Stage two now on light rail journey

Sydney Olympic Park is on track to be the end of the line for Parramatta light rail.

The state government has confirmed planning for stage two has begun and is due to be completed by late 2018.

Its preferred nine kilometre route will connect with stage one north of the Parramatta River via Ermington, Melrose Park, Wentworth Point and onto Sydney Olympic Park.

Stage two will have 10-12 stops with travel times of 25 minutes from Olympic Park to Camellia and a further eight minutes to Parramatta.

There’s no word yet on the stage two timeline and cost.

“Stage one is good but stage two is a game changer,” Parramatta MP Geoff Lee said. “We’re making Parramatta the most connected city in western Sydney.”

Parramatta lord mayor Andrew Wilson looks forward to light rail as part of an integrated network which includes existing train services, the future Sydney Metro West, bus and ferry links.

Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue chairman Christopher Brown convened the WestLine Partnership, a group of landowners, stakeholders and councils which lobbied for light rail along the Olympic corridor.

“This link will connect some of the region’s major growth areas and catalyse the creation of more jobs, homes and better amenities for a rapidly growing population,” Mr Brown said.

Urban Taskforce chief executive Chris Johnson said the preferred line must be complemented by increased density along the route.

“Communities often complain about the lack of infrastructure related to new development, so when the government is committing to new infrastructure, local communities must understand that increased development density will come with this,” he said.

But state opposition leader Luke Foley questioned the lack of detail.

“It’s now been three years since the government said it was going to ‘accelerate’ work on light rail,” he said. “So far, it has committed only $1 billion towards a project that leaked documents show will cost more than $3 billion. The community is still awaiting a business case which was due to be released in May.”