Power lines

If you own or occupy land near power lines you have legal obligations.

Sydney Trains operates and maintains RailCorp’s High Voltage Electricity Network in metropolitan Sydney and beyond to Newcastle, Kiama, and Lithgow (the ‘Network’).

This Network supplies electricity for the operation of trains, signalling systems and associated infrastructure, and is located both in and out of the rail corridor.

This Network includes high voltage power lines which may be above ground or buried underground (the ‘HV Power Lines’).

The operation and maintenance of the Network is governed by the Electricity Supply Act 1995 and the Transport Administration Act 1988. These laws are designed to:

  • Keep you safe around the Network by restricting the use of the space around HV Power Lines;
  • Protect the Network from damage and interference; and
  • Provide Sydney Trains with access to properties to undertake inspections and maintenance of HV Power Lines.

Easements for electrical purposes

Easements are legal rights to access and maintain electrical infrastructure as set out in the easement instrument. Your property may be subject to a registered easement.

If your property does not have a registered easement, the Electricity Supply Act 1995 grants electricity network operators’ the right to access, inspect and maintain electrical infrastructure and to take action to prevent or minimise electrical hazards.

How you may be impacted

The property that you own or occupy may be impacted by a HV Power Line which may be located either adjacent to, under, or over that property. The following matters need to be considered when planning activities on your property.

Power Line Zone

As a guide, a 10 metre Power Line Zone is maintained by Sydney Trains between HV Power Lines and any building or structure.

This may be increased to allow for the power line swinging and sagging due to wind and temperature conditions.

Power Line Zone


Before commencing any activities within the Power Line Zone, regardless of whether you have Council approval, please contact Sydney Trains (131 500) for information. The Guidelines on this web page detail restrictions that apply to various activities within the Power Line Zone.

As an electrical network operator, Sydney Trains has the right to remove (in certain circumstances, at the land owners’ expense) anything that may:

  • destroy, damage or interfere with its infrastructure; or
  • presents a potential cause of bushfire or risk to public safety (including vegetation encroachments),

Any work near HV Power Lines must be undertaken in accordance with the WorkCover Code of Practice.

Digging near power poles

Digging near power poles and other electrical infrastructure, such as transformers could present risks to your safety and surrounding property. By doing so you could make contact with underground cables or destabilise the power pole causing it to fall over.

If you intend to dig deeper than 30 centimetres or within 3 metres of a power pole you are required to obtain Sydney Trains’ written consent.

It is also prohibited to alter the ground level directly under HV Power Lines if it reduces the ground clearance.


When you propose to do any of these activities within the Power Line Zone, the following distances and actions must be followed:

Planting trees/shrubsMaximum growth height of 3 metres
Parking cars and trucksMaximum height of 4.6 metres with load
Parking caravans

Maximum height of 4.6 metres with load

Must not be occupied or connected to power

Installing clothes hoists and barbequesMaximum height of 2.5 metres with metal parts earthed
Storing of non-flammable materialsPermitted if materials can be moved at short notice
Grazing animals and farming activitiesTake care when ploughing or operating machinery
Constructing a metallic fenceFence must be non-continuous
Building or extending houses, verandahs, pergolas, sheds, tennis courts or any large structures

Call Sydney Trains on 131 500 for information before you proceed with these activities.

If you have already commenced work, please call us as soon as possible.

Call ‘Dial Before You Dig’ (1100) for advice before excavating

Building roads or fences
Subdividing land
Installing swimming pools or irrigation systems
Installing utilities such as electricity or phone lines
Excavating or filling to change the contours of the land
Operating machinery with a design envelope taller than 4.6 metres
Storing flammable materials
Flying kites or model aircraft

Burning off, lighting fires or using explosives

More information

The information on this web page may not apply to all property owners. It is not legal advice. No person should rely on the contents without seeking further advice.