Inner west light rail extension


Project overview

The Inner west light rail extension has created extra, improved transport capacity with nine new stops between Lilyfield and Dulwich Hill.

Key benefits

  • It has the capacity to connect more people more easily with other transport types
  • An old freight rail corridor is now a productive and an enjoyable place to be
  • The economy is boosted by easy access travel to shopping and entertainment districts

The Inner west light rail extension opened on the 27th of March 2014. It added 5.6km and 12 new vehicles to the light rail network in Sydney. 

The extension runs along the former Rozelle freight rail corridor and takes in nine new stops between Lilyfield and Dulwich Hill. 

At Transport for NSW (TfNSW) we have gradually added further services and vehicles to meet demand since the extension began operation.

The Inner west light rail extension route

The line now includes Leichhardt North (PDF, 2.51 MB), Hawthorne (PDF, 5.67 MB), Marion (PDF, 4.92 MB), Taverners Hills (PDF, 2.46 MB), Lewisham West (PDF, 2.42 MB), Waratah Mills (PDF, 413.24 KB), Arlington (PDF, 389.96 KB), Dulwich Grove (PDF, 402.83 KB) and Dulwich Hill (PDF, 582.72 KB).

The full Sydney light rail network map (PDF, 162.78 KB) shows where the extension connects to the existing line.

In future the line will also connect passengers to the new CBD and south east light rail, which is currently under construction.

Why extend the Inner west light rail?

Part of our broader Sydney Light Rail Program, the new section of light rail has improved access to public transport and connects more people to where they live, work and visit.

The regeneration of the old rail corridor has provided us with the opportunity to improve liveability in the area. 

Not only does the extended line encourage more people to choose healthier travel options, it also helps reduce congestion and the environmental impacts of road transport. 

Being able to deliver more customers to shopping and entertainment districts creates opportunities for the local economy and encourages more visitors into Sydney.

Venues like the Sydney Fish Markets, Star City, Paddy’s Markets, Capitol Square and Leichhardt Marketplace are all easier to access thanks to the light rail extension.

Features of the extension:

  • Real time passenger information throughout passengers’ journeys
  • New access and facilities for when passengers change between light rail, bus, bicycle and trains
  • Parking upgrades that provide kiss and ride areas, and accessible spaces
  • Protection for wildlife habitat and native vegetation along the corridor.

Project status

The Inner west light rail extension opened and began service on the 27th of March 2014 with 12 new light rail vehicles. 

Due to an increase in demand TfNSW announced 90 additional services per week for peak travel times in January 2016. This allowed passengers to catch a light rail service every eight minutes on weekdays between 8am and 9am and between 4pm and 6pm.

The result was an extra 3,700 people were able to travel by light rail each day.

Management of the Inner west light rail

In 2015 the ALTRAC Light Rail consortium took on management of the Inner west light rail. This streamlines light rail management in Sydney, with ALTRAC also holding the full contract for the CBD and south east line, which is currently in progress.

Transdev had been operating and maintaining the Inner West Light Rail since 1999 and joined the consortium to continue its work.

Planning and construction for the Inner west light rail extension

The extension was approved by the Minister for Planning on the 16th of February 2011 under Part 3A of the Environment Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

In order to make the new track operational, we constructed three new sub stations to supply power.

We also installed new safety, communications and signalling systems to make sure the line is safe and efficient. 

To create extra stabling for the light rail vehicles, we extended the existing facility at Pyrmont and built new stabling at the old Rozelle Goods Yard. 

Inner west light rail and the environment

An Environmental Representative managed and ensured the Environmental Management Plan for the project was followed. They made sure the project was compliant with the Sydney Light Rail Extension Conditions of Approval (PDF, 1.25 MB), relevant Acts and Regulations and best practice management for:

  • construction noise, vibration, traffic and site facilities management
  • flora and fauna protection
  • earthworks, water quality, heritage, air quality, dust and waste management.

We also investigated the best ways to protect biodiversity alongside the line.

With the help of an ecologist, we looked at areas for endangered or threatened species before we removed vegetation.

Because we wanted to compensate for any loss of vegetation and help local fauna move safely around the line, a Revegetation and Biodiversity Compensation and Monitoring Package was developed.

We worked closely with the Office of Environment and Heritage, Councils, the GreenWay Sustainability Project, GreenWay Steering Committee and the Inner West Environment Group to create the package.