Fast train proposed from Parramatta to Sydney CBD

Sydney’s West is seeing a lot of activity happening right now in terms of new infrastructure and new developments. Parramatta is to be totally transformed and revamped whilst there are also plans for a new light rail system.

There is now talk of a fast train which could transport passengers from Parramatta to Central Station in just 15 minutes according to a new report which was authorised by Aurecon and Deloitte. Currently it takes passengers at least 25 minutes to reach Central station, but trains are often crowded. Parramatta is the fourth busiest train station in the Sydney train network, with average loads exceeding 120 per cent and this is expected to worsen as the population grows.

By 2021 this Western Sydney region is forecast to see a population growth of 50 per cent; however there will only be 38 per cent of jobs here, meaning a large number of the population here will be commuting into the city. If this new fast train line is not built then the Western train line will face severe overcrowding which will affect the efficiency of the whole city.

In order to keep attracting people to live in Sydney’s western areas, the transport network needs to be improved to allow for easier commuting and a fast train line seems to be the logical answer. A fast train network will also make Parramatta CBD a much more attractive place to live, work and play. Shorter commutes will allow people to spend more time enjoying their own neighbourhood, rather than staying at home to rest from a long day of work and travel.

The report which has been commissioned by Parramatta Council and the Sydney Business Chamber’s western Sydney branch has four different options of the route this new train line would take.

Option one proposes the fast rail line to run from Parramatta to Sydney CBD stopping at Lidcombe and Strathfield. This would however require the current Western line to be converted and the report dismisses this option as being expensive, disruptive and unable of reducing travel time significantly.

Options two, three and four all require the construction of some underground routes as well as some new stations within the Sydney CBD which would sit next to the new stations at Barangaroo and Pitt Street.

Route two would be a tunnel running between the Sydney CBD near Pitt Street and Parramatta and stops would include Croydon and Lidcombe. Out of all four options this would be the easiest route to build; however it provides limited potential for the development of new areas.

Option three would be a tunnel running from Sydney CBD close to Pitt Street to Parramatta via White Bay and the Sydney Olympic Park. Out of all four options this would be the fastest and the shortest route. In spite of this there would be fewer commuters on this route compared to the others at present; however Sydney Olympic Park and the Bays Precinct have been assigned for significant urban renewal which would include job growth and an increase in new residential development.

The fourth route is another tunnel from Barangaroo to Parramatta via White Bay and Ryde. This particular corridor has been largely underserviced by rail connectivity and over the medium term would cater for more commuters. Option four does have less scope for value capture though.

According to Sydney Business Chamber’s western Sydney director David Borger, a 15 minute rail link would allow Parramatta to better compete with the Sydney CBD for jobs.

As well as a fast train from Parramatta to Central station, the State Government is also rolling out a large number of improvements including more express services and extra trains across the Sydney rail network. Approximately $1 billion is to be invested to increase the serviceability of the train network to meet the growing demand, particularly on the T1 western line.

According to a NSW Transport spokesman, “Combined with Sydney Metro City and Southwest these improvements will unblock major bottlenecks in the city and provide up to 60 per cent more trains through the Sydney CBD. That’s an extra 100,000 people an hour during the peak”.

The report also proposes a connecting rail link between Parramatta and the future airport at Badgerys Creek which will connect via Liverpool or Blacktown, with commutes of 25 minutes.

With plenty of activity happening in Western Sydney, Parramatta and other neighbouring areas should definitely not be overlooked, particularly when looking for an investment property. As Sydney’s second CBD, Parramatta is soon to become a rival with the CBD and a go to place for many Western residents especially if this fast train from Parramatta to Sydney CBD gets approved.
Published on 7th of March 2016 by Marty Stanowich
Marty Stanowich
Marty Stanowich

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