Now that the NWRL Rapid Transit is set in concrete with the announcement of the final contract for the project, here is my wish list for the future development of Sydney's rail network over the next 15 to 20 years.
- The future extension of the NWRL Rapid Transit across the harbor should connect with the previously proposed West Metro to Parramatta/Westmead (or even
Blacktown) via Barangaroo, rather than confiscating the existing Bankstown Line.
- Future extensions to the Rapid Transit network could be a Northern Beaches Line in the North and a Southern Line to Miranda and Cronulla via Newtown and
Sylvania, or possibly a line from Five Dock following the alignment of Great North Road across the Parramatta River (only one harbour crossing) to Gladesville,
Top Ryde, Eastwood and Epping, interchanging with the NWRL.
- Completion of quadruplication of the Northern Line between Rhodes and West Ryde as the next stage of the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor Program,
providing full quad from Strathfield to Epping, with greater flexibility for Suburban, Intercity and freight services.
- Reinstatement of the Western Express proposal from Eveleigh to Barangaroo (piggybacking the West Metro) to increase capacity on the Western and Northern
- Realigning the flyover junction from Seven Hills to Blacktown to connect the Richmond Line directly with the Western Main Line tracks instead of the current
Suburban Relief tracks so that all Richmond Line services travelled to Barangaroo, without any conflicting crossover being required.
- Upgrading the signalling on the Western Main between Strathfield and Barangaroo to permit at least 24 tph (preferably 26 tph). The Western Main would then
be used exclusively by Intercity from Newcastle/Central Coast and Blue Mountains (to Sydney Terminal) and Western and Northern Line Express services to
- Completion of quadruplication from St Marys to Penrith on the Western Line.
- Extension of duplication on the Richmond line to at least Vineyard.
- Restoration of services to Liverpool (extending to Glenfield or Campbelltown ) via Regents Park.
- All services to Liverpool and beyond via both Regents Park and Granville be transferred to the Suburban tracks between Central and Homebush following
transfer of some Western and Northern Line services to the Main Line tracks. This would allow for a consistent all stations stopping pattern with increased
frequency on the Inner West Local from Homebush to Central (say 12 tph or better).
- Cessation of services to Liverpool via Bankstown and instead redirect all Bankstown line services to Lidcombe. Also possible construction of passing loops to
allow limited stop express services to overtake all stations services.
- Reinstatement of completion of sextuplication between Sydenham and Erskineville to separate the Bankstown Line from the Illawarra Main and Local tracks
and connecting directly with City Circle Inner (and City Circle Outer via the flying junctions at Central).
- llawarra Local tracks from Erskineville be realigned to connect with the Illawarra Dive to Sydney Terminal and the unused Redfern platforms 9 & 10 and
underground Central platforms 26 & 27.
- Future extension of above along the MetroPitt corridor to a terminal station at Circular Quay.
- The Illawarra Main to become an all stations service from Hurstville to Bondi Junction (renamed the Illawarra Local). All express Intercity, Cronulla and
Waterfall services to run via the Illawarra Local (renamed Illawarra Main) from Hurstville as far as Wolli Creek, switching to the renamed Local (except for
Intercity), continuing to Bondi Junction.
- Construction of grade separated junction between Illawarra Main and Illawarra Local at Wolli Creek.
- Extension of Eastern Suburbs Line to Maroubra Junction, as recommended by Infrastructure NSW, to increase its catchment area. An extension of the Light
Rail along the old tram reservation from Kingsford to Maroubra Junction and possibly to Malabar/La Perouse would also be worthy of consideration.
- Extension of quadruplication of the East Hills Line from Revesby to Glenfield in anticipation of the establishment of Badgerys Creek Airport and the extension
of the South West Rail Link to service it. This would allow for express services from Badgerys Creek to both Sydney Airport and the city via Sydenham.
Other longer term proposals that I would recommend would be to complete electrification of the South Coast Line to Nowra as well extending it to Moss Vale and possibly Maitland to allow for direct services to Sydney, without the need for an alternative diesel rail car service.
I may have missed some things, but I would welcome any feedback on what I have proposed or any alternative suggestions.