NSW premier Mike Baird and transport minister Gladys Berejiklian have promised two extra express services in the morning on the train line between Parramatta and the City, but say they will have to upgrade the network before that can be delivered.
Baird and Berejiklian on Monday vowed to invest in new infrastructure, signalling and power supply in Western Sydney, allowing for the extra train services, but Berejiklian later told the media that this would likely mean the extra services – two each morning; totalling ten a week – wouldn’t be online until 2016 or 2017.
“We’re focused on improving the lives of people across NSW and a priority is delivering fast, reliable and convenient public transport services,” Baird said.
“Labor slashed hundreds of rail services in government and left public transport in a complete mess.”
Baird explained that “significant infrastructure” is needed to deliver the additional train services, including upgrading signalling between Westmead and Granville, power upgrades and more tracks at Parramatta for extra trains. Work is expected to take two to three years.
Berejiklian said these projects make up the first stage of the Western Sydney Rail Upgrade Program, a multi-billion dollar project promised by the Baird Government which will deliver more trains services to Western Sydney.
“The additional express services are just the beginning of benefits that will be realised through the government’s plans,” Berejiklian said.
“A fast-tracked Second Harbour Crossing and Western Sydney Rail upgrade will allow us to deliver a 60% increase in capacity throughout the network, moving an extra 100,000 people per hour.”
Member for Parramatta Geoff Lee said the extra express train services from Parramatta to the CBD will no doubt be extremely popular with locals.
“This is fantastic news for the Parramatta community – I know so many people will benefit from these express services and have more time to spend with family and friends,” Lee said.
“The Baird Government has delivered major improvements across public transport and we are listening to the community and will continue to deliver what they want.”