Funding boost to combat Sydney rail congestion

The New South Wales Government will invest $1.5 billion in Sydney’s rail network to boost services and manage increasing congestion.

The More Trains, More Services program will address the dramatic 21 per cent growth in patronage that is forecast for the next five years with:

  • The delivery of 24 new eight-car Waratah-style trains to boost services
  • Acceleration of new express services on the busy T1 Western Line to cope with demand
  • Track, signaling and power upgrades to increase capacity and reliability

New South Wales Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Andrew Constance, said the program was vital to accommodate the major surge in passenger growth.

“We’ve seen average train loads rise significantly which is starting to impact on customers’ ability to get on a train in peak periods,” Mr Constance said.

The NSW Government has ordered 24 additional Waratah-style trains, meaning more commuter services will begin rolling onto the tracks from late 2018.

The extra trains in the first instance will deliver customers more peak hour capacity including:

  • An extra four express trains between Parramatta and the Sydney CBD in both the morning and afternoon peaks
  • Train services every three minutes, or up to 20 trains per hour in the busiest periods
  • Work commencing on a new timetable to implement the extra services on the T1 Western Line to begin by late 2017

“What we’re seeing in terms of growth is off the charts and we have to act quickly to keep the system running well,” Mr Constance said.

Following a competitive tender process, the order of new trains leaves more than $300 million in savings that will be re-invested into a new country XPT fleet.

The contract for the new XPT fleet will set a target for 100 per cent assembly in NSW, with a preference towards regional NSW, to boost jobs and skills.

“In November I announced the acceleration of the new country fleet, and our aim is that significant components of those trains will be assembled in the regions, as well as stabled and maintained in regional NSW,” Mr Constance said.

More Trains, More Services will be a staged program of works on the rail system to compliment additional rail capacity being introduced on the network, particularly the Sydney Metro Northwest line which is due to open in 2019.

Further announcements will be made in due course in relation to other parts of the program that will boost services across the rest of the rail network.

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