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Sections of two rail lines in Sydney's south west will be shut over the Christmas holidays to allow for construction of a metro rail line, forcing up to 100,000 commuters a day to catch replacement buses.
Transport authorities plan to put on more than 200 buses a day to ferry about 100,000 people during the first four days of the closure of the Bankstown line between Campsie and Sydenham, and the Illawarra line from Hurstville to Central Station, from December 24 to 28.
Up to 90 buses a day will then operate for the rest of the closure of the Bankstown line until January 5, transporting as many as 28,000 passengers each day.
Commuters will be forced to catch buses during closures of the Bankstown line.CREDITETER RAE
The project for the second stage of the multibillion-dollar metro rail line involves converting a 13.5-kilometre stretch of the Bankstown line.
While yet to be finalised, the closure of the Bankstown line is expected to be repeated each Christmas for the next five years. Other work to convert the line is likely to take place during weekends when Sydney Trains carry out maintenance.
Transport for NSW coordinator general Marg Prendergast said replacement buses would be running multiple routes to lessen the disruption. "We are really going to break up routes because we don't want to overload sites like Campsie station," she said.
Ms Prendergast said patronage declined over the Christmas holidays by about 35 per cent, which was why authorities wanted to take advantage of the period to begin works.
The work on the metro line at Sydenham station will also impact the Illawarra line for four days over Christmas.CREDIT:KATE GERAGHTY
"It’s important that we balance the need to convert the T3 Bankstown Line as quickly as possible, with getting people where they need to go," she said. "We are trying to minimise the impact. We do envisage that the heavy rail infrastructure works will be done in Christmas periods."
This article first appeared on www.smh.com.au
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