About the upgrade
Sydney Metro Northwest is an integrated transport solution from Rouse Hill through to Chatswood. Sydney Metro Northwest will connect directly with the existing Epping to Chatswood railway to allow the new trains to operate a distance of 36 kilometres between Rouse Hill and Chatswood. While the second harbour crossing is being delivered, extending metro rail from Chatswood, customers will need to walk across the platform at Chatswood to change to an existing service.
In peak hours, there will be a train at least every four minutes. On the North Shore Line from Chatswood towards the city, there will be a train every three minutes. The upgrade of the Epping to Chatswood railway is an important part of the $8.3 billion Sydney Metro Northwest. It's the first step in introducing next generation metro trains to Sydney.
To convert the existing suburban line to next-generation metro standards, major upgrades will be needed, including overhauling the stations, 26 kilometres of new cabling, power and signalling systems and customer improvements such as platform screen doors. The five existing stations along the line, at Epping, Macquarie University, Macquarie Park, North Ryde and Chatswood, will have screen doors along the full length of the metro platforms to keep people and objects away from the tracks, improving customer safety and allowing trains to get in and out of stations much faster.
From late 2018, buses will replace trains for around seven months between Epping and Chatswood whilst the line is converted to metro operations. When Sydney’s metro services start in the first half of 2019, 15 trains an hour will run in both directions between Epping and Chatswood during the peak – almost four times the number of trains running in the peak direction today. For example, a customer at North Ryde travelling towards Chatswood in the morning peak will see a metro train every four minutes in the peak, compared with the train every 15 minutes they get today.
Temporary Transport Plan
- Provide extra bus stops, shelters and seats.
- Provide special signage at key intersections.
- Introduce bus only signal phasing at selected locations.
- Temporarily remove some on-street car parking to make way for extra bus parking.
We recognise the impacts the temporary transport plan will have on people's daily lives, and we will work to minimise impacts as much as possible and keep the time needed for the temporary transport plan to an absolute minimum. Because of the comparative speed of trains over buses, customers can expect longer journey times when the replacement bus strategy is in place. A fleet of around 75 buses will be provided, operating about 160 services each weekday morning period and about 170 services each afternoon/evening. All buses involved in the temporary transport plan will be clearly signposted. Bus fares will be based on the normal rail fares that customers would usually pay.
From mid 2018, the train timetable will change to provide trains from Hornsby to the city via Epping, West Ryde and Strathfield, instead of the present route from Epping via Macquarie Park. An interim rail service could potentially run between Epping and Chatswood for about four months, subject to operational considerations closer to the start of conversion work.
From late 2018 until early 2019, it will be necessary to completely remove trains from the line. During this time, which is expected to take about seven months, the temporary transport plan will be put in place. The NSW Government and the Sydney Metro Northwest operator are committed to minimising the impact to customers and this includes providing more than 300 bus services along the temporary bus routes every weekday.
During peak periods there will be both limited stops and all-stop bus routes to carry customers – limiting the impact on local traffic and travel times.
Following the conversion, Sydney’s new metro services start with 15 trains an hour in both directions between Epping and Chatswood during the peak, almost four times the number of trains running in the peak direction today.
Environment and planning
Transport for NSW will move forward with the upgrade of the Epping to Chatswood railway line as part of the Sydney Metro Northwest project, following a planning process in 2015, which included widespread community consultation. To deliver Australia’s first fully-automated railway system with a train every four minutes in the peak, the existing railway between Epping and Chatswood will be closed for about seven months in 2018–19.
The Epping to Chatswood Railway Conversion to Rapid Transit Review of Environmental Factors (REF) Report and Temporary Transport Plan (PDF 9.3MB) were completed in October 2014 and were publicly exhibited between 13 October and 17 November 2014. A total of 174 submissions were received during the REF exhibition period, with the majority coming from the community and stakeholders, including special interest groups and the business community.
Key issues raised included:
- Implementation of the Temporary Transport Plan
- The temporary removal of rail services during the construction of the proposal
- Technical aspects of the upgrade program, including the benefits of installing platform screen safety doors on the new metro platforms.
Transport for NSW has considered feedback and will continue refining the Temporary Transport Plan in the lead up to changes in 2018.
To convert the existing suburban line to next-generation metro standards, major upgrades will be needed, including overhauling the stations, installing 26 kilometres of cabling, power and signalling systems and customer improvements such as platform screen doors.
Community Notification - Epping to Chatswood design investigations and cable testing out of hours
PDF | 240.16 KB
Community Notification - Epping to Chatswood conversion works including out of hours
PDF | 243.91 KB
Community Notification - Establishment of a temporary compound St Leonards
PDF | 487.11 KB
Community Notification - Epping to Chatswood rail line conversion works
PDF | 199.42 KB
Community Notification - Epping to Chatswood Rail Line
PDF | 223.9 KB