The Sydney Metro executive decision to proceed with the Sydenham to Bankstown Metro project leaves commuters West of Bankstown in jeopardy. As the T3 Bankstown Line currently continues beyond Bankstown to Lidcombe and Liverpool, the 12 month shutdown of Birrong to Sydenham will have wider impacts on the community than simply the Sydney Metro Southwest project corridor.
While Transport for NSW has announced the temporary restoration of the former T2 Inner West Line: City Circle to Liverpool via Regents Park services in 2024 using currently available infrastructure, the long-term future of rail in the West of Bankstown area remains in doubt. The Transport for NSW announcement for West of Bankstown rail in 2024 also indicates the removal of direct trains between Liverpool and Bankstown, and the conversion of Lidcombe to Bankstown into a shuttle service.
Under the 2024 Sydney Trains timetable, the “City Circle to Liverpool via Regents Park” service will not have its former name of T2 Inner West Line but be incorrectly named as the T3 Bankstown Line despite Bankstown on the route.
Moving beyond the now delayed 2025 opening of Sydney Metro City & Southwest to Bankstown, internal Transport for NSW planning has commenced to replace the Lidcombe to Bankstown shuttle train with either bus or light rail or ride-share services. The recently released Sydney Metro Southwest Staging Report (June 2023) indicates that Transport for NSW is continuing to implement Sydney’s Rail Future plans created in 2012 by the former NSW Government, which include converting the West of Bankstown into Metro or an alternative transport mode (such as bus or light rail).
An internal Transport for NSW working group for the planning of rail services West of Bankstown has already raised the possibility of removing the restored (2024 timetable) former T2 Inner West Line: City Circle to Liverpool via Regents Park in the 2030s. At least 19,000 daily commuters will be impacted by the removal of Sydney Trains in the West of Bankstown area and the long-term future close of stations with replacement bus services will increase traffic congestion in Lidcombe and Bankstown Town Centres.
The Restore Inner West Line & Save T3 Bankstown Line community action group calls on Transport for NSW and Sydney Metro to cease planning efforts to close train stations in the West of Bankstown area in the long-term future.
“The NSW Government should implement the NSW Legislative Council ‘Inquiry into Sydenham to Bankstown line conversion’ recommendation for all stations West of Bankstown to have direct trains to City Circle via Lidcombe”
“Commuters in the West of Bankstown are once again the forgotten commuters of Sydney previously having 2 lines to Central, but soon to have none in the long-term future”
“The Transport Administration Act 1988 gives Sydney Metro too much power to remove Sydney Trains from the West of Bankstown area beyond the construction of Sydenham to Bankstown Metro”
“City Circle to Liverpool via Regents Park trains doesn’t include Bankstown Station, so Transport for NSW should not mislead commuters by naming it the T3 Bankstown Line”
“Transport for NSW needs to be upfront to the community about its long-term future intentions for West of Bankstown”
Quotes attributable to Roydon Ng, convenor of Restore Inner West Line & Save T3 Bankstown Line, and a witness at the NSW Legislative Council Inquiry into Sydenham to Bankstown line conversion (2019).
Media Contact: Roydon Ng (0426 500 330)