Commuters outraged by government north west rail link backflip

RESIDENTS are outraged the state government has backflipped on its promise to deliver a direct train service to the city.

But Transport Minister Gladys Berejikilian has tried to soften the blow saying the North West Rail Link will be the first in Sydney to deliver "world class rail technology" on the network.

The link will now be a single-deck network, meaning trains will terminate at Chatswood because they can't travel into the city on Sydney's existing double deck network.

There will be no timetable with a new train running every five minutes during peak hour.

More trains — one every three minutes — will be put on the North Shore line.

But residents have labelled the announcement another "broken promise" from the government because they are being "financially penalised" because of where they live.

The Hills Transport Working Group chairman James Fiander said the North West Rail Link was no longer a "strategic corridor" to accommodate future growth.

"[Now] it is a north-west shuttle service to Chatswood, an expensive compromise that doesn't fix any of the issues encountered by residents and commuters in north-western Sydney every single day," Mr Fiander said.

Hills councillor Ray Harty said commuters wanted convenience.

"If anyone believes catching a train to Chatswood and then being packed in like sardines to the city is going to encourage people to get out of their cars — it simply won't," Cr Harty said.

But Ms Berejiklian said the North West Rail Link was a new generation system that would eventually be rolled out across other parts of the network.

"Let's define convenience," Ms Berejiklian told the News last week. "Convenience is getting to your destination in the quickest time possible.

"I'd rather save time getting somewhere, and if I have to cross a platform and wait for a train for three minutes I'd much rather do that than sit in traffic for an hour and a half."

A train trip from Rouse Hill into the city is expected to take less than an hour, including the changeover at Chatswood.

"We know customers want faster, more reliable services and the new generation trains will provide a more efficient, comfortable journey on our network," Ms Berejiklian said.

About one-third of commuters on the North West Rail Link are expected to get off at or before Chatswood at hubs including Macquarie Park, Norwest Business Park and Macquarie University.

The link will eventually be a direct line into the city once a second harbour crossing is constructed.

The tunnel is stage four of the state government's Sydney's Rail Future masterplan but Infrastructure NSW chairman Nick Greiner said it was not a priority.

"There is not and there will not be a God-given right for people to go to the corner of their street and get on something and get off where they work in the city," Mr Greiner said.

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