Tuesday 28 February, 2017
Bankstown line to be disrupted for five years
The real impact of construction for the proposed Sydenham to Bankstown Metro line has been revealed, with planning documents showing construction will drag on for five years with impacts to the broader Sydney network.
"Bankstown line commuters will have their lives severely disrupted for five years while the proposed Metro line is constructed," said Sydenham to Bankstown Corridor Alliance spokesperson, Peter Olive.
On 16 February, Transport Minister Andrew Constance announced the start of the planning process for the ripping up of the existing line from Sydenham to Bankstown to build the new Metro line.
He stated that a closure of between three to six months would be required "just before Metro services started in 2024". He also referred obliquely to the need for "additional periodic closures" around "nights, weekends and school holidays". 
The initial project report for the Metro, uploaded to the Department of Planning website, exposes the true extent of the shutdowns and this government spin. 
This report shows that the Bankstown line would be shut down during the July and December-January school holiday periods for each year between 2019 and 2024. This represents a total of seven weeks’ worth of shutdowns in each of these years.
Other shutdowns will include:
Additional Bankstown line weekend shutdowns, above the current four weekend a year maintenance schedule undertaken by Sydney Trains - exactly how many additional shutdowns will be required is not clear.
Shutdowns of multiple tracks and lines through Sydenham station during night-time and sometimes for days at a time. This would affect trains on the East Hills, Bankstown and Illawarra lines in unspecified way, although the project report refers to the need to provide alternate bus options.
Individual station closures between Sydenham and Bankstown for potentially "some weeks at a time".
"This rail line is about delivering for the NSW Government's property development mates and the NSW Treasury bean counters, but not for the local community,” he said.
“We have a perfectly good rail line already and our community is delivering on the NSW Government's long-term urban consolidation targets.
"All the potential benefits of the Metro can be delivered by retaining and improving the existing service and Sydney Trains network.”
NOTE: The initial members of the Alliance are the Save Dully Action Group, Hurlstone Park Association, Marrickville Residents' Action Group, Keep Our Area Suburban, the Cooks River Valley Association and the Mudcrabs (Cooks River Eco Volunteers). Additional community or environmental groups are welcome to request to join the Alliance.