West of Bankstown Stations to be Closed Again
Future rail services from Lidcombe – Bankstown – Cabramatta/Liverpool are once again in doubt with Sydney Metro confirming the renewed implementation of the ironically named “Sydney’s Rail Future” plan.
Sydney’s Rail Future was created by Transport for NSW in 2012 with key implementation commencing in 2013 through the Sydney Trains timetable changes featuring the removal of T2 Inner West Line: City to Liverpool via Regents Park and City to Bankstown via Regents Park services.
Terminating T3 Bankstown Line services at Lidcombe was also part of Sydney’s Rail Future as the original Sydney Metro Southwest proposal was for conversion of the Sydenham to Lidcombe and Cabramatta.
However, revised Sydney Metro Southwest announcement in 2014 reduced the conversion to just Sydenham to Bankstown, with the proposal for a new Cabramatta turnback cancelled but the termination of trains at Lidcombe was not reversed.
A secret Sydney’s Rail Future Implementation Plan was also created by Transport for NSW for Sydenham to Bankstown as the base corridor for Sydney Metro Southwest and a secret plan to either convert the West of Bankstown into Metro or bus/light rail services.
As of July 2023, Transport for NSW is not committed to Sydney Trains for the West of Bankstown area and Sydney Metro remains keen to replace Sydney Trains with bus.
Much of the internal Transport for NSW planning to remove Sydney Trains from the West of Bankstown has been led by Sydney Metro despite Lidcombe – Bankstown – Cabramatta being outside of the approved Sydenham to Bankstown Metro corridor.
Sydney Metro is using a loophole in the Transport Administration Act 1988 to be making plans for 3 bus routes to replace Sydney Trains in the West of Bankstown:
Lidcombe – Regents Park
Regents Park – Bankstown
Cabramatta – Regents Park
The Sydenham to Bankstown Metro Staging Report dated 30 June 2023 indicates that implentation of Sydney’s Rail Future is continuing despite Transport for NSW indicating that “Sydney’s Rail Future” had been completed in 2019 (upon the opening of Sydney Metro Northwest).
As Transport for NSW and Sydney Metro are pursuing the implemention of Sydney’s Rail Future, the 9 stations in the West of Bankstown area (Berala, Regents Park, Sefton, Chester Hill, Leightonfield, Villawood, Carramar, Birrong, Yagoona) are once again at major risk of a permanent shutdown after the opening of Sydney Metro Southwest (Sydenham to Bankstown).