Stop the train noise! Noise wall and barrier at the Kings Cross Woolloomooloo train tunnel

Stop the train noise! Noise wall and barrier at the Kings Cross Woolloomooloo train tunnel

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Stephanie Glass started this petition to Sydney Trains Environment Division and

Dear Andrew Constance, NSW Minister for Transport and Roads; Sydney Trains, Transport for NSW, City of Sydney Local Government Area, NSW TrainLink and all other concerned citizens,

My child attends SDN Woolloomooloo, a lovely daycare centre that happens to sit directly adjacent to the tunnel entrance for the Kings Cross Station on the Eastern Suburbs train line. 

I am writing to you as a concerned working mother and a local resident of Woolloomooloo because I have very real concerns about both the extreme level of noise created by the passage of trains in and out of the train tunnel and also my growing concern for public safety posed by people throwing things down onto the train tracks from the easily accessible gaps in the bars that surround the tunnel entry. 

Before I expand on these concerns, first let me tell you a little bit about SDN Woolloomooloo. Did you know, SDN Woolloomooloo was founded in 1905, in fact it is the oldest continually operational daycare center in Sydney. The centre was established by a group of wealthy women who understood ‘the difficulties that beset the paths of working mothers’. They aimed to improve the welfare of children whose mothers were facing poverty and had to work to provide for their families. These trailblazing women saw Woolloomooloo as the very centre of working women. As a working mother myself, I am proud to send my child to a centre that provides a warm and inclusive environment to learn and develop. 

However, for many months now, I have grown increasingly concerned about the level of noise emanating all day long (and well into the night) from trains entering and exiting the train tunnel. I am quite confused that the rail line, which was installed in 1979 and runs little more than a metres distance from the centre, was somehow allowed to be installed with absolutely ZERO noise barriers. What is becoming even more of a concern however, is the fact that I am continually witnessing people throwing objects down onto the rail line from the openings in the small line of fencing that acts as the only barrier between the tunnel opening and a wide section of McElhone Street. 

The only conclusion I have been able to draw as to why no effort was ever made to insulate the sound and prevent the significant risk of people throwing things on the train line below is this: Perhaps Woolloomooloo isn't a wealthy enough suburb to warrant the concern and attention of those in positions of power?

The tunnel entrance lies in the middle of a vibrant fringe city neighborhood where people from all walks of life live. We have the Matthew Talbot Hostel for men run by the wonderful St Vincent de Paul Society. We are so proud of the brilliant new Women's Housing Company, at 74 Dowling Street (across the street from SDN Woolloomooloo) which provides social housing for older women. But of course, these groups don't typically garner the same special treatment nor can they advocate for themselves in the same way that those in wealthier suburbs seem to be able to.

This is why, as a working woman of Woolloomooloo - proud of my neighborhood and that wants to continue to send my child to SDN - I am going to ask on their behalf: Why are there no noise barriers at the train tunnel entry? Why is the only barrier, which is easily accessible from the footpath, so brazenly left open for people to throw objects at passing trains? Why is there so little concern for public safety?

I would ask that the following actions be taken:

- Can you please send an independent train noise specialist to test the noise level of the trains entering and exiting the tunnel?

- Can you please consider the many options that are available for sound mitigation (which could also provide protection against people throwing objects onto the train line) and advise which one(s) you would suggest for the Kings Cross train tunnel?

I thank you in advance for hearing my concerns, which I believe are shared by many others. I have started this petition to show you that the people of Woolloomooloo and those that advocate on their behalf welcome your action on this important matter. 

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss these concerns in greater detail.

I would also note that Alex Greenwich, our local Member for Sydney and his office have been championing our concerns. In a letter dated 7 September 2021, Alex wrote to the honourable Andrew Constance MP, Minister for Transport and Roads, to raise these concerns on our behalf and we would welcome any further dialogue on this matter.

Together, I am confident that we can find a solution to both the noise and public safety risks. 


Stephanie Glass



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