Parramatta Light Rail Approved

Stage one of the new Parramatta light rail network has today received full planning approval meaning construction will start within months.


Premier Gladys Berejiklian joined Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance, Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts and Member for Parramatta Geoff Lee in Parramatta today to confirm the approval of stage one of the project from Westmead to Carlingford via Parramatta CBD and Camellia.


“Parramatta Light Rail will connect major Western Sydney precincts for the first time and make it possible for people to ‘turn up and go’ to employment, cultural, entertainment and sports destinations,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“This is an exciting time for the people of Parramatta and for visitors to this fantastic part of Sydney.

“Parramatta Light Rail will create close to 5000 jobs, connect communities along the route and transform the way that people explore all the attractions that Western Sydney has to offer, with a light rail service every 7.5 minutes in peak periods.

“Major projects such as Parramatta Light Rail are only possible thanks to the strong economic management of the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government.”

Mr Constance said approval of stage 1 means construction on the project is on track to begin by the end of 2018.

“Parramatta Light Rail is part of the NSW Government’s $80 billion infrastructure pipeline, which includes the largest transport infrastructure program in Australia with $43 billion of investment over the next four years,” Mr Constance said.

“Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1 will deliver frequent and reliable public transport not only for the people of Parramatta but for all those who come here to work, study, access essential services or to simply relax and take in a football game.”

Stage 1 of Parramatta Light Rail will link Westmead to Carlingford via Parramatta CBD and Camellia, connecting key destinations including the Westmead Precinct, the new Western Sydney Stadium, the new Powerhouse Museum and three Western Sydney University campuses as well as brand-new communities at Camellia and Telopea.

Mr Roberts said planning approval follows extensive consultation with the community, local businesses and major stakeholders, including Westmead Hospital, the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Western Sydney University, the City of Parramatta Council, Western Sydney Business Chamber and the Parramatta Chamber of Commerce.

“People across the region have taken the time to share their feedback and we have listened, with a number of significant design changes made in response to further investigation and issues raised by stakeholders and the community,” Mr Roberts said.

Dr Lee said Parramatta Light Rail will help the Greater Parramatta Growth Area become better-connected, more accessible and liveable as the region rapidly grows.

“Greater Parramatta is experiencing unprecedented growth, with more than 72,000 new homes planned for this region over the next 20 years. Parramatta Light Rail is an essential part of our plan for this growth,” Dr Lee said.

The next stage is now to issue contracts for contraction of the line later this year before construction actually begins in 2019. the line is expected to open in 2023. It has been confirmed to Transport NSW blog that Acciona, the builder behind the embattled CBD and South East light rail line will not be biddding for this contract due to legal action currently ongoing between it and the State Government.

The government has initially allocated $1 Billion to the first stage of the light rail network, with final costings to be sealed once contracts are finalised.

This is the first stage of a wider proposed Parramatta light rail network that will also include a line to Sydney Olympic Park via Ermington, Melrose Park and Wentworth Point.

Bus Timetable Changes – June 3

There will be a series of major timetable changes for some operators across Sydney from June 3rd. These changes will affect services operated by Busways, Hillsbus and Transit Systems.

Busways Changes 

  • New route 742 – Riverstone to Rouse Hill Town Centre via Guntawong Rd
    New route introduced, running between Rouse Hill Town Centre and Riverstone
    New bus stops added to new route
  • New route 747 – Marsden Park (Elara Estate) to Rouse Hill Town Centre via Riverstone
    New route introduced, running between Rouse Hill Town Centre, Riverstone and Marsden Park
    New route to and from Elara Estate between 9am-2pm, providing direct services to Rouse Hill Town Centre
    New bus stops added to new route
  • 746 – Riverstone to Rouse Hill Town Centre via Box Hill
    Extra trips added to service growing residential areas in Box Hill
    Route 746 extended to Rouse Hill Town Centre via Mill St, Piccadilly St, Garfield Rd East and Edmund St in Riverstone
    Service will no longer run as a loop service, and now as a two-way service between Riverstone and Rouse Hill Town Centre
    New bus stops added to route
  • 749 – Blacktown to Marsden Park
    Route 749 changed to run via Symonds Rd/Stonecutters Dr, and via Alderton Dr
    Provides alternative services via Richmond Rd between Symonds Rd and Alderton Dr for Route 751
  • 751 – Blacktown to Rouse Hill Town Centre via Marsden Park
    Route 751 extended to Schofields Station and Rouse Hill Town Centre
    This service via Stonecutters Dr to Alderton Dr (through Colebee) will operate as a trial
    Route 749, will continue to run on Richmond Rd between Symonds Rd and Alderton Dr
    New bus stops added to route
  • 774 – Mt Druitt to Penrith via Oxley Park, St Marys & Caddens
    Additional weekly trips, with services running morning and evening
    Route 774 runs via Caddens and Claremont Meadows, providing direct access to Penrith, St Marys and Mt Druitt
    Replaces cancelled Route 778 between Caddens and Claremont Meadows
    New bus stops added to route
  • T75 – Blacktown to Rouse Hill
    Route T75 runs between Blacktown Interchange and Rouse Hill (via Rouse Hill Town Centre)
    New Route 747 will run between Rouse Hill Town Centre, Riverstone Station and Marsden Park replacing Route T75 west of Rouse Hill
    Some former Route T75 trips replaced by new school services in Rouse Hill, Schofields and Riverstone areas
  • 778 – St Marys to Caddens
    Route cancelled
    Route 778 services replaced by Route 774, which will run via Caddens and Claremont Meadows
    Residents in Caddens and Claremont Meadows will have direct access to Penrith and Mt Druitt, provided by new service Route 774
  • S12 – Quakers Hill Shopper Hopper
    Route cancelled due to low patronage
    Alternative travel at Quakers Hill available on Route 752
  • Most Western Sydney timetables
    Minor timetable adjustments

Hillsbus Changes

  • 705, 705, T61 Will no longer operate to West Point.
    You will need to go to Blacktown Interchange to catch these services
    711 Will continue to West Point and will now depart from Stand 3
  • 708 Will no longer go via Hawkesbury Rd, Westmead, Stapleton St Wentworthville or Cumberland Highway
  • 600 This service will be discontinued. Customers can now use routes M60, 621 and 632 for their travel needs.
  • 631 This service will be discontinued and replaced by a school service for students. Customers can now use routes M60, 625 632 and 633 for their travel needs.This service will be discontinued and replaced by a school service for students. Customers can now use routes M60, 625 632 and 633 for their travel needs.
  • 612X Castle Hill services will now only operate from North Sydney
    Kellyville Riley Tway services will continue to operate to and from Milsons Point

Transit Systems 

Timetable changes to the following routes

  • 800 Fairfield to Blacktown
  • 801 Badgerys Creek to Liverpool
  • 802 Parramatta to Liverpool
  • 803 Miller to Liverpool
  • 804 Parramatta to Liverpool
  • 805 Cabramatta to Liverpool
  • 806 Parramatta to Liverpool
  • 807 Cabramatta to Liverpool
  • 808 Fairfield to Liverpool
  • 809 Merrylands to Pemulwuy
  • 810 810X Merrylands to Parramatta
  • 811 811X Pemulwuy to Parramatta
  • 812 Fairfield to Blacktown
  • 813 Fairfield to Prairiewood
  • 814 Fairfield to Smithfield (Chifley St)
  • 815 Mt Pritchard to Cabramatta
  • 816 Greenfield Park to Cabramatta
  • 817 Fairfield to Cabramatta
  • 818 Merrylands to Westmead
  • 819 Liverpool to Orange Grove
  • 820 Merrylands to Guildford
  • 821 Guildford to Smithfield industrial area
  • 822 Merrylands to Guildford
  • 823 Liverpool to Warwick Farm
  • 827 Liverpool to Carnes Hill
  • 829 Parramatta and North Parramatta (Hassle Free Nights) Service
  • 835 Prairiewood to WSU Penrith
  • S10 Heckenberg to Miller Shops
  • T80 Parramatta to Liverpool

Farewell Region 6 – The Buses

A massive part of any bus operation is the buses. Region 6 is home to 582 buses across its four depots.

From m/o 3426, a Scania L113TRB with Ansair Orana bodywork delivered in March 1993 to 2912ST, a Scania K310UB with Volgren “Optimus” bodywork delivered in April, the fleet is varied with a great diversity of buses. With Mercedes-Benz, Scania and Volvo chassis buses bodied by Ansair, Bustech, Custom Coaches and Volgren, the buses range from 12m to 15m in length alongside 18m long bendy buses.

So as part of our farewell to STA operation in Region 6, we have compiled a gallery of some pictures of buses from R6 in operation. All photos are from our personal collections except where noted.

m/o 3426 – Currently the oldest buses in the Region 6 fleet – Photo by Dean Jones
2833ST – The final bus to be transferred out of region 6 to another STA region
2112ST – The sole fully low floor bendy bus and one of the last bus to be transferred from another STA region to region 6 – Photo by Leon Sharpe







Where Can You Fly? – A350

For our final edition of “Where Can You Fly?,” I was asked to do a post on all the different places you can fly the A350 from Sydney.

The two airlines who either fly or have announced A350 flights to Sydney are Cathay Pacific and China Airlines. Cathay Pacific will bring the larger A350-1000 to Sydney daily from August 2018 whilst China Airlines has been flying the smaller A350-900 twice daily since December 2017.


Here is where you can fly;

  • Hong Kong – Cathay Pacific
  • Taipei – China Airlines

The A350 has been one of the most popular passenger plane order choices for long haul flights over the past few years. This will eventually lead to more A350 carriers in Sydney. Qantas is even considering purchasing and basing A350s in Sydney, with Airbus’s demo model visiting back in February.

I really hope you have enjoyed the “Where Can You Fly?” segments! If you would like to see the return of “Where Can You Fly?” or perhaps have an idea for a different segment, please let us know, we love to hear your ideas and thoughts.

Offical Light Rail Stop Names Revealed

In some positive news for the much beleaguered CBD and South East Light Rail project, the Geographical Names Board has officially approved the final stop names for all 19 stops along the route.

Mid last year the NSW government submitted names to the Geographical Names Board, who undertook  community consultation on the Government’s proposed names and received extensive feedback.

The intention of the chosen names is to ensure major destinations including Moore Park, the university, hospitals and the racecourse were recognised, alongside the most major geographical features near the stops.

The official light rail stop names are:

  • Circular Quay
  • Bridge Street
  • Wynyard
  • QVB
  • Town Hall
  • Chinatown
  • Haymarket
  • Central Chalmers Street
  • Surry Hills
  • Moore Park
  • Royal Randwick
  • Wansey Road
  • UNSW High Street
  • Randwick
  • ES Marks
  • Kensington
  • UNSW Anzac Parade
  • Kingsford
  • Nine Ways


Tallawong Station

It is been announced that the northwest terminus of the new Sydney Metro Northwest line will be Tallawong.

Sydney Metro Tallawong Station.jpg

The station has been known as Cudgegong Road Station during the construction phase. Following community feedback, the station has been named Tallawong, a word with local historical significance that’s derived from the Dharug word ‘dalawang’ for the apple gum tree.

Tallawong Station will serve The Ponds, Rouse Hill and surrounding areas. The station is located between Tallawong and Cudgegong roads. It will be serviced by a new metro train every four minutes in the peak and will have:

  • 1,000 commuter car parking spaces;
  • Four bus bays;
  • 15 kiss-and-ride spaces; and
  • Parking and storage for 55 bicycles

Real Time Train Loadings

From today a number of real time apps such as AnyTrip, NextThere, TripView and others  have been showing real time train loadings for selected services.

This allows customers to see how crowded each indivual carriage on a service is and how that is likely to affect loadings at other stops based on historical data. This will help to allow customers to choose a carriage that is less crowded. You can see the approximate number of seats available or if the carriage is standing room only.

This is currently only available for services run by “Waratah” A set and selected “Millennium” M set trains. The system works by using weight sensors installed in the train to make an estimate of the number of customers in the carriages at any one time.

Where Can You Fly? – Qantas International

As requested, this week we will be looking at all the places you can fly Qantas internationally from their main hub here in Sydney.

Qantas has been flying internationally from Sydney since the late 1930s, with flights to Singapore via Darwin and to Auckland. Over time it expanded, contracted and then again expanded its network of international destinations. Round the world flights from Sydney operated through the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Today, Qantas flies to 24 international destinations across all the inhabited continents from Sydney. These flights vary in their frequency from 3 weekly during peak season only to more than 5 daily flights.


The destinations and aircraft that fly there are listed below.

  • Auckland – A330, 737
  • Bangkok – A330
  • Beijing – A330
  • Christchurch – 737
  • Dallas-Fort Worth – A380
  • Denpasar – 737
  • Hong Kong – A330, A380, 747
  • Honolulu – A330
  • Jakarta – A330
  • Johannesburg – 747
  • London (via Singapore) – A380
  • Los Angeles – A380, 747
  • Manila – A330
  • New York JFK (via Los Angeles) – 747
  • Noumea – 737
  • Osaka – A330
  • Queenstown – 737
  • San Francisco – 747
  • Santiago – 747
  • Shanghai Pudong – A330
  • Singapore – A330, A380
  • Tokyo Haneda – 747
  • Vancouver – 747
  • Wellington – 737

Farewell Region 6 – What Routes Are Being Privatised Anyway?


Transport for NSW and State Transit have this week finally revealed what routes are actually counted as Region 6 and therefore will be handed over to Transit Systems on July 1.

Due to the highly interconnected nature of the STA network, where many routes operated across multiple regions using buses from both regions, this was a complex task. All the routes assigned to either the remaining STA regions or TSA had to be able to be completed with the buses and staff already in that region. This has meant that some cross regional routes, reaching into areas outside of R6 will also be sold off, whilst other routes with large stretches inside R6 will be kept in STA hands.

The following list of routes will be operated by Transit Systems Australia (TSA) from July 1 2018

305, 308, 348 & 389.
401, 406, 407, 408, 412, 413, 415, 418, 422, 423, 425, 426, 428, 431, 433, 436, 438, 439, 440, 441, 442, 444, 445, 460, 461, 464, 466, 470, 473, 476, 477, 478, 479, 480, 483, 487, 490, 491, 492 & 493.
502, 504, 508, 526 & 530.
L23, L28, L37, L38 & L39.
X04, X25 & X26.
M10, M20, M30, M41 & M50.

The following routes currently operated by State Transit (STA) Region 6 have been reallocated to other STA regions and will continue to be operated by STA .

301, 303, 309, 343, 352, 355 & 370.
400, 410 & 458.
501, 506, 510 & 525.

Featured Bus Route – May 2018

This month we will be featuring State Transit Route 415. It is one of the routes that will be handed over to Transit Systems on July 1 as part of the Region 6 Privatisation.

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 12.17.55 pm.png

Route 415 currently operates between Campsie and Chiswick via Belmore, Strathfield, Burwood and Five Dock.

Route 415 has been operated by STA since the 1940s. It initially operated between Belmore Station and Burwood Station, serviced by Burwood depot. When Kingsgrove depot opened in 1948, they took responsibility for the operation of the route, which they continue to have to this day. The route has since been extended from Belmore Station to Campsie Station. In the 2010 Inner West Bus network review, Route 415 was further extended from Burwood to Chiswick via Five Dock as a replacement for the discontinued route 409.

The 415 operates daily between 5am and 8pm. It has a frequency of every 30 minutes throughout the day, with extra services operating between Strathfield and Campsie during peak hours and some trips starting from Kingsgrove depot before 7am.