2005 to Friday 2 December 2005 at the following locations:

  • Newtown Library, 8-10 Brown Street, Newtown (Mon &Wed 10am-7pm, Tues, Thurs & Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 9am-4pm, Sun 12noon-4pm)
  • City of Sydney, One Stop Shop, Town Hall House, 456 Kent Street, Sydney (Mon-Fri 8am-6pm)
  • Neighbourhood Service Centre Redfern, Tower 2, 1 Lawson Square, Redfern (Mon-Fri 8am-5.30pm, Sat 9am-12noon)
  • Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation, Level 7, Tower A (the Zenith Centre), 821 Pacific Highway, Chatswood (Mon-Fri 8.30am-5.30pm)
  • Department of Planning, 22-33 Bridge Street, Sydney (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)
  • Nature Conservation Council of NSW, Level 5, 362 Kent Street, Sydney (Mon-Fri 9.30am-5pm)

Community information sessions

Project staff will be able to discuss the project and the REF in more detail at Newtown Library, 8-10 Brown Street, Newtown, on:

  • 12 November 10am to l pm
  • 24 November 4pm to 7pm

Have your say

The public is invited to comment on the proposed Macdonaldtown Stabling Project from 2 November 2005 to 2 December 2005. Comments can be submitted by emailing mail@tidc.nsw.gov.au, or by writing to:

Director Planning and Environment
Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation
Locked Bag 6501,
St Leonards NSW 2065

For further information on the Macdonaldtown Stabling Project call the TIDC Project Infoline: 1800 684 490 or visit the website:  www.tidc.nsw.gov.au  [see http://www.tidc.nsw.gov.au/ArticlePage.aspx?PageID=210 - REDWatch]

[The Review of Environmental Factors Report (2.5 MB PDF) can be downloaded from http://www.tidc.nsw.gov.au/Documents/321_Macsum.pdf - REDWatch]