The Richmond railway line is a railway line in the western suburbs of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It is a branch of the Main Western line. Cityrail operates electric passenger train services over the line and markets these as part of the Western Line. The line is owned and maintained by RailCorp.
Description of RouteEdit
The railway commences between Seven Hills and Blacktown station on the western line in Sydney's western suburbs. This section of the western line consists of four tracks- two "up" tracks (meaning the direction towards Sydney) and two "down" tracks (meaning the direction away from Sydney). A flyover branches off the two "down western" line tracks and passes over the top of the two "up western" tracks to form the "down Richmond line". The "up Richmond track" connects to the two "up Western tracks" at the same point. The line then parallels the Main Western line to Blacktown station.
The line branches off in a northerly direction from the Main Western Line at Blacktown station, and Blacktown platforms 1 and 2 (an island platform) serve the Richmond Line tracks. The line then heads north as a double track electrified line, passing the Blacktown Control Box and Blacktown train sidings to Marayong station, which has an island platform. The line continues north to Quakers Hill (island platform). Two sets of points at Quakers Hill allows trains to terminate on either platform. The line continues north-west through Schofields (island platform) where the double track currently ends. Two sets of points at Schofields allows trains to terminate on either platform.
Continuing to the north-west, the line next reaches Riverstone where a passing loop and two side platforms are provided. Riverstone was the extent of electrification until the early 1990s when electrification was extended to Richmond. The line continues north as a single track through Vineyard station, Mulgrave station (where another passing loop and island platform are provided), Windsor station (single side platform) to Clarendon station. At Clarendon, another passing loop and island platform are located. From Clarendon the line heads north as a single track on its final leg through East Richmond (single side platform) to its terminus at Richmond station. At Richmond, 2 platforms (as a single island) are provided. There is an adjacent storage siding.
The line opened to Richmond in 1864 under the stewardship of engineer James Moore. In 1926, an extension was opened to Kurrajong, closing in 1952. Electrification from Riverstone to Richmond commenced in 1987 but was suspended in 1988 due to lack of funds, restarting in 1990 and opening in August 1991. Initially 620 & 720 railcars (locally known as Richmond Rattlers) operated as 2-car shuttles between Riverstone to Richmond until the electric power supply was upgraded to allow through running to and from Sydney in 1992.
In 2002 the track between Marayong and Quakers Hill was duplicated. Two further duplications were announced as part of the CityRail Clearways Project - from Quakers Hill to Schofields and from Schofields to Vineyard. These provide extra capacity to support increased patronage, as the line passes through the middle of Sydney's "North West Growth Centre". Duplication of the Quakers Hill to Schofields section commenced in 2009 and was completed in October 2011. The extension of the duplication to Vineyard has been deferred. There are also long term plans to provide a connection to the proposed North West railway line.