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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”