Feedback is being sought for an $11 billion rail line that will reshape Western Sydney and connect travellers from the growing Western Sydney area with employment opportunities from both the new Western Sydney International Airport and Western Sydney Aerotropolis.
The Commonwealth and New South Wales Governments have released the environmental impact statement for the 23 kilometre Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport railway project.
Set to open at the same time as the first runway at Western Sydney International Airport in 2026, the new line will link the airport with the new Western Sydney Aerotropolis and St Marys station via driverless trains.
It will then provide access to the Sydney CBD and the Central River city of Paramatta by connecting with the existing suburban rail network at St Marys.
It includes six new stations at St Marys, Orchard Hills, Luddenham, Airport Business Park, Western Sydney International Airport and the Western Sydney Aerotropolis.
Construction will start before the end of the year and finish at around the same time that the airport opens in 2026.
More than 14,000 jobs will be created during construction.
Apart from connecting the new airport with the Sydney CBD, the project will connect both the airport and the new 11,200-hectare Western Sydney Aerotropolis precinct which is currently being planned with the growing population of Western Sydney.
This will help to unlock employment opportunities for Western Sydney residents in areas such as advanced manufacturing, aerospace and defence, high tech freight and logistics, medical research, education and agribusiness.
According to the NSW Department of Planning, the Western Sydney population (currently just over two million) is expected to exceed three million by 2036.
Once Stage 1 of the airport opens, meanwhile, ten million passengers are expected to pass through annually along with significant volumes of freight.
All up, the new metro line will move up to 7,740 people per hour in each direction.
Travel times between the airport and the Aerotropolis will be around five minutes whilst those between the airport and Aerotropolis to St Marys – where commuters will be able to interchange with the T1 Western Line and remainder of Sydney’s rail network – will be around fifteen minutes and twenty minutes respectively.
No timetable will be required.
Instead, trains will run every five minutes during peak times and customers will be able to simply turn up and go.
In a first for Australia, meanwhile, platform screen doors will run the full length of all metro platforms and will open at the same time as the train doors.
This will improve safety by preventing people or objects such as prams from falling onto tracks and will enable trains to proceed into and out of stations more quickly.
Another first for Australia will be video help points on platforms which will connect directly with train controllers.
Other features will include:
- Opal ticketing with fares which are the similar to those charged elsewhere on the Sydney network.
- Customer service assistants at every station and moving through the network during the day and night
- Continuous mobile phone coverage throughout the metro network
- Operational performance requirements that include 98 per cent on-time running and clean platforms and trains
- Multi-purpose areas for prams, luggage and bicycles
- Wheelchair spaces, separate priority seating and emergency intercoms inside trains
- Safety benefits including security cameras on trains and the ability for customers to see inside the train from one end to the other
- Level access between the platform and train for faster loading and unloading
- Heating and air-conditioning in all metro trains
- On-board real time travel information and live electronic route maps.
Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the project would set the foundation for Greater Western Sydney for generations to come.
“Construction will start before the end of the year and will inject billions into the NSW economy and support 14,000 jobs,” Tudge said.
New South Wales Member for Mulgoa Tanya Davies said the transport link will support population growth while providing fast and efficient accessibility between residential centres and employment hubs across Greater Sydney.
“Western Sydney is growing rapidly and is currently home to more than two million people, and is projected to grow to over three million by 2036,” Davies said.
“This project will help support that growth and encourage businesses to set up in this growing hub.”