Epping to Chatswood rail closure at a glance

Timing for temporary closure

Connect have been advised by Transport for NSW that the duration of the temporary closure will take about seven months from late 2018 until early 2019. During this time, the temporary transport plan involving five bus replacement routes will be put in place. The Connect Transport Working Group will work with an extended shutdown duration of 12 months for shutdown planning purposes with business. However Connect will be delighted to see the project progress on targeted shutdown timeframes of 6-7 months.

Temporary closure of three train stations:

  • Macquarie University
  • Macquarie Park
  • North Ryde

Transport for NSW will provide support with additional buses needed for the temporary closure. In the long-term, we'll see ongoing infrastructure benefits for key bus corridors and local bus services will improved. 

Government plans prepare the precinct for the temporary rail closure

Work on the bus infrastructure upgrade will be delivered in two stages from mid-2017 to support the 2014 temporary transport plan (TTP) which will be in place throughout the construction of Sydney Metro Northwest.  Connect members have developed a holding statement for employees if required.

Temporary Transport Plan (TTP) - updated July 2017

The NSW Government advised it is committed to increasing public transport reliability to support growth in Sydney. During the upgrade of the Epping to Chatswood line, customers can expect a high frequency of bus services with seven different bus route options, in addition to existing bus routes.

This includes more than 30 buses every hour in the morning peak from Epping to the Macquarie Park precinct and Chatswood. In the morning and evening peak period, services will connect customers to train stations along the Epping to Chatswood line stations at least every six minutes, with a higher frequency on the busier routes. A dedicated Macquarie University service will also run from Epping Station.

More details of the Temporary Transport Plan will be made available closer to its commencement. For more information about the Epping to Chatswood upgrade, go to the Sydney Metro website

TTP Bus Route Map

Bus infrastructure upgrade

Stage 1

Proposed road upgrades would start in mid-2017 to support existing and additional buses running in Macquarie Park during the temporary closure of the Epping to Chatswood line from late 2018 for about seven months. 

These upgrades will include work at the intersections of: 

  • Herring Road and Epping Road 
  • Herring Road and Waterloo Road 
  • Waterloo Road and Lane Cove Road 
  • Lane Cove Road and Epping Road 

Stage 2

Further road upgrades will be delivered after Sydney Metro Northwest opens to provide long term improvements to access for general traffic to, from and within the precinct as well as part of Sydney’s Bus Future. 

Connect worked with its members to review the Transport for NSW and Roads and Maritime Services Review of Environmental Factors (REF) for bus priority and capacity improvements in the Macquarie Park area to provide feedback and delivered a response on Friday 12 May 2017 - download Connect feedback here.

NW metro.jpg

an overview

Sydney’s population today of around 4.4 million is expected to grow to around 5.9 million by 2030. That is why the NSW Government developed new rapid transit trains beginning with the North West Rail Link project with construction now well underway. 

The 13 km Epping to Chatswood railway is a critical component of the overall North West Rail Link. The benefits that rapid transit will bring to the Epping to Chatswood railway are significant, taking the number of trains from just four trains an hour in the peak direction today to 15 rapid transit trains in the future. 

Key facts

  • The Epping to Chatswood railway will become part of an expanded rapid transit rail network for Sydney. 
  • It joins rapid transit rail from the north west that will use a proposed Sydney Harbour crossing to serve a new underground rail line and new CBD rail stations 
  • To upgrade the Epping to Chatswood railway Transport for NSW will have to temporarily remove trains for seven months 
  • This will occur in late 2018 and early 2019 
  • A temporary transport plan featuring five rail replacement bus routes will be put in place while trains are unavailable on the line 
  • Brand new rapid transit trains will be running on the Epping to Chatswood railway after the upgrade 
  • New rapid transit will deliver almost four times the number of trains 
  • Better facilities at upgraded stations will include platform screen doors and constant CCTV.

A train network for the North-West

The project has been designed to meet the current and emerging transport needs of North West and requires: 

  • Construction of 23 km of new electrified, twin track, rapid transit railway between Tallawong Road, Rouse Hill and Epping 
  • Upgrading the existing 13 km Epping to Chatswood railway to rapid transit standards, including the existing stations at Epping (lower level), Macquarie University, Macquarie Park, North Ryde and Chatswood (rapid transit platforms) 
  • Australia’s longest rail tunnels – up to 58 metres below ground at their deepest point and 15.5 km long 
  • Between Bella Vista and Rouse Hill, a 4 km skytrain viaduct is being built, followed by 4 km of bridges, embankments and surface tracks to the terminus 
  • A stabling yard to allow trains to be cleaned, maintained and parked at night and off peak at Tallawong Road, Rouse Hill. 

The North West Rail Link will, for the first time, deliver a reliable heavy rail public transport service to a region that has the highest car ownership levels per household in Australia. 

How rail puts downward pressure on road congestion

The North West Rail Link will reduce car trips by 14 million a year – 12,000 fewer car trips than at present in an average two-hour morning peak. 

Specifically, the North West Rail Link will provide: 

  • Approximately 400,000 existing residents in the North West with rail access to Epping, Macquarie Park, Chatswood then on to St Leonards, North Sydney and the Sydney Central Business District 
  • New rail services to existing suburbs in the Hills District as well as future areas of growth that are planned for residential and commercial development 
  • Frequent, regular rail services and improved travel time reliability compared with bus and private car 
  • Travel time savings from many areas of the North West region to the Sydney CBD and Macquarie Park, and also within the region, including to the Rouse Hill Town Centre, Castle Hill and Norwest Business Park 
  • An increase in services to Macquarie University and Macquarie Park 
  • Reduced bus congestion in the Sydney CBD in the longer term. 

The project will also help the NSW Government to meet the priorities and objectives of NSW 2021 – the Government’s 10 year plan. 

Recent media

SMH - Sydney's Macquarie Park in for road upgrade to help ease chronic congestion - 10 April 2017


SMH - Commuters will have months of pain - 29 March 2017


Northern District Times - When the train stops - 29 March 2017


News - One of Sydney's newest rail lines will close for at least seven months - 5 July 2017


SMH - Longer journeys await commuters during Epping to Chatswood rail closure - 5 July 2017


The Daily Telegraph - Sydney Metro build puts northwest train commuters on buses for longer city ride - 5 July 2017


7 News - Extra $49M for buses as Sydney Metro built - 5 July 2017


The Australian - Extra $49M for buses as Sydney Metro built - 5 July 2017