marcnut1996 wrote: ↑Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:06 am
I am wondering how they can start construction this year if they haven't even prepared an EIS.
Yes, it is bewildering. Apart from the EIS, the business case hasn't been released yet. I'd be extremely surprised if it came out positive, although it may in the longer term as part of an extended line. Like Metro West, this project is being rushed out before all of the regulatory and financial implications have been finalised.
The most logical outcome as a first priority should be to extend the SWRL to the airport, as it would provide a more direct and faster rail link to the CBD as well as a sizable chunk of Western Sydney. It would provide more immediate benefits for airport travellers and to the broader rail network as a whole. A CBD link via St Marys is useless.
Contrary to the views of some, which has been discussed at length on other threads in the past, the new airport's eventual private owners will want to compete aggressively with Sydney Airport for business. It won't be totally reliant upon travellers to and from Western Sydney and because of the distance involved, a fast direct rail link to the CBD will be critical to its success. Over the next decade, the Sydney Trains' network will be transformed with the introduction of Automatic Train Operation, allowing faster journeys and higher frequencies. Compatible SD trains could even operate to service both airports.
The rail link with St Marys, whether by metro or the existing network, should be a secondary consideration as a longer term option. If the metro link with St Marys proceeds immediately, then at the very least, provision should be made to allow for the eventual extension of the SWRL directly to the airport station and not just the Aerotropolis. This will avoid the ridiculous situation where travellers from the CBD and South Western Sydney via the SWRL have to change at the Aerotropolis to go one more stop to the airport station. The airport station will have 4 platforms. Any prospect of Metro West being extended to the airport from Westmead will be decades away, if ever. If it does eventuate, then it could branch with the North/South metro line to access the station.
However, I won't be holding my breath as anything to do with extending the existing Sydney Trains' network is anathema to the present State Government, because of their love affair with the metro, regardless of how logical or appropriate it may be in certain circumstances.