Construction is currently underway by Transport NSW to extend Sydney's existing light rail line from Lilyfield to Dulwich Hill. The extended line utilises the corridor of the former Rozelle freight line.
Marrickville Council has lobbied for light rail for its residents for many years, and welcomes the commitment to construct the extension.
Light rail has the potential to improve the variety, frequency and reliability of public transport in the Marrickville area, as well as providing opportunities for urban renewal.
The extension of the light rail line will set up key transport interchanges with CityRail stations at Lewisham and Dulwich Hill, as well as other bus services intersecting with the route.
Cooks River to Iron Cove GreenWay deferred indefinitely by NSW Government
While Marrickville Council initially welcomed the announcement of the Cooks River to Iron Cove GreenWay – an off-road walking and cycling link – to be built alongside the light rail extension, the NSW Government deferred the GreenWay indefinitely in September 2011.
Council has expressed its disappointment that the GreenWay – a cost-effective proposal with strong community support and numerous benefits, and one which has been prioritised in numerous state planning documents – has been pushed aside by the NSW Government.
The detailed Environmental Assessment (EA) and EA Submissions reports for the Light Rail extension and GreenWay were released for public exhibition and comment in late 2010 and early 2011, and planning approval for construction was granted in mid-February 2011. Construction will be undertaken in 2011 and 2012, with completion expected in 2012-2013.
The NSW Government and Metro Transport Sydney (MTS), the operator of the existing Light Rail, have signed an agreement in-principle for MTS to develop the design for construction of the Inner West Light Rail Extension. Work on the development of a design for construction tendering purposes has now begun. The project team has been consulting with key stakeholders including the Inner West Liaison Group in the development of this tender design.
The community will see surveyors together with geotechnical investigations along and near the rail corridor, gathering further information to assist with the design.
What happens next?
The timing for the delivery of the project will be determined based the outcomes of this assessment. It is anticipated that the Inner West extension will be operational in early 2014.
The community will be notified of all relevant details associated with construction activities before construction begins. During the construction period, plans will be in place to minimise inconvenience to local residents, businesses and commuters.
For more information on this project, you can contact the Project Team by phone on 1800 636 910 (toll free) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information is also available at the Light Rail Extensions page of the DoT's website.
What is light rail?
Light rail is a form of urban rail transport which provides higher passenger capacity than buses, using vehicles which are more compact than CityRail-style commuter trains (heavy rail) or metro trains.
There are many similarities and overlaps between light rail and tram systems. The main difference is that light rail generally refers to tracks separated from other traffic - with a dedicated right-of-way - while tram tracks run on streets mixed with other traffic. Sydney's existing light rail line combines both of these characteristics.
Sydney once boasted the world's second largest tram network (second to London) before trams were replaced with buses in the late 1950s. Today, most inner-city bus routes follow the old tram routes. Inner Sydney's dense urban development around long shopping strips, such as King Street Newtown, can be largely attributed to the tram network.
Modern light rail is quiet, comfortable and efficient; one light rail line can theoretically carry 8 times more peak-hour commuters than a single lane of freeway. Light rail can help address current car and bus congestion problems experienced in and around the Sydney CBD.
Many cities around the world are implementing light rail to address traffic congestion and improve liveability. There are light rail and tram systems in Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney, with a new light rail system also under construction at the Gold Coast.
The existing network
Sydney's existing light rail network consists of a single line between Central railway station and Lilyfield, running via Chinatown, Darling Harbour, Pyrmont, and parts of Glebe and Annandale.
The existing line is operated by Metro Transport Sydney, a privately owned company. Metro Transport will also operate the services on the new Inner West and CBD extensions.
You can find additional information at the following pages: