Monday: Town Hall Station gets an upgrade
Town Hall Station is to be the first of 19 stations across the network to get a major $8m facelift with new tiles, better lighting, and upgraded staircases. It forms part of a $20m “refresh” program for stations across the network including Parramatta, Bondi Junction, St Leonards, and Hurstville.
Wednesday: Badgery’s Creek airport needs an express rail line
Peter Thornton, one of the authors of the report calling for an airport at Badgery’s Creek, has called for express trains to run on any future rail line out to a potential airport on the site. Mr Thornton argues that running all stop services would cause unacceptably long journey times for passengers travelling from Badgery’s Creek to either Kingsford Smith Airport or the Sydney CBD, both of which could potentially be on the same line that links up to Badgery’s Creek.
It has been previously pointed out that building a rail line after the airport is complete would require billions of additional dollars in tunnelling costs, compared to the much cheaper option of cut and cover before any runways are built.
Thursday: Opal rollout to Sydney Trains as well as Southern Highlands and South Coast Lines
The Opal smartcard will be rolled out to the entire Sydney Trains network on Friday 28 March. This will be followed a week later with the South Coast Line down to both Port Kembla and Bombaderry as well as the Southern Highlands Line down to Goulbourn coming online on Friday 4 April.
This leaves the Blue Mountains and Hunter regions as the only two that will still not be Opal enabled. Opal readers have been installed at some, but not all stations in these two remaining regions. The Opal rollout will likely move on to complete the bus rollout, which so far includes only the 594/594H and 333 bus routes.
Friday: Inner West Light Rail extension to open
Sydney’s sole light rail line is set to double in length. Currently operating between Central Station and Lilifield, from Thursday 27 March it will be extended out to Dulwich Hill. The line will also feature four new look red trams, which will soon be the sole vehicle type running on the line. Frequencies will also be improved, with trams running every 10 minutes between 7AM-10AM and 3PM-6PM, with 15 minute frequencies at other times. Opal cards are not expected to be rolled out to trams until 2015.