The Cumberland railway line connects Schofields, Blacktown and Leppington stations in the western suburbs of Sydney, Australia and appears in magenta on the Sydney Trains network map. The Cumberland line consists of pre-existing track on the main western and southern lines, plus a new "Y-link" track between Harris Park and Merrylands stations. As of 2013, the Cumberland line is now also referred to by the code
The line was opened in 1996 as part of former Prime Minister Paul Keating's 'Building Better Cities' programme in recognition of Parramatta's place as the capital of Sydney's west. It cost $80 million to construct, and required the construction of a little over one kilometre of new track and no new stations. This track consists of the creation of a triangular junction at the junction of the 'Old Main South' and the 'Main Western Line by laying track between Merrylands and Harris Park stations, known as the 'Y Link' including a new flyover of the 'Up Old Main South' over these new tracks. The intention of this link was to allow direct services to operate from Liverpool and Campbelltown to Parramatta and Blacktown without requiring a change of trains at Granville. The line takes its name from the Cumberland Plain on which much of Western Sydney was built.
Description of RouteEdit
Physically, the line consists of the Western Line from Blacktown station to Harris Park, the 'Y Link' as described above, the "Old Main South" (known as the South Line) between Merrylands and Cabramatta, the Main South Line between Cabramatta and Glenfield, and the South West Rail Link between Glenfield and Leppington
Upon its opening in 1996, the line had a regular half-hourly service in both directions consisting of 38 journeys per day. Subsequent timetables saw its services significantly reduced to the point of running only during weekday peak hours, and since 2005 the line only runs in one direction at a time: two services run in the morning peak from Campbelltown to Blacktown (one of which extends to Quakers Hill, via the Richmond branch of the Western line), and three services return from Blacktown to Campbelltown in the evening (as of 31 October 2011, one commences on the Richmond branch, from Schofields).
This service also occasionally operates on weekends if trackwork affects the Western and South lines, particularly between Granville and Strathfield. Services from Glenfield and Liverpool are diverted to the Western Line and proceed beyond Blacktown, to either Penrith or Richmond, and vice versa. In the extremely rare event of service disruptions, South line trains may divert to Parramatta, terminate there then turn around and continue its trip as per the timetable.
Prior to the Y-Link's opening, passengers travelling between the Western and South lines are required to change trains at Granville. With the reduction in services to peak hours only (aside from trackwork services), this travelling strategy has been resumed by most commuters.
In 2006, the then-Iemma Labor Government's NSW State Plan committed to re-introduce a regular half-hourly service to the Cumberland line during 2007 "subject to detailed timetable and train planning... and fleet delivery, availability and rostering". A Sydney Trains news release on 15 December confirmed this intention, based on the gradual introduction of the then-new OSCAR (H set) trains, which would displace outer suburban Tangara (G set) sets; the latter trains then reassigned to suburban service. This promise was not delivered, and the Cumberland Line to 2013 remains a peak-hour-only service with 4 car carriages. However, in the October 2015 timetable changes, the line was finally changed back to its original 30 minute frequency, with all trains commencing from Schofields.
at this station
|Merrylands||MLN||Two||T2 South Line|
|Cabramatta||CTT||Two||T2 South Line|
|Casula||CSL||Three||T2 South Line|
|Macquarie Fields||MQF||Three||T2 Airport & East Hills Line|
|Campbelltown||CAM||Three||T2 Airport & East Hills Line
Southern Highlands Line