Bankstown railway line, Sydney

Bankstown railway line, Sydney

Public transport infrastructure in Sydney
name=Bankstown Line
transport_mode=Commuter rail line
operation_area=Inner west/west
interchange_names=Town Hall
fleet_names=C, R, S, T, M sets
event_1=Opened to Belmore
event_2=Extended to Bankstown
event_3=Connected to Main South
The Bankstown Line is part of the metropolitan rail network of Sydney known as CityRail. It services various Inner West and Western Sydney suburbs including centres at Bankstown and Liverpool.


The line opened between Sydenham on the Illawarra railway line and Belmore in 1895 [cite web | url=| title=NSW Railway Passenger Services 1880-1905. | publisher=Australian Railway History, April 2005. ARHS NSW Division ] . This was the first solely suburban line to open in Sydney- all other rail lines were mainlines carrying traffic into and out of Sydney. In 1909, the line was extended to Bankstown, with intermediate stations at Lakemba and Punchbowl. Wiley Park station opened later in 1938. In 1928, the line was extended westwards from Bankstown to join the main suburban railway at Lidcombe. In 1916, the Metropolitan Goods Line was constructed paralleling the Bankstown Line between Marrickville and Campsie. In 1926 the Bankstown became the second line in Sydney to be electrified and a maintenance depot was constructed at Punchbowl. Electrification was extended from Bankstown to Regents Park in 1939 [Brady, I. "Sydney Electric Trains From 1926 to 1960". Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, Vol 52, no 762. April 2001.] . Electric passenger services originally operated along the Bankstown Line to St James station, until the 1956 opening of Circular Quay station and the completion of the City Circle. The Punchbowl maintenance depot closed in 1994.

January 2006 saw the completion of a four-year project to upgrade the line. The work included the resleepering of the entire line, replacing the former wooden sleepers with the more durable concrete ones, replacement and upgrade of the signalling, and also replacement of the ageing catenary, mostly with the more modern double contact wire variety. Other minor work such as graffiti removal and lineside litter clean-up was also carried out as part of the upgrade. The lengthy upgrade process was noted for its "January Closedowns", in which the entire line was closed in January for the bulk of the upgrade work to take place. Passengers were required to use specially provided substitute buses which stopped only at the railway stations, and honoured CityRail tickets. In addition to the track and catenary upgrade, many of the stations on the Bankstown Line have had their facilities upgraded in the early 2000s, including new station buildings, the installation of platform lifts for wheelchair access, and the installation of security cameras. The upgrade of all stations is ongoing, and many are still in their original condition, and do not provide wheelchair accessibility, making it prudent for those requiring this capability to check before travelling.

Description of line

The Bankstown line physically begins at Sydenham railway station on the Illawarra line. The line branches at Sydenham Junction and passes in a westwards direction to Bankstown, where it heads north to Birrong. Between Marrickville and Campsie, the Metropolitan Goods line runs in parallel. At Birrong, the line meets the Main South Line which runs from Lidcombe to Cabramatta via Regents Park.


Passenger services begin at Town Hall station on the City Circle as a continuation of services from the Inner West Line. Most services operate around the City Circle in a clockwise direction to Central, then through Redfern. Trains usually operate on the 'Illawarra local' (western pair) tracks between Redfern and Sydenham, serving St Peters and Erskineville stations. At Birrong, about half of the Bankstown line trains (the Lidcombe branch) return to the CBD via the Inner West line. These trains are given a "fake" destination of Birrong via Sydenham, where the train changes its destination to the City Circle, and vice versa. When the Clearways project is complete, most of these "loop" trains will terminate at Lidcombe, breaking the loop.

Line Information

*More services serve the line in the Monday to Friday morning and evening peak hour services, where some services omit stops.

Bankstown Line stations

topping Patterns

*Pattern 1: all stations to Lidcome (& vice-versa) (off-peak & peak) Continues on Inner West line to City.
*Pattern 2: all stations to Liverpool, via Bankstown (& vice-versa) (off-peak & peak).
*Pattern 3: all city circle stations, then Redfern, Sydenham, Campsie and all stations to Liverpool, via Bankstown (& vice-versa) (peak hours only).


External links

* [ CityRail News and Media] - Completion of the Bankstown line upgrade
* [ CityRail News and Media] - History of the Bankstown line

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