Sydney Metro City & Southwest

Sydney Metro City & Southwest is an under-construction 30 km (19 mi) rapid transit project in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The project will extend the Metro North West Line from Chatswood on the North Shore, to Bankstown in the city's south-west via the Sydney central business district. The centrepiece of the project is a new 15.5 km (9.6 mi)[2] twin-tunnel rail crossing under Sydney Harbour and through the city to Sydenham. Together with planned improvements to the Main Western line, the project is expected to increase capacity on the Sydney rail network by up to 60%, and allow for the movement of over 100,000 extra commuters across the network every hour.[3]

Sydney Metro City & Southwest
StatusUnder construction
OwnerTransport for NSW
LocaleSydney, Australia
Stations18 (7 new stations, 11 stations converted)[1]
TypeRapid transit
SystemSydney Metro
Rolling stockAlstom Metropolis TS set
Opened2024 (projected)
Start of major construction2017
Planned opening2024
Line length30 km (19 mi)
Number of tracks2
Track gauge1,435 mm standard gauge
Electrification1500 V DC overhead
Route map

Disabled access All Metro stations will have wheelchair access

Crows Nest
Victoria Cross
Sydney Harbour
Martin Place
Pitt Street
stabling yard
Bankstown line before conversion
Bankstown line to Birrong

Metro service
Sydney Trains service

The project began construction in 2017 and is planned to open by 2024.[4] Tunnelling was completed in March 2020.[5] It is estimated to cost up to $15.5 billion as a result of a budget blowout.[6]

Project HistoryEdit

Excavation of the Marrickville dive in August 2018

In 2013, a proposal was raised to extend the then-proposed North West Rail Link, by building a metro-style tunnel from just south of Chatswood Station via St Leonards and North Sydney and under the Sydney Harbour towards Central and Redfern, before joining the newly converted metro lines towards Hurstville, Bankstown, Lidcombe and Liverpool.[7] This largely renews a previous proposal known as the CBD Rail Link (see below), except with metro-style trains instead. The Hurstville extension was subsequently dropped.

The proposal was officially announced by the New South Wales government on 10 June 2014. The proposal was contingent on funding from privatising at least 49% of the state's power infrastructure, which was secured in June 2015.[8][9] Preliminary works involving drilling to depths 70m below Sydney Harbour commenced on 9 April 2015 to find the alignment for the new Sydney Metro tunnels.[3][10]

Chatswood to Sydenham sectionEdit

Planning approval for the Chatswood to Sydenham section of the project was received in January 2017.[11] In June 2017, a John Holland, CPB Contractors and Ghella joint venture was awarded the contract to build the twin tunnels from Chatswood to Sydenham.[12]

A contract for a major upgrade of Central station was awarded to Laing O'Rourke in March 2018. The project includes construction of two new underground platforms to serve the metro and a new underground concourse called Central Walk. The new platforms will be built beneath platforms 13-14.[13]

Tunnelling commenced in October 2018.[14]

In November 2018, a $1.376 billion contract was awarded to an unincorporated joint venture between CPB Contractors and UGL to be known as Systems Connect, which will include the laying of track from Chatswood to Sydenham as well as converting power on the Bankstown line to Metro standards and also the building of further Metro train facilities at Rouse Hill and Marrickville.[15]

Sydenham to Bankstown sectionEdit

Construction of the underground interchange in Martin Place, July 2019

The incorporation of Sydenham to Bankstown into Sydney Metro has not been without controversy, with a letter written by four former rail executives John Brew, Ron Christie, Bob O’Loughlin and Dick Day[16] casting doubts on the government's claims of improved reliability as well as warning that commuters west of Bankstown face additional interchange for travel towards the City Circle.

Planning approval of the upgrade of Bankstown Line between Sydenham and Bankstown was received in December 2018.[17] Beginning in December 2019, the Bankstown Line between Sydenham and Campsie and the Illawarra Line between Hurstville and Central was closed during certain periods in order to allow the Bankstown line to be converted and upgraded to metro standards.[18][19] The next major closure is planned from 28 June 2021 to 11 July 2021.[20]

The NSW Legislative Council announced on 22 August 2019 an Inquiry into the "Sydenham - Bankstown Line conversion"[21] examining decision making in relation to the transport project. The Inquiry to be conducted by Portfolio Committee 6 - Transport and Customer Service and chaired by Abigail Boyd released its report on 9 April 2020, recommending that the conversion not take place with Sydney Metro instead to terminate at Sydenham.[22] The NSW Government rejected most recommendations from this report.[23]

In December 2020, it was confirmed that when the Bankstown Line closes for conversion to metro in 2024, the Liverpool to City service via Regents Park and Lidcombe will be reinstated and a shuttle branch service will run between Lidcombe and Bankstown.[24] Regents Park will be the main interchange point between both services as the direct train between Bankstown and Liverpool will be withdrawn.[24]


The project is a major extension of the Metro North West Line, connecting Chatswood–the line's current terminus–to Sydenham, with new stations at Crows Nest, Victoria Cross, Barangaroo, Martin Place, Pitt Street, Central and Waterloo.[25] At Sydenham, the line would join the existing Bankstown railway line, which will be converted to rapid transit standards between Sydenham and Bankstown as part of the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project.

Route map
Metro North West Line continues
Chatswood (interchange with T1 North Shore and T9 Northern Lines)
Crows Nest
Victoria Cross (North Sydney)
Sydney Harbour
Martin Place (interchange with T4 Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line)
Pitt Street
Central (interchange with other railway and light rail lines)
Stabling Yard
Sydenham (interchange with T4 Illawarra Line)
Dulwich Hill (interchange with L1 Dulwich Hill Line)
Hurlstone Park
Wiley Park
Bankstown (interchange with Sydney Trains services)
Barangaroo Station under construction in September 2020

The original list of stations consisted of Crows Nest, Victoria Cross, Martin Place, Pitt Street, Central, Sydenham and the stations of the Bankstown line. Potential additional stations were also proposed for the industrial area of Artarmon (underground), St Leonards, Barangaroo and either the University of Sydney or Waterloo.[25][26] Barangaroo station was confirmed in June 2015 and Waterloo was confirmed in December.[27][28] The other three stations will not be included in the project.

The remaining stations served by the T3 Bankstown Line (Erskineville, St Peters and 9 stations west of Bankstown towards Lidcombe / Cabramatta) will continue to be served by Sydney Trains.

Potential extensionEdit

A scoping study into rail investment to service Western Sydney and the proposed Western Sydney Airport was announced by the New South Wales and Australian governments in November 2015.[29] The study's final report was released in March 2018 and included a proposal to extend the Sydney Metro City & Southwest from Bankstown to Liverpool. The extension is unlikely to be built for at least 20 years.[30]

Previous proposalsEdit

CBD Rail LinkEdit

The CBD Rail Link[31] was a component of the now-cancelled Metropolitan Rail Expansion Program (MREP) in Sydney. First announced in 2005, the line was to have started at Redfern Station, travelled under the city centre, crossed under Sydney Harbour, passed through the lower North Shore and ended at the existing Chatswood railway station. It was to have provided the centre section of a planned North West-CBD-South West rail arc connecting major areas of employment with the CBD and airport. Alternative names for the planned route have included the Redfern to Chatswood Rail Link (RCRL), Redfern to Chatswood Harbour Rail Link and MetroPitt.

The proposal was announced by Labor Premier Bob Carr on 15 June 2005 (shortly before his resignation), and formed part of the $8 billion Metropolitan Rail Expansion Project (MREP). The MREP consisted of the New South Wales government's $8 billion North West - CBD - South West line, including the North West Rail Link (to extend from Cheltenham to Rouse Hill), and the spur to Leppington in Sydney's South West. The six kilometre CBD Rail Link was slated to cost $5 billion, and was to include duplicated tracks on the North Shore line between St Leonards and Chatswood. It was to provide a second railway line transversing Sydney Harbour to ease congestion at Town Hall and Wynyard stations, both considerably crowded and unable to be easily expanded, and to reduce travel times between the city and the lower North Shore.

The government's previous plan of constructing an additional CBD underground line was known as MetroWest. It was to have run from Haymarket in the city's Chinatown precinct near Darling Harbour, along the western edge of the city under Sussex or Kent Street and either ended at Wynyard station or continued over the harbour 'strapped' to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This option would not have served the part of the city experiencing the fastest growth of employment, and would have necessitated the destruction of eight office buildings. A previous MetroPitt proposal, travelling further east (and under its namesake Pitt Street) and through the financial district, could also be built deeper underground, limiting the impact on existing infrastructure.

In 2006, both of these corridors were protected with planning buffers to allow the option of future construction.[32] Developers who want to excavate deeper than two metres within a 25-metre buffer zone of the corridors need to seek RailCorp's approval.[33]

In the plan the stations along the CBD Rail Link would have included:[34]

A map[35] of the protected corridors suggested there may have been the potential for another station at Macquarie Place, between The Rocks and Castlereagh Street.

In March 2008 the State Government announced that the line would be cancelled, its role to be partly superseded by future metro rail lines.[36]

Later Labor proposalsEdit

One of the metro lines announced in 2009 by the Rees state government was CBD Metro, which ran along a similar CBD alignment to the current Sydney Metro proposal between Central and Barangaroo. However, the alignment continued west from Baranagaroo, crossing Darling Harbour and heading towards Rozelle and beyond. Therefore, there were no metro lines proposed linking the CBD to Chatswood.

In 2010, the new Keneally government cancelled the entire metro project, and the CBD Relief Line & Western Express concept was announced as replacement. The relief line was largely a return to the CBD Rail Link proposal, but used the MetroWest alignment instead. The line would have offered an alternative heavy rail link in the CBD between Redfern and Wynyard, but also did not cross the harbour into the North Shore. The relief line was cancelled by the incoming Liberal-Nationals government when they won the 2011 state election, who then announced the current project in 2014.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Transport for NSW (2017). "Project Overview". 5.1 Overview and key components. p. 56. Retrieved 10 June 2017. New metro stations at Crows Nest, Victoria Cross, Barangaroo, Martin Place, Pitt Street and Waterloo as well as new underground platforms at Central Station CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: location (link)
  2. ^ "Chatswood to Sydenham". Transport for NSW. Retrieved 11 May 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b Walker, Ian. "Construction begins on second Sydney Harbour rail crossing". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 April 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Sanda, Dominica (22 June 2017). "Work on Sydney Harbour tunnels to start". News Limited. Australian Associated Press. Archived from the original on 25 June 2017. Retrieved 22 June 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Tunnelling for Sydney Metro City and Southwest complete". 24 March 2020. Retrieved 22 April 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "'This is mismanagement': New Sydney Metro's $3b blowout". 20 February 2020. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  7. ^ Clennell, Andrew (6 December 2013). "Second Sydney Harbour crossing to follow North West Rail". The Telegraph News. Retrieved 20 January 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Gerathy, Sarah; Foschia, Liz (11 June 2014). "Sydney rapid transit rail build could begin in three years, NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian says". Retrieved 11 June 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Funding secured: Sydney Metro to be a reality" (PDF) (Press release). NSW Government. 4 June 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ Getting down to business: Early work begins on Sydney Rapid Transit Transport for NSW 8 April 2015
  11. ^ "Signal turns green for Sydney metro extension under the harbour". Transport for NSW. 10 January 2017. Retrieved 10 January 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ Contract awarded for Harbour Metro crossing Infrastructure Magazine 23 June 2017
  13. ^ "$955 Million Central Walk, Sydney Metro Contract Awarded - securing more NSW jobs". Transport for NSW. 7 March 2018. Retrieved 7 March 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ Haydar, Nour (17 October 2018). "Sydney Metro project reaches milestone as boring machines begin to drill". ABC News.
  15. ^ Metro on track as $1.376 billion contract awarded Transport for NSW
  16. ^ John Brew, Ron Christie, Bob O’Loughlin and Dick Day (July 2015). "A report dated July 2015 about the Sydney Metro and long term transport planning" (PDF). Transport for NSW: Access to Information (GIPA Act).CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  17. ^ "Sydney Metro Bankstown Line Metro Upgrade gets green light". Transport for NSW. 19 December 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ "Rail line closure to force 100,000 commuters a day to catch buses". Sydney Morning Herald. 18 July 2019.
  19. ^ Sydenham to Bankstown Preferred Infrastructure Report Overview Sydney Metro June 2018
  20. ^ Southwest metro upgrade - update Sydney Metro 8 February 2021
  21. ^ "Sydenham-Bankstown Line conversion". Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  22. ^ "Sydenham-Bankstown line conversion report" (PDF). NSW Parliament. Portfolio Committee No. 6 - Transport and Customer Service. Retrieved 10 April 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  23. ^ NSW Government response Inquiry into the Sydenham-Bankstown line conversion Andrew Constance, Minister for Roads & Transport 7 October 2020
  24. ^ a b "Rail options for west of Bankstown station in 2024 now confirmed". Transport for NSW. 8 December 2020. Retrieved 9 December 2020.
  25. ^ a b "Stations and Alignment". Sydney Metro - Transport for NSW. Archived from the original on 7 June 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  26. ^ Saulwick, Jacob (12 October 2014). "Jockeying begins over new train stations for Sydney University or Waterloo". Retrieved 14 October 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  27. ^ Budget delivers $9 billion for public transport services and infrastructure Transport for NSW 23 June 2015
  28. ^ "Sydney Metro to rejuvenate Waterloo" (PDF). NSW Government. 16 December 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 February 2016. Retrieved 17 December 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  29. ^ "Western Sydney Airport". Transport for NSW. Archived from the original on 2 March 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  30. ^ "Western Sydney Rail Needs Scoping Study Outcomes Report" (PDF). Australian Government and New South Wales Government. March 2018. p. 60. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 March 2018. Retrieved 7 March 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  31. ^ "Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation - Annual Report 2007" (PDF). Parliament of NSW. Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation. 2007. Retrieved 25 February 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  32. ^ "Iemma Government locks in future city rail corridors". Sydney Metropolitan Strategy. NSW Government - Department of Planning. 18 February 2006. Archived from the original on 11 November 2006. Retrieved 24 January 2007. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  33. ^ "Rail routes sealed off". Hill Shire Times. 20 February 2006. Archived from the original on 8 October 2007. Retrieved 24 January 2007. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  34. ^ "Revealed: the harbour tunnel to ease rail crisis". The Sydney Morning Herald. 9 June 2005. Retrieved 24 January 2007. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  35. ^ "Protected CBD Rail Corridors Map" (PDF). Sydney Metropolitan Strategy. NSW Government - Department of Planning. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 December 2006. Retrieved 24 January 2007. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  36. ^ Besser L and Smith A. City catches fast-tracked metro. Sydney Morning Herald, 19 March 2008.