More delays for Sydney light rail project after human remains found

Melissa Buttigieg
·News Reporter

Sydney’s troubled light rail construction project has been delayed yet again, with the latest interruption coming as workers stumbled across human remains.

Rail workers were digging out the front of Central Station on Monday afternoon when they discovered bones that have potentially been there for more than 200 years.

The $2.1 billion construction project immediately came to a halt as police were called in to investigate.

Sydney light rail construction workers find human remains.
Sydney’s troubled light rail construction project has been delayed yet again, with the latest interruption coming as workers stumbled across human remains. Source: 7 News

The discovery is not deemed to be suspicious, as the site once belonged to the Devonshire Street Cemetery, which was consecrated in 1820.

When Central Station was built in the early 1900s, the remains from that cemetery were supposedly moved.

However it is believed that some people who couldn’t afford to bury their loved ones in the cemetery simply dug their own plots just outside.

Now archaeologists will have to examine the site, which means more delays for the Sydney CBD light rail project.

Sydney light rail construction workers find human remains.
The $2.1 billion construction project immediately came to a halt as police were called in to investigate. Source: 7 News

When will Sydney’s CBD light rail be finished?

Representatives from Transport for NSW, consortium ALTRAC and construction sub-contractor Acciona would like passengers to be travelling to the eastern suburbs by December 2019.

The original official completion date was March 2019, when the contract was signed.

The Premier was telling voters as recently as early April that it was her intention to see works completed by 2019.

Sydney light rail construction workers find human remains.
Construction work on the Sydney CBD light rail project has been delayed yet again. Source: AAP, file

Later that month it emerged the government had been told the end date had been pushed back 12 months, then in September it changed again.

Before today’s grisly find, the latest inquiry estimated the rail project wouldn’t be complete until May 2020, but it is not known if Monday’s developments will change that.

Other grim discoveries found by chance

Monday’s grim discovery comes after human remains dumped in a bag were found south of Sydney last month.

The grisly discovery in the Royal National Park, was made by a taxi driver who pulled over for a bathroom break.

Meanwhile, construction workers renovating an old building in the US state of Georgia have discovered an estimated 1000 teeth tucked in one of its walls.