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Sydney Metro City & Southwest facts for kids

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Sydney Metro City & Southwest
TfNSW M.svg
Map of Sydney Metro.svg
The City and Southwest project (dotted) extends the Metro North West Line (shaded)
Status Under construction
Owner Transport for NSW
Locale Sydney, Australia
Stations 18 (7 new stations, 11 stations converted)
Type Rapid transit
System Sydney Metro
Rolling stock Alstom Metropolis TS set
Opened 2024 (projected)
Announced 2013
Start of major construction 2017
Planned opening 2024
Line length 30 km (19 mi)
Number of tracks 2
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification 1,500 V DC from overhead catenary
Signalling Alstom Urbalis 400 moving block CBTC ATC under ATO GoA 4 (UTO), with subsystems of ATP, Iconis ATS and Smartlock CBI

Sydney Metro City & Southwest is a 30 km (19 mi) rapid transit project currently under-construction in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The project will extend the Metro North West Line from Chatswood on the North Shore, to Bankstown in the city's south-west via the Sydney central business district. The centrepiece of the project is a new 15.5 km (9.6 mi) twin-tunnel rail crossing under Sydney Harbour and through the city to Sydenham. Together with planned improvements to the Main Western line, the project is expected to increase capacity on the Sydney rail network by up to 60%, and allow for the movement of over 100,000 extra commuters across the network every hour.

The project began construction in 2017 and is planned to open by 2024. Tunnelling was completed in March 2020. It is estimated that it will eventually cost up to $16.8 billion due to budget blowouts and station redesigns.

Metropolitan Rail Expansion Program

The Redfern to Chatswood Rail Link (RCRL) was a component of the now-cancelled Metropolitan Rail Expansion Programme (MREP) in Sydney, Australia. First announced in 2005, the line was to have started at Redfern Station, travelled under the city centre, crossed under Sydney Harbour, passed through the lower North Shore and ended at the existing Chatswood railway station. It was to have provided the centre section of a planned North West-CBD-South West rail arc connecting major areas of employment with the CBD and airport.

Alternative names for the planned route have included the "Redfern to Chatswood Harbour Rail Link", "MetroPitt" and the "CBD Rail Link". In March 2008 the State Government announced that the line would be cancelled, its role to be partly superseded by future metro rail lines. In 2010 the CBD Relief Line & Western Express concept was announced. This is largely a return to the CBD Rail Link proposal, but uses a different alignment and links to different lines.


The proposal was announced by Premier Bob Carr on 15 June 2005 (shortly before his resignation), and formed part of the $8 billion Metropolitan Rail Expansion Project (MREP). The MREP consisted of the New South Wales government's $8 billion North West - CBD - South West line, including the North West Rail Link (to extend from Cheltenham to Rouse Hill), and the spur to Leppington in Sydney's South West. The six kilometre RCRL was slated to cost $5 billion, and was to include duplicated tracks on the North Shore line between St Leonards and Chatswood. It was to provide a second railway line transversing Sydney Harbour to ease congestion at Town Hall and Wynyard stations, both considerably crowded and unable to be easily expanded, and to reduce travel times between the city and the lower North Shore.

The government's previous plan of constructing an additional CBD underground line was known as MetroWest. It was to have run from Haymarket in the city's Chinatown precinct near Darling Harbour, along the western edge of the city under Sussex or Kent Street and either ended at Wynyard station or continued over the harbour 'strapped' to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This option would not have served the part of the city experiencing the fastest growth of employment, and would have necessitated the destruction of eight office buildings. A previous MetroPitt proposal, travelling further east (and under its namesake Pitt Street) and through the financial district, could also be built deeper underground, limiting the impact on existing infrastructure.

In 2006, both of these corridors were protected with planning buffers to allow the option of future construction. Developers who want to excavate deeper than two metres within a 25-metre buffer zone of the corridors need to seek RailCorp's approval.

Proposed stations

In the plan the stations along the RCRL would have included:

  • Redfern - connecting to the metro lines to Hurstville, Bankstown and Liverpool
  • Central - interchanging with all lines through the CBD
  • Pitt Street
  • Martin Place - interchanging with the Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line
  • Circular Quay - interchanging with the Bankstown, Inner West, South & Airport/East Hills Lines
  • Victoria Cross
  • Crows Nest
  • St Leonards - interchanging with the North Shore and Northern Lines
  • Chatswood - interchanging with the North Shore and Northern Lines

A map of the protected corridors suggested there may have been the potential for another station at Macquarie Place, between The Rocks and Castlereagh Street.

Current proposal

In 2013, a new proposal was raised to extend the North West Rail Link, by building a metro-style tunnel from just south of Chatswood Station via St Leonards and North Sydney and under the Sydney Harbour towards Central and Redfern, before joining the newly converted metro lines towards Hurstville, Bankstown and Liverpool. This largely renews the previous proposal for the RCRL, except with metro-style trains instead.

The proposal was officially announced by the NSW Government on 10 June 2014. The proposal was contingent on funding from privatising at least 49% of the state's power infrastructure, which was secured in June 2015. Preliminary works involving drilling to depths 70m below Sydney Harbour commenced on 9 April 2015 to find the alignment for the new Sydney Metro tunnels. Planning approval for the Chatswood to Sydenham section of the project was received in January 2017. Construction of this section is expected to begin later in the year.


The line would act as a major extension of the Sydney Metro, connecting Chatswood - the terminus of Sydney Metro Northwest - to Sydenham. At Sydenham, the line would join the existing Bankstown railway line, which would be converted to rapid transit operation between Sydenham and Bankstown. The combined route between Chatswood and Bankstown is called Sydney Metro City & Southwest.

The following stations are proposed:

  • Crows Nest
  • Victoria Cross (North Sydney)
  • Barangaroo
  • Martin Place (interchange with T4 Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line)
  • Pitt Street
  • Central (interchange with other railway and light rail lines)
  • Waterloo
  • Sydenham (interchange with T4 Illawarra Line)
  • Marrickville
  • Dulwich Hill (interchange with L1 Dulwich Hill Line)
  • Hurlstone Park
  • Canterbury
  • Campsie
  • Belmore
  • Lakemba
  • Wiley Park
  • Punchbowl
  • Bankstown (interchange with Sydney Trains services)

The original list of stations consisted of Crows Nest, Victoria Cross, Martin Place, Pitt Street, Central, Sydenham and the stations of the Bankstown line. Potential additional stations were also proposed for the industrial area of Artarmon, an underground station at St Leonards (serviced by Sydney Trains), Barangaroo and either the University of Sydney or Waterloo. Barangaroo station was confirmed in June 2015 and Waterloo was confirmed in December. The other three stations will not be included in the project.

The remaining stations served by the T3 Bankstown Line - Erskineville, St Peters and stations between Bankstown, Lidcombe and Cabramatta - will continue to be served by Sydney Trains, but more detailed plans have not been revealed.

Places Served

  • Crows Nest: Crows Nest, St Leonards, Wollstonecraft, Cammeray
  • Victoria Cross: Crows Nest, North Sydney, McMahons Point
  • Barangaroo: Barangaroo, Wynyard, Millers Point
  • Martin Place: Sydney CBD
  • Pitt Street: Sydney CBD
  • Central: Sydney CBD, Chippendale, Strawberry Hills, Ultimo, Surrey Hills
  • Waterloo: Redfern, Sydenham, Alexandria, Green Square, Zetland
  • Sydenham: Sydenham, Marrickville, St Peters
  • Marrickville: Marrickville, Marrickville South
  • Dulwich Hill: Dulwich Hill, Marrickville, Hurlstone Park
  • Hurlstone Park: Hurlstone Park
  • Canterbury: Canterbury
  • Campsie: Campsie
  • Belmore: Belmore
  • Lakemba: Lakemba
  • Wiley Park: Wiley Park, Lakemba, Punchbowl
  • Punchbowl: Punchbowl
  • Bankstown: Bankstown

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