Council, along with other Councils in the West and South West, has a vision for a new North-South rail link to transform the region and accommodate the huge growth that will occur in Western Sydney over the next 20 years.
The rail link would connect existing rail infrastructure in the Macarthur area in the south-west through to Rouse Hill in the north-west, via the proposed Western Sydney Airport.
North-South rail will make it easier to travel within Western Sydney and take advantage of the benefits of the new airport.
Western Sydney is disconnected and our residents have limited public transport options available. This means almost 90% of us have to use our cars to get to work and it can take longer to get to a job in another part of Western Sydney than it does to Sydney’s CBD.
As our population grows the pressure on the existing rail and road network will increase, leading to more traffic, longer commuting times and greater travel costs.
North-South rail will create an integrated public transport system for Western Sydney – taking commuters off our roads and opening up the region to jobs, housing and investment.
Good public transport can do much more than get people where they need to be.
North-South rail will open up Western Sydney and create more local jobs and housing around connected town centres along the rail line.
Improving public transport will help local businesses grow and attract new businesses and investors into the region.
The Federal and State Government would fund rail in Western Sydney but there may be a role for private partnerships as well. A number of key landowners in the South West and West are also keen to see rail delivered.
Both levels of government are currently looking at a range of rail routes through the
Western Sydney Rail Needs Scoping Study - Discussion Paper but no decisions have been made.
Council has been advocating for a North-South rail link as our preferred route since 2015 and will continue to do so, particularly through the
City Deal for Western Sydney.
Council believe a North-South rail link is the single most important piece of infrastructure, over and beyond the Western Sydney Airport, which will transform Western Sydney.
North-South rail will connect Penrith to the new airport, allowing our residents to take advantage of new jobs and new services from day one of the airport opening.
Penrith and more broadly Western Sydney will see unprecedented population growth over the next two decades. We will house two out of every three new Sydneysiders with more people living West of Parramatta than East of it by 2036.
We know that getting to work and doing business in Western Sydney isn’t as easy as it should be. 300,000 people travel out of Western Sydney for work daily and over 90% of people rely on their cars to commute, spending more time sitting in traffic and paying more in transport costs.
The North-South rail link, running from Campbelltown to Rouse Hill, will be the transformative infrastructure needed to connect Western Sydney. Rail will structure a public transport system that will open up the region to new jobs and more housing, easing congestion on our roads and cutting travel time.
Council wants our residents to live and work in a truly connected 30-minute city.
Caption: Map showing the proposed rail corridor from south-west to north-west, subject to assessment and design.
The Federal and State Government have undertaken a
Western Sydney Rail Needs Scoping Study, to assess the need for passenger rail investment to support Western Sydney and the Western Sydney Airport. The final report of the study is due mid-2017 and will provide a shortlist of preferred rail options for further investigation. The Federal Government is also undertaking a Rail Feasibility Design to be presented mid-2017, providing guidance on the costing and operation of rail infrastructure, including the consideration of rail alignment and station options.
In a submission to the Study, Council carefully considered how the various rail options could fundamentally improve the economic productivity and the liveability of the Western Sydney region. Council’s submission was supported by extensive analysis by Deloitte and Arup who were commissioned by the Western Sydney Rail Alliance, which Penrith helped establish in late 2015. Alliance members include Penrith, Liverpool and Campbelltown Councils, major landowners, The Committee for Sydney and the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue.
In its submission Council urged that:
Immediate steps be taken to reserve a rail corridor from the metro north-west at Cudgegong Road to Campbelltown Station via Western Sydney Airport.
This corridor proceed to construction so that it is operational by the commencement of passenger services at Western Sydney Airport.
Council’s submission stated that options 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 have merit. Option 5 would not be needed until several decades after commencement of the airport. Options A to E see Western Sydney’s rail needs met by Eastern Sydney located projects and cannot be supported.
Download Council's submission (6.27MB pdf)
Council fully supported Option 6 – North-South Rail. The submission describes Option 6 as the only option which truly responds to the absolute imperative for structuring of the north-south outer metropolitan growth arc around passenger rail. This would be City and Regional shaping, and substantially enhance the economic, social and environmental performance of this planned high growth corridor. It provides the best opportunity for the benefits of a Western Sydney Airport to exceed the impacts – which is critical for public support for this major project.
As outlined in our submission Option 6 is the only option that will:
In 2016 Council encouraged residents to have their say on rail in Western Sydney by making a submission to the Western Sydney Rail Needs Scoping Study - Discussion Paper.
Following a successful awareness campaign over 900 people and businesses visited the Study website.
In 2017 Council is continuing to be a strong voice advocating for improved public transport in Western Sydney. We are urging the Federal and State Government to take action to reserve a North-South rail corridor and commit to building the North-South rail link before passenger services at the Western Sydney Airport begin.
If you are an individual or business that would benefit from a North-South rail we want to hear from you. To share your story and help Council make the case for rail email
Caption: Council’s Assistant General Manager Craig Butler speaking with residents about the benefits of a North-South rail link in 2016.
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