Western Sydney rail options plan on the right track

The Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) has applauded the new partnership between the Federal and NSW Government in developing a future rail options plan for the Western Sydney Airport and surrounding growth areas.

“It is fantastic to see the Federal Government have this change of heart on being involved in the planning and construction of urban rail,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.

“It’s a breath of fresh air to see the NSW and Federal Governments working together to start to map out a rail future for what we all want to be a dynamic employment generating precinct.

“A Rail Options Plan is the common sense approach to planning the future rail needs for not just the Western Sydney Airport but the growing residential and employment precincts around it.

“One of the priorities of this study will have to be the identification of possible funding models to pay for the cost of building this infrastructure.

“We’d all like to see a rail link through this region of Western Sydney open for business sooner rather than later but the commitment to having the Airport “rail ready” from day one is an important first step.”

Ms Osmond said she was encouraging the NSW and Federal Governments to not limit their study to just a traditional suburban rail link but to examine options for high speed rail.

“Connecting the new Western Sydney Airport with key centres in Sydney including the CBD and Parramatta will be fundamental to this economic asset achieving its full potential.

“The international research indicates that travellers place a premium on being able to access their intended destination within 30 to 45 minutes of leaving an airport – high speed rail is the best candidate to linking the Sydney CBD and the new airport within that time frame.

“Reserving rail corridors and investigating a staged-approach to a high speed rail link between the Sydney CBD and the Western Sydney Airport should be done now as part of this study.”