Monorail Removal Project

Project Profile

In March 2012, the NSW Government purchased Metro Transport Sydney, the company that owned Sydney’s Monorail and Light Rail and announced the Monorail would be removed to make way for the development of the new Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct in Darling Harbour. Operating since 1988, the monorail had reached the end of its economic life and stopped operating on 30 June 2013.

Transport for NSW is managing the decommissioning and removal of the monorail infrastructure.  After a competitive tender process, an experienced Sydney-based company Metropolitan Demolitions Pty Ltd was awarded the contract for removing and recycling the infrastructure.

The project involves ongoing consultation with technical experts, community members, key stakeholders, Roads and Maritime Services, the City of Sydney, the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, emergency services and other government agencies.

Removing the Monorail

During July and early August 2013 the monorail was decommissioned. This involved closing all the stations, terminating the ticketing, power and other services, and removing the monorail carriages from the track at the maintenance facility on Darling Drive.

During August-September, the maintenance facility on Darling Drive was stripped out and in October, removal of Galeries and Convention stations was completed. On November 3, the last section of steel track was removed from above the Western Distributor.

The concrete pedestals have been removed from the CBD and structural features on Pyrmont Bridge are being re-instated. Detailed information is available on the Current works page.

The detailed removal work program and traffic management program has minimised impacts like noise and traffic disruption on businesses, residents and other key stakeholders along the route.

Scope of Works

Starting 12 August 2013, the infrastructure has been dismantled and removed, including:

  • 3.6km of steel track
  • Convention and Galeries Victoria stations. (The Paddy’s Market station will be removed in 2014 when the Sydney Entertainment Centre is demolished: the remaining stations are privately owned.)
  • the steel columns that support the track and station structures
  • the concrete bases of the columns
  • redundant electrical and other servicing infrastructure such as wiring and substations
  • ticketing, signage and other equipment associated with the stations and monorail network
  • the Convention/Allen Street pedestrian footbridge across Darling Drive to make way for the new exhibition, convention and entertainment facilities.

There was no interest in acquiring the monorail as an operating transport system. Some parties have acquired components such as carriages.

All unwanted materials are being taken to appropriate facilities for re-use, recycling and/or disposal.

Project Timeline

Date   Key Activity
4 Sep  Invite Registrations of Interest (ROI) for monorail removal and purchase
September  Appoint consultants for Engineering services, Planning services, Demolition  methodology and Traffic management
September  Begin environmental assessment
12 Oct  ROI for monorail removal closes
29 Nov - 21 Dec  Display of Review of Environmental Factors for public consultation
10 Dec - 11 Dec  Community Information Sessions
Mid December  Issue tenders for monorail removal
February  Close tenders for monorail removal
February  Complete environmental assessment process
Early May  Award tender for removal
30 Jun  Cease monorail operations
July - Early August  Decommission monorail
12 Aug - March 2014 Complete removal and demolition activities 

Media Releases

Last section of monorail track removed
Western Distributor to close for final Monorail track removal (pdf 41KB)
Inner West Light Rail major works to be carried out (pdf 45KB)
Sydney Monorail removal to commence Monday night (9 August 2013)
Monorail removed from Sydney's skyline (17 July 2013)
Monorail's days are numbered (13 May 2013)
Time to make your bid for Sydney Monorail (2 September 2012)
Monorail to cease operations June 2013 (22 June 2012) 
Government buys light rail company: Monorail to be pulled down (23 March 2012)


NSW Transport Info for alternative transport options. 
Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct (SICEEP) website 
Darling Harbour website 

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Slideshow Images (Links below display larger version of images:)
Map of the 3.6km Monorail route
Monorail operating above Liverpool Street, Sydney
Paddy's Markets Monorail Station
Monorail travels over Pyrmont Bridge
Monorail pulls out of Paddy's Markets Station
Before shot - Pyrmont Bridge with Monorail
After shot - Pyrmont Bridge without Monorail
Before shot - Corner of York and Market Street with Monorail
After shot - Corner of York and Market Street without Monorail
Before shot - Pymont Bridge with Monorail
After shot - Pymont Bridge without Monorail
Monorail carriage at the workshop
Removal of monorail along Darling Drive, August 2013
Final section of monorail track lowered onto Pyrmont Bridge