Olympic Park railway line

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Olympic Park railway line
Sydney Olympic Park rail tunnel 2.JPG
The single track balloon loop towards Lidcombe as it passes under the Olympic Boulevard.
Locale Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Termini Lidcombe
Stations 1
Services T7 Olympic Park Line
Opened 13 July 1911 (1911-07-13) (Abattoirs)
8 March 1998 (1998-03-08) (Olympic Park)
Owner RailCorp
Operator(s) Sydney Trains
Track length 7km (Balloon loop)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification Overhead 1500V DC[1]

The Olympic Park railway line serves the Sydney Olympic Park precinct. Originally opened as the Abattoirs branch in 1911, it was rebuilt as the Olympic Park line in 1998.

Abattoirs line[edit]

The line opened on 31 July 1911 as the Abattoirs branch off the Main Western line to the abattoirs and State Brickworks at Homebush.[2] It branched off via a triangular junction behind Flemington Maintenance Depot making it accessible from the Metropolitan Goods line.[3]

Two bridges carried the line over the Great Western Highway. On 11 January 1915, the Metropolitan Meat Platforms opened.[4] Further platforms opened at Abattoirs in December 1926, Brickworks in December 1939 and Pippita in October 1940 to serve a Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation factory.[5][6][7] Sidings on the line served Dairy Farmers and Ford.[3]

On 27 February 1968, the three kilometre Homebush Saleyards Yard opened to service new cattle and sheep pens built to replace facilities at Flemington just beyond the Great Western Highway crossing. The loop was electrified to allow 46 class locomotives to operate services from the Main Western and Main Northern lines to the saleyards.[2][3]

On 9 November 1984, the line beyond the Homebush Saleyards closed. The Saleyards Loop subsequently closed on 22 June 1991.[3]

Passenger services were operated by CPH railmotors operating from Sandown via Lidcombe until November 1984.[8] Pippita continued to be served by a sole daily service to Central until 20 October 1995, operated in its later days by a V set.[2]

Olympic line[edit]

T7 Olympic Park Line
T7 Sydney.png
Service type Commuter rail
First service 8 March 1998
Current operator(s) Sydney Trains
Start Lidcombe
Stops 1
End Olympic Park
Line used Olympic Park railway line
Rolling stock S sets
A sets

As part of Sydney's successful bid to hold the 2000 Olympic Games, a new Sydney Olympic Park precinct was built. Included was a railway that traversed a similar route to the former Abattoirs branch. The line was built with a balloon loop and the two track, four platform Olympic Park station. The line utilised the existing eastern bridge over the Great Western Highway which had previously only carried one track, but was wide enough to accommodate the two laid. The new line opened on 8 March 1998.[3][9][10]

Today, the line continues to transport people to and from major events occurring within the Sydney Olympic Park precinct, but also carries workers and residents of Olympic Park to and from the rest of the Sydney Trains network.

Outside of special events, trains to Olympic Park depart from a special platform at Lidcombe (technically platform 0, but referred to as the Olympic Park Sprint Platform rather than its number). Services operate with a frequency of one train every 10 minutes in each direction.[11] The trip between Lidcombe and Olympic Park takes about five minutes each way.

During major events at Sydney Olympic Park, train services run direct from the intercity platforms of Central, also sometimes stopping at Redfern and Strathfield. After larger events, west-bound trains from Olympic Park are sometimes extended beyond Lidcombe to Blacktown via the Western line, and to Glenfield and Campbelltown via the Main South line.


  1. ^ Asset Standards Authority (19 March 2014). RailCorp electrical system general description, version 1.0 (PDF). 
  2. ^ a b c Oakes, John (2001). Sydney's Forgotten Goods Railways. Australian Railway Historical Society. pp. 72–84. ISBN 0 909650 54 3. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Forgotten Railways to the Olympic Site" Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin issue 737 March 1999 pages 87-96
  4. ^ Metropolitan Meat Platforms NSWrail.net
  5. ^ Abattoirs Station NSWrail.net
  6. ^ Brickworks Platform NSWrail.net
  7. ^ Pippita NSWrail.net
  8. ^ "Goodbye Tin Hare" Railway Digest February 1985 page 40
  9. ^ "Preparing for the Games - First train to Olympic Park" Railway Digest January 1998 page 11
  10. ^ "Olympic Park Officially Opened & Rail Services Commence" Railway Digest April 1998 page 7
  11. ^ T7 Olympic Park line timetable Sydney Trains 20 October 2013

External links[edit]

Media related to Olympic Park railway line at Wikimedia Commons