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South-West Rail Link

Started by colinw, July 21, 2010, 11:49:41 AM

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Can one of the NSW members of this forum enlighten me as to the status of the South-West Rail Link project to Leppington?

My understanding is that stage 1 (the Glenfield junctions & station work) is under construction, and that mid 2010 should have seen a start on the actual branch line.

What is actually happening?  ???



My understanding is what you have written is correct.

Glenfield jct is to be all flyovers and no conflicting moves except for merging tracks.  Sorry, don't have any more info OTOH, but I'm pretty sure there is a lengthy thread on RailPage.


Thanks Somebody, I'll poke my nose in over at RP & see what's going on.



This is the thread I was talking about: http://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11352889.htm

This one was a whinge about the price tag: http://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11356318.htm

Doesn't sound like much is happening at present past Glenfield or there'd be someone posting something.  Here's a recent ministerial announcement: http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/releases/100629_MEDIA_RELEASE_Major_work_ramps_up_on_the_South_West_Rail_Link.pdf

QuoteTuesday, 29 June 2010
Minister for Transport John Robertson today announced major construction on the southern rail
flyover as part of the South West Rail Link will start this week.
Minister Robertson joined Macquarie Fields MP Andrew McDonald today to inspect the works,
which will connect the future rail line from Leppington to the existing rail network south of Glenfield
"This is a key piece of infrastructure as part of the Government's $2.1 billion project that will
ensure the new rail line links seamlessly with the CityRail network by passing over the Main South
Line and the Southern Sydney Freight Line," Mr Robertson said.
"Construction on the flyover to the north of Glenfield has also started, which will separate the East
Hills Line from crossing the Main South Line.
"These flyovers are key to increasing capacity and reliability, as well as reducing existing
constraints on the rail network in Sydney's south-west."
Dr McDonald said the start of work on the flyovers is the latest milestone to be reached in
construction of the South West Rail Link.
"Work is also progressing on the Glenfield Transport Interchange and its adjacent multi-storey car
park," Dr McDonald said.
"The new car park will provide an additional 700 commuter car parking spaces in addition to the
recently completed 112 space car park at Seddon Park.
"Construction on the South West Rail Link continues to gather pace and the NSW Government is
getting on with delivering this impressive and vital piece of infrastructure – to give South West
Sydney to public transport it deserves.
"It will deliver new public transport services to an entire region of Sydney, servicing more than
110,000 homes in the South West Growth Centre and the new Leppington Town Centre."
"The South West Rail Link is an investment in the future of our region and it's fantastic to see
work on major components of this project underway right now."
More information about the South West Rail Link can be found on the project website
www.tidc.nsw.gov.au or by calling the Project Infoline on 1800 684 490.
Community members are also welcome to visit the South West Rail Link Community Information
Office at 80 Railway Parade, Glenfield. The office is open on Mondays or by appointment by
calling 1800 684 490.

Note that the link is broken.  I think tidc is no more, but you'd think it could re-direct you to the new organisation.


Thanks for the links.  Interesting reading.

It works again now - redirects to the new site at :- http://www.tca.nsw.gov.au/

I don't think the costs on the project are that excessive, considering it includes a new stabling facility, 4 platform station at Leppington, etc.


Quote from: colinw on August 10, 2010, 13:16:54 PM
I don't think the costs on the project are that excessive, considering it includes a new stabling facility, 4 platform station at Leppington, etc.
I don't see the need for the 4 platform station.  And I agree that the costs are far too much.  The 78km Mandurah line was built for less than half the cost of this 11km line, and that presumably involved some stabling.



QuoteThe great dividing line
Andrew West
September 28, 2010

Getting the transport system right for the south-west corner of Sydney requires more than money and sensible engineering, writes Andrew West.

Glenfield railway station on the south-western fringe of Sydney is roaring with activity. Bulldozers and earth movers are clearing land, their reverse lights beeping incessantly. Foremen in hard hats and yellow vests climb over dirt mounds to survey the route of the planned rail track.

The station will be the junction of five rail services: the existing services via East Hills, Bankstown, Lidcombe and Granville, and from 2016, the new south-west link from Leppington.

The south-west line - along with the inner-west light rail - is one of the few good stories the Keneally government has to tell about public transport. Sure, it has doubled in price, from $688 million to $1.3 billion, since it was announced in 2004 but it is finally - and seemingly irrevocably - going ahead.
Advertisement: Story continues below

But as with other NSW public transport initiatives of the past 20 years - such as the agreement with private station operators on the airport line that makes tickets prohibitively expensive, or a politically motivated redesign of the Chatswood-Epping line that doubled the cost of the project - there could be a big hitch.

Rail experts warn that the south-west link is a poor fit with the plan to build a ''CBD relief line'' for CityRail trains using a corridor under Sussex Street.

When the government announced the $4.5 billion relief line in February as part of its ''transport blueprint'', it argued that in the peak hour the line would bring eight extra trains into the city from the western suburbs, on the main line via Blacktown, Parramatta and Strathfield. But experts say it would be better to build the central business district relief line in a corridor under Pitt Street to accommodate up to 20 trains an hour from the south-west coming through Sydenham station.

''A connection to a new CBD relief line that fed trains via Sydenham would allow more network-wide growth than any alternative,'' a rail industry source said. ''This is because the network could allow more trains to approach the CBD from the south west via Sydenham than from any other feed.

''A new connection to the western line will only allow growth from the west and will only allow about half as many additional trains into the CBD, compared with a connection via Sydenham. Growth from the south-west towards the CBD and the north shore will have no direct route towards the city unless a connection via Sydenham is implemented.''

The Pitt Street option would also allow for the expansion of Martin Place station, taking pressure off Town Hall station, where passengers from the eastern suburbs and Illawarra lines transfer to trains for the north shore.

In a nutshell, two critical pieces of infrastructure - a line to relieve rail congestion under Sydney and ultimately enable a second rail harbour crossing, and a line to the booming south-western suburbs - could in effect cancel each other out within a decade if the government chooses the wrong route under the city.

Appearing before a parliamentary estimates committee last week, the Minister for Transport, John Robertson, said the government had not decided which corridor, Sussex Street or Pitt Street, to use for the relief line, but would finalise plans by the end of the year. Much hinges on his decision.

By the mid-2030s, the population of south-west Sydney will surge from about 55,000 now to almost 300,000. The hills that are now home to horse studs and dairy farms will be swallowed up by an estimated 110,000 new houses, ranging from large homes with five or six bedrooms on single blocks, to medium-density flats built around courtyards near town centres.

The mayor of Camden, Chris Patterson, says that the shire that now has a two-storey height limit will have buildings of five and six storeys. This is not necessarily a problem, he says, but will certainly be a culture shock. ''People here accept that there will be change but the scale is astronomical,'' he says. ''Traditionally, this has been an area for quarter-acre blocks and much bigger. The more diverse the releases of land, the more diverse the people.''

The 11.4-kilometre rail line between Glenfield and Leppington, with a stop at Edmondson Park, will be the main artery of the new development. Without the line, the region would choke on its own traffic congestion. Patterson says the Camden Valley Way - just one lane each way - is already inadequate.

The line will bring locals not only to jobs in the city but in the decentralised centres of Liverpool, Campbelltown, Bankstown and Parramatta. It will also change the social composition of the Macarthur region.

Gabrielle Gwyther, a research fellow at the University of Western Sydney who has studied western suburbs communities, says the existing rail line through Glenfield, Macquarie Fields, Ingleburn and Campbelltown before stopping at Macarthur has influenced the profile of the area. ''People along the rail line tend to be from lower socio-economic groups,'' says Gwyther.

''There are quite a lot of poorly designed townhouses that are home to recently arrived migrant groups and, since the demolition of the housing commission estates, lots of first-home buyers.''

As these residents become wealthier, they move further south and west, into places such as Narellan and Camden, where there is no rail service. ''People moved there knowing that and, to some extent, they like it that way,'' says Gwyther.

''They become car-based households, often because they become self-employed as contractors or skilled tradies, and they're on the road as part of work.''

The M5 motorway has become the social dividing line, says Gwyther, with the classic ''aspirationals'' living on the western side.

Stephen Albin, the chief executive of the Urban Development Institute of Australia, quotes institute research showing that south-western Sydney residents tend to trade up as they become more prosperous, but largely within the Macarthur region. Developers report that much of their sales volume is to families that already live within six to eight kilometres of their new houses. ''There's a very strong identification with the area that can extend over a lifetime,'' Albin says.

By contrast, families flood into the north-west from all over Sydney to acquire bigger blocks.

The self-contained nature of the Macarthur region - with residents conceivably going from a townhouse-style first home to stand-alone house to retirement unit - highlights the need for the government to provide infrastructure, says Albin. ''It's not good enough for the government to just release land, lower stamp duty then walk away.''

As Brendan Gleeson, the centre director of Griffith University's urban research program, says, the planned diversity of the south-west growth centre will increase reliance on the rail line. ''Public transport is used disproportionately by particular households such as singles, childless couples, the elderly,'' Gleeson says.

But as the recent VAMPIRE (''vulnerability assessment for mortgage, petrol and inflation risks and expenses'') study found, the trend towards increasing fuel costs will start to hit the car-happy, self-employed aspirationals that Gwyther has identified. ''They can make a lot of money,'' she says, ''but they're also aware they are very vulnerable because they're contractors. They, too, know they may need government services.''

Which makes the case for getting the rail line right even more important.

Rail experts say there will need to be about 20 trains an hour out of the south-west, serving not only city-bound commuters from the Macarthur region but passengers along the way. As Gwyther says, the routes serve different clientele and trains from Glenfield are already packed at peak hour.

The East Hills line, through Narwee, Beverley Hills and Kingsgrove, tends to draw more professional passengers. ''They're often office workers with jobs in the city, often in suits and more formal clothes,'' she says. ''People potentially on the way up.''

On the line via Liverpool, Cabramatta and Bankstown, the passengers are more likely to be from first-generation immigrant, non-English-speaking backgrounds. ''They rely more heavily on the rail line for the daily transport needs, for a variety reasons, including not yet having a car or driver's licence,'' says Gwyther.

''There are cheaper units around Cabramatta, Carramar and Villawood, which tend to be entry suburbs for many new migrants. Their first jobs are more likely to be in places like Bankstown or Parramatta, and then they move up. That's often part of the migrant trajectory.''

All of which makes the decision about how to link south-western Sydney to the CBD a matter of demography, not only engineering.


I caught the CountryLink Xplorer service from Canberra to Sydney a couple of weeks ago.  SSFL construction was very much in evidence all the way in from Campbelltown, but at Glenfield it was a bit hard to make sense of what was happening due to my lack of familiarity with the area.  I didn't see anything that I could definitely say was for the South West link.

Canberra desperately needs a better rail service too, but that is for another thread.  The Xplorer was painful once it hit the main line at Joppa Junction, oddly the fastest running of the trip was on the branch, particularly from Bungendore through Tarago.  For a service to a national capital, the Canberra service is an embarrassment.


Yes, and the bus is faster, cheaper, more frequent and unsubsidised.

That Canberra train is a joke.


Final planning approval for the Glenfield-Leppington line has been granted, on 18/11/2010.


QuoteProject profile

The South West Rail Link is a NSW Government initiative to respond to issues of reliability and passenger growth on the metropolitan rail network and population growth in south-west Sydney.

The South West Rail Link includes a major upgrade of Glenfield Station and interchange and a new twin track passenger rail line from Glenfield to Leppington via Edmondson Park. Construction of the South West Rail Link commenced at Glenfield in August 2009.

Final planning approval for the new rail line between Glenfield and Leppington was received on 18 November 2010. A construction contractor for the new rail line will be appointed in late 2010.
Scope of works

The South West Rail Link includes:

    * a new 11.4 kilometre rail line from Glenfield to Leppington
    * two new stations located at Edmonson Park and Leppington, including commuter car parking
    * a train stabling facility at Rossmore
    * an upgrade of the existing Glenfield Station and bus/rail interchange, including new commuter car parking
    * construction of Glenfield North and Glenfield South rail flyovers.


The South West Rail Link will:

    * provide essential infrastructure for the predicted future increases in population in Sydney's south-west, underpinning the South West Growth Centre
    * improve access to public transport for the people of south-west Sydney, providing a link to major employment centres including Liverpool, Parramatta and the Sydney CBD
    * allow increased and more reliable train services
    * provide increased commuter car parking spaces
    * provide modern, safe and accessible stations and interchange facilities for all rail commuters.


The South West Rail Link Concept Plan was approved in August 2007. The first stage of the South West Rail Link - the Glenfield Transport Interchange - received planning approval in April 2009 following the preparation of a Review of Environmental Factors.

Final planning approval for the Glenfield and Leppington rail line component of the project was received on 18 November 2010 following preparation of an Environmental Assessment, and Submissions and Preferred Project Report.

Construction of the Glenfield Transport Interchange is progressing well, with the Seddon Park car park and Glenfield multi-storey commuter car park completed; in addition to the establishment of the major construction site for the project.

Other work currently underway at Glenfield includes construction of the northern flyover, which will separate the East Hills Line and South Line to increase rail service capacity and reliability; the realignment of Roy Watts Road; excavation and relocation of services along Railway Parade; and works for the southern flyover which will link the new rail line into the existing rail network, south of Glenfield.

Further information about the project is available in the Overview (3MB .pdf)


Excellent!  :-t

I wonder if there is potential to do the staged thing like Richlands, and get Edmondson Park open sooner than 2016?  Also, I presume the design at Rossmore will permit extension to Bringelly in future, as that was originally meant to be the line's terminus.


Quote from: colinw on December 10, 2010, 09:39:38 AM
I wonder if there is potential to do the staged thing like Richlands, and get Edmondson Park open sooner than 2016?  Also, I presume the design at Rossmore will permit extension to Bringelly in future, as that was originally meant to be the line's terminus.
Possibly, but I wonder if there would be much advantage.  I'd expect a more rapid construction rate would be more advantageous.  However, I would suggest neither is likely.  The SW link has been on the slow track for ages, however, it now seems to have bi-partisan support so it doesn't look like anything can stop it now.

I believe the line is to be designed to allow for extension, but I don't know OTOH how far.


Visible progress on the SWRL at last: click here.


Nearmap updated 2 Aug 2012.  Still only 2 through platforms at Glenfield.  Flyovers seem to be mostly built but don't have track finished yet.


Sorry for raising the dead, was in Sydney for a few days and travelled past Glenfield. Multiple platforms and flyovers in place. Signalling in place and in some cases operational showing reds but they were operational. Some signals had large white X's over them and a few barricades on the rails.


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