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ARTC Plans for Rail

Rail is not built in a day and our Southern Highlands and Wollondilly train services need much improvement however there are works on the way which will improve life for Wollondilly commuters relying on train services.


The good news is:

  • $150 million for track rehabilitation and operational upgrades between Albury and Sydney has begun. The 170 km Goulburn to Macarthur section will have two overtaking areas built at Werai and Joppa Junction where freight trains under 1,800 metres can be overtaken by passenger trains. Referred to as the SHOOP or Southern Highlands Overtaking Opportunities Project.
  • There is also a ten-year program to deliver a 1,600 km inland rail line between Melbourne and Brisbane fully funded by the Australian government.  When completed, it is estimated to remove 30 percent of the freight off the Southern Highlands/Wollondilly line. 
  • The new Metro Line being built between Bankstown and Sydenham which when married to the existing Sydney Metro Line will allow more trains from the Highlands to Sydney.  The bottleneck being between Redfern to Erskineville – where our country trains crossovers for Central’s country platforms. 

Details of the most recent updates of the project are available from:

Where to from here?

While this is welcomed there is more political work is still needed to:

  • Fund and build designated freight lines from Macarthur to Cabramatta.  This would allow for more reliable and quicker passenger train journeys into Sydney
  • Sydney trains currently work on 90 second gaps, we need to be able to safely reduce this to 30 seconds as they do in Europe and other regions of the World.
  • New and additional trains for the Southern Highlands / Wollondilly Rail Line.
  • Expedite and prioritise the replacement of the 40-year-old regional rail fleet of XPT, XPLORER and Endeavour trains with the new Hybrid (Electric and Diesel) carriages on the Southern Highlands / Wollondilly.

Details of the most recent updates of the project to replace the trains are available from: