Olympic Park railway line

The Olympic Park railway line is a railway line linking the Sydney Olympic Park precinct to the Main Suburban railway line at Flemington and Lidcombe. Originally opened as the Abattoirs branch in 1911, it was rebuilt and reopened as the Olympic Park railway line in 1998. Passenger services have since been running on it as the Olympic Park Line (numbered T7, grey).

Olympic Park railway line
The single track balloon loop towards Lidcombe as it passes under the Olympic Boulevard.
Overview
LocaleSydney, New South Wales, Australia
Stations1
ServicesT7 Olympic Park Line
Operation
Opened13 July 1911 (1911-07-13) (Abattoirs)
8 March 1998 (1998-03-08) (Olympic Park)
OwnerRailCorp
Operator(s)Sydney Trains
Technical
Track length7km
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
ElectrificationOverhead 1500 V DC[1]

Abattoirs line

The line opened on 31 July 1911 as the Abattoirs branch off the Main Suburban railway line to the abattoirs and State Brickworks at Homebush.[2] It branched off via a triangular junction behind Flemington Maintenance Depot making it accessible from the Metropolitan Goods line.[3]

Two bridges carried the line over the Great Western Highway. On 11 January 1915, the Metropolitan Meat Platforms opened.[4] Further platforms opened at Abattoirs in December 1926, Brickworks in December 1939 and Pippita in October 1940 to serve a Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation factory.[5][6][7] Sidings on the line served Dairy Farmers and Ford.[3]

On 27 February 1968, the three kilometre Homebush Saleyards Yard opened to service new cattle and sheep pens built to replace facilities at Flemington just beyond the Great Western Highway crossing. The loop was electrified to allow 46 class locomotives to operate services from the Main Western and Main Northern lines to the saleyards.[2][3]

On 9 November 1984, the line beyond the Homebush Saleyards closed. The Saleyards Loop subsequently closed on 22 June 1991.[3]

Passenger services were operated by CPH railmotors operating from Sandown via Lidcombe until November 1984. After this the line (now only going to Pipita) would be served by Single Deck Suburban "Red Rattlers"[8] Pippita continued to be served by a sole daily service to Central until 20 October 1995, operated in its later days by a V set.[2] Only traces of the line remain beyond Pippita. The Dairy Farmers siding is still connected to the present-day Up Homebush Bay West Fork track, complete with catch points and a shunt signal.[9] Reminants of the track can also be seen between the siding and the western bridge across the Great Western Highway. There is no trace of the line past here.[10]

Olympic Park Line

T7 Olympic Park Line
Overview
Service typeCommuter rail
First service8 March 1998
Current operator(s)Sydney Trains
Route
StartLidcombe
EndOlympic Park
Average journey time6 minutes
Line(s) usedOlympic Park railway line
Technical
Rolling stockC, K set (Lidcombe shuttle)
A, B, T set (Special Events)

As part of Sydney's successful bid to hold the 2000 Olympic Games, a new Sydney Olympic Park precinct was built. Included was a railway that traversed a similar route to the former Abattoirs branch. The line was built with a balloon loop and the two track, four platform Olympic Park station. The line utilised the existing eastern bridge over the Great Western Highway which had previously only carried one track, but was wide enough to accommodate the two laid. The new line opened on 8 March 1998.[3][11][12]

Today, the line continues to transport people to and from major events occurring within the Sydney Olympic Park precinct, but also carries workers and residents of Olympic Park to and from the rest of the Sydney Trains network.

Outside of special events, trains to Olympic Park depart from a special platform at Lidcombe (platform 0, previously referred to as the Olympic Park Sprint Platform). Services operate with a frequency of one train every 10 minutes in each direction, dropping to 20 minutes at night.[13] The trip between Lidcombe and Olympic Park takes about five minutes each way. 4-car K sets are scheduled for these trips. Before they were scrapped, S sets were rostered.

During major events at Sydney Olympic Park, train services run direct from the intercity platforms of Central, also sometimes stopping at Redfern and Strathfield. The Lidcombe shuttle trains are also built up to 8 cars. After larger events, west-bound trains from Olympic Park are sometimes extended beyond Lidcombe to Blacktown via the Western line, and to Glenfield and Campbelltown via the Main South line, using platforms 2 and 4 at Lidcombe instead. These services are normally run by 8-car A, B or T sets.


Patronage

The following table shows the patronage of Sydney Trains network for the year ending 30 June 2019. Because these figures are based on Opal tap on and tap off data, passengers are not counted when travelling to major events where the event ticket also allows travel on public transport services.

2018-19 Sydney Trains patronage by line[n.b. 1] [14]
T1

(old)
116553000

(new)
19389000
§Station
Link
4600000
58917000
30578000
69575000
7738000
568000
1802000
46346000
5018000
  1. Figures based on Opal tap on and tap off data.
    §= T1 between Chatswood and Epping via Macquarie Park was replaced by Station Link bus services between September 2018 and May 2019
    = T1 North Shore, Northern & Western Line was split into the T1 North Shore & Western Line and T9 Northern Line in April 2019

References

  1. Asset Standards Authority (19 March 2014). RailCorp electrical system general description, version 1.0 (PDF).
  2. Oakes, John (2001). Sydney's Forgotten Goods Railways. Australian Railway Historical Society. pp. 72–84. ISBN 0 909650 54 3.
  3. "Forgotten Railways to the Olympic Site" Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin issue 737 March 1999 pages 87-96
  4. Metropolitan Meat Platforms NSWrail.net
  5. Abattoirs Station NSWrail.net
  6. Brickworks Platform NSWrail.net
  7. Pippita NSWrail.net
  8. "Goodbye Tin Hare" Railway Digest February 1985 page 40
  9. DRIVERS ROUTE KNOWLEDGE DIAGRAMS - OLYMPIC PARK LINE (PDF). Sydney Trains. 2019. p. 2.
  10. "Google Maps". Google Maps. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  11. "Preparing for the Games - First train to Olympic Park" Railway Digest January 1998 page 11
  12. "Olympic Park Officially Opened & Rail Services Commence" Railway Digest April 1998 page 7
  13. "T7: Olympic Park line timetable". Transport for NSW.
  14. "Train Patronage - Monthly Figures". Transport for NSW. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
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