State Government announces light rail between Westmead, Parramatta and Carlingford

THE State Government has announced a new $1 billion light rail line between Westmead, Parramatta and Carlingford, with 16 proposed stops across 12km.

Olympic Park has not been named on the route — but is expected to be added in phase two of the design, later this year.

It is unclear, though, when the line to Olympic Park will be built.

Rosehill Racecourse is on the list of stops being built in the first phase of construction.

Transport and Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance said services would operate every seven and a half minutes from early morning to late at night, with the capacity to transport 10,000 people an hour.

Map highlighting the new light rail route through Western Sydney. Picture: NSW Transport

The dual track light rail will run down Macquarie St in Parramatta’s CBD.

He said the State Government has allocated $1 billion to the project.

“We’ve done the important planning work and are pleased we can unveil the preferred route and proposed stops, which we will now refine in consultation with the community,” he said.

“Customers won’t have to wait long for a service, they’ll tap on with Opal and board with ease and comfort,” he said.

“There’ll also be extra services for special events and we are planning for the system as a whole to be capable of carrying 10,000 people an hour.”

An artist’s impression of the light rail going past Western Sydney University.

The government said stage one of the new network connected the major health precinct at Westmead to three campuses of Western Sydney University, North Parramatta, new revitalised places in the Parramatta CBD, upgraded schools, Rosehill Racecourse as well as the new Western Sydney Stadium.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian joined Mr Constance to unveil the preferred route for the first stage of the Parramatta light rail, to join Westmead to Parramatta and Carlingford via Camellia.

The preferred 12km line has been released with potential stops at: Westmead; Westmead Hospital

Children’s Hospital; Cumberland Hospital; Factory Street; Fennell St; Prince Alfred Square; Eat Street; Parramatta Square; Harris Street; Tramway Avenue; Camellia; Rydalmere; Dundas; Telopea; Carlingford

“This is a project that will not just connect major parts of greater Parramatta but also revitalise communities and help create new ones,” Ms Berejiklian said.

The light rail will stop at Telopea before continuing onto Carlingford.

Construction will start in 2018 with the first stage to be completed by 2023.

More than 17 properties will be compulsory acquired by the government to make way for the light rail, including 11 commercial buildings and six residential properties — one of them an apartment block housing 28 units.

The government began door knocking affected properties yesterday afternoon.

“To the number of people who may be adversely affected because of acquisitions, we will do it as compassionately as we can,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“We know that yesterday afternoon and for the next few weeks people will be receiving that news, and I want to assure you and give you our government’s commitment that we will act as compassionately as we can because we appreciate what personal angst individuals may go through, but the overwhelming benefits to the community are extremely exciting.”

It is unclear how the light rail will intersect with the planned underground Sydney Metro West.

Planning work for stage two of the project, from Camellia to Strathfield via Sydney Olympic Park, is being developed in collaboration with Sydney Metro West.

The metro is an underground railway linking the city, the western suburbs, the inner-city Bays Precinct and Sydney Olympic Park.

New stations will be built at Parramatta and Olympic Park, but the service will not be operational for about 10 years.

“We are absolutely confident and assured of stage one and we envisage that we will work towards revealing details of stage two by the end of this year,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“As you can appreciate, not only is there major upgrades and major infrastructure along stage two but we also need to finalise where a future metro will intersect with a light rail and thats why we’re taking to the end of this year to get stage two done properly.”

Sydney Business Chamber Western Sydney director David Borger said both the metro line and the light rail needed to go to Olympic Park.

“We need certainty for Olympic Park. It’s going to be the chamber’s intention to get behind the business community and work with the government to help Olympic Park happen,” he said.

Parramatta Council adminstrator Amanda Chadwick welcomed the announcement but called on the line to be extended to Epping.

“This is great news for the people of Parramatta and we’re excited that Council’s long-standing vision for a light rail network will now be realised,” she said.

Parramatta state Liberal MP Geoff Lee said the light rail line would bring in a new wave of investorys to strengthen and revitalise city centres.

“I have worked tirelessly to get the best for the people of Parramatta and I am delighted that the community is now another step closer to having its very own light rail service,” he said.

Source: Tony Bosworth and Miles Godfrey, “State Government announces light rail between Westmead, Parramatta and Carlingford”, The Daily Telegraph, February 17, 2017

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State Government announces light rail between Westmead, Parramatta and Carlingford