Sydney Metro City & Southwest

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Sydney Metro City & Southwest
Type Rapid transit line
System Sydney Metro
Status Under construction
Locale Sydney, Australia
Stations 18 (7 new stations)[1]
Opened 2024 (projected)
Owner Transport for New South Wales
Line length 30 km (19 mi)

Sydney Metro City & Southwest is a 30 km (19 mi) rapid transit railway line in Sydney, Australia currently under construction. The project will extend Sydney Metro Northwest 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)[2] 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.[3]

The line began construction in 2017 and is planned to open by 2024.[4] It is estimated to cost between $10–11 billion.[5]


The line will act as a major extension of 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:[6]

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[citation needed] (serviced by Sydney Trains), Barangaroo and either the University of Sydney or Waterloo.[6][8] Barangaroo station was confirmed in June 2015 and Waterloo was confirmed in December.[7][9] 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.[10]


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.[11] 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.[12] Developers who want to excavate deeper than two metres within a 25-metre buffer zone of the corridors need to seek RailCorp's approval.[13]

In the plan the stations along the RCRL would have included:[14]

A map[15] 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

Excavation of the Marrickville dive in August 2018

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.[16] 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.[17][18] 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.[3][19] Planning approval for the Chatswood to Sydenham section of the project was received in January 2017.[20]

In June 2017, a John Holland, CPB Contractors and Ghella joint venture was awarded the contract to build the twin tunnels from Chatswood to Sydnenham.[21]

A contract for a major upgrade of Central station was awarded to Laing O'Rourke in March 2018. The project includes construction of two new underground platforms to serve the metro and a new underground concourse called Central Walk. The new platforms will be built beneath platforms 13-14.[22]

Tunnelling commenced in October 2018.[23]

Potential extension

A scoping study into rail investment to service Western Sydney and the proposed Western Sydney Airport was announced by the New South Wales and Australian governments in November 2015.[24] The study's final report was released in March 2018 and included a proposal to extend the Sydney Metro City & Southwest from Bankstown to Liverpool. The extension is unlikely to be built for at least 20 years.[25]

See also


  1. ^ Transport for NSW (2017). "Project Overview". 5.1 Overview and key components. p. 56. Retrieved 10 June 2017. New metro stations at Crows Nest, Victoria Cross, Barangaroo, Martin Place, Pitt Street and Waterloo as well as new underground platforms at Central Station
  2. ^ "Chatswood to Sydenham". Transport for NSW. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  3. ^ a b Walker, Ian. "Construction begins on second Sydney Harbour rail crossing". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  4. ^ Sanda, Dominica (22 June 2017). "Work on Sydney Harbour tunnels to start". News Limited. Australian Associated Press. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  5. ^ Sarah, Gerathy (4 June 2015). "Power vote means Sydney Harbour rail crossing is less than a decade away: NSW Premier Mike Baird". ABC News. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Stations and Alignment". Transport for NSW. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  7. ^ a b Budget delivers $9 billion for public transport services and infrastructure Transport for NSW 23 June 2015
  8. ^ Saulwick, Jacob (12 October 2014). "Jockeying begins over new train stations for Sydney University or Waterloo". Retrieved 14 October 2014.
  9. ^ "Sydney Metro to rejuvenate Waterloo" (PDF). NSW Government. 16 December 2015. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  10. ^ "Extension to Bankstown". Transport for NSW. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  11. ^ Besser L and Smith A. City catches fast-tracked metro. Sydney Morning Herald, 19 March 2008.
  12. ^ "Iemma Government locks in future city rail corridors". Sydney Metropolitan Strategy. NSW Government - Department of Planning. 18 February 2006. Archived from the original on 11 November 2006. Retrieved 24 January 2007.
  13. ^ "Rail routes sealed off". Hill Shire Times. 20 February 2006. Retrieved 24 January 2007.
  14. ^ "Revealed: the harbour tunnel to ease rail crisis". The Sydney Morning Herald. 9 June 2005. Retrieved 24 January 2007.
  15. ^ "Protected CBD Rail Corridors Map" (PDF). Sydney Metropolitan Strategy. NSW Government - Department of Planning. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 December 2006. Retrieved 24 January 2007.
  16. ^ Clennell, Andrew (6 December 2013). "Second Sydney Harbour crossing to follow North West Rail". The Telegraph News. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  17. ^ Gerathy, Sarah; Foschia, Liz (11 June 2014). "Sydney rapid transit rail build could begin in three years, NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian says". Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  18. ^ "Funding secured: Sydney Metro to be a reality" (PDF) (Press release). NSW Government. 4 June 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  19. ^ Getting down to business: Early work begins on Sydney Rapid Transit Transport for NSW 8 April 2015
  20. ^ "Signal turns green for Sydney metro extension under the harbour". Transport for NSW. 10 January 2017. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  21. ^ Contract awarded for Harbour Metro crossing Infrastructure Magazine 23 June 2017
  22. ^ "$955 Million Central Walk, Sydney Metro Contract Awarded - securing more NSW jobs". Transport for NSW. 7 March 2018. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  23. ^ Haydar, Nour (17 October 2018). "Sydney Metro project reaches milestone as boring machines begin to drill". ABC News.
  24. ^ "Western Sydney Airport". Transport for NSW. Archived from the original on 2 March 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  25. ^ "Western Sydney Rail Needs Scoping Study Outcomes Report" (PDF). Australian Government and New South Wales Government. March 2018. p. 60. Retrieved 7 March 2018.

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