5 February 2023
The Restore Inner West Line & Save T3 Bankstown Line community action group expresses strong concerns about the future of rail services and public transport in the West of Bankstown area.
Up to 19,000 commuters and residents between Bankstown – Lidcombe – Cabramatta/Liverpool will be adversely impacted by the Sydney Metro Southwest (Sydenham to Bankstown conversion) set to open in 2025.
In 2019, during the NSW Legislative Council Inquiry into Sydenham – Bankstown line conversion, then Sydney Trains CEO Howard Collins suggested that rail services for the West of Bankstown would continue for the short-term future after Sydney Metro Southwest opened.
Following the NSW Legislative Council Inquiry recommendation that the direct train to City Circle be restored for all stations in the West of Bankstown area, Transport for NSW announced in late 2020 that 7 of 9 immediate stations west of Bankstown (Berala – Carramar) would receive train services to Central (using the former “T2 Inner West Line: City to Liverpool via Regents Park” route) when Sydney Metro Southwest opened.
Birrong and Yagoona stations will only have a limited shuttle between Bankstown and Lidcombe, with commuters forced to interchange to travel to Central Station and the City Circle.
Internal NSW Government transport documents obtained under freedom of information (GIPA Act) indicates that the restoration of the “T2 Inner West Line: City to Liverpool via Regents Park” route is likely a temporary measure with the direct trains to be removed again in the 2030s.
Further Sydney Metro documents also indicate plans to convert the existing Sydney Trains lines between Bankstown to Lidcombe to Olympic Park into bus or light rail or on-demand ride-share after the opening of the Sydney Metro Southwest and Sydney Metro West in the 2030s.
The plans to close Birrong, Yagoona, and Olympic Park stations (including the removal of Sydney Trains) are being undertaken by the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project team to circumvent the Transport Administration Act 1988 which requires an Act of Parliament for the closure of railways.
Section 99A of the Transport Administration Act allows the Transport Minister to give an order for the closure of any rail line that is deemed relevant for a “State Significant” infrastructure project.
Sydney Metro City & Southwest has been classified as a “Critical State Significant Infrastructure” project by the NSW Government, therefore allowing the Transport Minister to sign an order to close Birrong, Yagoona, and Olympic Park stations as part of Sydney Metro despite these current Sydney Trains stations being outside of the Chatswood to Sydenham to Bankstown corridor.
Neither Transport for NSW nor Sydney Metro has explained the planning approval or delegated authority held by Sydney Metro City & Southwest to be planning the closures of the Bankstown to Lidcombe to Olympic Park lines with bus or light rail or on-demand ride-share replacing Sydney Trains.
We call on the NSW Government to commit to a long-term restoration of the former T2 Inner West Line (City to Liverpool via Regents Park and City to Bankstown via Regents Park) and to keep the direct Sydney Trains service between Bankstown and Liverpool once Sydney Metro Southwest opens.
Contact: SaveT3@restoreinnerwestline.org.au Phone: 0426 500 330