Airport, Inner West & South Line

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T2 Airport, Inner West & South Line
T2 Sydney logo.png
New South Wales metropolitan rail area, with T2 lines highlighted.svg
New South Wales Metropolitan Rail Area with T2 services highlighted in green
Overview
Service type Commuter rail service
Status Operational
Locale Sydney, New South Wales
Predecessor
  • Airport & East Hills (2000–13)
  • Inner West (1999–2013)
  • South (1999–2013)
First service 20 October 2013
Current operator(s) Sydney Trains
Annual ridership
  • Airport 7.0 million (2014)
  • East Hills 16.6 million (2014)
  • Inner West 20.5 million (2014)
  • South 16.0 million (2014)[1]
Website Sydney Trains
Route
Start City Circle
Stops 56
End Campbelltown, Homebush, Macarthur and Revesby
Distance travelled 96 km
Average journey time 69 minutes[2]
Line used
On-board services
Disabled access Yes
Technical
Rolling stock Sydney Trains K, C, M and A sets[citation needed]
Track gauge Standard gauge
Electrification Overhead 1500V DC[3]
Operating speed
  • 90 km/h (suburban max.)[4]
  • 43.3 km/h (network average)[5]
Track owner(s) RailCorp
Timetable number(s) T2

The T2 Airport, Inner West & South Line is a suburban rail line in Sydney, the largest city in the Australian state of New South Wales. T2 is one of the eight lines of the Sydney Trains network. Introduced in 2013, T2 primarily serves the Inner West and South-western regions of the city. The line is shown in green on maps and timetables. Passengers took 60.1 million journeys on T2 services in 2014.[1]

Services[edit]

A Tangara train crosses the Cooks River. Peak direction T2 services bypass the Airport Link via this bridge.

Airport Line[edit]

Services towards Macarthur via Turrella are branded as the T2 Airport Line. These services take the City Circle (generally in a clockwise direction), then the Airport Link to Wolli Creek, the East Hills railway line to a junction north of Glenfield and Main South railway line as far south as Macarthur. The primary intermediate terminus is Revesby. Trains continuing through Revesby make limited stops between there and the city.[6] The following stations are served by T2 Airport Line trains:

Certain peak-direction express services bypass the Airport Link, stopping instead at Redfern and Sydenham on the parallel Illawarra Line, then joining the East Hills line at a junction west of Wolli Creek.

Inner West & South Line[edit]

Services towards Campbelltown via Newtown are branded as the T2 Inner West & South Line. These services take the City Circle (generally in a anti-clockwise direction), then the Main Suburban railway line to a junction west of Granville, the Old Main South railway line to a junction north of Cabramatta and the Main South railway line as far south as Campbelltown. The primary intermediate terminus is Homebush. Trains continuing through Homebush make limited stops between there and the city and generally do not stop at Homebush station. The following stations are served by T2 Inner West & South Line trains:

History[edit]

There were three predecessors of the T2 line, the Airport & East Hills Line (Macarthur - City via Sydney Airport or Sydenham), the Inner West Line (Liverpool or Bankstown - City via Regents Park) and the South Line (Campbelltown - City via Granville). The Airport & East Hills Line was through-routed with the South Line and the Inner West Line formed a loop with the Bankstown Line.

Airport & East Hills and South Lines[edit]

Passenger train services from Sydney to Campbelltown via Strathfield have been operating since 1858.[8] This train service is known as South Line, taking its name from the Main South railway line on which it travels on. It was colour-coded green till the early 2000s, when it was colour-coded light blue until the creation of T2 in 2013.[9]

The South Line has always through-routed with the East Hills Line at the City Circle since the late 20th century. First opened in 1931, the East Hills Line have always terminated at East Hills, until the line was extended to Glenfield in 1987.[10] The opening of the extension has allowed for another City–Campbelltown service in addition to the South Line. The colour coding of the line also changed from orange to the green, which will later be adopted as the colour-coding of T2. In 2000, East Hills Line services were redirected via the new Airport Link tunnel, with peak hour services still running along the Illawarra Line.[11] The name of the passenger service was renamed Airport & East Hill Line and it remained till the creation of T2.[9]

Inner West Line[edit]

Earlier timetables had integrated the Inner West service pattern with the Bankstown railway line, coloured brown in maps. The Inner West and Bankstown lines were later colour-coded lavender, until the Bankstown line was given its own identity with an orange colour-coding in the early 2000s.[9] The Inner West Line kept the lavender colour-coding. However, Inner West and Bankstown services still remained operationally integrated.[12]

Creation of T2[edit]

Following victory in the 2011 New South Wales election, the O'Farrell Government embarked on reform of transport in New South Wales, creating a new organisation, Transport for NSW, in November of that year. The organisation developed a new rail timetable and branding, which was put into effect on 20 October 2013. This saw the grouping together of the Airport & East Hills Line, the Inner West Line and the South Line. A new numbering system was also introduced and the line was given the number T2.

The new timetable was designed to integrate the projects of the Rail Clearways Program, a 2004 plan to divide the network's fourteen metropolitan rail lines into five independent "clearways" by installing extra tracks, passing loops, turnouts and turnbacks at pinch points around the network.[13] By 2013, the Rail Clearways Program was substantially complete, allowing the timetable to be rewritten. At the same time, the delivery of 78 new Waratah trains was almost complete as well. A substantial change introduced by the new timetable was the abolition of Bankstown loop services and most Liverpool via Regents Park services. These changes were made possible by Rail Clearways projects to construct new turnbacks at Homebush and Lidcombe. This allowed the operation of the Inner West and Bankstown lines to be separated, freeing up capacity between Lidcombe and Homebush for use by other services. However, the changes attracted criticism due to the increased number of interchanges and increase in travel time for passengers for all stations between Carramar/Berala and Birrong.[14][15]

The New South Wales Government's 2012 policy document, Sydney's Rail Future, forecast that then-current infrastructure and operating patterns would cause "passenger displacement" – trains too full to accept more passengers – on the Airport & East Hills Line by 2031. The strategy foreshadowed major timetable changes for the Inner West and south-west, including more frequent and consistent service patterns on the Inner West Line, and doubling of service frequencies through the Airport Link tunnel.[16]

Released in September 2013, the new timetable featured:

  • an additional 94 services per week on the Airport & East Hills Line
  • an additional 30 services per week on the South Line, with reduced journey times for some trains
  • reduced journey times between Macarthur and the CBD
  • an increase in Airport Link frequency to eight trains per hour for most of the day
  • consistent 15-minute frequency for the Inner West Line
  • later services to and from Newtown, a popular nightspot, on Friday and Saturday nights.[17]

An early draft of the new timetable leaked in May 2013, five months before its start date. Though the draft attracted some criticism, the Sydney Morning Herald concluded that "inner west commuters will generally be better off.[18]

The timetable was generally praised by the Western Sydney Business Chamber and the Tourism & Transport Forum.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bureau of Transport Statistics (March 2015). "Summary of train journeys (official patronage figures)". 
  2. ^ Weekday 4.31am Macarthur to Central via Airport service, as at January 2015
  3. ^ Asset Standards Authority (19 March 2014). RailCorp electrical system general description, version 1.0 (PDF). 
  4. ^ Asset Standards Authority (30 April 2015). Train operating conditions manual – general instructions, version 3.0 (PDF). 
  5. ^ Saulwick, Jacob (24 July 2013). "Smallest stations are biggest losers in new rail timetable". Sydney Morning Herald. 
  6. ^ a b Transport for New South Wales (January 2015). "T2 Airport Line" (PDF). 
  7. ^ Transport for New South Wales (January 2015). "T2 Inner West & South Line" (PDF). 
  8. ^ Bozier, Rolfe (2011). "NSWrail.net – Main South Line". 
  9. ^ a b c Cityrail Network Map 2000s, Retrieved 23 August 2015
  10. ^ Bozier (2011). "NSWrail.net – East Hills Line". 
  11. ^ Bozier (2011). "NSWrail.net – Airport Line". 
  12. ^ Cityrail Inner West Line timetable 2013, Cityrail, Retrieved 23 August 2015
  13. ^ Transport for New South Wales (15 August 2014). "Rail Clearways Program – completed projects". 
  14. ^ Roydon Ng isn’t giving up on his year-long campaign to restore the Inner West line, Daily Telegraph 14 January 2015
  15. ^ Beech, James (31 March 2015). "NSW Election 2015: Tania Mihailuk saves Bankstown for Labor and vows to fight state privatisation". Canterbury-Bankstown Express. 
  16. ^ Transport for New South Wales (June 2012). Sydney's rail future: modernising Sydney's trains. 
  17. ^ Transport for New South Wales (17 September 2013). "More than 1000 extra weekly services in new train timetable". 
  18. ^ Saulwick, Jacob; Hasham, Nicole (17 May 2013). "Winners and losers: all change in rail revamp". Sydney Morning Herald. 
  19. ^ AAP (17 September 2013). "Western Sydney commuters to benefit from nearly 1000 new services a week but southerners get left behind". The Daily Telegraph.