The formal planning process for the next stage of the Sydney Metro City and Southwest project has begun, with the lodgement of an infrastructure application report for the Sydenham to Bankstown upgrade.

When the Bankstown Line is upgraded to Sydney Metro standards, customers will get more trains, faster travel times and easier access to stations.

On the Bankstown Line there is currently a train every eight minutes in the peak at major stations along the line, and just four trains an hour at the rest. With Metro, there will be a train every four minutes in the peak at all stations, with plenty of room to grow in the future.

Customers on the Bankstown line will have new and direct access to major CBD metro stations and beyond, including Martin Place, Pitt Street, Barangaroo, Victoria Cross in North Sydney, Chatswood and Macquarie Park.

Currently, about 36,000 people use the stations between Sydenham and Bankstown each weekday, with more than 4,000 of those changing trains to travel north of the Harbour Bridge.

Sydney Metro will cut travel times between Sydenham and Macquarie Park by at least 16 minutes, also cutting up to 11 minutes on the trip between Bankstown and Martin Place.

All 11 stations between Sydenham and Bankstown will be upgraded to modern standards with lifts, level platforms including screen doors for safety and increased security.

Transport for NSW has begun contacting a small number of affected property owners from Sydenham to Bankstown, the majority of which are commercial tenants.

Sydney Metro will take advantage of the four annual scheduled maintenance closures of the Bankstown Line to do upgrade work.

Additional periodic closure will also be required and will be scheduled around quieter travel times like nights, weekends and school holidays to minimise impacts.

To complete the Sydenham to Bankstown upgrade, a closure of between three to six months will be required to do work that can only be done once Sydney Trains have stopped operating on the line. This closure will be just before metro services start in 2024.

Transport for NSW is working on temporary transport plans to help customers get where they need to go during these times.

Planning approval was received earlier in 2017 for the Chatswood to Sydenham section of Sydney Metro, including the twin tunnels under Sydney Harbour. Construction starts in 2017, with the first of five tunnel boring machines in the ground by the end of 2018.

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