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Direct train services from Penrith could be cut back as the city's $20-billion Metro project wavers on its promise of a faster, better rail system for all.
Documents obtained by the ABC reveal the NSW Government has considered plans to bring new express trains to the Northern line, while reducing peak-hour services from Penrith, Kingswood and Werrington.
There are also hints that Sydney's suburban trains may become more crowded.
An impact document predicts a reduction of 'West to North' capacity by 25 per cent, suggesting more passengers on already crowded trains from Sydney's western suburbs.
The planning documents were secured after a successful three-year legal battle with Transport for New South Wales, with two appeals to release the information under the GIPA Act.
Last year Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the $20-billion Metro project would deliver a "massive boost" to the entire train network.
"It will also mean faster and more frequent services will be able to be delivered on the Sydney Trains network from other major centres like Penrith and Blacktown," he said.
The comments echoed those of former premier Mike Baird who said: "Whether it is busting congestion or providing brand new Metro train lines to reduce crowding on our public transport, these projects will make a huge difference to people's lives."
The timetable changes revealed today assist the operation of the privately run Metro line, which will take over a reconfigured Epping-to-Chatswood line.
However, they will have a complex domino effect on the city's railways as existing services are rerouted, or even cancelled.
Penrith loses, Rhodes winsPenrith currently enjoys 11 fast trains to the city during the 7:00am-to-8:00am peak-hour period, but a 2018 concept map suggests the western population centre could lose four services with capacity for up to 4,000 passengers.
From 2018 on, Penrith's peak-hour travellers may lose direct access to Town Hall, Wynyard and the North Shore, with train services instead terminating at Central.
Passengers would need to change trains to continue into the city and north, something that could increase journey times and station congestion.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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