The NSW Government has announced the planned route and important stops for the upcoming Parramatta Light Rail project. The 20-kilometre light rail track will run from Westmead to Strathfield, with a second line branching to Carlingford and the journey will include stops at up to six train stations in Sydney's west. Construction is expected to start in late 2018 and will be completed by 2023.
Transport interchanges will be created at Westmead, Parramatta, Olympic Park, Strathfield and Carlingford train stations. The preferred route for the Westmead to Strathfield line would be close to planned residential development at North Parramatta, the Parramatta Stadium precinct and the multimillion dollar Parramatta Square project. The route would also pass near a site on the banks of the Parramatta River, which is one of the two shortlisted to be the new home of the Powerhouse Museum.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance said public consultation on the specific route for the light rail would take place later this year.
The Sydney Business Chamber's western Sydney director David Borger told Fairfax that he was surprised an interchange at Camellia was not included as part of the government's preferred network. Chris Brown, the spokesman for the WestLine Alliance, which lobbied for the light rail to go to Sydney Olympic Park, was also unimpressed that the announced route did not cover key stops such as the Carter Street redevelopment at Lidcombe, the Flemington Markets or Rosehill Racecourse.
The light rail will run seven days a week, from early morning to late night, and will be a turn-up-and-go service rather than running to a timetable. The government has allocated $1 billion to fund the construction of the light rail line.