New South Wales plans big metro train expansion

23 October 2017 - 12:00 am UTC

New South Wales is planning numerous additions to its new metro train lines and new light rail lines across Sydney and in regional areas in a draft 40-year transport plan.

The first draft of the Future Transport 2056 also proposes heavy rail upgrades, such as a new western Sydney freight line and a Western Sydney Intermodal terminal.

Priorities to be discussed with the federal government include a rapid “turn up and go” train link from the new Western Sydney Airport (WSA) – due to be operating in 2026 – to Parramatta, which would join up with a planned Sydney Metro West line being planned now.

Another priority in the next decade is a north-south train link from St Mary’s in the west of Sydney, running south via the new airport and ending in Campbelltown in the south. There would also be a later link to the Sydney Metro North West, which is due to be running in 2019. At the moment, this terminates at Rouse Hill in the north west, about 20km from St Mary’s.

The central idea of the strategy is that people should be able to get to a job anywhere in the city within 30 minutes.

To help achieve this, it breaks Sydney up into three separate “cities”, including the existing CBD, one centred on Parramatta, roughly in the geographic centre of Sydney, and another further west around the “aerotropolis” of Western Sydney Airport.

The metro line from Western Sydney Airport to Parramatta would mean each of the three centres is connected by frequent metro train services.

Another option to connect the new airport to the city centre is slightly extending one of the existing double-deck suburban rail line from Leppington, in the city’s southwest. 

The report also flags more “intermediate networks” to get people to the three city centres, including new tram and fast bus services.

By 2026 it envisages “rapid bus connections” between WSA, and centres in the west of Sydney, including to Liverpool, Penrith, Blacktown and Campbelltown.

Around 2036, Transport Minister, Andrew Constance, said in a statement the plan suggests more “mass transit” links between destinations outside the CBD, including a new train line from Parramatta to Kogarah in the south of the city.

A train line to the south east beachside suburb of Maroubra is also planned for 20 years’ time, as well as an extension to the CBD & South East Light Rail line that is being built now to Maroubra Junction as well as another train line from Parramatta to the northern suburb of Epping.

By 2056, transport maps in the plan have rail lines almost circling greater Sydney, except for a gap in the south between Hurstville, Sutherland in the south east and Campbelltown in the south west.

Parramatta would be a central point for several new rail lines running north to south. At the moment, much of the rail lines in Sydney run east to west, favouring taking people from the suburbs to the present city centre for work.

Within 40 years, it suggests further train lines duplicating existing ones to Miranda in the south of the city and an extension of the metro line to Liverpool in the west of the city from Bankstown, where the Sydney Metro City and Southwest is due to be running by 2024.

There are also numerous projects suggested outside Sydney, including extending light rail from the Gold Coast to Tweed Heads in the far north of NSW and from Canberra, where the local government is putting in trams now, to the NSW town of Queanbeyan, beside the Australian Capital Territory border. 

Submssions on the plan can be made here