Service and infrastructure initiatives

To achieve the customer outcomes and future networks, we have identified and prioritised policy, service and infrastructure initiatives. These include:

  • Committed initiatives (0-10yrs) – initiatives that either have committed funding, are for immediate detailed planning, or are part of key maintenance, urban renewal, local amenity or safety programs. Some projects included in this category are committed subject to business case and funding decision.
  • Initiatives for investigation (0-10, 10-20yrs) – intended to be investigated for potential commitment or implementation within the next 20 years. Those listed in 0-10 horizon will be prioritised for more detailed investigation to determine if they are required in the next decade.
  • Visionary initiatives (20+ years) – longer term initiatives that may be investigated within the next 10 years, but are unlikely to require implementation within 20 years.

The policy and planning, service and infrastructure initiatives have been prioritised on the basis of delivering on existing commitments, addressing network constraints, supporting areas of growth and unlocking access to priority precincts by providing new transport links. Initiatives that are for investigation are subject to business cases and funding.

Our investment approach is designed to be flexible, responding to change and uncertainty. The timeframes are indicative, based on preliminary evidence, of when potentially these initiatives may be need to be implemented or committed. Further investigation of all initiatives will be undertaken within the next 10 years to ensure any major impacts in growth patterns or use are considered.

This chapter provides a snapshot of initiatives.

In focus: The reservation of corridors for further investigation

The NSW Government is planning for long term transport needs of Greater Sydney by identifying and protecting corridors of land that can be used to deliver transport and infrastructure in the future when it is needed. Major infrastructure corridor planning may involve protecting land within the corridor to avoid encroachment of urban development or planning so that future infrastructure does not inhibit new development opportunities. This is all about smart growth and making sure communities have the right transport and infrastructure delivered when they need them.

Community engagement is a key part of the corridor reservation process, as it ensures that local constraints and opportunities are fully understood. This will allow the Government to make more informed decisions around the exact alignment mode or type of infrastructure required within the corridor. Reserving corridors doesn’t mean automatic acquisition of houses, it means the NSW Government is thinking long term about areas that might be need to be needed for infrastructure. Acting early, engaging the community, and having an open and transparent process allows certainty for the community and all levels of government when making land use decisions or purchasing land.

Transport for NSW is already investigating corridors of land in the Western Parkland City for the delivery of the South West Rail Link Extension, North South Rail Link, Outer Sydney Orbital Bells Line of Road- Castlereagh Connection and Western Sydney Freight Line. The NSW Government will continue to consult with communities and landowners on the protection process, the alignment and delivery for the final corridors.

In focus: Smart Roads

The NSW Government is rolling out smart motorways to improve the experience of our road customers. Smart motorways do this through making the most of current technologies:

  • Traffic monitoring tools to enable improved and better integrated network operation

  • Variable speed and lane use signs and incident detection tools such as cameras to improve incident management and road safety

  • Ramp meters (signals) to control and smooth traffic flows to keep traffic moving and improve travel times, reliability and safety for all road users

  • Variable message signs that provide real-time information to customers so that they can make informed travel choices.

Smart motorway schemes have successfully reduced the occurrence and severity of congestion and delivered improved travel reliability, efficiency and safety in Melbourne, Brisbane, and cities in New Zealand, USA and Europe.

The M4 Motorway (Lapstone to Mays Hill) will be NSW’s first operating full smart motorway with staged construction commencing in August 2017 and final commissioning planned for 2020. Roads and Maritime Services is planning smart motorway improvements across a range of projects, including NorthConnex, WestConnex, Western Harbour Tunnel, Beaches Link, M12 Airport Motorway, Western Distributor, General Holmes Drive and Southern Cross Drive, and the Princes Motorway and Pacific Motorway upgrades. On regional motorways the level of technology will vary depending on the severity of congestion and need for improved incident management tools. 

The NSW Government will continue to ensure that investments add value for all road customers as new technologies such as connected and automated vehicles become more commonplace.

For more information on the M4 Smart Motorway project see:

http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/projects/sydney-west/m4/index.html

Greater Sydney infrastructure initiatives

Committed initiatives (0-10 years)

Over the next 10 years the NSW Government will improve the capacity and journey time of transport services, provide new transport links to support growth, invest in road-based transport to unlock access to growing areas, make key improvements to the strategic freight network and upgrade local roads, walking and bicycle paths.

In the Eastern Harbour City, our focus will be improving capacity on constrained links and optimising journey times on the transport corridors serving the Harbour CBD and surrounding centres. Key initiatives include:

  • Sydney Metro Northwest
  • Sydney Metro City and Southwest
  • CBD and South East Light Rail
  • Northern Beaches B-Line
  • Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link (subject to Final Business Case and funding)
  • F6 Extension Stage 1 (subject to Final Business Case and funding)
  • Northern Beaches Hospital road upgrades
  • Sydney Airport road upgrades
  • Parramatta Road and Victoria Road public transport improvements

In the Central River City, we will deliver new mass transit, motorway links and city-serving transport to improve 30 minute access to centres by public transport, particularly Greater Parramatta, support more efficient freight movements and support the creation and renewal of great places. Initiatives include:

  • Sydney Metro West (subject to Final Business Case and funding)
  • Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1 (Westmead to Carlingford) and Stage 2 (subject to Final Business Case and funding)
  • Victoria Road public transport improvements
  • WestConnex
  • NorthConnex

In the Western Parkland City, we will invest in initiatives to support the initial growth of the WSA-Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis and surrounding areas. Initiatives include:

  • Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan (in collaboration with the Commonwealth)
  • Western Sydney Growth Roads Program
  • North South Rail Link in Western Parkland City between St Marys and WSA-Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis (subject to Final Business Case and funding in collaboration with the Commonwealth)
  • Upgrades to the Blue Mountains Line, to accommodate our new fleet of intercity trains and provide reliable, comfortable and accessible services to customers
  • Access to Moorebank Intermodal Terminal (a Commonwealth initiative)

In focus: Western Sydney Rail

New passenger rail in Western Sydney will play a major role in connecting to the airport and shaping the future growth and development of the Western Parklands City with the Australian and NSW governments jointly committing to delivering the first stage of the North South Rail Link from St Marys to Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis via Western Sydney Airport.

The commitment is part of the Western Sydney City Deal - a 20 year agreement between the three levels of government to deliver a vision for Western Sydney as part of an integrated planning and city-shaping approach.

The new North South Rail Link will create the spine of the Western Parkland City and play a vital role in bringing people closer to job opportunities, health, education and leisure activities. New train stations will support development of higher density housing with great transport access, meaning shorter travel times, less reliance on cars and less congestion on roads.

As a first step, the Australian and NSW Governments will each contribute up to $50 million towards a business case process for Western Sydney Rail, in consultation with local government.

This business case and market engagement process will consider:

  • staging and station location options

  • opportunities across Western Sydney to support long-term planning for housing and employment

  • detailed transport demand

  • detailed economic benefits and value sharing opportunities, and

  • cost estimates based on detailed engineering work required for different types of rail service, such as rapid metro or light metro.

The Australian and NSW Governments will be equal partners in funding the first stage of the North South Rail Link and have a shared objective to connect rail to Western Sydney Airport in time for opening in 2026, informed by the business case.

This commitment follows the joint Scoping Study to determine a long-term Preferred Network that sets out a vision for passenger rail to service both Western Sydney and Western Sydney Airport.

Protecting land for future rail corridors will be critical to implementing the Preferred Network with corridor protection a key recommendation of the Scoping Study.

The community will continue to be involved as governments plan for Western Sydney’s rail future.

View the project here https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects/current-projects/western-sydney-rail-needs-scoping-study

Across Greater Sydney, we will continue investing in infrastructure that improves the safety of our transport network, including upgrades to stations, wharfs and bus stops and deploying smart technology on selected motorways to address pinch-points and reduce congestion. We are also investing in priority bicycle and walking infrastructure and working with local government, to ensure our communities are safe, walkable, and provide more opportunities for active transport.

Initiatives for investigation (0-10 years)

Further infrastructure initiatives will be investigated for potential commitment or implementation within the next 20 years. Initiatives listed in 0-10 horizon will be prioritised for more detailed investigation to determine if they are required in the next decade. These initiatives include upgrades to road and rail corridors to improve capacity and reliability, investigations into strategic public transport links, analysis and identification of potential corridors for future transport solutions, and improvements in the strategic freight network and overall safety of the Greater Sydney transport network.

In the Eastern Harbour City, we will investigate upgrades to road and rail corridors to improve capacity and reliability including:

  • Train improvements on T8 Airport Line, T4 Illawarra Line (including South Coast Line) and T1 Western Line as part of the More Trains, More Services program, including implementation of modern Train Control and Signalling technology across the network (Digital Systems currently in planning)
  • East-west public transport connection from Mona Vale to Macquarie Park
  • F6 Extension – Kogarah to Loftus (for immediate detailed planning)
  • Heathcote Road improvements – M5 to M1
  • Duplication of Port Botany freight rail line and Foreshore Road upgrade as part of Port Botany Precinct Planning (in collaboration with Commonwealth)
  • Northern Sydney Freight Corridor Stage 2

In the Central River City, we will investigate strategic public transport links around Greater Parramatta to improve 30 minute access, including the prioritisation of on-road public transport and bus service improvements. Specific initiatives include:

  • Train improvements on T1 Western Line as part of the More Trains, More Services program, including implementation of modern Train Control and Signalling technology across the network (Digital Systems currently in planning)
  • Parramatta inner ring road

In the Western Parkland City, we will examine potential early investment in strategic links. Another priority will be assessing potential infrastructure upgrades to support rapid bus links between centres to shape a sustainable urban form and support access to WSA. Specific initiatives include:

  • Train improvements on T8 Airport Line, and T1 Western Line as part of the More Trains, More Services program, including implementation of modern Train Control and Signalling technology across the network (Digital Systems currently in planning)
  • Leppington to WSA-Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis rail link (for priority planning in collaboration with the Commonwealth)
  • St Marys to Cudgegong Road rail link (for priority planning in collaboration with the Commonwealth)
  • WSA-Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis to Campbelltown-Macarthur rail link (for priority planning in collaboration with the Commonwealth)
  • Infrastructure to support rapid bus connections between WSA-Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis and Greater Penrith, Liverpool, Blacktown and Campbelltown-Macarthur (for priority planning in collaboration with the Commonwealth)
  • WSA-Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis to Parramatta rail link (in collaboration with the Commonwealth)
  • Service improvements on the Richmond Line
  • Suburban passenger train improvements south of Macarthur (including consideration of passenger services to support growth at Wilton)
  • Appin and Picton Road improvements
  • Bells Line of Road improvements
  • Protection of future corridors

We will investigate ways to improve reliability and journey times for freight movements between regional NSW and Greater Sydney through upgrades to the Southern Sydney Freight Line and protection of future transport corridors.

Across Greater Sydney, we will investigate service wide capacity enhancements through the More Trains, More Services program. We will also continue to prioritise infrastructure investment that improves the safety of customers across Greater Sydney, investing in new roads that are designed to 4 or 5 star standard, deploying smart technology on additional motorways and investing in safety improvements at transport interchanges. Working with local councils, we will investigate further improvements to walking and cycling infrastructure, focusing on improving access to metropolitan and strategic centres.

In focus: More Trains, More Services and its role in improving the existing train network

Sydney’s existing train network will continue to be the most significant component of Greater Sydney’s public transport system for customers.

Customers will see staged capacity increases, including significant upgrades to ensure peak hour crowding does not impact reliability by mid-2020s.

More Trains, More Services is a service capacity upgrade program that is currently under investigation. The program is designed to transform the existing rail system using changes in technology and innovation to create integrated, automated, high capacity turn up and go services for our customers. This program has the ability to transform Sydney’s busiest train lines over the next 10 years and beyond, through digital systems, advanced signalling and infrastructure upgrades.

The More Trains, More Services program is staged to be able to address urgent priorities, whilst establishing a strong foundation for future network growth. The program is designed to deliver an integrated network that supports seamless connectivity with other modes of transport into the future, enabling the delivery of the Future Transport Strategy. The More Trains, More Services program demonstrates the Government’s commitment to develop an integrated transport system by investing in both roads and public transport.

Over the next decade the focus of investigations into the More Trains, More Services program will involve greater use of advanced signalling and control technologies to maximise the efficiency of train movements, infrastructure works to increase the capacity of Central Station and the transformation of the T1 Western, T4 Illawarra (including the South Coast Line) and T8 Airport lines.

Initiatives for investigation (10-20 years)

Additional infrastructure initiatives are intended to be investigated for potential commitment or implementation within the next 20 years. In the Eastern Harbour City, we will investigate investments in higher capacity public transport links in selected parts of the City to improve 30 minute access and to support urban growth. These initiatives include:

  • Mass transit / train link to South East
  • Light rail extension to Maroubra Junction
  • Light rail to Bays Precinct

In the Central River City, we will focus on the development of high capacity mass transit links around Greater Parramatta to boost 30 minute access, particularly from the north and south. We will also investigate initiatives to improve the city-serving transport network around Parramatta to support the quality of places in the city. Initiatives include:

  • Parramatta to Epping mass transit / train link
  • Parramatta to Kogarah mass transit / train link
  • Parramatta Light Rail extensions
  • Parramatta outer ring road

In the Western Parkland City, we will examine measures to support population and jobs growth through higher capacity public transport and road links. We will also investigate initiatives to support the efficient movement of freight between the city and ports and regions. Initiatives include:

  • Outer Sydney Orbital (motorway and freight rail) from Great Western Highway and Western Line to WSA-Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis
  • Western Sydney Freight Line
  • Additional capacity on Southern Sydney Freight Line (in collaboration with Commonwealth)

Visionary initiatives (20+ years)

Visionary initiatives are those that will we investigate in the longer-term to support the transport and land use vision for Greater Sydney in 2056.

In the Eastern Harbour City we will examine ways of addressing longer-term capacity constraints on selected corridors through new supporting mass transit/train and road links. Initiatives include:

  • Extension of potential South East mass transit / train link to Miranda
  • Address long-term capacity constraints to Port Botany and South East
  • Address long-term capacity constraints on the Pacific Highway

In the Central River City we will explore further investments in north-south transport links near Greater Parramatta to improve access and support the creation and renewal of great places. These include:

  • Parramatta to Norwest mass transit / train link
  • Mass transit / train link Macquarie Park to Hurstville via Rhodes
  • Central City strategic road corridor

In the Western Parkland City we will examine higher capacity transport connections between centres to support population and jobs growth, including:

  • Sydney Metro City and Southwest extension to Liverpool
  • Outer Sydney Orbital (motorway and freight rail) from Great Western Highway and Western Line to Central Coast
  • Outer Sydney Orbital (motorway and freight rail) from WSA-Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis to M31 Hume Motorway and South Line
  • Outer Sydney Orbital (motorway) from M31 Hume Motorway to Illawarra
  • Bells Line of Road-Castlereagh Connection
  • Delivery of Great Dividing Range long term solution
  • WSA-Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis inner and outer ring roads
  • M5 motorway extension from Liverpool to Outer Sydney Orbital

Initiatives connecting Greater Sydney to the regions

People travel between Sydney, Newcastle, Central Coast and Wollongong for work, business, tourism, health and education. By 2056 this area will be home to a combined population of approximately 10 million people. The metropolitan areas of these regions also accommodate significant trade gateways which service freight across the State. Enhancing the transport connections between these cities will enable greater economic opportunities created by a combined population of 10 million people.

By 2056, NSW will be home to a combined population of 12.1 million people. To support connectivity across of all of NSW, the NSW Government has identified initiatives that will maintain and enhance the regional transport network. More detail on these initiatives is provided in the Regional NSW Services and Infrastructure Plan.

Connecting Sydney to the Global Gateway and Satellite cities

The demand for travel between Sydney and the cities of Newcastle, Canberra, Gold Coast, Brisbane and Melbourne will continue to grow as global connections become increasingly important. With recent significant investment in road infrastructure on the corridors linking these cities (Pacific and Hume Motorways), alternate public transport links have significant room for improvement in journey times to become competitive with car and air travel.

Emerging technologies for land based long distance travel are rapidly evolving however tested and proven methods of transport remain some time off and the previously federally investigated (2012) mode of high speed rail (HSR) was not deemed to be feasible until the 20+ year timeframe. Whilst the operation of emerging technologies are likely to be some way off, investigations into corridor preservation based upon the most constrained design criteria (HSR) should be investigated within the 10-20 year timeframe.

Another constraint for the implementation of higher speed connections is the requirement to navigate the complex urban environment and established transport network of Greater Sydney. To increase potential passenger catchment, it is recommended that any higher speed connection travelling through Greater Sydney enters from Campbelltown and Hornsby and passes through Parramatta (Central River City) where rapid connections to the metro network would provide access to the Eastern Harbour and Western Parkland Cities.

In the next decade it is recommended that Faster Rail corridor infrastructure investment programs be focused on Satellite and Global Gateway cities to achieve significant travel time savings. For Wollongong and Gosford the aspiration is for a 60 minute journey time. For the Global Gateway of Newcastle the travel time aspiration is 2 hours, while for Canberra it is under 3 hours. The Australian Government has recently announced that it will provide matching funding for the development of a strategic business case for Faster Rail in the Sydney to Newcastle corridor. These investments will be required independently of the introduction of higher speed connections which would appeal to different rail travel markets (i.e. less or no stops and potentially higher fares) and deliver benefits to both passenger and freight flows.

Access to the trade gateways of Newcastle port and Port Kembla from inland NSW will continue to be important for the next 40 years with the movement of coal dominating the rail transport task. The establishment of a 24-hour international airport in Western Sydney will also provide new opportunities for agriculture and passenger access from the Central West and Orana and South East and Tablelands.

Connecting Greater Sydney and the Central Coast

Gosford has been identified as a Satellite city of Greater Sydney reflecting its status as the key city of the Central Coast region. Strong population growth in the Central Coast over the next 40 years will see the region’s relationship with Greater Sydney grow. This is reflected in the increased travel demand by both private vehicle and public transport expected between Greater Sydney and Central Coast each day.

Initiatives for investigation to better connect these regions include:

  • New Intercity Fleet
  • Delivering the Hub and Spoke model
  • Delivering the Regional Rail Fleet Project
  • Faster rail improvements between Sydney and Newcastle
  • Freight Separation Program (Northern Sydney Freight Corridor)
  • Outer Sydney Orbital
  • Delivery of the NorthConnex link between the M1 and M2
  • M1 Smart Motorway

Connecting Greater Sydney and the Illawarra

Wollongong has been identified as a Satellite City of Greater Sydney due to its proximity and improved road and rail initiatives. Improvements are identified to connect the region to the three cities of Sydney:

  • New Intercity Fleet replacement program
  • Faster Rail improvements between Sydney and Wollongong
  • More Trains, More Services program between Sutherland and Hurstville to separate suburban passenger services from intercity services and freight rail movements
  • High frequency limited stop transport services between Campbelltown and the Illawarra
  • Lower frequency transport services from Wollondilly Shire to the Illawarra via the southern road corridors and the Outer Sydney Orbital (southern link)
  • Investigation of the completion of the Maldon-Dombarton rail link between south western Sydney and the Illawarra
  • Delivering the Hub and Spoke model
  • Delivering the Regional Rail Fleet Project
  • Increasing capacity on the Southern Sydney Freight Line
  • Enhancing links on Appin Road between the growth areas of West Appin, Menangle Park and Mt Gilead to Wollongong and investigation of the use of bus priority measures along the corridor
  • The Outer Sydney Orbital will also connect the Illawarra to Campbelltown
  • M1 Princes Motorway improvements
  • Princes Highway upgrade to 4 lanes and town bypasses
  • M1 Princes Smart Motorway

Connecting Greater Sydney and the Southern Highlands

The Southern Highlands will mark a transition point between the Greater Sydney and Canberra catchments. The Southern Highlands will have a more dominant access to Sydney, particularly connecting to the Western Parkland City and Western Sydney Airport.

The M31 Hume Highway and the Main South freight and passenger rail line provide the regional road and rail corridor that connects the Western and Central City to the Southern Highlands and Canberra.

  • New Intercity Fleet
  • Delivering the Hub and Spoke model
  • Delivering the Regional Rail Fleet Project
  • Electrification of the intercity network to Goulburn
  • Faster Rail improvements between Sydney and Canberra
  • Increased capacity on the Southern Sydney Freight Line
  • Investigation of passenger rail link to Wilton
  • Enhancing the road corridor
  • M31 Hume Motorway/Highway improvements
  • M31 Smart Motorway

Connecting Greater Sydney and the Blue Mountains

The Great Western Highway and the Main Western Rail Line over the Blue Mountains connect the Western Parkland City and Western Sydney Airport to the Central West and Orana Region. This corridor provides freight connections to Port Botany, Port Kembla and Newcastle port, and will provide access to the new Western Sydney Airport and the Western Parkland City. The Bells Line of Road connects the region to the Western and Central Cities and offers alternative freight connections to Greater Sydney.

  • More Trains, More Services program between Penrith and St Marys to separate inner urban passenger services from intercity services and freight rail movements
  • New Intercity Fleet and Regional Rail Fleet Project
  • Ongoing improvements to Main Western Line
  • Potential electrification of the intercity network to Bathurst
  • Further investigation into re-opening of the ‘Cowra Lines’, which includes the Blayney to Demondrille line
  • Ongoing improvements to assets (Bells Line of Road, Great Western Highway, Golden Highway)
  • Inland NSW connections - Strategic examination of options to improve connectivity for freight from inland NSW to Sydney, Newcastle and/or Wollongong. It will consider existing roads such as Great Western Highway, Bells Line of Road, Golden Highway, Lachlan Valley Way, Castlereagh Highway and Mid-Western Highway, as well as rail corridors Main Western, Dubbo-Newcastle, Cowra lines (including Blayney-Demondrille), Gulgong to Maryvale.