Kym Norley

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - capacity, mode - rail, place - australasia


capacity, current infrastructure, infrastructure utilization, Sydney


Australia’s east coast capital cities have emerging issues with the capacity of the central city component of their urban railway networks. In each case major investment has been proposed but deferred as a result of other funding priorities. In Sydney’s case there are no current commitments, even though existing capacity is considered insufficient for growth. This is a particularly important issue, with work now starting on the North West Rail Link and partial funding available for the Epping-Parramatta line. However, there may be much less costly options than the rail tunnel options that were proposed in the 2005 and 2010 Sydney plans. These other options draw on simple operational principles and legacy infrastructure. The original plans for the City Railway envisaged a much more intensively used network than is presently the case, and drew on contemporary international examples. This paper shows that existing infrastructure in the vicinity of the Harbour Bridge can offer significantly greater capacity than is currently used, and suggests how this may be utilised to take the growth in the medium term. It draws on the early documentation, operational analysis and international examples for this purpose.