Thursday, January 27, 2011

Newtown Station 2011 Update

It's been a while since my last update on the Newtown Station renovations but over Christmas some more details were released accompanying the Development Application to Sydney Council. Before going into some more detail on what the final outcome will look like, some 'milestones' news.

Artists Impression

According to the Project Manager, Phase1 (archaeological and some demolition works) is complete. Phase 2 (ground work and piling associated with the construction of the new concourse and walkway) is nearing completion, and Phase 3 (main construction works) will be starting soon. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2012.

The end of 2012 seems a long way away - apparently the main reason it will take so long is the need to keep the station running while doing the works, and the need for 'track possessions' - when the trains don't run - which are apparently limited to 4/year (although I could swear they are more frequent).

Apart form the artist's impression above, probably the best idea of the overall layout of the new station comes from the upgrade plan below. The new concourse is quite a long way down the platform, pretty much on top of the existing 1927 platform building, which is to be demolished. There will also be a new entry from Thomas Street, behind the Newtown Central shopping centre.

One thing I couldn't find, despite looking everywhere, was an impression of what the revised walkway roof would look like. The original design, or at least the artists impression of it, caused quite a bit of controversy when the original plans were announced, so I was curious to see what the announced more discrete canopy would look like. The closest I could find was in the sketch below, showing the view from the side of the station - I can only assume no impressions were generated to avoid controversy ! Let me know if you manage to find an impression anywhere.

Walkway canopy
In order to provide cover to the access walkway, a canopy is to be constructed
between King Street and the new concourse.  A 4 metre wide walkway canopy commences at King Street adjacent the existing booking office building and continues along the northern side of the walkway to the concourse building where it continues down to the new station concourse building, where it would terminate beneath the canopy of the concourse. Drawings of the design and the proposed form of the walkway are located in Appendix C
I did find the above about the canopy in the 'REF' - Review of Environmental Factors - but none of the diagrams in Appendix C sated my curiosity !

Concourse Level Side View

The DA also has a large set of detailed plans. Those interested in history should check out Appendix D1 - the Heritage Report. The remaining Appendix D volumes are mostly more modern photos, with the exception of Appendix D7 which contains an ammendment to the original HIS, updated after the original plans were modified, which is where I learnt that the stairs (1892 originals) will be retained as an emergency exit from the platform.

Building the platform in 1927
Appendix E - the archaeological report - contains even more history, unfortunately broken into 7 chunks, I guess to facilitate easy downloading for those still on Tony Abbott approved dial-up.

So it's a long wait, but I think the finished product will be worth it. Next step - find out what's happening to those Tram Sheds !