On 8 December 2015 the New South Wales government announced a small network of light rail lines around Parramatta, extending from the Westmead hospitals to Carlingford and Homebush via Olympic Park. Stations on the existing Carlingford heavy railway will be replaced by light rail stops; Rose Hill station will be moved. The new service will facilitate extensive residential developments, especially around Camellia, and will be partly funded through value capture.
In October 2016 it became clear that the leg through Olympic Park had lost favour. Announcements of the 2030 master plan for the area did not show light rail however there were hints that an underground railway was being considered. Fairfax Media acquired a leaked copy of the business case, revealing just how costly the full plan would have been. Learn more...
An obvious shortcoming of the surviving network was that it should not end at Carlingford station. Ideally it should be extended to Epping, which will soon become a major railway interchange, and certainly to Carlingford Court shopping mall. Passenger convenience should be the prime consideration, ahead of developer profit.
The EIS for a minimal Stage 1 issued in August 2017. While many issues were considered in painstaking detail, little attention had been paid to starting a useful network that could grow as Parramatta grew. Stage 2 was re-announced but only going east to Olympic Park; the link to Strathfield had been cut. Meanwhile, many public submissions on Stage 1 were found to have suggestions which would improve the utility of that stage.
Help us tell the NSW government that the Parramatta light rail network should be replanned immediately to serve its city better.