Tim Brooker

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - rail, place - australasia, operations - capacity, operations - crowding, planning - travel demand management, planning - route design


Sydney, heavy rail network, capacity, additional trains


The Sydney Metropolitan Region has a long established Heavy Rail Network, serving mainly residential suburbs west of the City Centre. Peak hour train service frequencies on most lines leading to the Sydney CBD are now close to the reliable capacity limits of timetabled operating headways ( 18 trains per hour ). There is only limited capacity with the existing rail network (10% at most) to run additional trains into the Sydney City Centre CBD in the actual morning peak 1 hour period on weekdays. In consequence regional growth in rail passenger demand now primarily results in increased levels of crowding of the peak hour trains on most of the rail lines in the vicinity of the Sydney CBD.
This situation has major implications for the locations of new residential in the Inner, Middle Ring and Outer Suburban areas of Sydney. In the Outer Suburban areas, new rail links and new rail stations are required to for basic accessibility and equity reasons to give new residential areas access to the government funded rail network. In the Inner and Middle Ring suburbs, where the remaining spare capacity in the existing heavy rail network is now almost exhausted, new rail projects, either metro lines, extensions of the existing Inner West light rail or significant heavy rail network improvements will need to come rapidly on-stream to provide the necessary additional rail passenger capacity in peak periods.