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South West Rail Link
New South Wales Metropolitan Rail Area with South West Rail Link highlighted in pink
New South Wales Metropolitan Rail Area with South West Rail Link shuttle highlighted in pink
Overview
Termini Glenfield
Leppington
Stations 3
Services T2 Airport, Inner West & South
Operation
Opened 8 February 2015 (2015-02-08)
Owner RailCorp
Operator(s) Sydney Trains
Rolling stock S, K, C, M & A sets
Technical
Line length 11.4 km (7.1 mi)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The South West Rail Link is a railway line serving the developing suburbs of south-western Sydney, Australia. Services form part of the Sydney Trains commuter rail network. It opened on 8 February 2015.

Description

The line consists of a 11.4 km (7.1 mi) double-track railway, with stations in the suburbs of Leppington and Edmondson Park. The line is the major piece of public transport infrastructure for the Sydney metropolitan area's "South West Growth Centre". It connects with the rest of the Sydney rail network at Glenfield, where services can continue north on the Main South line or east on the East Hills line. Leppington station's four platforms can support frequent terminating services, even after any extension of the line. A train stabling facility to the west of the station further enhances this capability. Development of the project was managed by Transport for New South Wales and its predecessor, the Transport Construction Authority.

History

Conception

The South West Rail Link was originally part of the Metropolitan Rail Expansion Program (MREP) proposed by the Carr Government in 2005, along with the North West Rail Link and the CBD rail link. The three projects were to be integrated into a single operational sector, with trains from the south west running to the north west via the CBD Link. The other two components of the MREP were cancelled in 2008, but the South West Rail Link remained on the government's agenda. Plans for the North West Rail Link were resurrected in 2010, though it will now form part of a new metro network.

In March 2008, the Iemma Government indicated that construction would begin in 2009, with completion scheduled for 2012. By October of that year the government had decided that delivery of the project would be divided into two stages. Stage one would comprise preliminary work around Glenfield station, and stage two would comprise construction of the new line itself, stage two was deferred due to budget cuts. On 14 November 2009, Premier Nathan Rees announced that construction of stage two of the South West Rail Link would begin in mid-2010, with completion scheduled for 2016.

Construction

Stage one

Glenfield Railway Station Concourse Exterior
Glenfield station new concourse building in December 2012
Glenfield railway station carpark from south
Glenfield station new multi-storey commuter car park in November 2011

Planning approval for stage one of the project was received in April 2009. This stage involves preliminary work to support the new line. It is centred on Glenfield station and includes:

  • A ground-level car park at Seddon Park on the eastern side of the station. Construction commenced in May 2009 and was completed in October 2009.
  • A multi-storey car park on the western side of the station. Construction commenced in November 2009 and was completed in September 2010.
  • The northern rail flyover. This replaced a flat junction between the Main South line and the East Hills line with a grade-separated junction. Construction commenced in June 2010 and was completed in June 2014.
  • An upgrade of Glenfield station including a new overhead concourse to replace a footbridge, construction of a fourth platform and a bus interchange. As part of this work, the existing platform 1 changed from a side turnback to a through platform. Construction commenced in late 2010 and was completed in mid 2014.

Stage two

Edmonson Park Railway Station Construction 1
Edmondson Park station construction site in June 2012
Leppington1
Leppington station entrance in February 2015

Stage two included extending the railway line westward towards Leppington. This involved:

  • A rail flyover on the south side of Glenfield station to take the new line over the Main South line and the Southern Sydney Freight Line.
  • 11.4 kilometres of double track from Glenfield to Leppington.
  • Stations and car parks at Edmondson Park and Leppington.
  • A new train stabling facility to the west of Leppington with a capacity for 20 8-car trains.

Stage two received planning approval on 18 November 2010. On 7 December 2010, Premier Kristina Keneally announced that a contract for design and construction of stage two had been awarded to the John Holland Group.

On 13 September 2014, the NSW Government announced that construction was complete, saying the line had come in $300 million under budget and a year ahead of schedule. The line opened 8 February 2015.

Associated projects

Two associated projects affect the new line.

The East Hills line's Kingsgrove to Revesby quadruplication Rail Clearways project opened in April 2013. It improved the capacity of the East Hills line by allowing the separation of express services to Leppington or Macarthur from all-stops services to Revesby.

The Auburn stabling project provided additional capacity to stable trains.

Operation

On 6 November 2014, the NSW Government announced that train testing had commenced on the line. Passenger services began on 8 February 2015, initially as a four carriage shuttle running every 30 minutes between Leppington and Liverpool. The shuttle stopped at all stations except Casula and was also branded as the South West Rail Link. From 13 December 2015, trains operate as part of the Airport, Inner West & South Line. Some services operate to the city via Granville while others continue to terminate at Liverpool. Cumberland Line services to Schofields are to be introduced in 2017.

Extension proposals

It has been proposed that the line be extended from Leppington to the Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek. However, as at 16 April 2014 the Federal Government has said it had no plans to build a train line. It did indicate a provision for the train line would be included in the development, this may include preparing the tunnels under the runway as part of the runway construction and preparing the underground space for a station.

In June 2015, the New South Wales government announced details for a plan to preserve corridors for extensions of the line. The government indicated it intends to preserve the corridors for the extensions but not to build them in the near future.

From Leppington, the line would extend to Rossmore, with a northern branch to Bringelly and a southern branch to Narellan. Proposed stations would be located at Rossmore, Bringelly, Maryland, Oran Park and Narellan. Preliminary investigations for an extension of the southern corridor from Narellan to the Main South railway line have also commenced. In March 2017, a consortium of SNC-Lavalin, Aquenta, Architectus, Norman Disney & Young, SMEC Holdings and Stacey Agnew were appointed to conduct a design feasibility study for submission to the Federal Government.

Further corridor preservation, between Bringelly and St Marys, is being investigated together with planning for the Outer Sydney Orbital, a corridor for a north-south motorway and freight railway.


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