South West Rail Link

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South West Rail Link
New South Wales Metropolitan Rail Area with South West Rail Link highlighted in pink
New South Wales Metropolitan Rail Area with South West Rail Link shuttle highlighted in pink
Termini Glenfield
Stations 3
Services T2 Airport, Inner West & South
Opened 8 February 2015 (2015-02-08)
Owner RailCorp
Operator(s) Sydney Trains
Rolling stock S, K, C, M & A sets
Line length 11.4 km (7.1 mi)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification Overhead 1500V DC[1]
Route map
42.38 km from Main Southern Line
45.28 km Edmondson Park
Cabramatta Creek
50.77 km Leppington

The South West Rail Link is a railway line serving the developing suburbs of south-western Sydney, Australia. Services form part of the Sydney Trains commuter rail network. It opened on 8 February 2015.


The line consists of a 11.4 km (7.1 mi) double-track railway, with stations in the suburbs of Leppington and Edmondson Park. The line is the major piece of public transport infrastructure for the Sydney metropolitan area's "South West Growth Centre". It connects with the rest of the Sydney rail network at Glenfield, where services can continue north on the Main South line or east on the East Hills line. Leppington station's four platforms can support frequent terminating services, even after any extension of the line. A train stabling facility to the west of the station further enhances this capability. Development of the project was managed by Transport for New South Wales and its predecessor, the Transport Construction Authority.



The South West Rail Link was originally part of the Metropolitan Rail Expansion Program (MREP) proposed by the Carr Government in 2005,[2] along with the North West Rail Link and the CBD rail link. The three projects were to be integrated into a single operational sector, with trains from the south west running to the north west via the CBD Link. The other two components of the MREP were cancelled in 2008, but the South West Rail Link remained on the government's agenda. Plans for the North West Rail Link were resurrected in 2010, though it will now form part of a new metro network.

In March 2008, the Iemma Government indicated that construction would begin in 2009, with completion scheduled for 2012.[3] By October of that year the government had decided that delivery of the project would be divided into two stages. Stage one would comprise preliminary work around Glenfield station, and stage two would comprise construction of the new line itself, stage two was deferred due to budget cuts.[4] On 14 November 2009, Premier Nathan Rees announced that construction of stage two of the South West Rail Link would begin in mid-2010, with completion scheduled for 2016.[5][6]


Stage one[edit]

Glenfield station new concourse building in December 2012
Glenfield station new multi-storey commuter car park in November 2011

Planning approval for stage one of the project was received in April 2009.[7] This stage involves preliminary work to support the new line. It is centred on Glenfield station and includes:

  • A ground-level car park at Seddon Park on the eastern side of the station. Construction commenced in May 2009 and was completed in October 2009.[8]
  • A multi-storey car park on the western side of the station. Construction commenced in November 2009 and was completed in September 2010.[9]
  • The northern rail flyover. This replaced a flat junction between the Main South line and the East Hills line with a grade-separated junction. Construction commenced in June 2010 and was completed in June 2014.[10][11]
  • An upgrade of Glenfield station including a new overhead concourse to replace a footbridge, construction of a fourth platform and a bus interchange. As part of this work, the existing platform 1 changed from a side turnback to a through platform. Construction commenced in late 2010 and was completed in mid 2014.

Stage two[edit]

Edmondson Park station construction site in June 2012
Leppington station entrance in February 2015

Stage two included extending the railway line westward towards Leppington. This involved:[5]

  • A rail flyover on the south side of Glenfield station to take the new line over the Main South line and the Southern Sydney Freight Line.
  • 11.4 kilometres of double track from Glenfield to Leppington.
  • Stations and car parks at Edmondson Park and Leppington.
  • A new train stabling facility to the west of Leppington with a capacity for 20 8-car trains.[10]

Stage two received planning approval on 18 November 2010.[7] On 7 December 2010, Premier Kristina Keneally announced that a contract for design and construction of stage two had been awarded to the John Holland Group.[12]

On 13 September 2014, the NSW Government announced that construction was complete, saying the line had come in $300 million under budget and a year ahead of schedule.[13] The line opened 8 February 2015.[14][15][16][17]

Associated projects[edit]

Two associated projects affect the new line.

The East Hills line's Kingsgrove to Revesby quadruplication Rail Clearways project opened in April 2013. It improved the capacity of the East Hills line by allowing the separation of express services to Leppington or Macarthur from all-stops services to Revesby.[18]

The Auburn stabling project provided additional capacity to stable trains.[19]


On 6 November 2014, the NSW Government announced that train testing had commenced on the line.[20] Passenger services began on 8 February 2015, initially as a four carriage shuttle running every 30 minutes between Leppington and Liverpool. The shuttle stopped at all stations except Casula and was also branded as the South West Rail Link. From 13 December 2015, trains operate as part of the Airport, Inner West & South Line. Some services operate to the city via Granville while others continue to terminate at Liverpool.[21] Cumberland Line services to Schofields are to be introduced in 2017.[22][23]

Extension proposals[edit]

It has been proposed that the line be extended from Leppington to the Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek.[24] However, as at 16 April 2014 the Federal Government has said it had no plans to build a train line. It did indicate a provision for the train line would be included in the development, this may include preparing the tunnels under the runway as part of the runway construction and preparing the underground space for a station.[25]

In June 2015, the New South Wales government announced details for a plan to preserve corridors for extensions of the line. The government indicated it intends to preserve the corridors for the extensions but not to build them in the near future.[26][27]

From Leppington, the line would extend to Rossmore, with a northern branch to Bringelly and a southern branch to Narellan. Proposed stations would be located at Rossmore, Bringelly, Maryland, Oran Park and Narellan. Preliminary investigations for an extension of the southern corridor from Narellan to the Main South railway line have also commenced.[28] In March 2017, a consortium of SNC-Lavalin, Aquenta, Architectus, Norman Disney & Young, SMEC Holdings and Stacey Agnew were appointed to conduct a design feasibility study for submission to the Federal Government.[29]

Further corridor preservation, between Bringelly and St Marys, is being investigated together with planning for the Outer Sydney Orbital, a corridor for a north-south motorway and freight railway.[30]


  1. ^ Asset Standards Authority (19 March 2014). RailCorp electrical system general description, version 1.0 (PDF). 
  2. ^ Besser, Linton (26 February 2008). "Bye heavy rail, now for a north-west metro". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 June 2011. 
  3. ^ "New $1.36b rail link on time: Iemma". The Sydney Morning Herald. 6 March 2008. Retrieved 14 June 2011. 
  4. ^ Benson, Simon (31 October 2008). "Northwest Metro rail link officially shelved". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 3 November 2008. Retrieved 14 June 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Green light for South West rail link Stage 2 CityRail, 3 December 2009.
  6. ^ Clennell, Andrew; Robins, Brian (14 November 2009). "Axed $1.3b south-west rail link revived". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 June 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Project profile". Transport Construction Authority. Archived from the original on 6 September 2010. Retrieved 14 June 2011. 
  8. ^ Seddon Park Commuter Car Park Transport Construction Authority
  9. ^ Premier and Minister for Transport officially open new Glenfield multi-storey car park Transport Construction Authority
  10. ^ a b South West Rail Link at a glance Transport Construction Authority
  11. ^
  12. ^ "$550 million South West Sydney Rail Link contract awarded". Archived from the original on 2 March 2011. 
  13. ^ "South West Rail Link construction complete, services to start in early 2015". Transport for NSW. 13 September 2014. 
  14. ^ NSW's southwest rail link to open soon SBS 1 January 2015
  15. ^ NSW's southwest rail link to open soon 1 January 2015
  16. ^ Sydney’s new rail line to open next month Daily Telegraph 2 January 2015
  17. ^ South West Rail Link opens to customers in February 2015 - one year ahead of schedule and $300m under budget Transport for NSW 2 January 2015
  18. ^ Rail Clearways Program - Kingsgrove to Revesby Quadruplication project profile Transport Construction Authority
  19. ^ Review of Environmental Factors - Part 1 page 4 Transport Construction Authority
  20. ^ "First test trains hit the tracks on South West Rail Link". Transport for NSW. 6 November 2014. 
  21. ^ "South West Rail Link: Soon to head North and East, with more services". Transport for NSW. 15 October 2015. 
  22. ^ Southwest Sydney train service to increase with new peak hour trains and north-south connection from Leppington to Parramatta and Blacktown Daily Telegraph 27 February 2017
  23. ^ Decision on rail link to new Sydney airport many years off, Transport Minister Andrew Constance says Sydney Morning Herald 27 February 2017
  24. ^ Badgerys Creek railway mapped out as Tony Abbott promises airport decision Sydney Morning Herald 5 February 2014
  25. ^ Saulwick, Jacob (16 April 2014). "Federal government plans for airport rail line but will not build it". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  26. ^ Saulwick, Jacob (27 April 2014). "Six stations proposed for future train link to Badgerys Creek". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  27. ^ "South West Rail Link Extension Corridor Protection". Transport for NSW - Projects. NSW Government. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  28. ^ "South West Rail Link Extension - Public transport corridor preservation June 2015 - Consultation on Southern Section" (PDF). Transport for NSW. pp. 4, 5, 12. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  29. ^ Western Sydney Airport rail study consortium appointed Railway Gazette International 9 March 2017
  30. ^ "South West Rail Link Extension - Public transport corridor preservation June 2015 - Consultation on Southern Section" (PDF). Transport for NSW. p. 4. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 

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