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Western Sydney Airport rail link gets planning approval

written by Adam Thorn | July 26, 2021
An artist’s impression of Western Sydney’s new Luddenham Station.

The new Western Sydney Airport rail link to St Marys station has been given planning approval by the NSW government.

State Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the project, set to commence “in the coming months”, would generate 14,000 jobs, including 250 for apprentices.

The $11 billion ‘Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport’ line will consist of six metro stations, two of which will be within the airport’s boundaries at the terminal and the business park.

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When complete, trains will move 7,740 commuters an hour in each direction, taking an estimated 110,000 vehicles off local roads every day.

NSW’s Minister for Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres, said, “It will take just five minutes to travel from the airport to the Aerotropolis, about 15 minutes from the airport to St Marys and 20 minutes from the Aerotopolis to St Marys – where customers can connect to the rest of Sydney’s rail network.

“The initial operating capacity will see trains travelling in both directions every five minutes during peak periods, so customers won’t need a timetable – they’ll just be able to turn up and go.”

The construction of the project was agreed late last year after the federal government announced it would tip $5.25 billion into the project, which is also funded by NSW.

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Upon completion, up to 12 trains will run per hour during peak time, with the capacity for that to increase to 20.

However, residents in St Marys, Claremont Meadows, Orchard Hills, Luddenham and Bringelly have all been warned they will hear the sound of “noise intensive equipment”, according to a new environmental impact statement.

The tunnels will at points run as shallow as 15 metres below ground and will require the clearing of an area in the threatened Cumberland Plain Woodland.

Its development will require the 28 properties to be compulsorily purchased, and a further 33 partially acquired.

In June, Australian Aviation reported how Western Sydney Airport’s new terminal will feature “high-performance glass” and a “climate-responsive façade” to keep the building cool and reduce energy consumption.

The news came as the business unveiled its final working designs for the airport, which will also boast gardens filled with local native plants, and outdoor areas large enough to accommodate festivals.

Chief executive Simon Hickey said, “This will be Australia’s best airport terminal, unlike anything seen before in this country. It sets a new benchmark for what Australians will expect when they fly.”

While remaining fairly consistent with the initial concept designs released more than two years ago, the final terminal design has been compiled to best represent and accommodate the unique regional identity of Western Sydney, according to the airport’s owners.

Hickey said the designs, completed by Australian-founded company Multiplex, were largely inspired by the natural beauty of Australia and the region’s rich Aboriginal heritage, and had sustainability in mind as well.

He said every aspect of the airport’s final design has been tailored to be among the world’s greatest, and the layout makes it easy to navigate for a “stress-free airport experience”.

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