The blitz was prompted by a major review into the system, which found a huge maintenance backlog led to equipment failures causing major shutdowns.
Transport Minister Jo Haylen said it was the “biggest coordinated program of rail maintenance” ever undertaken in Sydney.
“We have to fix our rail network and it’s going to take a massive effort,” Haylen said.
“People have lost faith in the system. They’ve been burnt too many times. We simply must take this on and get it done. Continuing system failures and meltdowns are not an option.”
The network has been plagued with a series of failures over the past several years, including three in March this year alone.
The Sydney Rail Repair Plan will see work completed around the clock for the next year, from midnight Friday to midnight Sunday.
“I want to be totally honest with everyone, for the next year or so we are going to massively disrupt the network on weekends while our crews get in and fix it,” Haylen said.
“We have no choice. It’s the only way to get it fixed and have reliable trains again. If you use trains on weekends, I’m sorry but you’re going to find yourself on buses – a lot.
“We will keep people constantly updated, every week, with reports on how this immense repair project is progressing.”