2013 Train Cuts Never Justified

It has been an honour to stand with the 19,000 commuters in the West of Bankstown for the past 11 years in the fight to restore the Inner West Line from City Circle to Liverpool via Regents Park and Bankstown via Regents Park. 

Together with the support of residents, councils, and various MPs along the rail corridor from Strathfield to Liverpool, but especially in Cumberland LGA, the NSW Government announcement to restore the Inner West Line: Liverpool via Regents Park is the biggest win that we should all be proud of.  

Even though it’s a temporary restoration as Transport for NSW is still considering removing Sydney Trains again in 2030, and the Bankstown to City via Regents Park line still hasn’t been restored which will encourage driving and traffic congestion in Lidcombe town centre from Birrong and Yagoona as those 2 stations will be without a train to Central. 

Despite many GIPA information requests over the decade, Transport for NSW doesn’t have any evidence that reducing train services for Lidcombe – Berala – Regents Park – Sefton – Chester Hill – Leightonfield – Villawood – Carramar – Cabramatta – Warwick Farm – Liverpool, Birrong – Yagoona, and Bankstown delivered the so-called reliability improvements on other lines. 

And as seen with the evidence presented at the INQUIRY INTO CURRENT AND FUTURE PUBLIC TRANSPORT NEEDS IN WESTERN SYDNEY, the only result of cutting our trains in the 2013 timetable resulted spare capacity on the network. The Restore Inner West Line community action group website has published the internal Sydney Trains plans from 2013 showing capacity for trains to continue to City without terminating at Lidcombe. 

It should also be noted that the upcoming restoration of the Inner West Line: Liverpool via Regents Park is not because of Sydney Metro Southwest, as the original West of Bankstown plans were either a shuttle train between Lidcombe – Bankstown and Cabramatta or simply shuttle buses with no trains at all. Because the 19,000 commuters came together, Transport for NSW finally admitted in 2020 that capacity exists using currently available infrastructure for Sydney Trains services to run from West of Bankstown to City via Inner West. 

Additionally, the Inner West Line: Liverpool via Regents Park is being restored not for the Transport Orientated Development Program, but because our community secured a recommendation from an earlier Parliamentary Inquiry in 2019-20 for all stations in the West of Bankstown to have direct trains to City Circle without interchanging at Lidcombe. 

The current continuing fight to keep our trains beyond 2030 is inspired by the local residents supported by Lidcombe Council in the 1920s whom triumphed over the then Railway Commission’s opposition to having the bridges to support the railway over Vaughan St, Lidcombe and Kerrs Road, Berala. 

October 2024 will mark 100 years of the current railway existing between Lidcombe and Cabramatta via Regents Park, what is now known as the Inner West Line: City to Liverpool via Regents Park. We have come so close to being only shuttle buses with permanently closed stations. As many of us here rallied outside Regents Park Station in 2018 to bring back our trains, let’s once again gather in October this year to celebrate this important milestone for our community and the Sydney Trains Network at large. 


The “Modelling Train & Passenger Capacity” report to Transport for NSW by Douglas Economics in 2012 found that each Sydney train line could run between 20 to 22 trains per hour under current signalling. 

The T1 group line that includes the Western Line, Richmond Line, and Northern Line that eventually continue over the Harbour Bridge is separate to that of the T2 group of lines that go around City Circle. 

The train timetable in 2011 for the T2 group line (which included trains running from Liverpool to City Circle via Regents Park on the Inner West Line) had 17 trains per hour arriving at Central in the peak. 

However, in 2013 when the Inner West Line was shortened thus removing the Liverpool to City Circle via Regents Park train, the T2 group line had just 16 trains per hour arriving at Central in the peak. 

And the supposed bottleneck between Lidcombe and Homebush is an exaggeration, as in the 2011 timetable there were 15 of possible 20 trains per hour in peak on the T2 group line, but in the 2013 timetable there were just 12 of the possible 20 trains per hour in peak. 

Read more about the history of the Restore Inner West Line campaign and efforts to bring back our trains!

Extract from Roydon Ng (Convenor, Restore Inner West Line) speech at Cumberland Council on 15 May 2024