Sydney Metro – Fact and Fiction


Fact Sydney Metro  (previously known as NWRL) was originally promised to be a full heavy rail double deck service connected to the Sydney rail network, by the incoming Barry O’Farrell led NSW Government.

Fact – All of the Sydney Metro lines announced by governments, both Labor and Liberal, have been headed by Rod Staples.

Fact Rod Staples was put in charge of the NWRL in 2011 and set about changing it to a metro.

Fact Gladys Berejiklian, NSW Transport Minister in 2011 had vehemently criticised the CBD metro, when still in Opposition.

Fiction “Only a metro can provide the capacity and service frequency that is required on the NWRL.”

Fact – The existing Sydney double deck trains can and do run at 2-3 minute intervals through the CBD, in peak hour. The Paris RER has progressively converted all of its lines to double deck trains running at 2 minute intervals, to increase the capacity of the RER network.

Fiction MTR (Hong Kong) won the operating rights for the Sydney Metro Northwest through an open and transparent tender process.

Fact – The tender process was set-up to ensure that the MTR (Hong Kong) would win the operating contract.

Fiction MTR (Hong Kong) is primarily a rail operator.

Fact MTR (Hong Kong) is primarily a property developer. They have the development rights around every new station they build, a form of value capture to profit a private company.

Fiction MTR (Hong Kong) is being built to provide improved public transport to existing suburbs.

Fact Sydney Metro is being built to enable large tracts of Sydney’s suburbs to be turned into mini Hong Kongs.

Fiction – It is necessary to compulsory purchase numerous CBD buildings to enable Sydney Metro to be built through the City.

Fact – The railways that run through the CBD were built without the need to compulsory acquire the number of buildings that are going to be for the Sydney Metro. Will MTR (Hong Kong) be handed the development rights to these building sites?

Fiction Sydney Metro has to take over the Bankstown Line from Sydenham to get to Bankstown.

Fact Sydney Metro could take a different route via RPAH, Camperdown, Enmore, Arlington, Canterbury, Campsie and then run alongside of the Bankstown line to Bankstown (above ground) and then in tunnel to Liverpool via Condell Park.

Fact – The only reason to take over the T3 Bankstown lLne is give the development rights at each station to MTR and to further fragment the existing Sydney Trains Network.

Fact – The distance between Epping and the new Cherrybrook Station is 6 kilometres with no way top evacuate trains in case of an emergency, other than detraining passengers via a ladder and walking them to the closest station.

Fact – The existing Epping to Chatswood line has a 800mm walkway throughout the length of each tunnel, which allows easy evacuation of a train in approximately 15 minutes, including people with mobility issues.

Fiction – The lack of a walkway for evacuation in the very long tunnels is not a safety concern, even though it could take up to 5 hours to detrain 900 passengers.

Fact – True metros have very short distances between stations. The average distance between stations on the Paris Metro is 582 metres.

Fiction – The “Sydney Metro” is a metro. The average distance between stations will be around 3.5 kilometres, making it just suburban railway with no way of increasing capacity due to the restrictive tunnel diameter.

Colin Schroeder
EcoTransit Sydney
0424 792 666