Sydney Metro City & Southwest Review

December 2015


This submission responds to T4NSW's call for public submissions on plans to extend Sydney's North West Rail Link under the name Sydney Metro to the Sydney CBD and then Bankstown.

The submission will argue that the proposed metro system should be enhanced so that it will better serve denser areas near the CBD.


The challenge for the proposed Sydney Metro is to maximise its relevance to Sydney's daily transport task starting from perhaps 2025. However, vagaries of the planning process have placed serious constraints on the proposed system:

Considerable money would be saved by using the existing railway corridor from Chatswood to the Gore Hill Freeway. The intention behind the Artarmon industrial area station presumably is to tunnel south-west from about Lambs Road. However the most attractive area for a new station would seem to be the medical and educational facilities in Westbourne St. Any new station should have an exit near the intersection of Westbourne and Reserve Road; it should be thought of as Gore Hill station and would be a long way from Artarmon.

The harbour crossing will be very expensive and hence should be utilised to the fullest extent. Its claimed capacity is 40000 passengers per hour each way. This is considerably more than the north-west railway could require. Plans should be made now for a northern branch line, going towards some suitable area which does not have a rail service at present. The designated junction station should be designed now for the task.

The announcement that there will not be stations at both St Leonards and Crows Nest seems merely to reflect the unsuitability of platforms at the existing St Leonards station for a line through Crows Nest. That should not preclude having one station each at Crows Nest and Gore Hill. The whole idea of a metro railway is to facilitate trips around the inner suburbs and CBD. Stations should be close together - perhaps 1km.

Barangaroo, which is to have over 20000 workers travelling there daily plus many visitors, of course needs a railway station. Wynyard cannot handle that volume.

The metro system could function well in the CBD without going east of Kent St. Savings in tunneling and disruption would result from the direct route towards Central.

There should be a metro station at about the latitude of Town Hall; the working title Darling Park is suggested for that station, being the name of a large building at that end of Market St.

There should also be a metro station at about the latitude of Central; the working title Railway Square is suggested for that station.

In order to use the full capacity of the city and cross-harbour line, provision should be made now for a future metro line to the inner western suburbs. One way of doing this would be to turn Sydney Metro along Broadway with a station at City Road and a junction station at Camperdown.

Consideration should be given now to the future of rail services at Erskineville. One possibility would be for some Eastern Suburbs trains to stop there. Those trains are already travelling slowly at Erskinville due to the turnout immediately north of the station and the stop would not delay them much. Note that parts of Erskineville are already served by Newtown and Macdonaldtown stations.

Consideration should be given now to the future of rail services at St Peters. One possibility would be to give it the same service as Tempe. Another would be to bring the metro line to the surface north of St Peters station and keep St Peters on the Bankstown line. Otherwise, a new metro station could be built west of St Peters station, perhaps near Marrickville Metro in which case important land-use questions arise.

There have been suggestions that the Waterloo area needs a railway service. However, most of Waterloo is within 1km of Redfern station, so any new station's catchment would overlap and duplicate that of Redfern and perhaps also the catchments of Erskineville and/or Green Square. The station appears to have been prompted by possible re-development around the intersection of Raglan St and George St. The airport railway passes under that point and it would be ludicrous to consider building another railway to serve that site. The redevelopment would present an opportunity to retrofit a Waterloo station to the airport line, with station construction co-ordinated with the building work.


The present plan has too few stations around the inner suburbs. There are many possibilities that don't seem to have been considered.

More attention needs to be given to land-use issues than is evident from announcements so far.

More consideration should be given to areas disadvantaged by the proposed Sydney Metro.


  1. Plans should be made now for more stations in the inner suburbs on both sides of the harbour.
  2. Waterloo station should not be considered further in this project.
  3. Plans should be made now, identifying stations to become junctions for future branch lines, and designing them appropriately.
  4. Plans should be made now identifying stations to be interchanges with any future rail lines, and designing them for maximum efficiency in this role.
  5. Suitable plans should be made and announced now for St Peters and Erskineville as part of this project.

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Fix N.S.W. Transport!

Appendix - Metro systems ordered by station spacing

City (line)Stations1Track
Lausanne (Lausanne Metro)145.90.5
Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires Underground)8351.40.6
Barcelona (Barcelona Metro)141102.60.7
Brussels (Brussels Metro)5939.90.7
Budapest (Budapest Metro)5238.20.7
Glasgow (Glasgow Subway)1510.40.7
Paris (Paris Metro)303214.00.7
Rennes (Rennes Metro)159.40.7
Turin (Turin Metro)2113.20.7
Kobe (Kobe Rapid Transit Railway)107.60.8
Lille (Lille Metro)6045.00.8
Lisbon (Lisbon Metro)5543.20.8
London (Docklands Light Railway)4534.00.8
Lyon (Lyon Metro)4032.00.8
Marseille (Marseille Metro)2821.50.8
Nuremberg (Nuremberg U-Bahn)4635.00.8
Philadelphia (SEPTA)7559.10.8
Rome (Rome Metro)6854.70.8
Toulouse (Toulouse Metro)3728.20.8
Vienna (Vienna U-Bahn)10479.10.8
Yokohama (Minatomirai Line)64.10.8
Berlin (Berlin U-Bahn)173151.70.9
Brescia (Brescia Metro)1713.70.9
Fukuoka (Fukuoka City Subway)3529.80.9
Hiroshima (Astram Line)2118.40.9
Mashhad (Mashhad Urban Railway)2219.00.9
Milan (Milan Metro)110100.00.9
New York City (New York City Subway)421373.00.9
Oslo (Oslo Metro)9786.00.9
Santo Domingo (Santo Domingo Metro)3027.40.9
Sendai (Sendai Subway)1714.80.9
Algiers (Algiers Metro)109.21.0
Amsterdam (Amsterdam Metro)3331.41.0
Copenhagen (Copenhagen Metro)2220.41.0
Daegu (Daegu Metro)5957.31.0
Genoa (Genoa Metro)87.01.0
Gurgaon (Rapid MetroRail Gurgaon)65.11.0
Harbin (Harbin Metro)1817.51.0
Incheon (Incheon Subway)2929.41.0
Kyoto (Kyoto Municipal Subway)3131.21.0
Madrid (Madrid Metro)301294.01.0
Montreal (Montreal Metro)6869.21.0
Mumbai (Mumbai Metro)1211.41.0
Munich (Munich U-Bahn)9695.01.0
Naples (Naples Metro)2220.21.0
Santiago (Santiago Metro)108103.01.0
Tokyo (Toei Subway)106109.01.0
Toronto (Toronto rapid transit)6968.31.0
Xi'an (Xi'an Metro)5551.91.0
Bangalore (Namma Metro)1919.11.1
Bangkok (BTS Skytrain)3436.51.1
Bilbao (Metro Bilbao)4043.31.1
Bursa (Bursaray)3838.91.1
Chicago (Chicago 'L')145165.41.1
Daejeon (Daejeon Metro)2222.71.1
Gwangju (Gwangju Metro)2020.11.1
Manila (Manila Light Rail Transit System)3133.41.1
Medellín (Medellín Metro)2728.81.1
Monterrey (Monterrey Metro)3132.01.1
Nagoya (Nagoya Municipal Subway)8793.31.1
New York City (Staten Island Railway)2222.51.1
Ningbo (Ningbo Rail Transit)2020.91.1
Osaka (Osaka Municipal Subway)123129.91.1
Prague (Prague Metro)6165.51.1
San Juan, Puerto Rico (Tren Urbano)1617.21.1
Sao Paulo (Sao Paulo Metro)6774.81.1
Sapporo (Sapporo Municipal Subway)4648.01.1
Seoul (Seoul Subway (Lines 1-9))311331.51.1
Stockholm (Stockholm Metro)100105.71.1
Taipei (Taipei Metro)116129.21.1
Tokyo (Tokyo Metro)179195.11.1
Warsaw (Warsaw Metro)2729.01.1
Adana (Adana Metro)1313.91.2
Bangkok (Metropolitan Rapid Transit)1820.01.2
Boston (MBTA)5161.01.2
Changsha (Changsha Metro)1922.31.2
Hamburg (Hamburg U-Bahn)91104.01.2
Izmir (Izmir Metro)1720.01.2
Jaipur (Jaipur Metro)99.61.2
Kaohsiung (Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit)3742.71.2
Kolkata (Kolkata Metro)2428.11.2
Kuala Lumpur (Rapid Rail)4856.01.2
Mexico City (Mexico City Metro)195226.51.2
Panama City (Panama Metro)1213.71.2
Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro Metro)3541.01.2
Sofia (Sofia Metro)3438.61.2
Suzhou (Suzhou Rail Transit)4652.31.2
Wuhan (Wuhan Metro)7895.51.2
Ankara (Ankara Metro)4555.11.3
Cairo (Cairo Metro)6177.91.3
Chengdu (Chengdu Metro)4960.81.3
Delhi (Delhi Metro)147193.01.3
Helsinki (Helsinki Metro)1721.11.3
Istanbul (Istanbul Metro)7090.51.3
Kharkiv (Kharkiv Metro)2937.61.3
Kiev (Kiev Metro)5267.61.3
Kobe (Kobe Municipal Subway)2530.61.3
Minsk (Minsk Metro)2937.31.3
Novosibirsk (Novosibirsk Metro)1315.91.3
Rotterdam (Rotterdam Metro)6278.31.3
Shenyang (Shenyang Metro)4355.11.3
Tashkent (Tashkent Metro)2936.21.3
Tbilisi (Tbilisi Metro)2227.11.3
Wuxi (Wuxi Metro)4356.01.3
Almaty (Almaty Metro)911.31.4
Athens (Athens Metro)6184.71.4
Bucharest (Bucharest Metro)5169.31.4
Busan (Busan Metro)93130.21.4
Caracas (Caracas Metro)4763.51.4
Dnipropetrovsk (Dnipropetrovsk Metro)67.11.4
Hangzhou (Hangzhou Metro)5475.81.4
Lima (Lima Metro)2634.01.4
Manila (Manila Metro Rail Transit System)1316.91.4
Nizhny Novgorod (Nizhny Novgorod Metro)1418.81.4
Pyongyang (Pyongyang Metro)1722.01.4
Samara (Samara Metro)1012.71.4
Shenzhen (Shenzhen Metro)131178.41.4
Singapore (Mass Rapid Transit)113152.91.4
Yokohama (Yokohama Municipal Subway)4053.41.4
Zhengzhou (Zhengzhou Metro)2026.31.4
London (London Underground)270402.01.5
Recife (Recife Metro)2839.51.5
Shiraz (Shiraz Metro)810.51.5
Vancouver (SkyTrain)4768.61.5
Yerevan (Yerevan Metro)1013.41.5
Baku (Baku Metro)2334.61.6
Belo Horizonte (Belo Horizonte Metro)1928.11.6
Dubai (Dubai Metro)4774.61.6
Foshan (FMetro)1420.41.6
Shanghai (Shanghai Metro)337548.01.6
Tianjin (Tianjin Metro)87137.01.6
Yekaterinburg (Yekaterinburg Metro)912.71.6
Beijing (Beijing Subway)318527.01.7
Guangzhou (Guangzhou Metro)144240.01.7
Moscow (Moscow Metro)196327.51.7
Saint Petersburg (Saint Petersburg Metro)67113.21.7
Seoul (Korail metro lines)75124.61.7
Tokyo (Rinkai Line)812.21.7
Brasilia (Brasilia Metro)2442.41.8
Chongqing (Chongqing Rail Transit)114202.01.8
Cleveland (RTA Rapid Transit: Red Line)1831.01.8
Kazan (Kazan Metro)1015.81.8
Miami (Metrorail)2340.11.8
Salvador (Salvador Metro)57.31.8
Tehran (Tehran Metro)85152.01.8
Baltimore (Baltimore Metro Subway)1424.91.9
Los Angeles (Metro Rail)1628.01.9
Nanjing (Nanjing Metro)121224.31.9
New York City (Port Authority Trans-Hudson)1322.21.9
Philadelphia (PATCO Speedline)1322.91.9
Hong Kong (MTR)87174.72.0
Atlanta (MARTA)3877.02.1
Porto Alegre (Porto Alegre Metro)2243.42.1
Washington, D.C. (Washington Metro)91188.02.1
Mecca (Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah Metro)918.12.3
Dalian (Dalian Metro)44124.52.9
Kunming (Kunming Rail Transit)1440.13.1
Seoul (Shinbundang Line (NeoTrans))617.33.5
San Francisco (Bay Area Rapid Transit)44167.03.9

1 Source: Wikipedia
2 Tracklength ÷ (Stations - 1)