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Sydney Metro

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Sydney Metro is a automated rapid transit system in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Sydney was the first Australian city to build a metro system.[1][2] The network is controlled by the Sydney Metro Authority and Transport for NSW, both of which are agencies of the New South Wales Government.[3] The network is part of Transport for NSW's Opal fare system. Day-to-day operation of the network is contracted to Metro Trains Sydney, a joint venture led by MTR Corporation.

The first line is planned to consist of 31 stations and 66 km of track. The first section of this line, called Sydney Metro Northwest during construction, opened on 26 May 2019. It links Rouse Hill to Chatswood. It is served by driverless, single deck trains, arriving every 4 minutes in peak hours and every 10 minutes at other times. Construction has commenced on Sydney Metro City & Southwest, an extension across Sydney Harbour, through the Central Business District (CBD) and then on to Bankstown.[4] This stage is expected to open in 2024.[5]

Sydney Metro West, a separate line between the Sydney CBD and Westmead, was approved for financing by the New South Wales Government in June 2018[6] and is expected to open in the second half of the 2020s.

Sydney Metro Greater West, a third line, is also in the early planning stages. This line is planned to provide a connection between the existing suburban railway station at St Marys and the new Western Sydney Airport. It is due to open in time for the airport's 2026 opening date.


Earlier proposals

Then-Co-ordinator-General of Rail Ron Christie released his "Long-term Strategic Plan for Rail" report in 2001, outlining long-term goals for the expansion of the rail network.[7] He suggested that after 2020 a number of "metro" lines that would be operationally independent from the existing network should be created.[8]

The idea for a metro resurfaced in late 2007, when discussions about an underground 'Anzac Line' took place within the New South Wales Government. The line would have run from West Ryde in Sydney's north-west to Malabar in the south-east. The line was never officially adopted as a government project and did not come to fruition.[9] In early 2008, following the shelving of various heavy rail expansion projects from the 2005 Metropolitan Rail Expansion Program, the Government officially announced the 37km North West Metro.[10] Expected to cost $12 billion, it would have linked Rouse Hill in Sydney's north-west with the CBD, with construction starting in 2010 and finishing in 2017.[11]

Funding for the North West Metro was dependent on the privatisation of the electricity network,[12] and after a change of the state's premier in late 2008 it was cancelled due to budgetary concerns. Its replacement was the 9km, CBD Metro, a dramatically shortened route running from Rozelle in the inner-west and into the CBD through to Central station.[13] Construction was scheduled to start in 2010, like its predecessor, but finish earlier in 2015. The CBD Metro was to have formed the "central spine" of a future metro network, with a planned West Metro extension to Westmead to be constructed soon after, subject to federal funding.[14] The New South Wales Government's initial submission to the Australian Government body Infrastructure Australia for funding was rejected due to "a lack of integrated planning".[15]

Facing increased costs[16] and concerns about patronage[17], and following a change of premier, the CBD Metro was cancelled in early 2010.[18][19] The new premier, Kristina Keneally, chose instead to focus on expansion of the existing heavy rail network.[20]


In mid-2012 the newly elected Coalition government announced Sydney's Rail Future and the NSW Transport Masterplan.[21] Under this proposal, the North West Rail Link would be built as a single-deck, privately operated metro connecting to a future second harbour rail crossing.[22] These plans received criticism on the basis that they might not have the capacity of existing double-deck trains,[23] and concerns over the inability of trains on the existing network to use the new crossing.[24]

In 2014 the Government announced the second harbour crossing under the name Sydney Rapid Transit, as part of the 'Rebuilding NSW' infrastructure plan funded through the sale of electricity infrastructure.[25][26] The new railway would cross Sydney Harbour, tunnel beneath the CBD, and join the Bankstown line which would be converted to metro standards.[27]

The system was officially renamed 'Sydney Metro' in June 2015 following the passage of power privatisation bills.[28]

Additional Western Sydney routes

A scoping study into rail investment to service Western Sydney and the proposed Western Sydney Airport was announced by the New South Wales and Australian governments in November 2015.[29] This ultimately led to two new metro projects being announced - Sydney Metro West and Sydney Metro Greater West - plus the announcement of a number of extensions.

A discussion paper was released in September 2016. The paper proposed various options that could provide a rail link to the airport, some of which were or were likely to be metro projects. The metro options were:[30]

Option Mode
Line to the Sydney Metro Northwest at Rouse Hill Likely to be metro
Extension of the Sydney Metro City & Southwest from Bankstown via Liverpool Metro
Line between Macarthur and Schofields via Western Sydney Airport and St Marys Likely to be metro

The paper also suggested two other potential metro projects: a new line between the Sydney CBD and Parramatta via Five Dock and Sydney Olympic Park and conversion of a section of the Airport Line between the CBD and Revesby via the existing airport.[30] The New South Wales Government announced Sydney Metro West in November 2016, turning the CBD to Parramatta line into an official project of the government.

The study's final report was released in March 2018. It proposed two new lines to ultimately service the Western Sydney airport precinct: a "North-South Link" from Schofields to Macarthur and an "East-West Link" from Parramatta to the "Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis" - an area south of the airport. The report suggested that "a metro or light metro style of train would suit the North-South Link". The East-West Link could form an extension of Sydney Metro West. Two extensions of the initial metro line were also proposed: an extension of the northern section from Cudgegong Road (now Tallawong) to Schofields and an extension of the southern section from Bankstown to Liverpool.[31]

At the same time, the governments announced the development of a new rail line serving the airport. This line would form part of the North-South Link, running south from St Marys to the airport, before continuing on to the Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis.[32] The line is scheduled to open by the time the airport opens in 2026.[33] It has since been named Sydney Metro Greater West.


Metro North West Line

The Metro North West Line connects Sydney's north-western suburbs to Chatswood station. 23km of new track and eight new stations were constructed between Rouse Hill and the existing station at Epping. The 13km Epping to Chatswood railway line was then converted to rapid transit standards and segregated from the existing Sydney Trains network.[34] Passengers are able to interchange with the existing Sydney Trains system at both Epping and Chatswood. Construction on the project (known as Sydney Metro Northwest) began in late 2013 and the first services commenced on 26 May 2019.[35][36]

Under construction

Sydney Metro City & Southwest

The Metro North West Line will be extended 30km from Chatswood on the North Shore, to Bankstown in the city's south-west via the Sydney central business district. The centrepiece of the project is a new twin-tunnel rail crossing under Sydney Harbour. Together with planned improvements to the Main Western line, the project is expected to increase capacity on the Sydney rail network by up to 60%, and allow for the movement of over 100,000 extra commuters across the network every hour.[37]

Planned extensions

Sydney Metro West

Sydney Metro West is a separate line between the Sydney CBD and Westmead. Planning for the line is at an extremely early stage. Construction is expected to begin by 2020 and the line is expected to open in the second half of the 2020s.

Sydney Metro Greater West

St Marys station would be the initial northern terminus of Sydney Metro Greater West and would offer a connection to the rest of the rail network.

Sydney Metro Greater West is a line running between the St Marys suburban railway station and "Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis" - a development area to the south of Western Sydney Airport. Planning for this line is also at an extremely early stage. It is expected to open in time for the airport's opening in 2026.


The network is operated and maintained by joint venture company Metro Trains Sydney under a 15-year contract from Transport for NSW. MTR Corporation have a 60% shareholding; the other members are John Holland Group and UGL Rail.[38][39]


Sydney Metro train interior

Twenty-two self-driving Alstom Metropolis electric multiple units have been ordered for the network. The trains come in a 6-car single deck configuration. Each train features two dedicated areas for prams, luggage and bicycles. There are three doors per side per carriage and no internal doors between the carriages.[40] The trains seat 378 people, with a total capacity of 1,100.[41] The seating comes in the longitudinal configuration (running along the side walls of the carriages), in accordance with the style of most other metro trains.[42]

The trains were built in Sri City, Andhra Pradesh, India.[43] The first train arrived in Rouse Hill on 26 September 2017.[44] Dynamic testing on the first of the trains began in February 2018.[45]


Sydney Metro currently uses the Opal fare system. The metro fare system is fully integrated with the Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink Intercity networks - trips involving both metro and train services are calculated as a single fare and there is no interchange penalty.[46] As there are no return or periodical options available, reusable Opal cards include a number of caps to reduce the cost for frequent travellers. Opal is also valid on bus, ferry and light rail services but separate fares apply for these modes. The following table lists Opal fares for reusable smartcards and single trip tickets as of 24 June 2019:[47]

Metro & train 0–10 km 10–20 km 20–35 km 35–65 km 65 km+
Adult cards & contactless (peak) $3.61 $4.48 $5.15 $6.89 $8.86
Adult cards & contactless (off-peak) $2.52 $3.13 $3.60 $4.82 $6.20
Other cards (peak) $1.80 $2.24 $2.57^ $3.44^ $4.43^
Other cards (off-peak) $1.26 $1.56 $1.79 $2.40 $3.10^
Adult single trip $4.50 $5.60 $6.40 $8.40 $10.80
Child/Youth single trip $2.20 $2.80 $3.20 $4.20 $5.40

^ = $2.50 for Senior/Pensioner cardholders

Potential extensions

During the 2019 New South Wales election campaign, the governing Liberal Party announced it would commence planning of four extensions to the previously announced lines. These would see Sydney Metro City & Southwest extended west from Bankstown to Liverpool, Sydney Metro West extended southwest from Westmead to Western Sydney Airport and Sydney Metro Greater West extended northwest from St Marys to Rouse Hill and south from Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis to Macarthur.[48]


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This article incorporates text from the following revision of the English Wikipedia article "Sydney Metro":

External links

NSW Government Sydney Metro Website