Preserve corridors for Western Sydney Airport rail connections

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Future rail connection to Western Sydney Airport
High Priority Initiative
Western Sydney, NSW
Fast-growing cities
Corridor Preservation
Problem/Opportunity timeframe
Near term (0-5 years)
Proposed By
NSW Government
Date added to the IPL
17 February 2016


Over the next two decades, the population of Western Sydney will increase by 900,000 people. Around half of all Sydney Basin residents are expected to be living in the region within 25 years. Preliminary analysis indicates that passenger demand at Western Sydney Airport could reach 10 million per year within five years from commencement of operations in the mid‑2020s.

Provision of efficient transport options connecting Western Sydney Airport with other key hubs – such as the Sydney CBD, Parramatta, Western Sydney Employment Area, and North West and South West priority growth areas – is critical to avoid unnecessary travel delays and enable sustained economic growth.

Modelling by Infrastructure Australia in 2017 estimates the net cost of protecting and acquiring an indicative corridor from St Marys to the Western Sydney Airport, then to Macarthur and Leppington, as $0.3 billion (2016 prices) using a 7% real discount rate.

Proposed initiative

Identify and preserve rail corridors connecting the Western Sydney Airport with the Sydney rail network.

The Australian Government and NSW Government jointly released a scoping study that considered six options for rail services to the Western Sydney Airport and the Western Parkland City. Three options have subsequently been shortlisted as part of a longer-term rail network for Western Sydney:

  • a north–south line between Schofields and Macarthur via the airport

  • an extension of the South West Rail Link

  • an east–west line between the Western Sydney Airport and Parramatta.

The Australian Government and NSW Government are jointly funding the planning and delivery of Stage 1 of the north–south line to service Western Sydney Airport and the Western Parkland City, between St Marys and Bringelly. This would support growth in Western Sydney, including the new airport, by providing a transport link that can shape growth while providing fast and efficient transport accessibility.

A medium-term Priority Initiative for Western Sydney Airport public transport connections is separately included on the Infrastructure Priority List.

Next steps

Proponent to identify initiatives and develop options (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).