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Sydney Metro - Sydney Metro

Transit system in Sydney, Australia

Sydney Metro is a fully automated express transit system in Sydney, New South Wales. Currently it consists of one line that opened on May 26, 2019. It runs from Tallawong to Chatswood and consists of 13 stations and 36 km of double-track, mostly underground tracks. Work to expand this line from Chatswood to Bankstown, which runs under Sydney Harbor and the Sydney Central Business District (CBD), is expected to be completed in 2024. When completed, this line will have 66 km of double-track lines and 31 stations.

Two additional lines were announced; Sydney Metro Western Sydney Airport and Sydney Metro West. The Sydney Metro Western Sydney Airport will run approximately 14 miles from St. Marys to the planned Aerotropolis Core. It will have six stations and serve the new Western Sydney International Airport (Nancy-Bird Walton) when it opens in 2026.

The Sydney Metro West runs approximately 15 miles from Westmead to the Sydney CBD. It is planned to include nine stations served by underground double tracks. The line will also serve Parramatta and Sydney Olympic Park when it opens in 2030.

Sydney is the first and currently only Australian city with a fully automatic (driverless) S-Bahn subway system. Plans and projects for a high-speed subway with rapid transit in Sydney date back to at least 2008, although an initial proposal was made as early as 2001. Despite extensive plans for a metro network in the past, disputes over privatization and funding had hampered government approval, which delayed its establishment. Despite the difficulties getting the project off the ground, government approval was granted in 2013 for Sydney's first underground station, originally known as the North West Rail Link. Route extensions and a name change for the Sydney Metro soon followed.

The network is controlled by the Sydney Metro Agency under the umbrella of Transport for NSW. The services are operated by Metro Trains Sydney and integrated into the established Sydney Trains network.


Previous suggestions

The first proposals for a subway system in Sydney were made in 2001 when the Railways Coordinator General Ron Christie published his report "Long-term Strategic Plan for Rail" setting out the long-term goals for the development of the rail network. He suggested that a number of "U-Bahn" lines - independent of the existing network - should be built after 2020 due to capacity constraints. This was later dismissed by the New South Wales government as just a "shopping list" of potential projects.

The idea for a subway reappeared at the end of 2007 when discussions were taking place within the NSW government about an underground "Anzac line". The line would have run from West Ryde in the northwest of Sydney to Malabar in the southeast, but it would not have been used. At the beginning of 2008, after the suspension of various projects to expand the heavy line from the Metropolitan Rail Expansion Program (MREP) of 2005, the government officially announced the 37 km long north-west metro. Estimated to cost $ 12 billion if it had linked Rouse Hill in northwest Sydney to the CBD. Construction began in 2010 and ended in 2017.

However, the construction of the north-west subway was dependent on the privatization of the electricity network and was canceled for budgetary reasons after the Prime Minister changed at the end of 2008. Its replacement was the 9 km long CBD metro valued at 4 billion US dollars, a shortened route that ran from Rozelle in the inner west into the CBD to the main train station. Construction, like its predecessor, should begin in 2010 but be completed in 2015. The CBD metro should form the "central backbone" of a future metro network, with a planned expansion of the West metro to Westmead and Parramatta, which is to be built soon thereafter, subject to federal funding. The inclusion in the plans was inconsistent, with opposition leader Barry O'Farrell accusing the Prime Minister of "making it up to me" after the cost was only released after the press conference, and the Greens criticized it on the grounds that the The Route appeared to be designed to run through marginal electoral seats. The government's original funding proposal to Infrastructure Australia was rejected because of "a lack of integrated planning". It was later revealed that the cost had risen from $ 4 billion to $ 5.3 billion in six months, and internal estimates suggested the subway would only run at 15% of its maximum capacity.

The CBD metro was canceled in early 2010 after the premier was canceled a few months earlier in 2009. The government had spent nearly $ 410 million on the project. The new Prime Minister Kristina Keneally instead focused on expanding the existing heavy rail network, including the North West Rail Link and the South West Rail Link.


In mid-2012, the newly elected coalition government announced Rail Future Sydney and NSW Transport Masterplan. According to this proposal, the North West Rail Link would be built as a single-story, privately operated subway, which connects to a future second port crossing. These plans have been criticized because they may not have the capacity of existing double deck trains and concerns about the inability of trains on the existing network to use the new intersection.

In 2014, the government announced the second port crossing, called Sydney Rapid Transit, as part of the NSW Reconstruction Infrastructure Plan, funded by the sale of electricity infrastructure. The new railroad would cross Sydney Harbor, tunnel under the CBD, and join the Bankstown Line, which would be converted to subway standards.

The system was officially renamed “Sydney Metro” in June 2015 after the electricity privatization laws were passed. The counterparties warned the government that selling the energy infrastructure may not provide the capital it needs.

In July 2018, Sydney Metro was established as the legal authority responsible for directing the delivery of the subway system. From March 2021, Peter Regan will be the agency's managing director.


Sydney's underground services are operated by Metro Trains Sydney, a joint venture between MTR Corporation, the John Holland Group and UGL Rail, who will operate and maintain the network under a 15-year contract. The network is fully automated at GoA4 level and uses CBTC signals throughout.


The Metro North West Line is currently the only line on the Sydney underground network. It runs from Tallawong Station to Chatswood Station with a total of 13 stations over 36 km. As of July 2019, the service has lasted 37 minutes from end to end, every 4 minutes at peak times and every 10 minutes at all other times. Previously, the line ran every 5 minutes during peak hours for the first few weeks after opening until it was increased to every 4 minutes.

The service began on May 26, 2019. In the first six months of operation, they were supplemented by rail replacement buses in track construction for night traffic from Sunday to Wednesday.


The network works with 22 Alstom Metropolis TS sets with 6 vehicles, which are fully automatic electrical multiple units. Each one-story train has two separate areas for strollers, luggage and bicycles. There are three doors per side per car and no interior doors between the cars. In a 6-car configuration, the trains have a seating capacity of 378 people with a total capacity of 1,100 people. The seating arrangement on Alstom trains is lengthways, in keeping with the style of most other metro trains. The trains use Alstom's trademark Urbalis 400 grade-of-automation signaling system, which ensures that trains can run automatically at all times, including door closure, obstacle detection and emergency situations.

Prior to the launch of the services, a full-size model of the new train was built and can be seen publicly, including at the annual Royal Easter Show in Sydney. It consists of the front car, including its distinctive nose. Members of the public can tour the interior of the model. It is roughly 75% the length of the final design for the new carriages with two doors instead of three.

The trains were built at Alstom's rail vehicle manufacturing facility in India. The first six-car train on the Sydney Metro arrived in Rouse Hill on September 26, 2017 and was tested.

In February 2018, dynamic tests began on the first set of trains. The tests were carried out on brakes, passenger information displays, lighting and door operation.


Stage 1 (Metro North West) works with 6 cars - trains run every 4 minutes. After the Bankstown expansion of Stage 2, at least 59 trains with six cars must run every four minutes at peak times. However, the platforms of the stations will be configured in such a way that 8-car trains can be used in the future, and the signaling system should allow 2-minute intervals. Both are to be introduced as soon as sufficient patronage requires it. Trains with eight cars have a design capacity of 1,539 customers, and an increase in the frequency to an eventual 30 trains per hour (2 minutes apart) would result in a maximum capacity of 46,170 passengers per hour and direction. The line runs for 21 or 22 hours.


The following table lists the patronage numbers for the network for the corresponding fiscal year. The Australian fiscal years start on July 1st and end on June 30th. Important events that affected the number of trips taken or the measurement of patronage are included as notes.

year 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22

Ticketing and costs

Sydney Metro uses the Opal card ticketing system. The fare system is fully integrated with the Sydney Trains network and the NSW TrainLink Intercity network. Trips on suburban, subway and intercity services are charged as a single tariff and there is no exchange penalty. Students using the Sydney subway network to get to and from schools can apply for a free School Opal card. Opal also applies to bus, ferry and light rail connections. However, separate tariffs apply to these modes of transport. The following table shows the Opal reusable smart card and single ticket tariffs:

As of October 5, 2020 0-10 km 10-20 km 20-35 km 35-65 km 65 km +
Adult cards & contactless (top) $ 3,61 4,48 $ 5,15 $ $ 6.89 8,86 $
Adult cards & contactless (off-peak hours) $ 2,52 $ 3,13 $ 3,60 $ 4,82 6,20 $
Other maps (Peak) 1,80 $ 2,24 $ $ 2,57 ^ $ 3,44 ^ $ 4,43 ^
Other cards (off-peak) 1,26 $ 1,56 $ 1,79 $ 2,40 $ $ 3.10 ^
Single trip for adults $ 4,50 5,60 $ 6,40 $ 8,40 $ 10,80 $
Single trip for children / adolescents 2,20 $ 2,80 $ $ 3,20 4,20 $ 5,40 $

^ = $ 2.50 for senior / retiree card holders

With no return or periodic options available, reusable Opal cards include a number of caps to help reduce the cost of frequent travelers:

As of July 6, 2020 Adult tickets Other concession
Senior / retiree
Daily Mon-Fri 16,10 $ 8,00 $ 2,50 $
Saturday and Sunday every day 8,05 $ $ 4,00 2,50 $
Weekly $ 50.00 25,00 $ 17,50 $
Weekly airport
Station access fee
30,16 $ 26,78 $ 26,78 $


Sydney Metro Northwest

The first leg connects Sydney's northwestern suburbs with Chatswood. It consists of 23 km of new line between Rouse Hill and Epping, which includes eight new stations. In Epping, the line connects to the existing 13 km long railway connection Epping to Chatswood, which has been converted from the heavy line to express traffic standards and separated from the existing Sydney Trains network. Passengers can swap with the existing system in both Epping and Chatswood. Construction work on the Sydney Metro Northwest began in late 2013. The route opened on May 26, 2019.

In November 2016, Sydney Metro, in particular the John Holland Group, Dragados and Transport for NSW, received the NSW Premier's Award 2016 for building infrastructure for the 15 km long twin tunnels in Bella Vista and Epping, which are currently the longest tunnels built in Australia. With the completion of these tunnels in early 2016, the first stage of the Sydney Metro Northwest was completed. The NSW Premier Award recognizes "infrastructure projects in the state that are important to the local community."

Sydney Metro City & Southwest

The second phase, which is currently under construction with the planned opening date in 2024, will extend the Sydney Metro Northwest 30 km from Chatswood on the north coast to Central in the south of the city center. The heart of the project is a new twin tunnel level crossing under Sydney Harbor. A new line is being built from Central to Sydenham Railway Station. From Sydenham, the existing Bankstown railway line to Bankstown station will be converted from the heavy line to express service. Together with the planned improvements to the Main Western line, the project is intended to increase the capacity of the Sydney rail network by up to 60% and enable the hourly transport of over 100,000 additional commuters via the network. The City & Southwest expansion is the first phase of the in Sydney's Rail Future planned "conversion of the southern sector".

Sydney Metro West

Sydney Metro West is a separate line between the Sydney business district and Westmead. The line was announced as an official project on November 14, 2016. Up to 12 stations are considered, including stations in Parramatta, Sydney Olympic Park, Five Dock, Bays Precinct and the CBD. In March 2018, the government announced the construction of an additional station in Westmead as well as a station attached to one of the existing stations in Concord West or North Strathfield.

New South Wales' 2019-2020 state budget in June 2019 has allocated US $ 6.4 billion over four years to the project, with construction accelerated in 2020.

The government announced and confirmed seven station locations along the route in 2019. Another two stations were announced in 2021. The first work is expected to begin in 2020, and tunneling is to begin in 2022. The route should be open to the public by 2030.

Western Sydney Airport Line

In March 2018, the federal and state governments signed the Western Sydney City Deal and announced the development of the first stage of the north-south connection as part of the deal. The first leg of the Western Sydney Airport Line will run between St. Marys and Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis via Western Sydney Airport. Construction is scheduled to begin at the end of 2020 and be completed in 2026 in time for the airport to open.

In the federal budget for 2019-2020, the federal government announced in April 2019 a contribution of 3.5 billion US dollars for the provision of the first stage of the rail link. This funding also includes $ 50 million for the business case process for the north-south rail link and $ 61 million for the Elizabeth Drive overpass. In the 2019-2020 state budget in New South Wales in June 2019, the state government announced an investment of USD 2.0 billion to begin construction of Stage 1 over the next 4 years.

Possible extensions

Western Sydney Routes

The Western Sydney Airport line is to be expanded to provide a connection to the north-west line in Tallawong and to the Sydney Trains North Shore & Western and Cumberland lines in Schofields in the north and to the Airport & South line in Macarthur in the south. The west line would also be extended from Westmead to Western Sydney Airport.

Extension of South East Sydney

The New South Wales Government's transport strategy in south-east Sydney is to have a subway line running from the CBD with stations in Green Square, Randwick, two in Maroubra, Malabar and La Perouse, which will be built by 2041, and one further from Randwick to Eastlakes and via the domestic and international terminals of Sydney Airport to Brighton-Le-Sands and then to Kogarah until 2056.

Southwest Extensions

The City & Southwest line is to be extended from Bankstown to Liverpool.

In the second phase of the southern sector conversion, two of the four tracks between Sydenham and Hurstville, part of Sydney Trains' Illawarra line, would be converted to express service and added to the Sydney underground network. This would add 10 trains per hour to rail capacity between Hurstville and the city. Although no precise timeframe has been set for construction, the plan is that all work will be completed by 2031. The renovation in Hurstville would expand the subway network by eight stations and 9 km. Developing plans for this expansion has proven difficult, and the Sydney Morning Herald reported in February 2016 that the project may have been discontinued.

In the media

A Seven News- Documentation on the early construction of part of the Sydney Metro was titled on July 14, 2016 on Seven Network World's Best Metro broadcast .

A multi-part SBS documentary about tunneling for the subway with the title Sydney's super tunnel was broadcast in 2020.


network card

See also


External links