The first kilometre of track has been laid for the new Sydney Metro project, which will eventually include new tunnels beneath the Harbour Bridge. It will also come with new stations along with major renovations of existing stations and new trains.

The newly laid tracks are part of a 55-kilometre track that will connect Rouse Hill and Epping. Eventually, these tracks will connect commuters from Rouse Hill to Bankstown via new stations in Crow’s Nest, Victoria Cross (North Sydney), Barangaroo, Pitt Street and Waterloo.

Transport NSW has released a video showing what the Bankstown line upgrades will actually look like.

Currently there are 120 services an hour across the network, but the new network will carry up to 200 services an hour. The best part? We’re promised 98 per cent on-time reliability.

Its success relies on diverting the network around a bottleneck on the Bankstown line, where 15 lines merge onto six tracks. As a stand-alone network, Sydney Metro hopes to alleviate some of this pressure on the transport system.

Naturally, all of these benefits come with tradeoffs and almost certain disruption. In the CBD, 19 high rises and 17 buildings in North Sydney and Crow’s Nest will be demolished to make way for the new metro line. The existing line between Epping and Chatswood will be closed for seven months starting late next year and the existing Bankstown line will be undergoing constant upgrades for six months in late 2023.

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The new lines will launch in 2019 – right around the next time we go to the polls.