Monday, 6 November 2017

MILESTONE: East Hills line connected to the South Line (1987)

Source: State Rail Authority of NSW. 1987. "East Hills - Glenfield Line" (Advertisement). The Daily Telegraph, December 21: 17.

In a few weeks, it will be thirty years since the opening of the extension to the East Hills Rail line that connected the line with the main South Line, providing another route for services to operate from the city to Campbelltown.

An extension to the southern line had been envisioned for over a decade. It was formally announced by NSW Premier Neville Wran in 1983 with the aim of having it completed in three years (1986). The challenge was that the rail corridor would trek through the Holsworthy Army base and required negotiations with the Commonwealth. This was successful with the line running towards the northern boundary.

Two stations were initially proposed, but only one station (Holsworthy) was built.

As part of the extension, the line between Riverwood and East Hills was duplicated to accommodate the additional trains that would operate to and from Campbelltown

On December 21, 1987, the extension was opened. A report from the ABC is featured below.

The biggest winners out the extension were those residing in the Campbelltown region, with reduced travel times to and from the city by rail.  It also opened up development in suburbs including Holsworthy and Wattle Grove.

Building this extension has provided planners with further options to expand the network further. The South West Rail Link (2015) can operate services to the city via the East Hills line, though they operate via the South Line at present.

With the second airport at Badgerys Creek a decade away, it is proposed that the South West Rail Line be extended through to Badgerys Creek and then possibly connect with the Western and North West Rail lines.  I can see foresee the ability for an orbital rail line to be connected. The East Hills Line would be one piece in the jigsaw. It is also connected to the Airport Line (2000) and an extension to Badgerys Creek would allow travelers to travel directly between the two airports.