Sydney Metro Disaster Planned for T3 Bankstown Line

  • The Sydney Metro has never been about getting people out their cars and onto trains and light rail
  • The Sydney Metro has never been about an alternative to tolled motorways
  • The Sydney Metro has always been about the over development of areas of Sydney that the Government and their developer backers can profit from
  • If the Sydney Metro were about public transport, it would not be routed to cannibalise two existing, well-patronised heavy rail lines
  • If the Sydney Metro were about public transport the route would take it through areas of Sydney that currently do not have a rail service
  • There has been a conspiracy behind the scenes to open up areas of Sydney for Hong Kong and Shanghai style apartment developments
  • This conspiracy has been going on behind the closed doors for many years. This conspiracy led to the decision to build the NWRL as a Metro instead of a heavy rail line, integrated with Sydney’s rail system.
  • This was the “thin edge of the wedge” for the developers and the backers of the Sydney Metro has never been about public transport. Their sights were then set on development opportunities in the CBD, Waterloo and from Sydenham to Bankstown.
  • The article in the Domain section of the SMH on June 29th is evidence of the NSW Government and their developer backers. The headline read:

“Developer groups push for Australian cities to become more like Asia”

  • To quote from the article by Nicole Frost:

When it comes city building, Sydney could learn a thing or two from Asia.

At least that’s the conclusion that a panel of developers and industry figures came to at an event hosted by the Urban Taskforce in Sydney on Thursday.

In particular the evolution of highly-affluent neighbourhoods in Singapore and Shanghai could serve as a road map for housing Sydney’s growing population, said Urban Taskforce chief executive Chris Johnson.

The panel largely rejected the calls made by former NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes for Sydney to follow Barcelona’s medium-density approach as opposed to the high-density “Shanghai route”.


  • The NSW Government euphemistically describes the conversion of the T3 Bankstown Line as an “upgrade” and overdevelopment as “urban renewal”.
  • EcoTransit views the conversion as a reduction in the quality of service and the overdevelopment as destruction of community, destruction of heritage and destruction of public amenity
  • MTR (Hong Kong), the appointed operator of Sydney Metro has never been about public transport, builds and runs the Hong Kong Metro. Their business plan is to build their Sydney Metro has never been about public transport and fund it with developments around the stations.
  • These developments are always high-rise and very dense in population and have faced a lot of criticism from urban planners. This now seems to be MTR (Hong Kong)’s and the Government’s plans for Waterloo and along the T3 Bankstown Line
  • The crash worthiness of the Sydney Metro trains is lower than that of the double deck Waratah trains. Consequently from Sydenham to Campsie it will be necessary to either provide greater separation between the passenger and freight lines or build a crash barrier between the freight and metro tracks
  • The conversion of T3 Bankstown Line to Sydney Metro will also require the straightening of all of the existing platforms, as the platform doors cannot be adapted to curved platforms
  • This will lead to the destruction of important rail heritage along the T3 Bankstown Line, some of which has only recently been restored and painted
  • The NSW Government has been unable to give EcoTransit a figure on the cost of the conversion. The cost could exceed $5 billion, enough money to build 150 kms of new light rail lines !
  • The service offered by the Sydney Metro is 15 trains per hour in the peak and 6 trains per hour in the off-peak
  • Currently on T3 Bankstown Line there are 7 trains per hour from Bankstown to the City during the peak and 4 trains per hour in the off-peak
  • Even with 8 more Sydney Metro trains in the peak, there will be 10% less seats !
  • Without major re-signalling or other works, the number of trains on T3 Bankstown Line per hour in the peak could be increase to 9 and with re-signalling a further 4 trains could be added, bringing the total to 13
  • 13 double deck trains per hour would have a seating capacity of 11,648 seats compared to 15 Sydney Metro trains with a seating capacity of 5,670 seats
  • With crush loading the 15 Sydney Metro trains in the peak can carry 18,000 per hour where as 13 double deck trains could carry 20,000 per hour
  • The cost of re-signalling would a fraction of the conversion of the T3 Bankstown Line to Sydney Metro
  • Quote from senior transport planner:

“The other fact not presented is that the current line is also capable of moving 50% more trains with no upgrade required, or 100% more trains with an upgrade to just the signalling. Furthermore, enhanced modern urban double deck rolling stock could increase capacity by an additional 30% on top of that, so the line could carry up to 25,000 passengers an hour in each direction with a train every 5 minutes, running faster than both the current services or the metro, for just the cost of new signals and new trains, or only a fraction of the cost of full metro conversion.

Yes that’s right – better outcomes than metro but for only a fraction of the cost of what’s proposed to be spent in metro conversion. 

This is the crux of the matter, but these are facts that both MTR and Sydney Metro want to keep hidden for obvious reasons.” 

  • The proposed travel time for the Sydney Metro from Bankstown to Central is 26 minutes. This is faster than the current fastest train, which covers the distance in 31 minutes. However, when compared with the 1987 timetable, the Sydney Metro will be 1 minute slower than the fastest train! Many of the trains in 1987 were the old “Red Rattlers!

Colin Schroeder
EcoTransit Sydney
0424 792 666