West of Bankstown still in the dark and without Inner West Line (Liverpool via Regents Park)

Despite two days of hearings in the NSW Upper House Inquiry for Sydenham-Bankstown Conversion: 19, 000 commuters from the 9 stations west of Bankstown (Berala, Regents Park, Sefton, Chester Hill, Leightonfield, Villawood, Carramar, Birrong, Yagoona) are no closer in knowing whether there will be trains to City once Metro Southwest downgrades the Sydenham to Bankstown section of the T3 line

It is disappointing that Howard Collins (Sydney Trains CEO) would not confirm the restoration of the Inner West Line (Liverpool via Regents Park) for west of Bankstown, despite it being over 4 years since the Sydenham to Bankstown Metro that would remove the final train to City from west of Bankstown was announced

When asked by Anthony D’Adam (Labor MLC) about why the T3 Shutdown’s Temporary Transport Plan (24 Dec 19 – 5 Jan 20) shows the Inner West Line being able to operate as a City to Liverpool/Bankstown via Regents Park service, Mr Collins indicated that the regular restoration of the Inner West Line was only one of many options being considered for west of Bankstown

Mr Collins also said that stations west of Bankstown would not be immediately shutdown after Metro Southwest and replaced with bus services, but also indicated that rail services was only a plan for the short-term future

When asked about the 2056 Future Transport Strategy’s map not showing any train line between Bankstown and Lidcombe/Cabramatta, Mr Collins said he was unfamiliar with the map in question

We are also very surprised at Mr Collins’ claim that he is not aware of the letter from 4 former Sydney rail executives warning that converting Sydenham to Bankstown into Metro would reduce reliability and have serious adverse consequences on the entire Sydney Trains Network

The Sydney Trains CEO stated that community consultation with west of Bankstown would take place and an announcement about rail services for the 9 stations would be made around November 2020

At the conclusion of the session, Roydon Ng from Save T3 Bankstown tried to take the Sydney Trains CEO to his word about taking feedback from the community by giving him his contact details

But Mr Collins ran away from Roydon Ng while flanked by an entourage of indignant Transport for NSW staffers as introduced himself as commuter from west of Bankstown impacted by the loss of all trains to City due to Metro Southwest

We are disappointed in Sydney Trains’ lack of attention to the 9 stations west of Bankstown and neglect of the 19,000 commuters that will be forced to interchange twice (Bankstown then Sydenham or Central) to reach City Circle after Metro Southwest

We are calling on local Councils, MPs and Chris Minns (Shadow Transport Minister) to urge the NSW Government to select restoring the Inner West Line (City to Liverpool/Bankstown via Regents Park) as the preferred option for the 9 stations west of Bankstown

There is actually no reason why the Inner West Line (City to Liverpool/Bankstown via Regents Park) can’t be restored now. The 2017 timetable’s extension of the Inner West Line from Homebush to Parramatta proves there’s ample track capacity between Homebush and Lidcombe contrary to the NSW Government’s claims of a “Homebush bottleneck” in 2013, which was used as one excuse for cutting the line

With or without the Metro extension from Bankstown to Liverpool, the 9 stations west of Bankstown will not have any trains to City unless the Inner West Line (City to Liverpool/Bankstown via Regents Park) is restored