Early start, $3.5 billion boost for Western Sydney Airport rail line

A post-pandemic push will see work commence this year on a vital rail line to Sydney's new airport.

By David Flynn , June 1 2020
Early start, $3.5 billion boost for Western Sydney Airport rail line

Work will begin on the rail link for Western Sydney’s Nancy-Bird Walton Airport this year as part of the federal government’s plan to reboot the economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced this morning that an additional $3.5 billion will be spent to ensure construction of the metro-style Western Sydney Airport line will start by December.

Western Sydney Airport will cater for an initial 10 million passengers per year.
Western Sydney Airport will cater for an initial 10 million passengers per year.

This will ensure the line is ready before the Western Sydney Airport begins operation in 2026 with both domestic and international flights.

"A big part of coming out of the COVID-19 crisis is our infrastructure spending," Morrison said this morning, underscoring Berejiklian’s comments over the weekend that her government would prioritise ‘shovel-ready’ programs.

Western Sydney Airport will offer domestic and international flights without a curfew.
Western Sydney Airport will offer domestic and international flights without a curfew.

The rail line will connect Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek to the suburban network at St Marys in the north, with a later extension planned through to Macarthur in the south to complete the North South line.

As part of the Sydney Metro service, the line will use automated driverless trains with six stops: the airport itself, the nearby Western Sydney Aerotropolis development and business park, the suburban areas of Luddenham and Orchard Hills, and the St Marys interchange.

The route and stations for the Sydney Metro Western Sydney Airport line.
The route and stations for the Sydney Metro Western Sydney Airport line.

Berejiklian said the North South metro "will not only service the airport, but so many people who will call this place home or who will come to the airport for work." The rail corridor itself can cater for up to  four tracks to support express trains for non-stop services to St Marys and, later, Macarthur.

Western Sydney International Nancy-Bird Walton Airport, to give its full name, will be owned and operated by the federal government and both compete with and complement the privately-owned Sydney International Kingsford Smith Airport.

The airport will be designed by COX Architecture and Zaha Hadid Architects.
The airport will be designed by COX Architecture and Zaha Hadid Architects.
The airport will be designed by COX Architecture and Zaha Hadid Architects.
The airport will be designed by COX Architecture and Zaha Hadid Architects.

Unlike its established city-adjacent counterpart, Western Sydney Airport will operate around the clock without a curfew and cater for an initial 10 million passengers per year, with room to grow to up to 82 million annual passengers.

Adjacent to the airport will be the Western Sydney Aerotropolis development.
Adjacent to the airport will be the Western Sydney Aerotropolis development.
Adjacent to the airport will be the Western Sydney Aerotropolis development.
Adjacent to the airport will be the Western Sydney Aerotropolis development.

The airport will be designed by COX Architecture and Zaha Hadid Architects and is adjacent to the 11,200-hectare Western Sydney Aerotropolis development to support the airport itself as well as provide commercial, research, educational and residential spaces, with many residential areas located in precincts “protected from the 24/7 operations of the airport.”

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

13 Feb 2015

Total posts 58

I understand linking to Macarthur Station, but St Mary's? What am I missing?

01 Jun 2020

Total posts 3

Railway networks have to be just that - networks. The line as now proposed links in to the existing network and expands it, which constitutes good transport planning. Linking to both Macarthur and to St Mary's makes the Airport rail line useful whether your journey starts to the south, to the north, to the west or to the east.

12 Feb 2013

Total posts 39

Are they revisiting and recrunching the air travel demand numbers (if its available?) for the post Covid 19 era on which this Airport's demand was originally based on (pre Covid 19) even though it is long term planning and future proofing? The first few years after opening will probably see the demand take a bit longer to materialise than originally envisaged.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 754

Flying High st Marys is the link to the city. For the first few years the city trip will entail a change at St Marys. The whole trip will be about an hour if express trains are used. Not bad globally.

13 Feb 2015

Total posts 58

Wouldn't it make more sense to build a link to Parramatta though if that was the case? Seeing as a high speed link is planned between Parramatta and Sydney.

But to be honest I'm not sure why you'd fly into WS Airport if you want to go to Sydney anyway. Isn't that what Sydney Airport is for?

01 Jun 2020

Total posts 3

What makes sense depends where you live and work Flying High. The main area of rail need is north-south rather than east-west at the moment, because the system is too radial and focuses too much on the CBD.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 754

Flying high a paramatta line is on the cards but later. This line is the first part of a western suburbs north south link from MacArthur to Schofields. Their will give a good link to the employment hub nearby the airport. There is a NSW master plan that spells it all out. There will be space for four tracks as/if demand allows. People will fly to western Sydney if that is where they want to go. Parramatta is now the demographic centre of Sydney.

01 Jun 2020

Total posts 3

Interesting patrickk. And Schofields is only a hop skip and jump from the North West Metro's last stop at Tallawong. That's a missing link crying out to be filled in.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 754

I thank that is the plan to link them up.

11 Dec 2015

Total posts 88

The ultimate plan is for a loop from Tallawong at the end of the NW metro, through to St Marys, on to WSA then finally linking up with the existing rail system again at Macarthur. There's also a plan for a second link direct to Westmead and Parramatta at some point - linking up with Metro West which will go through to Martin Place.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Apr 2011

Total posts 38

Bit hard to tell from the aerial picture, but surely this aiport will have more than one runway for take offs and landings?

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 754

Johnnoz one runway now like Perth, Gatwick, Adelaide, Canberra (and Brisbane until next month) and many others; and two runways from about 2050.

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 325

Perth has two runways...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Apr 2011

Total posts 38

If we're going to spend that sort of money, and build something from scratch, then surely they can future proof it by building two runways while they are doing the groundworks anyway. Way cheaper to do it now than in 2050 and it's an employment project. The more bods on the ground the better. Same with the railway line, build it with the future in mind instead of trying to retrofit it down the track.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Jun 2011

Total posts 90

That would make sense but that's not how governments work - just look at any freeway that's had to be extended/expended

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Jun 2011

Total posts 144

Nothing on the TfNSW website states it extends to Macarthur...?

30 Jul 2015

Total posts 122

The govt is not extending that planned railway line to MacArthur

08 Feb 2018

Total posts 90

Where did the macarthur extension come from? And the four-track comment? Can you point to the source for that, id like to have a look at the plans?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

05 Sep 2013

Total posts 53

See post below

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

05 Sep 2013

Total posts 53

Macarthur: Page 7; 12; and others.

Four lines of track: Page 5; 16; & 51.

In Western Sydney Rail Needs Scoping Study Outcomes Report Dated March 2018 by the Department of Infrastructure Regional Development and Cities with the NSW Government.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Jun 2011

Total posts 144

Good lord that is old! Theres porbably been about 15 plans since then.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 754

Tm 2018 is the plan they are operating off. There have been a number of announcements since then employment hub etc to to tie it all together.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Jun 2011

Total posts 144

That was a tongue in cheek comment... But also goes to speak to the inaccuracies to which this article is of plans that have been firmed and funded and those that have not.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 754

Tm the plans that are firmed and funded (out of that plan) are the Southwest metro to Bankstown and the Western Metro to Westmead; and now this one. Not sure what the next one might be. Could the MacArthur one or the Bankstown to Liverpool one.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Jun 2011

Total posts 144

I mean, thats the point, we don't know which ones will be funded or whether they may be future changes to the plan (plans do change). That is however, not how it is presented in this piece.

Also, if this is a metro, it would be an over complication to include both all-stop and express trains on a line that is currently 4-5 stops....

08 Feb 2018

Total posts 90

Thanks

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Mar 2018

Total posts 6

Great that the rail line is being built ,though I will never be using the airport unless there is a direct line to the city.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1389

There won't be a direct line to the City.

This Airport is designed for commuters and businesses in Sydney's West. For those in the City, the existing airport will be closer and have far greater frequencies

At best in the 2030s you might be able to catch one train to Parramatta, and then the West Metro to the city

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 754

Moa you will be able to catch a metro to st Marys then a direct train to the city much the same as via paramatta. About an hour all up. I expect they will add st Marys to the Penrith express trains.

Qantas

01 Jun 2016

Total posts 25

The biggest benefit this airport will have over the Syd airport is no night curfew. This will allow it to attract International Airlines unlike in Melbourne. Furthermore, the taxes might be cheaper from this airport than SYD to attract more customers to compensate for the travel cost/time. I think low fare airlines will relocate to this airport this will at least make the commute to SYD Airport on a weekend a bit of a pleasant. Who knows Qantas might make a dedicated premium entry lane for its premium passengers like Virgin.

04 Dec 2017

Total posts 55

Surely there should be HEX type arrangement considering it's so far from CBD, tourist appeal spots and business centres. Why the heck do we do everything so inefficiently compared to Europe even China? XPT is a joke, Brisbane to Gold Coast is a joke. Compare that with the Maglev at PVG. I'll avoid WSA at all costs. Can you imagine having to sit on a suburban train battling peak hour loads after a 24 hr flight from JFK or LHR as embarrassingly occurs now with the Sydney Airport train line. Nothing dedicated with tourists fighting their way onto peak hour trains into the city on arrival...embarrassing and short sighted. At least start off with an hourly express into city?

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 754

Batrill having battled peak hour suburban lines in both JFK and Heathrow usually with at least one change in both, Western Sydney won't be much different. Only Heathrow has a very expensive dedicated airport line. By the way it has been announced Jetstar will move to WSA. If it suits my travel I certainly will use it.

22 Sep 2017

Total posts 32

At least you can change between Domestic and International without taking a bus and being gouged for the privilege.

Could be a nice scissor hub for the new VA if they choose to do some international flights.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1256

While it makes sense not to go to Macarthur straight away, it seems short sighted not to get it to connect to existing SW Rail link. Problematic rail journey for residents in Campbelltown etc

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 754

There is a plan to link the business park to the SW rail link when it gets going and that will be a state government thing. The SW rail is heavy rail so the interchange to the metro will be at the business park.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1256

I understand there are plans, but there are plans for many things that don't eventuate. There has not been an announcement that it WILL occur. Unless they allow space, it will make future construction more complex and costly, plus may leave a portion of Western Sydney not easily connected to the airport.

The Metro is also a state government thing, it is just being partially funded by the Feds. That isn't uncommon.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 754

hutch I think the business park station will have capacity for SW line trains to come to it and that station is part of the current construction plan just announced. By state government thing I meant there probably wont be any federal government money at the given it is shortish link, and probably wouldn't feature in infrastructure Australia priorities but I may be wrong. I am sure it will happen as the business park will demand it, being a heavy rail (read frelght) line.

20 Jan 2017

Total posts 41

On a side note if the airport is to be running 24/7 how is one meant to, say for example get into the city via rail from St Marys if the suburban network doesn't run 24/7?

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 754

Lps the same problem occurs the world over including Melbourne. There is always taxis, ride sharing services and shuttle buses. If there is a demand it is usually filled. At those hours it will be international flights and so people with lots of bags etc. who would prefer not to travel on a metro.


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