Bankstown Line

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Bankstown Line
T3 Sydney.png
Mode Commuter rail line
Owner RailCorp
Operator(s) Sydney Trains
Connects Wynyard
Town Hall
Stations 33
Fleet S, K, C, M & A sets
Depot(s) Flemington & Auburn
Line colour Orange
Key dates
1895 Opened to Belmore
1909 Extended to Bankstown
1928 Connected to Main South
Route map
1.2 km Town Hall
2.1 km Wynyard
3.0 km Circular Quay
4.4 km St James
5.0 km Museum
Airport line to Wolli Creek
1.3 km Redfern
Main Suburban line to Granville
2.9 km Erskineville
3.8 km St Peters
5.3 km Sydenham
Metropolitan Goods railway line to Botany
Illawarra line continues
6.6 km Marrickville
7.9 km Dulwich Hill
8.8 km Hurlstone Park
10.2 km Canterbury
Cooks River
11.7 km Campsie
Metropolitan Goods railway line to Enfield
13.3 km Belmore
14.5 km Lakemba
15.4 km Wiley Park
16.5 km Punchbowl
18.7 km Bankstown
20.2 km Yagoona
22.1 km Birrong
Metropolitan Goods railway line to Enfield
19.9 km Regents Park
18.4 km Berala
Main Suburban line to Granville
16.6 km Lidcombe
Main Suburban line to City
21.2 km Sefton
22.3 km Chester Hill
23.7 km Leightonfield
24.5 km Villawood
25.9 km Carramar
Prospect Creek
Old Main South line to Granville
28.4 km Cabramatta
34.2 km Warwick Farm
35.7 km Liverpool
Main South line continues

The Bankstown Line (numbered T3, coloured orange) is a commuter rail line operated by Sydney Trains in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It serves Canterbury-Bankstown and parts of the Inner West and Western Sydney. The Bankstown railway line is the section between Sydenham and Birrong.


Railway line history[edit]

The line opened between Sydenham on the Illawarra railway line and Belmore in 1895.[1] This was the first solely suburban line to open in Sydney- all other rail lines were mainlines carrying traffic into and out of Sydney. In 1909, the line was extended to Bankstown, with intermediate stations at Lakemba and Punchbowl. In 1916, the Metropolitan Goods Line was constructed, running parallel to the Bankstown Line between Marrickville and Campsie. A second extension, from Bankstown to Birrong, opened in 1928. This provided connections to the main suburban railway at Lidcombe and the main south line to Liverpool. A new station between Lakemba and Punchbowl at Wiley Park opened in 1938.

In 1926 the Bankstown became the second line in Sydney to be electrified and a maintenance depot was constructed at Punchbowl. Electrification was extended from Bankstown to Regents Park in 1939.[2] The Punchbowl maintenance depot closed in 1994.

January 2006 saw the completion of a four-year project to upgrade the line.[citation needed] The work included the resleepering of the entire line, replacing the former wooden sleepers with the more durable concrete ones, replacement and upgrade of the signalling, and also replacement of the ageing catenary, mostly with the more modern double contact wire variety. The lengthy upgrade process was noted for its "January Closedowns", in which the entire line was closed in January for the bulk of the upgrade work to take place.

Commuter line history[edit]

Electric passenger services originally operated along the Bankstown Line to St James station, until the 1956 opening of Circular Quay station and the completion of the City Circle.

Operation of the Bankstown Line has historically been tied to the operation of all stations services on the Main Suburban railway line between Lidcombe and the City (marketed as the Inner West Line). Services consisted of a mixture of "Bankstown loop" trains (City - Sydenham - Bankstown - Lidcombe - Strathfield - City) and trains from both sides of the loop (Birrong or Regents Park) heading to Sefton and then further west.

A new timetable released in October 2013 broke the loop between the two lines. As part of the Rail Clearways Program, new turnbacks were constructed at Lidcombe and Homebush to allow the separation of both lines and increase their reliability and frequency. Services were also changed to operate mostly around the City Circle via Town Hall on weekdays (rather than via Museum). As part of the timetable change, a new numbering system was also introduced and the line was given the number T3.

The line formerly was depicted in a brown colour in the early 1990s[3] before being changed to a purple colour around 2000,[4] before it became the current orange colour.

Future Projects[edit]

As part of the Rail Clearways Program, a sextuplication project was proposed in 2007 between Erskinevile and Sydenham to separate Bankstown line services from those operating towards East Hills. This plan was cancelled in 2011.

Sydney Trains Future highlights the conversion of the Bankstown Line and the Illawara Line to metro style trains building new tunnels underground to connect into a new CBD line and then onto the Second Harbour Crossing and the North West Rail Link. It is planned in 2030-2040 that the Bankstown Line will receive 15 single deck trains per hour that have smaller capacity loads than current double deckers. The Bankstown Metro Line will have the capacity to operate up to 30 trains an hour.

The newest plan for the Bankstown Metro is to truncate and terminate the single deck trains at Bankstown. The Regents Park-Sefton junction and Sefton-Liverpool sections will miss out. St Peters, Erskineville and Redfern are also proposed to miss out on the metro due to very deep tunnels between Sydenham and Central. There could possibly be high frequency light rail servicing the Western end of the Bankstown Line to Parramatta and beyond. These stations however miss out on metro services. There will ne no direct trains to the CBD. St Peters and Erskineville Stations may be serviced by the Illawara Line but there are no proposals for these stations.

Description of line[edit]

Bankstown Line.png

The Bankstown line physically begins at Sydenham railway station on the Illawarra line. The line branches at Sydenham Junction and passes in a westwards direction to Bankstown, where it heads north to Birrong. Between Marrickville and Campsie, the Metropolitan Goods line runs in parallel. At Birrong, the line meets the Main South Line which runs from Lidcombe to Cabramatta via Regents Park.

Commuter line route[edit]

Passenger services begin at Town Hall station on the City Circle. Most services operate around the City Circle in a clockwise direction to Central, then through Redfern. Trains usually operate on the 'Illawarra local' (western pair) tracks between Redfern and Sydenham, serving St Peters and Erskineville stations. At Birrong, about half of the Bankstown line trains continue north to Lidcombe. The other half goes west to Liverpool.

The line serves two major centres in Western Sydney, namely Bankstown and Liverpool.


The basic operating pattern is 2 trains per hour originating at Liverpool or Lidcombe, combining at Birrong to provide 4 trains per hour service to the City Circle (via Town Hall), and vice versa. Additional limited stops services operate during weekday peak hours.


Name Code Distance from

[5] [6] [7] [8]



Railway line Serving suburbs Other lines
Town Hall - Birrong
Town Hall THL 1.2 km 1932 City Circle Sydney, Darling Harbour North Shore, Northern & Western Line
Airport, Inner West & South Line
Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line
NSW TrainLink*
*peak hours only
Wynyard WYD 2.1 km 1932 City Circle Sydney, The Rocks, Millers Point North Shore, Northern & Western Line
Airport, Inner West & South Line
Circular Quay CQY 3.0 km 1956 City Circle Circular Quay, Sydney
The Rocks, Millers Point
Airport, Inner West & South Line
St James SAJ km 1926 City Circle Sydney
Museum MSM km 1926 City Circle Sydney
Central SBO 0 km 1855 City Circle Central, Strawberry Hills
Ultimo, Surrey Hills
North Shore, Northern & Western Line
Airport, Inner West & South Line
Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line
NSW TrainLink
Redfern RDF 1.3 km 1878 Illawarra Redfern, Waterloo, Darlington
The University of Sydney
North Shore, Northern & Western Line
Airport, Inner West & South Line
Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line
NSW TrainLink*
*peak hours only
Erskineville EKV 2.9 km 1884 Illawarra Erskineville, Macdonaldtown, Newtown
St Peters SAP 3.8 km 1884 Illawarra St Peters, Alexandria, Erskineville, Newtown
Sydenham SDN 5.3 km 1884 Illawarra Sydenham, Marrickville Airport, Inner West & South Line*
Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line
*peak hours only
Marrickville MRV 6.6 km 1895 Bankstown Marrickville, Marrickville South
Dulwich Hill DHM 7.9 km 1895 Bankstown Dulwich Hill, Marrickville, Hurlstone Park
Hurlstone Park HPK 8.8 km 1895 Bankstown Hurlstone Park, Canterbury
Canterbury CTB 10.2 km 1895 Bankstown Canterbury
Campsie CMP 11.7 km 1895 Bankstown Campsie
Belmore BMR 13.3 km 1895 Bankstown Belmore
Lakemba LKM 14.5 km 1909 Bankstown Lakemba
Wiley Park WLP 15.4 km 1938 Bankstown Wiley Park, Lakemba, Punchbowl
Punchbowl PCB 16.5 km 1909 Bankstown Punchbowl
Bankstown BWU 18.7 km 1909 Bankstown Bankstown
Yagoona YOA 20.6 km 1928 Bankstown Yagoona
Birrong BRG 22.1 km 1928 Bankstown Birrong
Birrong - Lidcombe
Regents Park RGP 19.9 km 1912 Main South Regents Park
Berala BAA 18.4 km 1912 Main South Berala
Lidcombe LDC 16.6 km 1858 Main South Lidcombe North Shore, Northern & Western Line
Airport, Inner West & South Line
Olympic Park Line
NSW TrainLink*

*limited services only

Birrong - Liverpool
Sefton SFT 21.2 km 1924 Main South Sefton
Chester Hill CHH 22.3 km 1924 Main South Chester Hill
Leightonfield LHF 23.7 km 1942 Main South Villawood
Vilawood VWD 24.5 km 1924 Main South Villawood
Carramar CMR 25.9 km 1924 Main South Carramar
Cabramatta CTT 28.4 km 1870 Main South Cabramatta Airport, Inner West & South Line
Cumberland Line
Warwick Farm WKF 34.2 km 1889 Main South Warwick Farm
Liverpool LPO 35.7 km 1856 Main South Liverpool


  1. ^ "NSW Railway Passenger Services 1880-1905.". Australian Railway History, April 2005. ARHS NSW Division. 
  2. ^ Brady, I. Sydney Electric Trains From 1926 to 1960. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, Vol 52, no 762. April 2001.
  3. ^ NSWrail map 1992
  4. ^ Sydney Suburban Network map, 2000
  5. ^ a b "NSW Bankstown line". Retrieved 1 July 2007. 
  6. ^ a b "NSW South Coast line". Retrieved 1 July 2007. 
  7. ^ a b "NSW City Circle". Retrieved 1 July 2007. 
  8. ^ a b "NSW Lidcombe-Cabramatta line". Retrieved 1 July 2007. 

External links[edit]