The Bankstown line upgrade project is being undertaken in Sydney, Australia. Credit: John Holland Group.
The upgraded Bankstown line will commence metro services in 2024. Credit: Sydney Metro.
The rail upgrade project will provide improved CCTV surveillance. Credit: Sydney Metro.

The Bankstown line between Sydenham and Bankstown in Sydney, Australia, is being upgraded to metro rail standards.

The upgrade of the 125-year-old Bankstown line will provide enhanced services, safer stations and an improved passenger experience.

Early project works will include station and bridge investigations along with the installation of electrical cabling within the rail corridor. The T3 Bankstown Line will remain operational throughout most of the construction period. Being implemented as part of the Sydney Metro City and Southwest Project, it received planning approval in December 2018.

Metro services are expected to begin on the upgraded Bankstown line in 2024. The Sydney Metro City and Southwest Project is a 30km-long line under construction between Chatswood and Bankstown.

Need for Bankstown line upgrade

The project will remove the bottlenecks created by the T3 Bankstown line for the existing rail network. The existing line slows down the network due to its current merger form with the other railway lines near the central business district (CBD) of Sydney.

The rail line upgrade project will involve shifting the Bankstown line services to the new standalone metro system, enabling more reliable journeys to passengers.

Bankstown line upgrade details

The project will realign the tracks around the Bankstown station to separate the operations of the Sydney Metro City & Southwest from the Sydenham to Bankstown section of the existing Sydney Trains network. It will provide air-conditioned metro trains, improved CCTV surveillance, and platform screen doors among other facilities.

It will involve the upgrade of 13km of the T3 Bankstown line, the improvement of 15 bridges crossing over or under the railway and the installation of safety screens on the bridges.

As part of the project, all 11 stations between Sydenham and Bankstown will be upgraded to metro standards. The stations will be made completely accessible through lifts and level access between the platforms and trains. Works packages will include works on services and systems, station structures, metro service buildings and precinct.

Construction details

Civil construction will include work on culverts, retaining walls, and track drainage. Fencing will be installed along the rail corridor while the existing freight line will be separated from the new driverless railway tracks. New track crossovers will be installed, while overhead wiring will be refurbished to meet the operational requirements of Sydney Metro.

In addition, construction works will include utility modifications and installation of communication and signalling equipment. The station upgrades between Marrickville and Punchbowl will be divided into three works packages. The first package will include the Marrickville, Canterbury and Lakemba stations. The second will include the Dulwich Hill, Campsie and Punchbowl stations. The third will cover the Wiley Park, Hurlstone Park and Belmore stations.

Improvements to be delivered at the Belmore, Wiley Park, and Hurlstone Park stations include aligning the level of the platforms to that of train to ensure level access, construction of new service buildings and cable installation for the new rail systems. The project will also involve improved lighting, paving and tiling at the stations, and construction of new toilets at Wiley and Hurlstone Park stations.

Benefits of Bankstown line upgrade

The Bankstown line upgrade will allow metro trains from Bankstown to run at a frequency of four minutes during peak hours, or 15 trains an hour.

The project will provide new, fast, and direct services to Barangaroo, Chatswood, North Sydney, Martin Place, and Macquarie Park. It will add interchanges to other rail services at Central, Sydenham, and Martin Place.

Commuters will be able to experience improved station interchange options at key stations and all the trains in the network will have stoppages at every local station.

The upgraded line will provide faster and better accessibility to key employment and educational centres.

Contractors involved

John Holland and Laing O’Rourke were awarded a A$227m ($174.24m) contract to undertake the Bankstown Line upgrade project, in February 2021.

Metron T2M, a joint venture between Mott MacDonald and Arcadis, received an A$26m ($18m) contract to provide the design services for the stations and the railway section from Marrickville to Punchbowl.

Downer EDI Works was awarded a A$98m ($75.22m) contract to deliver upgrades to the Belmore, Hurlstone Park, and Wiley Park stations. A joint venture of Haslin Constructions and Stephen Edwards Constructions received a contract to upgrade the stations on the Bankstown Line, in December 2020.