Downer clears the former heavy rail corridor in Newcastle


03 February 2017

Downer: Over the past six months, the Downer Corridor Works team has been working hard to clear the former heavy rail corridor, with around 8.8 kilometres of rail, 7,300 sleepers, four kilometres of overhead wiring, and 18,000 tonnes of ballast removed. Downer delivered the work on behalf of Transport for NSW.

Check out the construction team in action at

The heavy rail corridor is being cleared to make way for light rail and urban revitalisation initiatives. This work is being delivered as part of Revitalising Newcastle, a $510 million coordinated program of planning, urban renewal and transport initiatives designed to attract people back to the city centre and rekindle the vibrancy of Newcastle’s CBD.

Recycling the now redundant rail infrastructure was key to the success of the project. 400 tonnes of concrete and 120 tonnes of steel were removed from the corridor as part of this exercise and 100 percent of the copper was recycled at local facilities in Newcastle.

Specialist signalling equipment and over 7,500 tonnes of ballast will be reused elsewhere across the NSW rail network.

The redundant overhead pedestrian footbridges that once spanned the former heavy rail corridor near Market, Argyle and Perkins streets and the Queens Wharf Bridge were also removed as part of the project. The material from the pedestrian footbridges was recycled locally.

Pictured above are the before and after photos of Newcastle’s former heavy rail corridor and Newcastle Signal Box, near Market Street.

(Image below showing Queens Wharf Bridge removal). This span was successfully and safely removed over Scott Street.





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