As puffed commuters scamper to their next train in Australia's largest railway station, those taking a glance at the floor will get an unusual type of direction.

"Simply breathe naturally." "Be aware of each mental note as it arises." "When everything moves around you, stay focused."

The athletics track piece with slogan-filled lanes by artist Rose Nolan is a key feature of the new north-south concourse opened in Sydney's Central Station on Monday, priming the century-old commuter hub for the arrival of metro trains in 2024.

More than 200,000 people use Central each day - almost double that of Melbourne's Flinders Street station's foot traffic.

"Visitors to this new part of Sydney will be as surprised and impressed as we are," Transport Minister Jo Haylen said.

"This is now a global, magnificent asset for our city - a grand central station fit for a global city like Sydney."

But the thoroughfare is still not the final product.

Hours after the finishing touches were applied, a new entrance at Chalmers Street was damaged on Thursday as firefighters battled a massive inferno at a derelict former hat factory neighbouring the station.

The extent of the damage is yet to be assessed due to an exclusion zone in place over concerns the factory's brick walls may fall.

"In the scheme of what we've built here and the overall investment in the new Metro upgrade and the new Central Station, that's something we'll just have to work through and deal with," Sydney Metro chief executive Peter Regan told reporters.

Ms Haylen and Mr Regan meanwhile dismissed concerns about Sydney building incompatible metro lines.

The new $11 billion metro line to Western Sydney Airport will use alternating current to power trains that are wider than their direct-current cousins on the $20 billion Metro City and Southwest line.

Trains on each line would also be built by different companies but that wasn't unusual, Ms Haylen said.

"Having different operators of those lines actually improves reliability and resilience in the system," she said.

Ms Haylen said people would also expect an airport train to be suited to that need, including having more space for luggage.

The airport line is due to be completed in time for the airport's opening in late 2026.

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