ⓘ Rail Clearways Program. The Rail Clearways Programme was conceived in 2004 with the aim of easing congestion of Sydneys suburban railway network, by reducing th ..

Rail Clearways Program

ⓘ Rail Clearways Program

The Rail Clearways Programme was conceived in 2004 with the aim of easing congestion of Sydneys suburban railway network, by reducing the amount of infrastructure shared by multiple services. The disparate projects at pinch points throughout the network were designed to increase passenger capacity and improve reliability. All projects were delivered by the Transport Construction Authority until it was subsumed in November 2011 by Transport for New South Wales. A new timetable was introduced in October 2013 that realised the benefit of many of the projects, and by January 2014 - the programme was complete.


1. Conception

In the mid-2000s, the Government of New South Wales suffered heavy criticism for its perceived mishandling of the Sydney rail network, which had very poor on-time performance following the January 2003 Waterfall train disaster. The safety regime introduced after this crash required drivers to stick to the speed limit, which often caused delays due to the expectations of the timetable for higher speeds. A slower timetable was introduced in September 2005, which significantly improving on-time running of services. The Clearways Programme was intended as the next step in improving the network.


2. Clearways routes

The Clearways Programme aimed to divide fourteen rail lines into five independent "clearways", reducing the heavily interwoven nature of the Sydney system. This was intended to isolate incidents to one part of the network so other lines would still run as scheduled. The "clearways" feed the existing lines through the Sydney Central Business District.

As the Carlingford Line does not run through the CBD, it was not included in a "clearway". Track upgrades to the Carlingford Line were still included in the programme, but this was cancelled in the November 2008 Mini-Budget. The Carlingford Line has since closed for Light Rail conversion.

The five clearways routes are:


2.1. Clearways routes Clearway 1: Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra

This route did not change from the pre-Clearways Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line. The projects undertaken on this route have increased passenger capacity.


2.2. Clearways routes Clearway 3: Campbelltown Express and Clearway 4: Airport & South

The Campbelltown Express Clearway would have separated the section of the East Hills Line west of Revesby by quadruplicating between Kingsgrove and Revesby and sending express trains to the City Circle via Sydenham. This was to allow more frequent express services to the City, relieve pressure on other parts of the network and improve the distribution of passengers.

On the Airport & South Clearway, express services would have begun at Glenfield and made their way through Liverpool, Cabramatta, Granville, Lidcombe and Strathfield stations to the City Circle, while all-stations services to the City started at Homebush. After passing through the City Circle, trains would have headed south-west via the Airport Line to Revesby running parallel with the Campbelltown Express line from Wolli Creek to Revesby.

In the October 2013 timetable, these two clearways were merged to create the Airport, Inner West & South Line. Differences from the original plan include via-Revesby and via-Granville trains sharing tracks between Glenfield and Macarthur, and all-stations and express trains via-Revesby sharing tracks between Revesby and Central. Most trains from Macarthur via Revesby use the local pre-existing tracks between Revesby and Wolli Creek, and make a number of stops along the route. These trains approach the City via the Airport. The route via-Sydenham and the express tracks between Wolli Creek and Revesby are only used by a limited number of peak-hour services as well as NSW Trains services to Goulburn, Canberra, Griffith and Melbourne.

In the November 2017 timetable, in addition to peak-hour trains from Macarthur via Sydenham utilising the express tracks between Wolli Creek and Revesby, most Macarthur via Airport services throughout the day now operate via the express tracks, resulting in the full separation of Macarthur express trains from Revesby all-stations trains which continue to use the local tracks. This has resulted in the removal of express trains for Padstow and Riverwood as the express tracks are unable to serve those stations where there are no platforms.


2.3. Clearways routes Clearway 5: North West

The North West Clearway provides an independent corridor for the North Shore, Northern & Western Line to improve reliability and capacity. Trains from the west start from the Richmond, Penrith or Epping branches, meet up at Strathfield and travel through the city to Chatswood. Here trains split, either continuing up the North Shore Line to Berowra, or via the Chatswood to Epping Line to Hornsby.


3. Projects

Many infrastructure upgrades needed to be completed in order to implement the Clearways plan. These projects included upgrading stations, adding extra tracks, stabling facilities, or upgrading junctions. The projects were:


4. Non-clearways projects

Other projects of the era which were not part of the Rail Clearways programme:

  • Northern Sydney Freight Corridor – a series of projects to increase capacity for freight services – completed June 2016
  • South West Rail Link – includes an additional platform at Glenfield and a flyover at Glenfield North Junction – opened February 2015
  • Epping to Chatswood railway line – opened February 2009
  • Southern Sydney Freight Line by the Australian Rail Track Corporation – gives freight services their own dedicated line through southern Sydney – opened January 2013


  • Sefton – completed January 2006
  • North Sydney - St Leonards
  • Oatley - Cronulla – completed April 2010

Cancelled projects included:

  • CBD Relief Line – announced in 2010, cancelled in 2011
  • Redfern to Chatswood line – announced in 2005, cancelled in 2008

  • Rail Clearways Program Macarthur turnback Liverpool turnback Kingsgrove to Revesby quadruplication Schofields to Vineyard duplication South West Rail
  • projects of the Rail Clearways Program a 2004 plan to divide the network s fourteen metropolitan rail lines into five independent clearways by installing
  • August 2006, Platform 3 opened on the passing loop as part of the Rail Clearways Program to allow suburban trains to terminate clear of the running lines
  • January 2015 at the Wayback Machine Transport for NSW 2 January 2015 Rail Clearways Program - Kingsgrove to Revesby Quadruplication project profile Transport
  • Schofields was duplicated for more than three kilometres as part of the Rail Clearways Program This was intended as the first stage of a broader plan to duplicate
  • platform at Woolooware converted to an island platform as part of the Rail Clearways Program Woolooware station is served by one NightRide route: N11: Cronulla
  • number of upgrades have taken place. In 2010, as part of the City Rail Clearways Program the junction to the south of the station leading to the Cronulla
  • A new centre turnback at Revesby opened in 2009 as part of the Rail Clearways Program which ended East Hills role as the primary intermediate terminus
  • later announced the construction of a passing loop as part of the Rail Clearways Program on the Carlingford line, which would have allowed a half - hourly
  • section from Gymea to Caringbah was duplicated in 1985, and under the Rail Clearways Program the remaining sections of single line railway from Sutherland to
  • remaining single track sections of the Cronulla line, under the Rail Clearways Program Work commenced in late 2007 and was completed in April 2010. The
  • October 2013 broke the loop between the two lines. As part of the Rail Clearways Program new turnbacks were constructed at Lidcombe and Homebush to allow
  • Kingsgrove to Revesby was duplicated around the same time. The Rail Clearways Program saw the station s role change significantly, with plans to considerably
  • 2013, the quadruplication was extended to Revesby as part of the Rail Clearways Program On 6 October 2000, an eight car Tangara derailed at low speed near
  • platform and turn - back track was completed at Revesby as part of the Rail Clearways Program From October 2009 it replaced East Hills as the primary turn - back
  • SSFL sometime after 2024. New South Wales portal Railways portal Rail Clearways Program Northern Sydney Freight Corridor - a similar project in the north
  • Rail Corp Archived 2013 - 03 - 25 at the Wayback Machine 700 jobs to go as Rail Corp gets the axe Daily Telegraph 16 November 2012 Rail Clearways Program
  • October 2013 broke the loop between the two lines. As part of the Rail Clearways Program new turnbacks were constructed at Lidcombe and Homebush to allow
  • Although not directly mentioned in projects associated with the Rail Clearways Program work was taken out at Edgecliff as a part of the Bondi Junction
  • are too short to accommodate 1, 500 metre trains. As part of the Rail Clearways Program in August 2006 an additional platform was opened at Berowra, and
  • section was opened on 15 July 1985. In the 2000s, as part of the Rail Clearways Program the two remaining single track sections were duplicated. Woolooware
  • 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine NSW Environment Heritage Rail Clearways Program - Completed Projects Archived 11 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  • duplicated. Two further duplications were announced as part of the Rail Clearways Program - from Quakers Hill to Schofields and from Schofields to Vineyard
  • platform for southbound services was constructed as part of the Rail Clearways Program Platform 4 opened in January 2014. Previously platform 2 was the
  • Kingsford was sold. As part of the Rail Clearways Program the 77 million Bondi Junction Turnback project saw a new rail crossover built between the single - track
  • is flanked by a pair of coal tracks on each side. As part of the Rail Clearways Program in August 2006 an additional platform was opened at Berowra, and
  • City Rail also a part of Rail Corp were transferred to Sydney Trains, while CountryLink also a part of Rail Corp and the intercity services of City Rail were
  • Kingsford was abandoned. As part of the Rail Clearways Program the 77 million Bondi Junction Turnback project saw a new rail crossover was built between the
  • avoid confusion with the nearby Olympic Park station. Under the Rail Clearways Program an additional platform Platform 7 was built to the south, with
  • of the line known as the electro - pneumatic system Under the Rail Clearways Program the two remaining single track sections of the Cronulla line were

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This reduces flexibility, but Cityrails Clearways program of sectorising the rail network into independent lines meant that flexibility wasnt something Cityrail was​. CityRail Clearways Project. The Rail Clearways Program was a package of infrastructure improvements to the Sydney suburban network that took place in the second half. Projects Aldridge Railway Signals. Six rail projects face axe as budget falters Linton Besser Transport as the cost and timetable for the Rail Clearways program blew out. Stations WSP. Including the Sydney Cross City Tunnel Project, and the Sydney Rail Clearways program. In 2015, William was named one of Engineers Australias top 100.

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