Restore Inner West Line

Liverpool via Regents Park and the Bankstown circle as shown by the purple line

Community Campaign and Petition to restore “City Circle to Liverpool via Regents Park” train services
Twitter: #RestoreInnerWestLine

2013 Sydney Trains Timetable Change – Inner West Line

Before 20 October 2013

  • City to Liverpool via Regents Park
  • City to Bankstown via Regents Park

After 20 October 2013 (Current)

  • City to Homebush via Strathfield

Worst Downgrade In a Generation

Train Services Gone Back to 1924

  • Train line from Regents Park to Cabramatta opened in October 1924 to reduce overcrowding on Western Line around Lidcombe and Granville
  • In 2015, Transport for NSW stated “overcrowding has a substantial impact on reliability” especially on the Western Line through Granville (Strathfield to Parramatta)
  • Overcrowding on South Line and Western Line increased since the Inner West Line cuts
  • Reliability decreased on South Line and Bankstown Line since the Inner West Line cuts

Increased Travel Times, Increased Interchanges, Longer Service Gaps, Increased Overcrowding

  • 98% of trains cut between Lidcombe to Liverpool via Regents Park
  • 30-minute service gaps at Lidcombe and Berala to Carramar on the Bankstown Line
  • 3 Additional Interchanges at Birrong, Lidcombe, Strathfield
  • Western Line and South Line trains are overcrowded with more passengers forced to interchange
  • Loss of Access to the Inner West & Sydney CBD
  • Increased Traffic Congestion (e.g. Arthur St/Centennial Drive, Flemington)
  • Lack of Commuter Parking at Birrong and Lidcombe

15 Stations Significantly Affected

  • Homebush – only accessible via Strathfield (interchange), no trains from the west or southwest
  • Flemington – loss of trains to Liverpool and Bankstown
  • Lidcombe – loss of trains to Sefton to Carramar, 30-minute service gaps on Bankstown Line
  • Berala – 30min service gaps, forced interchange at Lidcombe
  • Regents Park – 30min service gaps, forced interchange at Lidcombe
  • Sefton – 30min service gaps, forced interchange at Birrong and Lidcombe
  • (Birrong – now a major interchange without adequate parking, staffing, security or lifts)
  • (Yagoona – forced interchange at Lidcombe for faster route to City)
  • Chester Hill – 30min service gaps, forced interchange at Birrong and Lidcombe
  • Leightonfield – 30min service gaps, forced interchange at Birrong and Lidcombe
  • Villawood – 30min service gaps, forced interchange at Birrong and Lidcombe
  • Carramar – 30min service gaps, forced interchange at Birrong and Lidcombe
  • Cabramatta – loss of trains to Regents Park
  • Warwick Farm – loss of trains to Regents Park
  • Liverpool – loss of trains to Regents Park

Gladys Berejiklian & Andrew Constance
No Community Consultation or Awareness

  • Transport for NSW abandoned plans to send information packs to community groups (and MPs)
  • 2 Freedom of Information (GIPA) requests returned no evidence of consultations
  • Transport for NSW acknowledged that its 2013 Customer Timetable Stakeholder Engagement Plan was not fully carried out
  • Transport media spokesperson does not deny the absence of community consultations
  • Cuts to trains were sudden and unannounced despite Transport for NSW acknowledging “significant issues”

Cuts Hidden In Fine Print

  • “Customers at stations between Homebush and Liverpool will now catch trains operating on the South and Bankstown lines” – mentioned once in small caption on a diagram outlining the new Inner West Line as part of the 2013 Timetables Factsheets published online by Transport for NSW
  • New Inner West Line Factsheet also indicated that old Inner West Line (City to Liverpool via Regents Park) had service gaps of up to 24 minutes but stations that have lost the Inner West Line have service gaps of 30 minutes!

Government In Denial About Situation

  • Gladys Berejiklian (as Premier and when Transport Minister) and Andrew Constance have both refused invitations to visit stations such as Regents Park and Chester Hill affected by the cuts
  • Patronage figures show a reduction in commuters using trains in the area as services are less frequent, and travel now requires more interchanges. More people are now driving due to poor public transport services.
  • Berala to Carramar on the Bankstown Line has missed out on the “extra” Bankstown trains supposedly included in the 2013 Timetable.
  • The Sydney Trains map released on 20 October 2013 showed the Inner West Line terminating at Homebush, but subsequent editions do not include this marking due to the government’s attempts to cover-up the train cuts because of community backlash against the changes.

Case Study: Sefton To Homebush

Previous Timetable (2011) Current Timetable (2013)
Sefton 7:48am Sefton 7:53am
Birrong (Interchange) 8:05am
Regents Park 7.52am Regents Park 8:09am
Berala 7:54am Berala 9:12am
Lidcombe 7:59am Lidcombe (Interchange) 8:20am
Flemington 8:02am Flemington
Homebush 8:04am Homebush
Strathfield (Interchange) 8:43am
Homebush 8:45am
Total Journey Time 16 Mins Total Journey Time 52 Mins
Interchanges 0 Interchanges 3

A 16 Minute direct journey with 1 train is now a 52 Minute indirect journey with 4 trains and 3 interchanges!

Many students studying at Homebush Boys High School are affected by the 2013 Timetable Changes.

From The Community

  • High School Teacher: We’ve had to change our bell times in the afternoon as many of our students take the train
  • Liberal Party supporter: This should not be a political issue rather it is a community need
  • Local Resident: The State Government responds to my letters expressing concerns over the 3 extra interchanges needed by saying that to get to these destinations I need to interchange
  • Local Resident: I come from Sri Lanka where the government discriminates against certain areas with the deliberate non-provision of essential services for opponents of the government and people of different ethnic caste backgrounds. It is not right for the NSW Liberal Government to treat West & South West Sydney like this because it is home to a large multicultural and ethic population as well as being Labor safe seats.
  • Parent: My child travels to Homebush Boys High School from Berala, it used to be a direct journey, now he must change at Lidcombe and Strathfield
  • Pensioner: I have written multiple letters to the State Liberal government raising concerns about the timetable changes/lack of trains & multiple interchanges but the (now former) Transport Minister (Gladys Berejiklian) has not replied to any of them
  • School Prefects: Our morning Solomon Islands fundraiser has been cancelled because students can’t arrive with enough time to participate before classes start in the morning due to the timetable changes
  • Students: I feel unsafe having to interchange at Birrong, before I had a direct train from Regents Park to Chester Hill which was also quicker
  • University Student: To get to Australian Catholic University, Strathfield in the morning by 7am by public transport, I know must wake up at 5am (NB: Berala to Strathfield is 4 stations away)
  • Worker: I used to catch the train from Birrong to Macquarie Uni for work which took 45 minutes now it takes 1½ hours as I must change at Lidcombe and wait for infrequent trains on the Bankstown Line
  • Worker: It’s miserable, I live in Sefton and I used to be able to get to work near Central in an hour, but now it takes 2 hours as I’ve got to wait a lot longer for trains

Action Needed!

On behalf of the commuters and residents in the Auburn, Bankstown and Fairfield electorates, Restore Inner West Line asks for the following:

  1. The pre-October 2013 Inner West Line train service restored: City to Liverpool via Regents Park
  2. Train service frequency increased for Bankstown Line stations not receiving Sydney Metro
  3. A review of the Sydney Trains timetable drafting and community consultation process
  4. The Premier and Transport Minister to visit Regents Park and Chester Hill via rail

Supporters of Restore Inner West Line

  • Auburn MP Luke Foley (2015 election commitment)
  • Retired Auburn MP Barbara Perry
  • Bankstown MP Tania Mihailuk (2015 parliamentary motion)
  • Fairfield MP Guy Zangari (2015 parliamentary speech)
  • Newtown MP Jenny Leong (2015 parliamentary speech)
  • Auburn City Council (2013 council motion)
  • Strathfield Council (2014 council motion)

About the Sydney Metro – Sydenham to Bankstown

Construction of the Sydney Metro (Sydenham to Bankstown) will remove all direct city train services for commuters at 9 stations on the northern branch (to Lidcombe) and western branch (to Liverpool) of the Bankstown Line.

Berala, Regents Park, Birrong, Yagoona, Sefton, Chester Hill, Leightonfield, Villawood, Carramar will be even worse off once the Bankstown Line is closed for Metro construction. Commuters at these stations must interchange at Birrong, Lidcombe, Cabramatta or Bankstown to travel to the City/Inner West.

Transport for NSW has indicated plans to cut the Bankstown Line further at Cabramatta once the Metro opens. Currently the Bankstown Line operates all stations to Liverpool.

Restoring the Inner West Line (City to Liverpool via Regents Park) would allow for a direct train to the City and Inner West for Berala – Carramar commuters.

About the WestConnex motorways

It is important to note that new or upgraded toll roads do not improve public transport for Berala, Regents Park, Birrong, Yagoona, Sefton, Chester Hill, Leightonfield, Villawood, Carramar.

These suburbs are part of the southwest’s forgotten public transport blackhole.

About the Homebush and Lidcombe Turnbacks

Transport for NSW (TIDC) claimed in 2005 that terminating Bankstown trains at Lidcombe would “enable an increase in the frequency of services between Bankstown and the City”.

The termination of Bankstown Line trains at Lidcombe was introduced in the 2013 timetable. However, train frequencies between Bankstown and the City have remained at the same level with 4 trains per hour.

Terminating Bankstown trains at Lidcombe did not increase frequencies hence defeating the one of the main purposes of the 2013 Timetable change.

The Transport for NSW (TIDC) Review of Environmental Factors for the Homebush Turnback in 2005 states that “retention of a limited service of four trains per hour to the West via the new Platform 7 would be preserved as part of any future timetables” and that Bankstown/Inner West Line “incidents and delays would not carry over to other lines”.

Transport for NSW made a conscious decision not to retain trains to the West at Homebush in the 2013 timetable.

Also, incidents and delays on the Bankstown Line and Inner West Line continue to affect other parts of the Sydney Trains network, hence demonstrating that removing the Liverpool via Regents Park service did not achieve Transport for NSW’s objectives to improve the network.

The Liberal government’s 2013 Sydney Trains Timetable makes poor use of the Homebush and Lidcombe turnbacks.

It is now the responsibility of the government to address the negative effects of the train cuts through the implementation of a customer orientated train timetable.

Blaming the former Labor government for building the Homebush and Lidcombe turnbacks doesn’t help the community.

The Homebush and Lidcombe turnbacks were completed in 2008 and 2010 under the Labor government. The Labor government’s 2010 timetable change did not cut the Inner West Line at Homebush…

With Gladys Berejiklian recently announcing that she stands by all her infrastructure decisions both as Transport Minister and Premier, she must take responsibility for cutting the Inner West Line (City to Liverpool via Regents Park) train service.

Restore Inner West Line – Full Brief: Download PDF