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Sydney's Rail Future

Sydney’s Rail Future


The NSW Government has developed a plan to transform and modernise Sydney’s rail network so that it can grow with our population and meet the needs of customers into the future.

It is clear that Sydney’s rail system is reaching the limits of its capability.  This ageing and complex network cannot be expected to carry more and more passengers.  We simply do not have capacity for the future.

Sydney is a modern international city experiencing growth in population and employment.  Sydney currently has a population of about 4.6 million, but this is projected to grow significantly over the coming years to 5.1 million by 2021 and 6 million by 2031.

Driven by population growth, employment in Sydney is expected to increase from its current level of 2.1 million workers to 2.6 million by 2031.

This growth is going to place pressure on a rail system already straining to cope with current demand from years of under investment.

We cannot expect to continue to carry more and more passengers on a rail network that has not fundamentally changed for many decades.  Even today, there are parts of the network where the daily task of transporting people is asking too much of a system that has been built over a period of more than 150 years.

Sydney’s rail system needs to be modernised.


The solution

Sydney’s Rail Future is a long term plan to increase the capacity of Sydney’s rail network through investment in new services and upgrading of existing infrastructure.  It is a plan to improve the customer’s experience.

Work has already commenced to improve reliability and increase services across the network.   Significant technology investments and upgrades will see our community benefit from more reliable and more frequent services.

We will introduce single deck, rapid transit trains on the North West Rail Link.  Sydney will also have a second crossing under the Harbour linking to a new CBD line and new stations, which will use rapid transit services that will also eventually operate on the Bankstown line and to Hurstville on the Illawarra line.

This plan will eventually enable Sydney Trains to carry another 90,000 to 100,000 people per hour in the peak.

The NSW Government is delivering this major rail program so that we can meet the challenges of a growing population and deliver a world class service people want to use.


A second Harbour Crossing and a new CBD Line

Construction of a second Harbour Crossing and a new CBD Line will:

  • Unlock the CBD bottleneck and enable more services from the West, South West, Illawarra, Bankstown, North Shore and the North West;
  • Provide an extra 60 train services per hour through the CBD;
  • Create the largest increase in capacity to the Sydney rail network for 80 years;
  • Build new train stations relieving pressure on existing crowded platforms in the CBD;
  • Enable better connections to employment opportunities across Sydney.


What are rapid transit trains?

Rapid transit trains are used to offer a comfortable, frequent, fast and high capacity link between suburban regions and busy inner city areas using single deck rolling stock.

Sydney’s future rapid transit trains are expected to have the following features:

  • Three or more doors per side per carriage, allowing fast boarding and alighting;
  • Level access between platform and train with reduced platform gap;
  • A mixture of seating areas, delivering a relatively high number of seats;
  • Wide, open walkways between carriages;
  • A fully air-conditioned passenger environment; and
  • A modern passenger information system and train control systems.


What does this mean for the Lane Cove Electorate?

The benefits of the Government’s rail strategy for communities in the Lane Cove Electorate include:

Peak period services will increase from the current 18 trains per hour to 20 trains per hour prior to the new Harbour Crossing;

  • Demand on this line will ease once the new Harbour Crossing is delivered, offering a higher capacity route from the North Shore to the CBD and to Sydney’s South;
  • The new rapid transit service will also enable journey time savings of up to eight minutes between Chatswood and the CBD using the new Harbour Crossing, an improvement of 35 per cent over the current 23 minute journey;
  • The additional capacity will lead to a significant improvement of rail services on the North Shore and allow for up to an additional 30 trains from the North Shore in the longer term.


Further information

For further information on the Government’s Rail strategy, Sydney’s Rail Future, view a copy at