Transport for NSW and Sydney Metro have plans to replace trains with bus in the West of Bankstown area. Internal government documents place the future of Birrong and Yagoona Station in doubt. It appears that the current accessibility and station upgrades are designed to cover-up the longer term plan to close Birrong and Yagoona Station.
Note to Journalists and Media: please contact your legal department or union representative prior to using materials obtained under Government Information Public Access (GIPA) Act. We are aware of Transport for NSW issuing legal threats of restraining orders regarding coverage of this particular subject matter.
The NSW Government plan for rapid transit (now known as Sydney Metro) originally included converting the T3 Bankstown Line to Lidcombe and Cabramatta. However due to freight trains and difficulties in managing the branch lines at Sefton Junction for passenger services, Sydney Metro Southwest was truncated to Bankstown (with any extension to Liverpool to be via a new corridor through Bankstown Airport not Yagoona). With Metro terminating at Bankstown, the West of Bankstown area has been earmarked for conversion into bus rapid transit by Transport for NSW as part of Sydney’s Rail Future.
Transport for NSW announced in 2020 that the planning of future rail services in the West of Bankstown area would see the return of direct trains to City via Regents Park/Lidcombe (former Inner West Line). But Transport for NSW has also discreetly announced that the direct from Liverpool to Bankstown will be removed in lieu of the announced extension of Metro Southwest from Bankstown to Liverpool. The extension of Metro Southwest from Bankstown to Liverpool will also result in the acquisition and demolition of the Bankstown Arts Centre.
In late 2018, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that an extension of Metro Southwest from Bankstown to Yagoona was being considered. However Transport for NSW has since ruled out Yagoona being part of Metro Southwest as the extension to Liverpool is west not north of Bankstown. Internal Transport for NSW documents show an eagerness to eventually remove the shuttle train between Lidcombe and Bankstown which from 2024 will be the only line for Birrong and Yagoona.
The Greater Sydney Rail Network map in the NSW Future Transport Strategy revised in November 2020 and published March 2021 shows the absence of the Lidcombe to Bankstown shuttle train line (for Birrong and Yagoona). The new line between Parramatta and Bankstown (towards Kogarah) includes an interchange at Chester Hill with the Regents Park Line (City to Liverpool/former Inner West Line).
It is also concerning that Sydney Metro project teams have been involved with plans to close remove Sydney Trains services, close stations, and replace trains with bus or light rail in the West of Bankstown area.
Although Sydney Metro has considering light rail in the West of Bankstown area, it appears that bus will be the likely mode of transport offered to commuters at Birrong and Yagoona. It is very concerning that Transport for NSW appears to be backtracking on its commitment made in NSW Parliament during the NSW Legislative Council Inquiry into the Sydenham-Bankstown line conversion (2019) to provide train services for the West of Bankstown area.
Internal Sydney Metro City & Southwest project team documents also show plans to replace the Bankstown to Lidcombe to Olypmic Park lines with bus/light rail/on-demand ride-share. Despite multiple requests to the NSW Government for clarification of Sydney Metro Southwest’s planning approvals allowing the plannning of services beyond the Sydenham to Bankstown corridor, Transport for NSW has not released information of the relevant delegations of authority.
Due to Transport for NSW failing to engage in community consultation with the general public about the future Parramatta to Kogarah via Bankstown line, we have launched a Future Transport Survey for the West of Bankstown area at www.SaveT3.org/survey. Responses will be collated and a report presented to Transport for NSW representing the views of the community.
Please take our Future Transport Survey at www.SaveT3.org and click here to download a paper copy of the survey which can be returned via post to PO BOX 470 Lidcombe NSW 1825 or emailed to SaveT3@restoreinnerwestline.org.au
We are not opposed to new rail or development however we believe that the using existing infrastructure (e.g. direct track from Bankstown to Parramatta via Berala/Auburn) and maintaining existing direct train from Bankstown to Liverpool) should first be undertaken.