It’s been a pretty intense four years for Simon Cooper from Sydney Metro and Sunail Hasnain from Sydney Trains. Over that time they’ve worked together and with thousands of colleagues, construction partners and stakeholders to manage the integration of Sydney Metro Northwest into the existing rail network. Along the way they’ve built lasting relationships and developed new ways of working to deliver great outcomes for customers and communities.

What was it like working together to prepare for Metro Northwest?

Sunail: There was a sense of ownership and a strong relationship between Sydney Trains and Sydney Metro, our stakeholders and our delivery partners. Everyone supported each other.

Simon: Right from the start we signed a charter which set out how we would work together, including responsibilities and how we would communicate across both teams. We also brought both teams to sit together so we could work closely as one project team day to day.

What were the biggest challenges?

Simon: It was just the sheer quantity of work required within a short timeframe and the complexity of managing work on parts of the railway while they were still in operation. Working from a ‘collaboration room’, Sydney Trains, Sydney Metro and our construction partners coordinated over a thousand people to successfully manage 20 track possessions over a four-year period, including the handover of the Epping to Chatswood line.

Sunail: Working with people from all different disciplines was more exciting than challenging. It comes down to having a shared vision and commitment to deliver a project on time and to a high standard for our customers.

What’s been the most rewarding part?

Simon: I’m so proud that we’ve given back one of the most precious things we could give to customers — time. Instead of sitting in traffic they now have a quicker, more integrated transport service which means more time with their loved ones.

Sunail: This is the most iconic, game-changing infrastructure development I’ve ever worked on. It’s a once in a generation opportunity to deliver extra services and better infrastructure to support future growth and demand across the city.

What does the future hold?

Simon: The relationships that I’ve built with Sunail and others through this project will last a lifetime and so will my satisfaction in knowing that the project was such a success. One of the things that draws me to this work is the opportunity to keep delivering and making a difference to the lives of our customers.

Sunail: The more we deliver together, the more we’ll simplify, innovate, optimise and modernise the rail network for all our customers across Sydney.

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