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T3 Bankstown Line

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The T3 Bankstown Line is a commuter rail line serving Canterbury-Bankstown and parts of the Inner West and Western Sydney regions of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The line forms part of the Sydney Trains network and is coloured orange on maps and informational material. The Bankstown railway line is the physical railway line which carries the section of the Bankstown Line between Sydenham and Birrong.


Railway line history

The Bankstown railway line opened between Sydenham on the Illawarra railway line and Belmore in 1895.[1] This was the second solely suburban line to open in Sydney, following the North Shore railway line in 1890–all other rail lines were mainlines carrying traffic into and out of Sydney. In 1909, the line was extended to Bankstown, with intermediate stations at Lakemba and Punchbowl. In 1916, the Metropolitan Goods railway line was constructed, running parallel to the Bankstown Line between Marrickville and Campsie. A second extension, from Bankstown to Birrong, opened in 1928. This provided connections to the main suburban railway at Lidcombe and the main south line to Liverpool. A new station between Lakemba and Punchbowl at Wiley Park opened in 1938.

In 1926 the Bankstown Line became the second line in Sydney to be electrified and a maintenance depot was constructed at Punchbowl. Electrification was extended from Bankstown to Regents Park in 1939.[2] The Punchbowl Maintenance Depot closed in 1994.

In January 2006 a four-year project to upgrade the line was completed. The work included the resleepering of the entire line, replacing the former wooden sleepers with the more durable concrete ones, replacement and upgrade of the signalling, and also replacement of the overhead wiring, mostly with the more modern double contact wire variety. The lengthy upgrade process was noted for its "January Closedowns", in which the entire line was closed in January for the bulk of the upgrade work to take place.

Commuter line history

Electric passenger services operated along the Bankstown Line to Wynyard station until the 1956 opening of Circular Quay station and the completion of the City Circle. In 1979 with the opening of the Eastern Suburbs railway line the direction around the City Circle reversed with trips from Bankstown going to St James first and vice versa.

Operation of the Bankstown Line had been tied to the operation of all stations services on the Main Suburban railway line between Lidcombe and the City (marketed as the Inner West Line). Services consisted of a mixture of "Bankstown loop" trains (City - Sydenham - Bankstown - Lidcombe - Strathfield - City) and trains from both sides of the loop (Birrong or Regents Park) heading to Sefton and then further west. Until the early 2000s, a number of Bankstown trains continued via the Western Line to Blacktown via Granville and Parramatta.

A new timetable released in October 2013 broke the loop between the two lines. As part of the Rail Clearways Program, new turnbacks were constructed at Lidcombe and Homebush to allow the separation of both lines and increase their reliability and frequency. Services were also changed to operate mostly around the City Circle via Town Hall on weekdays (rather than via Museum). As part of the timetable change, a new numbering system was also introduced and the line was given the number T3. A sextuplication project between Erskinevile and Sydenham was also proposed as part of the Rail Clearways Program, but was cancelled in 2011. It was intended to separate Bankstown line services from those operating towards East Hills. The 2013 timetable see most East Hills line trains using the Airport line to access the city.

The line was depicted in a brown colour in the early 1990s[3] before being changed to a purple colour around 2000,[4] before it became the current orange colour (which later became orange-red).

Future projects

Sydney Metro City & Southwest is a project to convert the Sydenham to Bankstown section of the line to use single deck metro trains. A new tunnel is being constructed between Sydenham and Chatswood, for access to the city. The stations at St Peters, Erskineville and the Bankstown to Liverpool / Lidcombe sections of the line will not be served by the metro; service patterns for these sections have not been announced.

Description of line

Beginning at Town Hall station on the City Circle, most services operate around the City Circle in a clockwise direction to Central, then through Redfern. However both inbound and outbound trains can also travel in the counterwise direction around the City Circle, as of the November 2017 timetable. Thereafter, trains usually operate on the 'Illawarra local' (western pair) tracks between Redfern and Sydenham, serving St Peters and Erskineville stations. The Bankstown railway line begins at Sydenham station on the Illawarra line. The line branches at Sydenham Junction and passes in a westwards direction to Bankstown, where it heads north to Birrong. Between Marrickville and Campsie, the Metropolitan Goods line runs in parallel. At Sefton Park Junction (west of Birrong), the line meets the Main South Line which runs from Lidcombe to Cabramatta via Regents Park. At the junction, about half of the Bankstown Line trains continue north to Lidcombe. The other half goes west to Liverpool.

T3 Bankstown Line stations
Name Distance from

[5] [6] [7] [8][9]



Railway line Sydney Trains interchanges Other interchanges*
Town Hall 1.2 km 1932 City Circle none
Wynyard 2.1 km 1932
Circular Quay 3.0 km 1956
St James 4.3km

(via Town Hall)

Museum 5km

(via Town Hall)

Central 0 km 1855
Redfern 1.3 km 1878 Illawarra
(T8 peak hours only)
Erskineville 2.9 km 1884 none
St Peters 3.8 km 1884
(T8 peak hours only)
Sydenham 5.3 km 1884
(T8 peak hours only)
Marrickville 6.6 km 1895 Bankstown none
Dulwich Hill 7.9 km 1895
Hurlstone Park 8.8 km 1895 none
Canterbury 10.2 km 1895
Campsie 11.7 km 1895
Belmore 13.3 km 1895
Lakemba 14.5 km 1909
Wiley Park 15.4 km 1938
Punchbowl 16.5 km 1909
Bankstown 18.7 km 1909
Yagoona 20.6 km 1928
Birrong 22.1 km 1928
At Birrong, the line branches. The Northern branch is towards Lidcombe, and the western branch is towards Liverpool.
To Lidcombe
Regents Park 19.9 km 1912 Main South none none
Berala 18.4 km 1912
Lidcombe 16.6 km 1858
To Liverpool
Sefton 21.2 km 1924 Main South none none
Chester Hill 22.3 km 1924
Leightonfield 23.7 km 1942
Villawood 24.5 km 1924
Carramar 25.9 km 1924
Cabramatta 28.4 km 1870
Warwick Farm 34.2 km 1889
Liverpool 35.7 km 1856
  • Most stations are served by connecting bus services. Some additional stations may be served by intercity trains at certain times.


The following table shows the patronage of Sydney Trains network for the year ending 30 June 2019.

2018-19 Sydney Trains patronage by line[n.b. 1] [10]
Line Figure

Sydney Trains patronage by line last financial year.png

  1. Figures based on Opal tap on and tap off data.
    = T1 North Shore, Northern & Western Line was split into the T1 North Shore & Western Line and T9 Northern Line in April 2019. These figures group the T1 Northern Line with those of the T9 Northern Line instead of the T1. Additionally, the Northern Line route was changed in Septermber 2018 when the Epping to Chatswood line was closed. This resulted in a decrease in Northern Line and an increase in North Shore Line patronage from October.



This article incorporates text from the following revision of the English Wikipedia article "Bankstown Line":