NSW will spend $880 million to begin digitalising signalling on the Sydney Trains network, allowing services to run at closer intervals, boosting capacity for passengers.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the upcoming state budget would include funding for upgrades to signalling technology on the T4 Illawarra Line and the T8 Airport Line, to allow for a capacity increase of up to 30%.
The state said the technology improvements will also allow for eight more services an hour on the T8 Airport Line at the International, Domestic, Mascot and Green Square stations, meaning trains at least on average every four minutes instead every six, along with extra services from Revesby.
The government plans to deliver the upgrades in stages, with services coming online progressively “from the early 2020s”.
“At the moment our rail network is complex and reliant on old technologies which limits the number of services we can provide,” Berejiklian said. “That is why we are making significant investments to improve rail infrastructure and ensure we can continue to meet the growing demand for rail services.”
The premier said signalling upgrades would also be rolled out across the rest of the network.
Minister for transport and infrastructure Andrew Constance said the program would use state-of-the-art digitalised signalling and control systems used by some of the best railways around the world.
“While we’re building the world class Sydney Metro, it’s important we take action to bring the existing suburban, intercity, and freight services into the 21st Century,” Constance said.
“We are investing in this signalling technology to get more trains on the tracks. Turning old rail into new rail.”
State treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the investment in this technology was an important step in boosting capacity of existing Transport assets.
“We have all had the experience of waiting on an overcrowded platform, so this technology investment will contribute to increasing services and making journeys more comfortable,” Perrottet said.