Hello and welcome to another round of Train Talk Tuesday. This week we will be looking at the Epping-Chatswood Rail Link (ECRL). It includes stations at Epping, Macquarie University, Macquarie Park, North Ryde and Chatswood and is 13km in length.
The ECRL opened in 2009 and was oringinally the first stage in the Parramatta Rail Link between Chatswood and Parramatta that was never completed. Construction began in 2002 however was postponed in definitely in 2003. Construction recommenced in 2005, however it used a differnet route, leading to the entire line being in a tunnel instead of part tunnel, part viaduct and also eliminated the UTS Kuring-gai station due to the depth of the tunnels.
Upon opening, the line was operated free of charge for 6 months as a shuttle between Epping and Chatswood only using 4 car H set trains running very 15 minutes between 6am and 10pm. From Octocbver 2009, it was integrated into the Northern Line with services operated using 8 car K set trains with trains running every 15 minutes. Since 2013, the ECRL has been part of the T1 line with services operating from Hornsby to Richmond or Emu Plains using the line. These operate every 15 minutes using either 8 car T set trains or 8 car A set trains. All of the services were and are operated by Sydney Trains or its predessor, CityRail.
In 2018 for a period of 7 months, the line is set to be closed for conversion to metro as part of Sydney Metro NorthWest. It is expected that it will reopen in early 2019 with new metro services running from Rouse Hill to Chatswood, with an extension to Sydneham via the CBD opening in 2023.