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LEPPINGTON commuters can soon travel directly to Parramatta and Blacktown as rail services expand later this year.
T5 Cumberland Line services will start at Leppington train station, creating a north-south link from Leppington to Parramatta and Blacktown.
South West Rail Link train services will more than double when the changes are made, increasing from four peak hour services to 10 in total.
Transport minister Andrew Constance, Camden MP Chris Patterson, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Holsworthy MP Melanie Gibbons and Sydney Trains CEO Howard Collins.NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the new services after catching the train from Glenfield to Leppington with state transport minister Andrew Constance, Camden state Liberal MP Chris Patterson, and Holsworthy state Liberal MP Melanie Gibbons.
“This government appreciates that southwest Sydney is growing very fast,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“We’re increasing the services to meet the needs of this growing community, and making sure this station is fully integrated into the greater network across Sydney.”
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the South West Rail Link would receive increased train services under the More Trains More Services program.Sydney Trains will also add an extra 20 express trains per week in peak hour for Campbelltown and Macarthur customers to the Sydney CBD.
Train services will now arrive every six minutes on average, amounting to 10 express trains an hour during the busiest periods.
The T5 Cumberland Line will also get late night and weekend services for the first time, creating new transport options for local residents outside of the working week.
These increased services will be funded by the $1.5 billion More Trains More Services program, designed to provide an “urgent uplift in customer service” on the Sydney Trains network.
State transport minister Andrew Constance said rail patronage was expected to rise by 21 per cent across the network over the next five years.
“An extra 100 people a week are moving into this region,” Mr Constance said.
“We need to adjust the existing network by untangling it and making it more reliable for commuters in this area.”
State transport minister Andrew Constance.However, Mr Constance said there was more to do before a decision could be made about train access for the future Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek.
“We will have to see what Canberra has to say about investing in rail around the airport,” Mr Constance said.
“We have some homework to do about the best rail option for Badgerys Creek.”
Sydney Trains CEO Howard Collins.Sydney Trains CEO Howard Collins said Opal card data had provided a rich picture of how southwest Sydney residents were using the train network.
“The Opal data shows where people get on and off the train,” Mr Collins said.
“Parramatta is a big destination that people want to get to, but they still want to get into the city as well.”
Mr Collins acknowledged the Leppington station carparks were almost full because of increasing commuter demand, and Mr Constance said the Government was aware of the issue.
“We have the $890m Train Access Program to build and cater for the growth in this region,” Mr Constance said.
“However, we have to assess the needs across the network before we can look at expansion.”
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Holsworthy state Liberal MP Melanie Gibbons with Ms Gibbons’ daughter, Audrey Johns.
This article first appeared on www.dailytelegraph.com.au
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