Train links to the proposed airport at Badgerys Creek are the subject of a new joint study from the federal and NSW state governments.
In addition to the rail transport needs of the airport, the “rail options plan” will also consider the broader transport network required to support the growth in Western Sydney, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss, federal Minister for Major Projects, Territories and Local Governments, and NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said in a joint statement on Friday.
“The momentum continues to grow on this game-changing project for Western Sydney and we are working together to make sure we have the right transport in place to connect the airport site and surrounding employment areas with Western Sydney’s growing residential areas,” the statement said.
“The rail options plan will be completed over the next 12 months and will investigate economic, population and commercial drivers, as well as mapping out costs and timeframes.
“The scoping study will also consider funding and financing issues, including whether value capture techniques could assist meeting the funding requirement.”
— Paul Fletcher (@PaulFletcherMP) November 13, 2015
In August, Truss confirmed the proposed airport would be designed “rail ready”, with provisions for a station within the terminal facilities, as well as rail tunnels linking that station to the Sydney rail network, included in the design plans.
Further, the cost of the rail tunnels and cavity for the railway station would be about $500 million and that cost was being included in the design plans.
However, it was expected to open some time in the mid-2020s with buses as the only form of public transit available to and from the airport.
Road upgrades have already begun around the Badgerys Creek site as part of the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan.
On Friday, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Tourism Anthony Albanese told ABC Radio a rail service should be operating from the day Badgerys Creek was open for business.
— ABC Sydney (@abcsydney) November 12, 2015
The federal government “declared” Badgerys Creek as the site for a second airport in the Sydney basin in August, which ensured further planning work on the airport could proceed and airspace around the proposed facility was protected from potential high-rise buildings.
In October, the draft airport plan and environmental impact statement (EIS) was made public for a 60-day community consultation period, paving the way for construction to begin in 2016.
Sydney Airport has a right of first refusal (ROFR) to build and operate a second airport within 100km of the Sydney CBD.
The Commonwealth recently concluded the nine-month formal consultation period with the owners of Sydney Airport and was preparing to release its Notice of Intention (effectively a sales contract) in late 2015.