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Crowding on trains along Sydney’s western rail spine worsens

Passenger crowding on trains travelling along Sydney’s western rail spine to the city during the morning peak has worsened significantly over the past year, underscoring the need for major investment in the ageing network.

Half of suburban lines have at least some trains unable to fit more passengers on during the busiest hour of the peak from 8am to 9am, figures from the state’s transport agency show.

Trains on the busiest line, the T1 Western, recorded average passenger loads of 150 per cent during the morning peak in March, up from 139 per cent a year earlier.

O’Sullivan, Gladstone (2019-10-25)

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The government has cited patronage growth on the western line as grounds for building the Metro West from the city to Parramatta.

But Mathew Hounsell, a transport data analyst at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, said the rail network was desperately in need of investment as it would continue to carry the vast bulk of commuters, even after new metro lines were opened.

“The metro will help move people around the new areas but the heavy rail system is still the heavy lifter and it is already under strain,” he said.

Mr Hounsell said patronage on the airport and Illawarra lines also demonstrated the need for extra trains to cope with population growth. “People are turning to trains to get around the city and that is causing crowding,” he said.

O’Sullivan, Gladstone (2019-10-25)

Citation: O’Sullivan, Gladstone (2019-10-25)

Matt O’Sullivan and Nigel Gladstone. (2019-10-25). “Crowding on trains along Sydney’s western rail spine worsens”. Sydney Morning Herald, Fairfax Media LtdNine Entertainment Co. Sydney, NSW, Australia. Accessed 2020-02-22